If you ’ ra read this, it ’ s likely that you or person you know has recently been injured in a car accident that resulted in some degree of property price, bodily injury, or both .
Let ‘s assume you were not at demerit for the accident. One of the first things you probably did in the come days was advise your car policy caller of the incident, which is typically the catalyst for opening an policy claim .
If the at-fault driver besides notifies their own indemnity ship’s company of the collision, a representative from that company may besides try to contact you. You are not obligated to share any information with them immediately after the collision, though you will need to cooperate with their demands at some point .
By filing an indemnity claim, you are hoping to receive fiscal compensation for the damages you have suffered as a result of the collision. If you have n’t learned already, you ‘re about to discover that the policy company has a vest sake in paying you angstrom short as possible on this call.
Next Steps After Filing An Insurance Claim
After a title has been opened, a representative from the indemnity company will typically contact you and ask for other potential witnesses and more detail information about the accident. In most cases, it will be a claims or policy adjuster, and this person will investigate your claim on behalf of the mailman itself .
once the policy company has documented statements about the collision from the byzantine parties and/or witnesses, the adjuster may follow up and ask you to clarify certain aspects of the initial affirmation you gave, and probe thick to gain a fuller sympathize of what happened with the car accident. This is all part of an campaign by the policy company to make their own determination of indebtedness, or mistake, for the collision .
The insurance company will analyze diverse pieces of information about the collision in order to determine liability. This normally includes reviewing the Police Traffic Collision Report ( PTCR ) generated by the police officer responding to the crash, ampere well as other physical testify, such as photograph and video footage of property price, witness statements, and sol on .
Why Is Your Car Insurance Claim Being Investigated?
Because policy companies have a fiscal incentive for pushing back against the claims of their own policyholders, the process of negotiating with an adjuster and the resulting investigation can promptly become jumble and even downright frustrating .
policy companies are motivated by their own profitableness, which is why it benefits them to pay out adenine fiddling as possible to a person who makes a call. Many of the country ’ s largest and most profitable indemnity companies boost their bottom line by merely denying legitimate claims. These are claims that should be paid, but where the policy company comes up with a bogus reason to deny it .
Examples include blaming the incidental on a fault-free party and declarative policy exclusions that either don ’ triiodothyronine exist or don ’ thymine give. These companies frequently utilize bonus programs to reward their employees for successfully denying a claim tied if the claim should be paid. In some cases, companies have been found guilty of engaging in outright fraud to avoid paying legalize claims .
In situations where a person has suffered a high level of damages as a result of an accident, the advertise back from the policy company can sometimes be excessively complicated to pursue alone. Consulting with an experienced cable car accident lawyer could benefit victims who are experiencing this kind of crusade back from an insurance adjuster, and a lawyer may actually besides be able to add rate to the claim .
How Do Insurance Companies Investigate Claims?
Most policy companies employ indemnity investigators whose exclusive job is to detect and deter indemnity fraud. At GEICO, this division is known as the special Investigations Unit ( SIU ) and is composed chiefly of individuals who have law enforcement experience american samoa well as policy cognition .
These investigators are combat imposter a number of different ways. They will look to “ restore ” the accident, and do thus in a systematic way .
They ’ ll investigate leery claims close and check for attest of fraud. These investigators will besides cooperate with police enforcement to help put imposter perpetrators out of business .
And finally, these investigators will look for “ red flags ” on indemnity claims that signify imposter. This means staying up to go steady on imposter schemes .
What do Insurance Investigators Look For?
The insurance detective will start by getting a light compendious of the incident, including date, type, prison term, location and a abbreviated description .
As partially of the process, the indemnity research worker may and probably will ask for any of the surveil pieces of information :
- Contact information that you obtained for the other driver at the accident scene
- Images or photos of your car and/or the scene of the accident
- To inspect your car for damages
- A visit to the accident scene to determine all potential contributing factors and circumstances
- Statements from witnesses or other passengers in your car
- Medical bills
- Physical evidence (fingerprints, damaged property, hard drives, etc.)
- Request you send a copy of the police report for review
It is helpful to be prepared with any of these things to help the investigator with your case. These pieces of data can make it much easier for the detective and adjuster to determine what happened and who is at mistake .
No matter what, the adjuster will review your policy and make surely your claim is covered and see if the possible expenses exceed your coverage limits .
What Questions will the Insurance Investigator Ask?
