A car accident is something which no one wishes for, but which every motorist should be prepared for. This is why licensed drivers are required by law to have insurance. Beyond the capacity for a car accident to cause damage to personal and public property and injury to any or all parties involved, it can also quickly become incredibly expensive. There are repairs—or replacement—for your vehicle, medical expenses for any person injured in the accident, and if you are the party who is at fault for the accident, then you may be required to compensate the other party as well. This is why one of them most important stages following a car accident is insurance claims.
Involved in a Car Accident: What Is Expected of You
Following an accident, you are expected to report the damages and any injuries to your insurer within seven days of the event in question. Upon receipt of your report, the insurance provider will send you the Application for Benefits Form, or OCF-1. You will have 30 days to complete this form as thoroughly as you are able to and return it to the insurer. These timeframes aren’t absolute; however, if you fail to complete these steps within the assigned time frame, you must provide a valid reason for doing so. If you are recuperating in a hospital, for example, an exception may be made for you.
Immediately following your accident, you are also expected to report it to the police should any of the four following criteria are met:
- The vehicle is no longer operable
- The damage to either vehicle is over $1,00
- Public property has been damaged
- The other driver fails to produce a valid driver’s licence or proof of automotive insurance
When discussing your car accident with police, or in communication with another party involved, it is key that you do not, under any circumstances, discuss the details of compensation or accept any cash offer. These details should only be discussed with a lawyer who handles personal injury and car accident claims.
Following a Car Accident Insurance Claim
In most cases, it is very highly recommended that you seek the aid of a legal professional. Car accidents resulting in personal injury can quickly become a complex matter, and a personal injury lawyer’s job is to ensure that you navigate the ensuing process competently, represent your interests, and act on your behalf. They are trained professionals who make it their business to know the ins and outs of insurance policies and the legal system, and will work tirelessly to make sure that you are treated fairly by both.