After seeking medical treatment for injuries, the second priority for most car accident victims is seeking compensation for their damages. Compensation for an accident claim is typically paid by the insurance provider for the at-fault driver. Therefore, the first step in recovering money for your car accident claim is to file an injury claim with the insurance company for the other driver. However, there are three things that you need to know about filing an insurance claim after a car accident.
1. The Insurance Adjuster Does Not Work for You
The insurance company assigns an insurance adjuster to handle the claim for the insurance company. The adjuster may be an employee of the insurance company or a third-party adjuster or independent contractor. In any case, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. The adjuster does not work for you, even if you have the same insurance company as the at-fault driver.
Some of the responsibilities of an adjuster include:
- Review the insurance policy and coverage to determine if the accident is covered
- Investigate the accident to determine if the company’s driver was at-fault and liable for the accident
- Evaluate your claim, including determining whether you sustained the injuries and damages you claim
- Notify the company of an estimated amount of the claim
- Negotiate a settlement for the claim
- Pay the claim, obtain signed releases, and close the file
Insurance companies monitor their adjusters very closely. The adjuster’s priority is to settle claims quickly for as little money as possible. They want to avoid involving attorneys whenever possible because that action can increase the time it takes to settle the claim and could increase the value of the claim.
2. You Are Not Required to Provide a Statement or Sign a Medical Release
Adjusters often request statements and signed medical releases as part of their investigation. They may claim that these steps are necessary to verify how the accident occurred and verify injuries. However, these insurance tactics are actually common ways insurance providers gain information that they can use to deny or undervalue insurance claims.
You are not required to provide a statement or sign medical releases without consulting with an attorney. You have the right to obtain advice regarding your options and legal rights. We strongly recommend that you talk to an attorney before providing any statements or signing any documents that could potentially hurt your chance of recovering full compensation for your insurance claim.
3. You Are Not Required to Accept the Initial Settlement Offer
Many insurance adjusters offer a quick, low settlement offer to encourage a victim to settle a claim, especially if an adjuster believes the claim may be worth a substantial amount. Adjusters are high-skilled, well-trained professionals. They understand the true value of a claim, but they do not work for you. They are not paid to ensure that you receive full value for your claim.
If an adjuster can convince you to settle an insurance claim before you speak with an attorney or before your doctor releases you, the insurance company may save money. If you settle your claim before you understand the full extent of your injuries and damages, you could lose thousands of dollars in compensation.
Contact an Erie Accident Attorney for Help
You do not need to handle an insurance claim alone. We are here to help you. Our legal team investigates the accident and files the insurance claim for you. We take care of negotiating the injury claim while protecting your best interests and legal rights.
Contact The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to request a free legal consultation with an Erie accident lawyer.