Passenger, cyclist or pedestrian, when you are a victim of a road accident, you are entitled to compensation. Shocked, injured, or worse, you have to take several steps quickly.
To start the compensation process, the victims or the persons accompanying them must fill out an amicable report. Sometimes this can be complicated. If this is the case, it is better to call in the police than to write anything down! They will draw up a report. This document can be sent to insurance companies. The claim must be reported within a maximum of 5 days. Beyond that, the insurer can exclude the coverage of the claim, although this is relatively rare. In his declaration, the insured or the person accompanying him must indicate the name and number of the insurance contract, as well as the date, place and circumstances of the accident. The names and addresses of witnesses may also be mentioned.
Once this declaration has been made, the Insurer mandates an expert in the event of major property damage. In the event of bodily injury, an initial visit is made to the emergency room by a doctor. Afterwards, the insurer may appoint an expert to provisionally determine the personal injury and the date of consolidation: the date on which it is estimated that the personal injury cannot worsen. If the conclusions do not suit the victim, a counter-assessment may be requested at his expense. There is no legal time limit for the expertise, but it usually takes place within 15 days after the accident.
The insurer is then obliged to send a letter to the victim informing him/her of his/her rights. The victim must have free access to the police report, the assistance of a lawyer or the doctor of his choice. The victim must generally answer a questionnaire to be returned within six weeks of receiving it. This includes informing the insurer of the bodily injury suffered and the personal and professional consequences of the accident. The insurer then has between 3 and 8 months to offer compensation. After acceptance of the offer, the victim receives the settlement no later than forty-five days after its acceptance. Beyond this period, the insurer will have to pay interest.
Estimating a loss is particularly difficult. The victim should not accept the insurer’s offer with his eyes closed. Within fifteen days of his agreement, he may even withdraw by sending a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt and contest the compensation offered to him. It enables each victim to compare his or her situation with other similar cases and thus to assess the compensation offer in an informed manner.