Consider yourself lucky if you were involved in a car crash and did not suffer serious injuries. After feeling thankful for coming out of the accident relatively unscathed, the next thing you realize is that you have a huge problem on your hands because your car has been damaged.  Now it needs to be repaired. Of course, if you were injured in an accident, you must attend to getting healthy as well as getting your car fixed.  Filing a property insurance claim can be a trying experience. We can help you. As one of Chicago’s pre-eminent auto accident law firms, you can rely on our experience to assist you with filing a property insurance claim.

What steps should you take:

  • The first step to take when filing a property insurance claim is to contact your insurance company and open a claim. You should contact your insurance company immediately after the accident.
  • When you do call, you will need to have a few pieces of information at your disposal when you call. Have your proof of insurance handy as well as your driver’s license. You will need to tell the insurance company in general terms what happened. You should indicate whether the police arrived to investigate the scene.
  • Additionally, your insurance company will want to know if you had the vehicle towed and to where. You should take photographs of the damage before your car is towed away. You may be able to drive the vehicle if you are fortunate. In that case, take the time to document the damage to your car before you leave the scene if it is safe to do so.
  • Make a note of your claim representative’s name, their direct phone number or extension as well as your claim number.

Your claims representative will contact you within a day or two after opening your claim. The claims representative will interview you to learn some background information about you, your vehicle, and learn in greater depth how the accident happened from your perspective.

Here’s what you should expect:

  • The claims representative might ask you to give an official statement over the phone. They should let you know if they are recording that portion of the call. Be certain to answer all of the claims representative’s questions thoroughly. Do not exaggerate. Be matter of fact but as descriptive as you can.
  • You should be sure you understand the question before trying to answer it. Misconstruing a question put to you by the claims representative can hurt your claim. It is okay to ask for clarification. In fact, you should ask for clarification if the slightest doubt enters your mind that you do not understand the question.
  • Similarly, answering that you do not know an answer to a question is perfectly acceptable if you truly do not have the knowledge to respond to the question. A word of caution must be given because responding to every question with “I don’t know,” is a good indication that you are hiding something or are reluctant to answer the question for some reason.

The claims representative will schedule a property claims adjuster to examine the damage to your vehicle. The adjuster may visit the repair shop to which your car was towed to examine the damage. You may bring your auto to the adjuster if you can drive your car safely. The adjuster will determine the fair market value of the repairs, including replacement parts and labor. The adjuster might need to examine your car for a second time if your repair shop finds damage that was not visible during the first examination. Your insurance company uses the adjuster’s assessment of the damage to determine how much money they will pay to repair your car. Insurance companies notoriously come in low with repair estimates. Your lawyer can help you convince the insurance company to authorize a higher repair cost.


Stein & Shulman LLC can help if you were involved in a car crash in the Chicago area. Learn how you can protect your rights by making an appointment with Stein & Shulman LLC today by calling 312.422.0500 or complete our on-line contact form to schedule a free consultation. There is no fee unless we are successful on your behalf.

Source: Recent experience and