After a serious collision, injured people must face the daunting task of maneuvering through the insurance claims process.
After an accident where injury has occurred, an insurance claim will likely need to be filed to ensure that the injured person receives compensation for medical expenses, lost work and wages, property damage, and pain and suffering resulting from the accident.
In the following article, you will find helpful information about the insurance claim’s process.
When an accident occurs – regardless of who is at fault, all parties should contact their insurance companies immediately. The insurance company’s adjusters will ask you for information about the cause of the accident, the extent of injuries and about the property damage.
The insurance companies will then open an investigation to gather additional facts about your accident. Those who were involved in the accident will be interviewed and will be asked to provide photos of the accident, names of witnesses, and any other information that pertains to the accident.
Insurance Claim Value Calculations
Determining the cost of medical expenses and lost wages to date is a relatively simple process, however it is much more challenging to place a realistic dollar amount on the pain and suffering a person deals with after being injured. Insurance companies have developed damages formulas to calculate how much to pay the injured for these types of non-monetary damages and these formulas often times are not realistic or fair.
How do I deal with the insurance company after an accident?
After an accident, an injured person is forced to face many things, including pain from injuries, medical appointments and bills, lost work and wages, damaged vehicles – and of course the insurance companies. Whether the accident was serious or minor, it is nearly inevitable that an insurance adjuster will be involved after an accident.
Here are some suggestions on how to deal with an insurance adjuster:
- Contact your own insurance immediately – Your policy likely requires you to cooperate with your own insurance adjuster, whose job it is to investigate your claim, communicate with witnesses and others involved in the crash, review records, and inspect property damage. Provide your adjuster with any photos or information you obtained at the scene of the crash.
- Review your insurance policy thoroughly before speaking with an insurance company representative – Be certain that you understand your policy including any exclusions and limitations. Get clarification from the adjuster on any portion that you don’t fully understand – it is recommended to get this in writing – for instance through email.
- Keep a written journal of anything relating to your claim – Write down the date, time, name, and topic of all phone calls and written communications with insurance adjusters. This will help provide evidence of what was said and done throughout your insurance claim’s process.
When dealing with the adjuster for the insurance company of the other party
Be careful not exaggerate anything about the claim, your injuries, or your vehicle damage;
- Authorize the release your medical records to the insurance company – it is much safer to collect these and send the records yourself.
- Give a recorded statement without first speaking with a personal injury attorney.
- Accept and cash a settlement check or sign a release form without talking with an attorney – Once the check is cashed and the release signed, you will not be able to go back later and re-open the claim.
For some minor accidents that do not involve significant injury, it is possible to handle the insurance claim process alone. For any major accident involving serious injury or a fatality, it is crucial to find a good personal injury attorney to help you through the entire process. The majority of personal injury attorneys don’t cost anything up front as they get paid at the end of the claim out of the settlement or verdict funds. So there is no reason to avoid getting the legal assistance needed to help ensure a fair and full result.
When to have a personal injury lawyer step in to help
After having a claim denied or receiving a settlement offer that is too low, many people seek the help of a personal injury attorney who has experience in interpreting insurance policies and dealing with insurance adjusters to obtain the highest settlement possible.
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Why hire Parrish Law Firm, PLLC to handle a Personal Injury Insurance Claim for you?
Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, is led by victims’ rights lawyer, James Parrish. For the first several years of his career, Mr. Parrish (“Jim”) worked for, provided advice to and represented insurance companies in claims across the nation. However, after seeing the injustice of good people being deprived of fair and reasonable payment for life changing injuries and damage, Jim decided to use the skills and knowledge he learned from inside the insurance industry to champion the rights of victims of harm and wrongdoing.
The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC Personal Injury Attorney works with Northern Virginia citizens who have suffered injury as a result of another’s negligence and are looking for fair compensation for their injuries. Contact us today for a free case consultation, or call us at 703-906-4229.
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A representative of the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC researched and wrote this article with Mr. Parrish’s consent. If you have any questions regarding the legal implications of what you have just read, please send us your question by clicking here so we can have our attorney review it.