Getting started with an insurance claim
First, our lawyer disclaimer: talk to us before you talk to the truck driver’s insurance company.Even if you think there is no doubt that the trucker caused the crash, and the police report and witnesses all agree.
In the meantime, you can start a claim with your own car insurance company. It is usually much easier to use your own insurance benefits first.
Your insurance card, or other documents with your policy number.
The exact address or location of the crash.
Names and badge numbers of all responding police officers.
Names and phone number of any witnesses, if known.
The truck driver’s name, trucking company or owner’s name, and their insurance company name.
Any photographs of the damaged vehicles, and the crash spot.
Here are the insurance claim pages for some of the biggest insurance companies. Many have options to file a claim online.
Talking to the insurance adjuster
After you file a claim, you will be contacted by an insurance company representative, known as an insurance adjuster. Get the adjuster’s full name and contact information, and the claim number.
Adjusters are usually friendly and helpful. Just remember that they work for insurance companies—not for you.
They do, however, have an obligation to protect your interest and treat you fairly.
Ask the adjuster if there is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or MedPay on the policy. If so, ask if there is a separate insurance adjuster for the PIP/MedPay.
Be polite to the adjuster, but remember: their job is to pay as little as possible for your claim. Adjusters will look for any possible reason to deny part of your claim. Anything and everything you say may be used against you.
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- They have to answer your questions.
- They have to pay medical and property damage bills as outline in the policy.
- They have to give you a clear and timely explanation of their coverage decision.
- You have the right to talk to a lawyer before talking to an insurance adjuster.
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