Filing an insurance claim in Indiana: What steps to take

Female driver calling 911 and police to report accident.

When you’ve suffered vehicle damage or injuries in a car accident, you will likely file an insurance claim with your insurance company and the at-fault driver’s insurer. If you’ve never filed a car insurance claim, you may not know what to expect in the claims process. Knowing what steps to take when filing an insurance claim in Indiana will help make the claims process go more smoothly.

What Should I Do Immediately After the Accident?

You can put yourself in the best position to file an insurance claim after a car accident by taking the following steps:

  • Call 911 – You should call 911 for paramedics if you or someone else involved in the accident has visible injuries, appears distressed, or requests medical attention.
  • Call the police or report the crash – If nobody has suffered injuries or requests medical attention, you should contact the police directly to report the crash and have an officer come to the scene to prepare a police accident report. If you don’t call the police at the accident scene, you should file a crash report within 10 days of the accident.
  • Get a copy of the police report If police respond to the accident scene, you will have the right to request a copy of the police report when it becomes available. Most insurers will want to see the police accident report.
  • Get the other driver’s information – Exchange driver’s license and insurance information with each driver involved in the accident.
  • Take pictures or videos of the accident scene – Use your cell phone to take photos or videos of the scene if you can. Document vehicle damage, injuries, skid marks, traffic controls, and weather or road conditions.
  • See your doctor, even if you feel okay – Seek prompt medical attention at the hospital or from your primary care physician as soon as possible after the car accident. Getting treatment quickly after the crash will help strengthen your claim that the car accident caused your injuries.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim with the Insurance Company?

When you have a claim you can file with your insurance company after a car accident, your policy will likely provide a deadline for filing a claim to obtain coverage. If you have a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance, notify the other driver’s insurer of your car accident claim as soon as possible. Waiting too long to file your claim may lead to the insurance company denying your claim if it cannot investigate the accident, obtain evidence, and determine fault for the crash.

Insurance agent checking damage car from accident.

How to File a Car Accident Claim in Indiana?

Insurance companies offer multiple options for filing a car accident claim:

  • Your insurance company may have a mobile application that allows you to file your claim even at the accident scene.
  • You can call an insurance company at their claims hotline to file a car accident claim over the phone.
  • The insurance company’s website may have electronic or paper forms you can print out and mail to file your claim.

Once I File a Claim, What Are the Next Steps in the Process?

After filing your car accident claim with the insurance company, you can expect the insurer to take the following steps in processing your claim:

  • Claims adjuster gets assigned to the case – Insurance companies have employees called adjusters who investigate and process car insurance claims. The adjuster will also serve as your point of contact with the insurance company and decide whether to accept or deny your claim.
  • Get a case number to reference – The insurance company will assign your claim a case number, which you can use to identify your claim when speaking with the insurer.
  • Give your account of the accident – The adjuster will need information to determine what happened in the crash and identify which driver caused it.
  • Agent visits to assess damage and injuries – The insurance company will likely send out an agent or appraiser to evaluate the value of your car’s damage.
  • Your company contacts the at-fault driver – Once your insurer determines that the other driver caused the accident, they will contact the at-fault driver and their insurance company to demand reimbursement for any coverage benefits they’ve paid you under your policy.
  • Your claim is processed – After the adjuster has obtained evidence and information about the crash, they will determine whether to accept or deny your claim. If approved, they will calculate the amount of compensation due under the policy’s terms.

What If I Am Partially Responsible for the Accident?

If you think you bear some responsibility for the car accident, you may still have the right to file a car accident claim. Indiana uses a comparative fault rule for car accident cases. This rule allows an injured driver to pursue compensation if they are less than 51 percent to blame. However, your financial recovery will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.

How Long Do I Have to File an Injury Lawsuit in Indiana?

Under Indiana’s statute of limitations, you must file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver and their insurer within two years of the car accident date. However, there are exceptions that could extend or shorten this deadline. The court can dismiss a lawsuit filed after the limitations period expires, regardless of the claim’s merits. You should talk to a car accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights to pursue compensation.

Contact an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer

After you’ve had a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, contact Truitt Law Offices. You’ll get a free, no-obligation consultation where you can talk to an Indiana car accident lawyer about your legal options for recovering compensation for your injuries. Let us help you recover from the harm you’ve endured due to somebody else’s careless behavior on the road.

Visit Our Car Accident Law Offices

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About the Author

As an attorney who has practiced law in Northeast Indiana for nearly four decades, Richard Truitt has seen many changes in the way personal injury and wrongful death cases are handled. However, at least one aspect of his work has remained the same. “You always have to listen to your clients, and you have…