So, you got into an accident. What next? One of the most important things to do (after you make sure that your medical issues are addressed) is to get working on an insurance claim to be certain that you are compensated for the damages, expenses, and financial losses associated with your accident and injuries. More often than not, this means that you will be filing a claim with an insurance company and then working directly with a claims adjuster who will determine the amount of money they believe that you are owed.
The problem with an insurance claim is that an insurance company is focused, almost singularly, on paying as little as possible to any victim.
The problem with an insurance claim is that an insurance company is focused, almost singularly, on paying as little as possible to any victim. If an insurance company paid out what each victim truly deserved, then they would not be able to remain in business at all. That said, you can work with a personal injury attorney who understands their tactics, and will fight to get you the money you truly deserve, and not just what the insurance company is willing to pay. Finding an attorney who can represent your case is a very important step towards getting your claim settled favorably, and the 1800-Injured car accident lawyers referral network is ready to connect with an attorney.
Take a look below to get a better idea of the basic steps you can expect when you are working on an insurance claim by yourself.
Determining Who You File With
The first step of any claim is to know who you will be filing your claim with, either your insurance or a third-party insurance company. Typically, you will file a claim with the insurance company who is representing the at-fault party in the accident, but you may also need to file with your own insurance company if the other driver is either uninsured or underinsured.
Working With an Insurance Adjuster
Once you determine who you need to file with, and make your initial contact with the company who will be handling the claim, then your case will be assigned to an insurance adjuster for the duration of their investigation. A claims adjuster is assigned to your case so that they can review every aspect of the accident, from the cause to the costs associated with the accident, and everything in between. While the claims adjuster may be very easy and pleasant to work with, it is important that you remember who they work for. They will be looking for any reason to reduce your payment.
Hiring an Attorney
Instead of working directly with the insurance company, you will benefit greatly from working with an attorney throughout the entire process. There are many simple procedural things that you may do without even thinking about that could come back to haunt you if you are unfamiliar with the process, including even something as simple and innocuous as making an apology. This apology can come back later as an “admission of guilt” that the insurance company can use to limit your payments. With this example in mind, consider the benefit of an attorney in that each step they take is with a purpose, and a strong understanding of your legal rights.
After the claims process has been completed, the insurance company will make you an offer for a settlement. As we have mentioned, this offer will not be anywhere near the amount you truly deserve. With the help of an attorney, you can use this as a time to initiate a process of negotiations where you will attempt to reach an agreement with the insurance company about a “fair” settlement amount. If you are unable to reach an agreement, the next step may be to file an official lawsuit through the courts.