Your report of your accident to the insurance company should come in two forms: a demand letter stating the terms of your monetary reimbursement and a package of documents verifying your claim in the demand letter.
The demand letter will be used to determine the amount of compensation you are eligible for in connection with your accident. The purpose of the package of documents is to assist the insurance company in verifying that your claims are reasonable and legitimate. The informational package might also be useful should a lawsuit become necessary.
What Documents Should I Provide in Support of the Demand Letter?
In order to make sure that your demand letter is accepted, you should support it with documents and receipts which are related to your claim. If you are capable, begin collecting information regarding the accident while the events are still fresh in your mind. You may find it useful to categorize your documents into the following two groups:
- Damages: Damages refers to financial losses, such as physical damage done to your car, associated repair costs, lost wages, and any other related expenses. You should draft and/or collect the following documents:
- A detailed written report of the accident including police reports, any traffic tickets, and statements from the other party
- Photographs of damage to the car. You may wish to keep a disposable camera in your car for just this purpose, or use a camera phone
- Contact information of the parties involved and any witnesses, including names, phone numbers, and addresses
- Any statements, photos, and videos made by witnesses
- License plate numbers of the cars involved
- Receipts of mechanic expenses
- Hourly pay stubs from your employer to verify any amount of wages lost
- Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering includes any injuries that you may have incurred due to the accident. Documentation may include:
- Medical bills and receipts, for example costs of emergency room visits and prescription medications
- Photos and x-rays of injuries
- Counseling costs in the event of emotional injury or trauma
- Projected impacts of any severe injuries, i.e., interference with your job
- May be able to file for punitive measures if the other party demonstrated malice
- Loss of consortium in the event that a loved one was lost due to the collision
Personnel from the insurance company will appreciate it if you take the time to organize all relevant information so that it is presentable and easy to reference. Using a binder or a folder with tab markings can go a long way in terms of presentation.
Should I hire Lawyer to Help Me Report My Claim?
While some people choose to prepare their report without any assistance, many people can be unaware of all the details and requirements necessary to report an accident to their insurance company. For this reason, it may be helpful to obtain a products and services lawyer to assist you preparing your insurance claim.Also, in the event that a lawsuit arises, the lawyer will already be knowledgeable of the details of your auto accident. A lawyer may be of great help if you are incapacitated due to the accident and cannot compile the necessary information on your own.