An automobile collision can occur in a matter of seconds. It may just be a simple fender bender, or it can be a serious collision that involves catastrophic injuries and extensive damage. After an accident, if you sustained serious injuries, you must file an auto insurance claim to cover the cost of accident-related damages. Progressive is one of the top auto insurance providers in CA. They have very specific accident reporting policies for their policyholders, and may not be as friendly as they seem on TV, especially if you find yourself filing a claim against them if their policyholder was at-fault for the collision. If you were involved in an accident and don’t know how to pursue compensation from Progressive, this article will guide you through the steps you need to take to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
How to File an Auto Insurance Claim After a Motor Vehicle Collision in California
After an auto accident, the injured party can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to obtain financial compensation to cover the cost of damages related to the crash. Californians are required to carry bodily injury coverage, which covers the cost of injuries, vehicle damage, lost wages, and more, if the policyholder is found at-fault for an accident. If a claim is successful, the other driver’s insurance company will be responsible for paying accident-related losses.
How These Types of Auto Claims Work
Typically, you need to file an auto insurance claim right after a collision.
The first step is obtaining evidence and important information, such as:
- The name of the driver, their driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information
- The time, date, and location of the accident
- Photos of vehicle damage and any injuries you sustained
- A copy of the accident report or police report
Contacting the Insurance Company
After you have notified your own insurance provider of the collision, if you were not at fault for the accident, you must file a third-party insurance claim. This will require you to contact the other driver’s insurance company to report the accident.
Progressive requires its policyholders to report auto accidents as soon as possible following a crash. This is often done online by visiting their website, or it can be done by phone. Shortly after the at-fault driver reports the accident, you can expect a call from a Progressive insurance adjuster.
The insurance adjuster will review the information you provide to determine who is at fault for the crash and review their client’s Progressive policy and coverage choices.
After a claim has been filed, it must be processed and approved.
If the other driver is found at fault, Progressive will offer a settlement, based on their policyholder’s auto policy coverage.
Report Your Accident to the DMV
You must notify the DMV within ten days of the accident. You will need to fill out the online SR1 form if you were involved in a collision with minimum damages of $1000. If anyone involved in the collision was injured, you myst also file a report with the DMV, regardless of how minor the injuries were.
California Auto Insurance Requirements
Drivers in CA are required to carry:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: $30,000 per accident minimum, $15000 per person
- Uninsured motorist coverage: $30,000 per accident minimum and $15,000 per person
- Property damage liability coverage: $5000
Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you were involved in a serious accident that involved catastrophic injuries, you must report your accident to your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company, and the DMV, as soon as possible.
In this situation, it’s wise to contact a personal injury attorney. An attorney can speak with the other driver’s insurance company, or your own, if you were involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. If the other driver was uninsured, you must file a claim against your own insurance company.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is required in the state of California. This coverage will protect you in the event you’re involved in an accident with a driver who is uninsured. In this case, you would need to file a claim against your own insurance company to recover compensation for accident-related losses.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If your damages exceed the other driver’s insurance policy limits, the remaining compensation can be paid by your insurance company, if you have underinsured motorist coverage. An attorney can help you file a claim with your insurance company and guide you through the process.
What to Do If You’re At-Fault
If you were at fault for an auto accident, you must file a claim with your insurance company. The claims adjuster will investigate the accident and insurance coverage information.
If you’re found at fault, you must pay the auto insurance deductible, which will be applied toward damages to your car.
When to Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
When significant damages are involved, you’ll find that insurance adjusters are no longer friendly or helpful. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, they will negotiate a fair settlement with the other driver’s insurance company and/or yours, depending on whether you’re seeking higher damages than what the other driver’s insurance policy covers, or if the other driver was not insured.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
Once you’ve filed the claim, if it’s approved you may receive a settlement offer that is designed to cover the cost of your injuries, cost of repairs, lost wages, and other losses. If you do not agree with the settlement amount offered by Progressive you can try negotiating with the insurance adjuster or you can contact a personal injury lawyer who will handle the claims adjuster and negotiate for you.
Progressive insurance adjusters are trained negotiators. Because of this, you’ll find it difficult and frustrating to negotiate with them. In some cases, you may even be tempted to accept their insurance offer, just to avoid dealing with them any longer. When you hire an attorney you’ll level the playing field, since personal injury lawyers are also skilled negotiators. You also won’t have to worry about speaking with insurance adjusters, arguing for a fair settlement, or filling out piles of paperwork. An attorney will take on the insurance company for you, allowing you to recover in peace.
Don’t Accept An Unfair Settlement
When an accident involves significant property damage and life-changing injuries, don’t settle for Progressive’s lowball settlement offers. These offers are made in the hope that you’ll be so desperate for money that you’ll accept the settlement, without really knowing what your claim is worth. An attorney will investigate your accident and accurately value your claim, to ensure you receive the compensation needed to make you financially whole. If you do accept Progressive’s settlement offer, you will be unable to pursue compensation in the future, even if your health worsens.
Contact Lem Garcia Law Today to Schedule a Free, No-Obligation Case Strategy Session
If you were involved in an auto accident, you need to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Don’t put up with an aggressive insurance adjuster or settle for less financial compensation than you deserve. At Lem Garcia Law, we’re familiar with the tricks and tactics that Progressive uses to stall or deny claims or minimuze payout. We know how to aggressively pursue compensation and we will not back down until Progressive offers you the settlement you deserve.
To get started today, contact our law office and schedule a free, no-obligation case strategy session. At our meeting, we can go over your case, discuss your legal options and rights, and provide experienced legal advice regarding how to pursue compensation. If you do decide to hire us, we’ll begin an investigation right away and notify Progressive that we are now representing you. You will no longer have to put up with harassing phone calls and frustrating conversations with the insurance adjuster. Let the legal team at Lem Garcia Law handle every aspect of your case, including the insurance company. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.