Preserving evidence is important in handling your property damage claim, and that includes photos and videos. For photos, you want to make sure to use a quality camera and take slow photos all the way around the vehicle from all angles, you want to zoom in and want to zoom out. On videos, if you can do it, you want to take a video all the way around your vehicle. And the purpose of that is in case you miss something, you can pause it and take a screenshot.
After preserving the evidence, you're going to want to call the insurance companies to start a claim. First, if you have the other driver's insurance, you'll call their company to start your property damage claim. If for whatever reason you don't have their insurance information, then you're going to want to set up a property damage claim on your insurance policy. Now, be aware that coverages may vary from policy to policy. For instance, on your own insurance, there may be deductibles, or there may be out-of-pocket expenses that you're required to pay such as rental fees.
When you open a property damage claim with an insurance company, you're gonna get assigned an adjuster and that adjuster is going to be in charge of getting an inspection done, fixing your car, and ultimately evaluating your claim. Now first getting the inspection scheduled and done. You're gonna get an estimate once that's finished, and it's gonna go to you and the adjuster. Make sure to take a close look at it, though. And you want to look at it to see if there's anything that you feel is missing. If you feel something's missing, then take your car to another shop and get a second opinion.
If you do get a second opinion, then send that to the adjuster so they can take it into consideration when evaluating your claim. Once the total cost for the repairs is determined, you're going to receive a release from the adjuster. Now the release is a formal document where you agree to accept a certain amount of money in exchange for your claim. Now, it's important that you take your time and read the release, and make sure you understand that all the information is correct.
Now pay close attention to make sure that you're not releasing other claims you may have, for instance, bodily injury, because you may not realize the full extent of your injuries until later. At the end of the day, you may not even need a lawyer to handle your property damage claim. Every now and then, though, the insurance companies just refuse to pay. And that circumstance you may need a lawyer to file a lawsuit for you. Consultations with our team are always free. We're here to help keep you moving forward, even if you don't need us to represent you.