Opening an Insurance Claim: Tips from A Car Accident Attorney
May 1, 2015
As a car accident attorney, I understand that most of my clients are unsure of how to work with their insurance company after an accident. This is understandable, and the insurance companies can make it more complicated by putting you in touch with multiple adjusters and sending you mountains of paperwork. As an attorney, I recommend that you do not try to work with them on your own, but use my services to do so. I can receive all of their communication on your behalf then explain to you what is needed, one step at a time.
Make the Phone Call.
The first step after your accident is to get to a safe place and ensure that your injuries are attended to. Next, you can call your insurance company. Most of them have an 800 number that is used to file a claim. This call will be manned by service representatives in the claims department but not your eventual claim adjuster. For this reason, you may be asked the same questions multiple times. On this initial call, provide them with your information, a brief overview of the accident and the information for the other driver. Do not go into accident specifics at this point since most people are in a state of shock immediately following an accident.
Consult with A Car Accident Attorney.
Next, call my office so that I can go over the details of your case and discuss next steps with you. If retained, I can take over the discussions with the insurance company so that you no longer need to receive their regular phone calls or ongoing paperwork. This will help to protect your time and the outcome of your case.
Be Prepared for The Investigation.
Both your insurance company and the accident department for the insurance company of the other driver will investigate the accident. This is done to determine who is at fault for the crash, an important step for determining who is liable to pay damages. I will also look into the accident to ensure that the information they present is accurate.
Negotiate and Settle or Go to Court.
Once the investigation is over, and we are reasonably certain of what your current and future medical bills will be, it is time to negotiate. It is important to start with negotiations because if the insurance company is amiable to our demands, the claim can be settled faster than it would be when going to court. If, however, they do not agree to a reasonable level of financial compensation, going to court may be the only option for getting what you deserve. In this case, time will be spent investigating what happened, interviewing witnesses, reviewing your medical records, speaking with your doctor, etc. The process of going to court can be time-consuming so be prepared to be available for interrogatories and depositions. Both of which, I will help you with. As a car accident attorney, I will work on your behalf regardless of what you decide to do.