It is an inevitable part of life that accidents will happen – but sometimes these accidents occur through no fault of our own. In such circumstances, we should ask ourselves “how do I make an insurance claim?”, because we are entitled to claim compensation from the person who caused the accident. If an accident has caused you injury, through no fault of your own, read on to find out more about the steps to take before you make an insurance claim.
Seek medical attention soon after the accident
It is important to ensure that any injuries sustained from the accident are assessed by a medical practitioner. Even if you feel as though you have not suffered any harm, sometimes injuries can take time to appear and seeking medical attention can help to determine if any future medical treatment or ongoing care is required. This is not purely for health reasons, but also because evidence of medical records and receipts are required should you wish to claim compensation for them. Therefore, it is best to seek medical attention soon after the accident occurs, and be sure to keep any related medical records and receipts, as these will be required for any future insurance claims.
Gather the details of the people involved in the accident
You should obtain the contact information of anybody else involved in the accident, as any insurance claims you wish to make will be against whoever was at fault. Evidently, it will be difficult to make an insurance claim against someone if you are unable to contact them. You should also try to obtain the contact details of any witnesses to the accident, as their testimonies can help substantiate your claim to the insurance company.
Collect evidence of the accident and your related injuries
Where an accident has occurred, any evidence that you can gather is helpful in establishing and substantiating your claim for compensation. Generally, more evidence can help to maximise the compensation you will receive. You should try to collect:
- Photographs of the injury itself
- Photographs of the location where the injury occurred, and the surroundings
- Receipts or records of any expenses incurred due to your injury, such as the cost of home modification, or travelling expenses
- Records of any lost wages due to your injury
Report to the police
Parties involved in an accident should consider reporting the accident to the police as soon as possible after it has occurred. Depending on the type of insurance claim, if there is a failure to report the accident to the police then you may be required to justify this delay to an insurance company. You should also ensure that once you have reported the accident, you have received an event number from the police as this may be required for some insurance claims.
Having the police involved can also be helpful if you are unable to obtain sufficient evidence to establish a claim or are unable to contact the other parties involved, as the police may be able to assist in both matters.
Determine who you will make the insurance claim to
An insurance claim is a means for those who have been injured in an accident to receive compensation for their related injuries. You can make an insurance claim against the insurer of the whoever was at fault for the accident causing your injuries.
Determine what you need compensation for
If you make an insurance claim and it is successful, you can receive compensation for:
- Medical, rehabilitation and hospital expenses
- Replacement or repair of damaged property
- Home modification and attendant care expenses
- Loss of earnings or earning capacity
- Pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life (if you have suffered a whole person impairment over the 10% threshold)
Lodge your insurance claim within the relevant time period
All insurance claims are subject to strict time limits, and any claims lodged outside these time limits may be rejected. These time limits do vary, depending on the type of insurance claim you wish to make. To ensure that you have not lost the chance to claim for compensation, it best to seek claim advice from a compensation lawyer.
For more information about an injury compensation claim, get in touch with Schreuder Partners today.