While it’s not a situation that anyone desires, it’s a fact that car accidents happen. When they do, you’ll likely have to deal with insurance companies to recover compensation for your losses. This process may seem daunting and even frustrating at times. But it’s a necessary step toward recovering physically, emotionally, and financially.
In this article, you’ll learn how to deal with insurance companies after a car collision to obtain what you need to move forward. Read on to learn more.
Understand Your Policy
Before calling the insurer after a car wreck, it’s essential to review your policy and understand the types of car insurance coverage you have and what you need to do to take advantage of it.
Typically, there are various types of auto insurance coverage, including:
- Liability Coverage: This covers the costs of bodily injuries and property damage if the policyholder is at fault in an accident.
- Collision Coverage: This compensates for the repair or replacement of the policyholder’s vehicle in the event of a collision with another vehicle or object.
- Comprehensive Coverage: This covers damages to the policyholder’s car from incidents other than collisions, such as theft or natural disasters.
Understanding the particulars of one’s auto insurance policy is crucial to know what to expect when filing a claim following an accident. Therefore, if you want to improve your chances of obtaining fair compensation, hiring an experienced attorney as soon as possible can be helpful. Navigating the legal aspects of a policy can be frustrating and stressful. If unsure about when and how to seek legal assistance, consider checking this guide from Raphaelson Law and other credible resources for more information.
Contact The Insurance Company
Once you have all the necessary information, it is crucial to promptly notify the insurer about the accident. Quick communication can aid the claims process and potentially prevent any complications down the line. In today’s digital world, various methods are available to communicate with the insurance company, such as making a phone call, sending an email, or initiating a conversation through the company’s mobile app.
Provide Necessary Information And Documentation
After notifying the provider, the claim representative will ask for the details of the car accident. Be ready to provide the information gathered at the scene. This includes the name of the other driver involved and their insurance information, names of the eyewitnesses, and other relevant information like the number of vehicles involved, the location of the collision, and the weather at the time the mishap happened.
Moreover, in order to strengthen your claim, it’s essential to prepare all accident-related documents. These documents serve as valuable evidence to support your claim, and their availability can significantly influence the insurer’s proposed settlement. Here are some key documents you should gather for your insurance claim:
- Medical Reports
- Police Reports
- Vehicle Repair Estimates
- Email Correspondences
- Photos of Injuries, Vehicle Damage, and Accident Scene
By submitting these documents, you can improve your chances of winning. Make sure to gather all these documents, keep them in a single folder, and give them to the insurer when necessary.
Cooperate With The Claims Adjuster
After providing the necessary information, the insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to investigate your claim. They will evaluate the damage, determine the cause of the accident, and estimate repair costs. During the meeting with the adjuster, maintaining professionalism can be beneficial.
Although car accidents can be traumatic events that stir up a multitude of emotions, expressing these negatively towards the adjuster may adversely affect the claims process. Cooperation with the adjuster, without admitting fault or making statements that could be used against the claim, can aid in obtaining a fair settlement.
Negotiating with The Insurance Company
Once the claim is filed, the negotiation process with the insurance company begins. This phase involves the insurer reviewing the claim and proposing a settlement amount which should cover the costs of vehicle repairs or replacement and any medical costs if applicable. If the initial offer appears too low, persistence and justification can be key.
Seek an independent assessment from an auto repair shop or an independent adjuster to estimate the damages accurately. For any injury-related costs, consult with a medical professional. If there’s a disagreement with the insurer’s offer, explaining why the offer is unacceptable and supporting your argument with evidence like repair estimates, medical bills, and even lost wages due to the accident can lead to a more favorable outcome.
Remember, insurance companies prioritize making money by minimizing their payouts on claims. They even employ the following tactics to reduce settlements:
- Denying Liability: The insurer may try to deny the claim altogether by asserting that the claimant was at fault for the accident. They may also try to shift liability to a third party, such as the other driver in a car accident, to minimize or reject your claim.
- Delaying The Process: The insurance provider can sometimes delay the claims process for months or even years. This can be frustrating and stressful for the policyholder as it also makes it more difficult to gather evidence and documentation to support your claim.
- Asking For Invasive Medical Information: The insurer may ask for detailed information about the claimant’s medical history, including past and present injuries. They may also ask you to undergo unnecessary medical tests. This information can be used to deny or reduce your claim.
- Using Your Words Against You: The insurance company will take the statements you make to them out of context or twist your words to make it sound like you’re admitting fault.
- Pressuring You To Sign A Release: The insurer may pressure you to sign a release before your claim has been fully investigated. This release would prevent you from taking legal action against the insurance company in the future.
It’s essential to be aware of these tactics to protect your rights. In this case, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the claims process and fight for the total amount of your damages.
Navigating a car accident’s aftermath can be challenging. But understanding the process and how to deal with insurance companies effectively can ease the burden and help ensure a fair resolution. Therefore, when filing a claim after a car accident, one should remember the information mentioned above to gain valuable insights, set the right expectations, and support the path to recovery and restitution.