Car Accident: How to File a Claim Against an At-Fault Driver
Car Accident

After a serious car accident, you’re entitled to seek compensation to cover the injuries or damages that the accident caused you. In most cases, you’ll be filing a case against the at-fault driver, which is the other driver who was solely or primarily responsible for your accident.

We’ll be discussing what the procedure entails, and how having a competent lawyer in your corner can increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome.

What You’ll Need to File an Accident Claim

You need solid documents to strengthen the credibility of your claim. Here are the legal documents you need to gather before suing the at-fault driver:

Police Report

A police report details the accident scene, witness statements (if any), and the officer’s preliminary assessment of fault. If the police report assigns blame incorrectly, contact the responding officer to discuss a possible amendment.

Medical Records

Make sure you collect all documents related to your accident-related injuries. This includes doctor visits, diagnostic tests, medications prescribed, and any upcoming treatment plans.

Car Repair Estimates or Receipts

If your car was damaged, obtain estimates or receipts for repairs from qualified mechanics.

Evidence of the accident

Photos of the accident scene from multiple angles, showing damage to vehicles, skid marks (if present), and any surrounding factors that might have contributed to the accident.

Witness Statements

If anyone witnessed the accident, get their written statements, or contact information. Their perspective can go a long way in proving to the court that you did not make up the accident.

The Filing Process

Here is a detailed roadmap for filing a car accident claim against an at-fault driver:

Step 1: Gather Information at the Scene

If the accident does not render you incapacitated, you should get the at-fault driver’s name, contact details, and insurance information. Try to take pictures of their driver’s license, insurance card, and vehicle license plate.

If possible, take pictures or videos of the damage to your car and theirs. Capture skid marks, debris, and the overall accident scene.

Even if you feel okay initially, get checked by a doctor. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.

Step 2: Contact Your Insurance Company

Let your insurance company know about the accident as soon as possible. They’ll guide you through their claims process and advocate on your behalf to recover your repair costs if you have collision coverage.

Step 3: Filing a Claim with the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance

As soon as you have your documents in order, you should file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You can usually do this by calling their customer service line or filing online. Be prepared to provide details about the accident, your injuries, and the documentation you’ve collected.

Step 4: Negotiating a Settlement

The insurance company will likely assign an adjuster to investigate your claim. They will review your documentation and may offer you a settlement. This is a one-time payment meant to cover your medical expenses, car repairs, lost wages (if applicable), and pain and suffering.

This initial amount is often much lower than what you’re entitled to. Make sure that you fully analyze the settlement offer against your documented losses and future needs.

You can negotiate for a fairer compensation that reflects the full extent of the damages you’ve incurred. If none of the amounts they offer seem pleasing to you, then you can decide to take your chances in court.

In court, a judge will review the evidence, listen to your side of the story, and give final judgment on whether or not you’re entitled to the amount you’re asking for.

Why Legal Representation is a Game Changer

This accident wasn’t your fault. You shouldn’t have to fight for what’s rightfully yours alone. You need a lawyer by your side to help you challenge all the complexities involved in getting maximum compensation.

A competent lawyer is someone who understands the law, negotiates aggressively and fights to get you the compensation you deserve. Don’t settle for anything less.

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