When you've been in a car accident, the entire experience can be traumatic. On top of possible injuries, and the mental trauma of experiencing such an event, you still have other things to deal with. Just because you've been injured, that doesn't mean that day to day life, including bills stops. One of the biggest struggles is working with the insurance company to file a claim. On top of recovery time, you have the added stress of trying to negotiate the situation while bills continue to pile up.
It is important to understand the negotiation process with the insurance company, as well as the timeline where all of this will take place.
What Is the negotiation process For a Car Insurance Claim?
It is important to understand that each case is different. Each car insurance company will handle claims in a slightly different manner. this all depends on the circumstances of the accident. There are several steps to the car insurance claim process. it is important that each one is followed in order to move the process along as quickly as possible.
Receive Medical Treatment
It is important that you seek medical attention if you are injured. It is difficult to assess how serious conditions may be until you are examined by a physician. This is also important, because it provides medical documentation of your injuries and their severity.
An Accident Investigation
The accident and the surrounding circumstances will be investigated. Sometimes, a case may be open and shut, where fault is determined my the police officer at the scene. Sometimes, this can be as simple as someone running a red light or a stop sign, which is deemed automatically their fault. Other times, it may be simultaneous lane changes by two drivers, where no one, or both parties are mutually at fault.
Fault is determined ultimately by the claims adjuster. They will look at all of the information of the case and make a ruling of who is at fault. if the information provided does make an evident ruling, a prolonged investigation may take place. This will require interviews, either in-person or over the phone with both parties. The information provided in the interviews can help the insurance claim adjuster make a more informed decision.
Reservation of Rights Letter
You may receive a reservation of rights letter from your insurance company or the other person's company. A reservation of rights letter is a statement that even though the company is proceeding to handle your claim, certain losses may not be covered by the terms of your insurance policy. Many insurance policies contain provisions that exclude or deny coverage for gross negligence or intentional acts. This may not apply in your case.
Your Lawyer Creates a Demand Package
A demand package is what an attorney sends an insurance adjuster. It lists the evidence why the insurance company should pay a certain amount of money to compensate a client for their injuries.
Offers and Counter-offers
You may receive an offer from the insurance company. You have the right to refuse or accept the settlement. You will want to consult with your car accident attorney about the settlement. What you may think is fair, may actually be far less than what you deserve. An experienced lawyer will know if a settlement is reasonable.
The insurance company will review your counter-offer. They may accept it, but they can also deny it. They may attempt to minimize your claim, or undervalue the damages you've incurred. If this happens, you or your attorney will be required to provide proof of your damages and the value.
The time frame of Your Insurance settlement
Your settlement may be handled quickly. However, if the insurance company tried to deny the value of your claim, it may take several weeks, even months, to work through the settlement process. The important thing to remember is not to settle too quickly. This may cost you thousands of dollars. That's why it is important to work with a knowledgeable car accident attorney who will fight for you. If you need assistance with your car accident lawsuit, contact us or call (865) 888-8888.