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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Powell

How Soon Should You Inform Your Insurance Company of an Accident?

It is already a traumatic experience to get involved in a car or road accident. Numerous thoughts are bound to cross the mind when dealing with the situation. However, even after everything starts returning to place, one more question would seemingly pop up - How soon should people inform their insurance company of an accident?


The Powell Law Firm is here to help find the answer and analyze the reason behind such a choice.


Why Report to the Police?

Why Report to the Police?


Any road accident involving heavy damage must be reported to the police immediately within 24 hours. However, it can be ignored in minor accidents that do not involve major injury or crime.

The police report must be filed if the accident involves:

  • Heavy damage

  • Injury or Death

  • Crime or Criminal acts

  • The vehicle owned by the government or a vehicle possessing dangerous goods

  • Collision with the vehicle of an unlicensed or uninsured driver

  • The bicyclists or pedestrians in the accident

  • Damage to governmental property


The need to make a police report arises, as its report is necessary and acts as a strong piece of evidence for the accident when claiming insurance for the car. All the legal proceedings also suggest the same when an accident occurs. If it is necessary, here is how to get a copy of a Missouri accident report.


However, during minor accidents or accidents as a result of sudden changes in weather conditions like fog, rain, or snow, there is no need to file a police report. Simple evidence like photographs of the damage and area of the accident, getting the other parties' contact information and eyewitnesses, etc., will work fine.


How Soon Should a Person Inform the Insurance Company of an Accident?


The answer to this question stands - as soon as possible. In essence, the car policy that the owner of the vehicle signs is like a contract with many terms and requirements that an individual must fulfill as and when the situation arises. The clearest and most demanding requirement is that all accidents which involve the insured car must be reported to the insurance company; the insurer, in particular.


There is no such hard and fast rule to notify the insurer immediately, but it is considered appropriate if it’s done within seven days.

If the filing to claim car insurance is done after 30 days, it lowers the chances of recovering the damage and money loss. It is also suggested to always refer to the car insurance policy to check the filing deadlines for car insurance after an accident and other related terms because it varies with different insurance companies. For more information on how long an insurance company has to settle a claim, contact Powell Law Firm.

However, as per the state driving laws of different states, the duration the informer can inform or report to the insurer generally varies between one to 10 years. The reason is - in some cases, the injury or damage caused due to an accident may appear later. For legal guidance following a car accident, reach out to the St Louis MO automobile accident lawyers at Powell Law Firm.


How Much Time Does a Person Have for Filing the Claim?


The duration under which the victim of a road accident can file an insurance claim depends on the time frame the state allows and considers them liable for it. This time frame, rendered by the state, is referred to as the Statute of Limitations.


Consider that the time differs from state to state, and every state has different time frames depending upon the severity of the injury caused and the size of damage incurred.


Despite a statute of limitations, it is better to refer to the car insurance policy for all such references and clearance of confusion. The statute of limitations becomes handy, as the damages and injuries, in some cases, do not appear apparently. Hence, asking an insurance for its help plays an important factor.


What Happens When an Individual Doesn’t Report an Accident to the Insurer?


Individuals must be responsible and inform the details of every accident concerning them, whether minor or major. If the insurer learns about the accident from any other source, this will not work in favor of the one involved.

This could increase the car insurance rate even though the individual paid the bills of the uninformed accident. The car insurance rate is bound to increase when the driver is at fault. This may not be the case with the one who is not at fault since they just happened to be at the place at the wrong time.


Conclusion

Car insurance is meant to recover a person’s losses and damages from an accident. However, suppose the insurer does not provide the right coverage for the losses despite filing a claim, in that case, an individual must take legal help from an experienced and professional attorney or get associated with a trusted law firm.

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