When people get injured because of a car accident, slip and fall, or anything else, they have to file an insurance claim to receive benefits. This process is relatively straightforward, but because so few people have experience with it, it can feel like a daunting task. If you’re suffering financially, this can add additional stress to the experience.
In this article, we’ll briefly discuss what happens after a car accident and the role a claims adjuster plays during the claims process.
What To Do After A Crash
When you are involved in an automobile crash or collision, you and the other driver should always exchange information, such as sharing names, insurance information, and details about the vehicles involved in the collision. If the collision involved you and a foreign object, all you will need is details about where and how the crash happened, and your personal insurance information.
You should then contact your insurance company immediately. They will ask you to provide a statement about the accident and details about the other driver(s) involved. At the point, the insurance company will set up a claim, assign you a claim number, and connect someone from their office to manage the case.
The Personal Injury Claim Investigation
The insurance adjuster assigned to manage the case will research the claim through an investigation. This might include calling you after you make a statement, contacting witnesses, reviewing police reports (if any), and/or other similar steps. The claims process can either go very quickly or last a long time, depending on the complexity of the situation.
Negotiation and the Claims Adjuster
After the insurance claims adjusters have completed their investigation and determined if anyone is at fault, they will offer a settlement. Settlements are payments designed to compensate you for your losses. However, the payment offered by the insurance company is not something you have to accept, and you can try to negotiate for more.
Please note that insurance adjusters work for the insurance company, not for you as the insured or as the victim. They are interested in keeping the payouts as low as possible so the insurance company is more profitable. If you reject the proposed settlement, you can take the insurance company and/or others involved in the accident to court.
While insurance adjusters want to pay out as little as possible, they also want to avoid a lawsuit. If a case does not settle outside of court, the individual who was injured usually has the option of going to court and filing a civil lawsuit. If the case makes it to trial, the judge or jury will decide on who is liable and what damages are appropriate. This is risky for an insurance company, as the damage award can be being very high if the jury is sympathetic to the plaintiff. Legal fees and other costs associated with a trial can also become expensive for an insurer., and affect their bottom line
The insurance adjuster generally has the job of getting the insured to accept the lowest settlement offer possible, without filing a lawsuit. Adjusters typically decide on how much they are actually willing to pay out and will then make an offer that is lower than that amount. This can be as much as 25 to 50 percent lower. This strategy gives them negotiating room during settlement talks.
Consider Hiring A Lawyer
This lets the insurance company know immediately that you do take your rights seriously and that you will be filing a lawsuit if you aren’t given a fair settlement. A personal injury lawyer also knows how to determine what your specific case should settle for and can use her expert legal knowledge and negotiation skills to get you the best outcome.
If you or someone you care about needs representation due to a life changing injury or condition related to personal injury, Humphrey & Associates is committed to obtaining a fair outcome. We’ll evaluate the potential benefits and compensation you may be legally entitled to. There is no fee until the resolution of the case.
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