How The Injury Claims Process Typically Works After An Auto Wreck
An insurance adjuster will be assigned to your claim after the accident and may contact you to ask for a recorded statement. If you agree to give a recorded statement, you are making a major mistake. Insurance companies know how to twist people’s words around and use them to prove that you were at fault for the accident or that you didn’t really sustain serious injuries.
Insurance adjusters may also try to get you to accept a settlement that is far lower than what you deserve, by offering you a few thousand dollars immediately. It is usually a mistake to agree to a settlement that early because you may end up paying for your medical expenses out of your own pocket.
Beyond this stage, the adjuster will follow up with you to stay updated on your treatment. The adjuster will need to receive your medical records and bills in order to properly adjust your injury claim. You will need to get all of your records from each provider you have seen.
While all of this is going on, the adjuster will start an investigation into what happened in hopes of compiling evidence the insurance company can use against you to say you are fully or at least partially at fault for the wreck or could have avoided it. The adjuster will talk to witnesses, the police and their insured as part of this process and at its conclusion, may send you a letter denying the claim because the insurance company believes you are at fault for the wreck.
Once you are at the stage that you are ready to try to resolve your car accident claim, negotiations begin if there are no issues regarding who is at fault. These typically start with you making the first offer and the insurance adjuster countering that offer.
As you can see, it can be a daunting task to handle a claim on your own. How do you get everything the adjuster needs to fairly evaluate your claim? How do you fight back against a wrongful determination that you were at fault for the wreck? How do you properly evaluate the value of your claim to negotiate for the best compensation possible?
An experienced car accident lawyer can assist you in all phases of your claim from gathering evidence to prove the other driver is 100% at fault for the wreck; to ensuring all insurance coverage is found and properly put on notice; to gathering all of the medical documentation necessary to pursue full compensation; to properly negotiating with the insurance company for full compensation for your injuries.
The attorney may conduct interviews with witnesses, analyze photos from the scene of the accident, and even consult with accident reconstruction experts to prove liability. Doing all of this without the help of an attorney would be incredibly difficult.
An attorney can also provide representation if your case goes to trial. Although this is not common, it is always a possibility that you must plan for. Most importantly, if you hire a lawyer, you can take your mind off of the legal aspect of your case so you can focus solely on healing.