First, get your phone and call 911. You should do this, even if the accident is minor. The police and emergency first responders will come to the scene of the accident. The police will fill out an accident report. You’ll need to get a copy of that report to send to Progressive. The emergency first responders will give you an on-site physical exam. You’ll also need documentation of this. Allow the first responders to check you out, even if you’re not in pain. The pain from some accidents won’t surface for days. But, that doesn’t mean you aren’t injured.
Second, go to the doctor. This is a crucial step, even if you aren’t in pain. By having both exams (at the scene of the accident and at the doctor), you’re creating a trail of evidence. This trail ensures that any injuries from the accident are a part of your total damages.
There’s a reason why this trail of evidence is so important. Say you get whiplash from the car crash, but the pain doesn’t kick in for several days. Because you have both exams as proof of what happened, there’s no question. The whiplash is from the car crash. But if you don’t go to the doctor for several days, you might have a problem. The other party’s insurance company will argue that your injuries aren’t related to the car accident. They’ll fight you over the damages. If you don’t have documented evidence, it will be harder to collect.
Third, file your claim. If possible, include all the documentation from the accident when you file the claim. While you can file a claim without these reports, it’s better to wait. This will help the whole process to move along faster. Having said that, you’ll want to file your claim the day of the accident. You should go to the doctor or ER immediately after you leave the scene of the accident. Delaying your report can hurt your case in the long run.
Starting Your Claim
If this is your first car crash, you might not know how to file a claim. The good thing is, it’s easy. It’s just not fun. But what part of adulting ever is fun? Thankfully, even introverts can file a claim without too much of a hassle. Should you choose to, you can call Progressive. A representative knowledable of the Progressive claims process will take your call. They will fill out all the information for you. If you don’t have a computer, this could be ideal.
You can also file your claim within the Progressive app or on Progressive.com.
Once you’ve decided how to file your claim, gather the following information.
- Progressive policy number
- Your glove compartment is your best friend here. So is the Progressive app. Your policy number will be on your ID card, which you can usually find in one of those two places. But, a Progressive representative can pull up your information. So, don’t worry if you can’t find it. They’ll need your date of birth, social security number, and address to find you in their system.
- Date and time of accident
- If you happened to see the clock right when the accident happened, state what time it was. But if you aren’t sure, give your best estimation.
- Brief description of the accident
- No one expects you to remember every detail of the accident. But it’s important to include all the details you can. The more accurate you are, the better the claims process will go.
- Give Progressive the other driver’s information. Whatever is on their ID card (which you should have a copy of) is what Progressive will need. They’ll use the information to contact the other driver. They’ll collect their statement(s).
The type of accident you were in will determine what questions Progressive asks you. If you were in a side-swipe collision, there will be specific questions. The same holds true for a T-bone collision. Different accidents call for different kinds of questions. The questions you’re asked will help with the claims process. The goal is to collect the appropriate information. That way, the claim closes as quickly as possible.
Once you file your claim, you’ll receive a number. You can track your claim with this number. You can do this on the phone, on your computer, or in your mobile app. Your claim will update whenever something comes up. It’s the best way to keep up-to-date with it.
Fixing Your Vehicle
The final step in the claims process is repairing your vehicle. If there wasn’t damage to your vehicle, you can skip this step. Otherwise, you’ll want to contact a local auto body repair shop. This could be affordable, or it could be really expensive. It depends on your deductible. If your deductible is $1,000, then you’ll pay $1,000 out of pocket. Then, Progressive will pay for the rest.
Your car might be in the shop for a while. So, you might need a rental car. Do you have rental car reimbursement with Progressive? If so, they’ll pay for your rental car. Otherwise, you’ll pay out of pocket for it.
The other situation that can occur is having a totaled vehicle. If your vehicle ends up totaled, then you need a new one. The cost of repairing it would exceed the value of the car. In this case, you’ll receive a check for the fair market value of your vehicle. That’s how much your vehicle was worth right before the accident. You can use this money to buy a new vehicle and get back on the road.
Sounds picture perfect, doesn’t it? Well, the process doesn’t always work out perfectly. Sometimes, you’re not given enough money to buy a new vehicle. If you find yourself in this position, get help. You’ll want to hire an auto accident attorney to help you get the money you deserve. These attorneys are professionals. They negotiate for clients just like you all the time. After all, you need to get back on the road!
Find a Lawyer to Help With the Progressive Claims Process
Thankfully, Progressive Insurance is a fairly good company. But, they’re still an insurance company. At the end of the day, their primary goal is to save money. This means hiring an attorney to represent them. This means getting you to settle for the lowest possible amount. This means dragging you through arbitration instead of court.
It can mean a lot of things. Some claims settle quickly without any need for help. But if any of the above sounds familiar, contact an attorney. The Lawsuit Info Center is here to help. Our website has the resources you need to get started. You can find an attorney in the category you’re looking for. They will represent you and fight for you.