When an insurance research worker is looking into your claim, they may ask to conduct an interview with you to sort out some of the details. In this situation, you have the opportunity to control the conversation and answer confidently and clearly.
few people know that you are allowed to request that the interview be held at a neutral location. You can besides make it clear that you alone have a certain total of time for the consultation .
Some early tips :
- Do not guess for an answer. If you truly don’t know, say, “I don’t remember” or “I don’t know.” Answer questions as best you can, but don’t make anything up.
- If you are unsure, tell the investigator exactly that.
- If you are giving an estimate, make that clear to the investigator. Otherwise they may take it as a hard fact.
- Try to remain calm.
- Take your time with your answers.
- Ask for a break if you need one.
- Ask for a recording of the interview afterwards.
- If you are unsure about doing the interview, consider consulting with an attorney beforehand.
- Do not sign anything unless you are 100 percent sure.
here ’ s some possible consultation questions to expect from the policy research worker :
- Could you please state your full name?
- Do you understand that this interview is being recorded?
- Is it being recorded with your permission?
- If I need to share the information with another adjuster, may I do so?
- What type of damage was done to your vehicle?
- Do you know what type of damage was done to the other vehicles?
- Was there any type of evasive action that was able to be taken to avoid the accident?
- Was there any ringing in your ears or popping in your jaw?
- Did you have any deep cuts or lacerations?
- Was there any emergency treatment performed at the scene?
- What treatment have you received since the accident?
- If you can rate the pain that you feel now, 10 being the worst, 1 being the least, how would you rate your pain?
- Did you have any prior injuries that could have resurfaced because of the accident?
- Is there anything in reference to the accident that you would like to add that we have not discussed that we should know about?
- Have you understood all these questions?
How Long Does an Insurance Investigation Take?
If you have not hired an lawyer to represent you in your personal injury claim, policy companies may try to employ a number of colony tactics and drag their feet on the investigation in hopes of frustrating or confusing you .
policy companies assume that if you don ’ t have a lawyer, you may get frustrated, miss a codified of limitations, or otherwise lose pastime in the claim. Conducting a drawn-out investigation is a common strategy insurance companies use to indirectly get out of paying claims .
Hiring a lawyer is a gain sign that you are taking things seriously. This will speed up the work significantly .
A complex case may require a truly across-the-board probe. For cases such as these, a calendar month may be required to sort all the different pieces out. Have solitaire, but if you believe you are being taken advantage of, consulting with an lawyer may be not only smart, but necessity .
Withdrawing From A Claim Under Investigation
If your claim is bogus or deceitful, you should withdraw from it immediately. The penalties for insurance imposter are dangerous .
For whatever reason if you ’ d like to withdraw from a claim, this can be done at any time. If you have made a claim against your own indemnity policy — under the “ collision ” or “ uninsured motorist ” portions — you should be able to cancel .
But again, if fraud is involved the insurance company will not stop the investigation .
How To Evaluate Damages After A Car Accident
Depending on the accident, the policy adjuster may request you take your cable car to one of its approved body shops for an calculate or necessitate of you to go to a denounce of your choice and obtain some quotes .
It is significant to keep in heed that you have the exemption to perform the repairs at any shop of your choice, but you may have to pay the deviation between the shop ’ sulfur estimate and the measure the insurance company feels is a reasonable price .
After evaluating all the appropriate information, the adjuster determines if you have a valid claim and how much the insurance company is willing to pay out .
specifically, your claim could go one of two ways :
1. If your claim only involves property price and you ’ re going to have the repairs completed at an insurer-approved car rectify shop, then the animate patronize will typically poster the indemnity party. In most cases, your policy will include a deductible that you must pay, while the indemnity company will cover the difference .
2. If your accident resulted in you suffering some form of personal physical injury, the insurance adjuster will besides negotiate an allow settlement with you in order to reimburse you for the losses you suffered as a result of the car accident. In these cases, the policy adjuster is more likely to push back on your attempts to negotiate carnival settlement offer.
Read more: The Best Car Insurance Companies for 2022
Request A Free Legal Consultation & Get Our Free Report
Attorney Chris Davis of Seattle-based Davis Law Group, P.S., has authored a count of detached downloadable PDF reports. You can download your spare copy of our report, “ Unsurance : The Ugly Truth about Unethical Business Practices in the U.S. Insurance Industry, ” right now to learn more about the indemnity claims process and how to protect yourself .
The award-winning Seattle cable car accident attorneys at Davis Law Group are besides here to help you better understand your legal rights and whether hiring an lawyer for your personal injury case might be in your best interests. Call our office in Seattle at (206) 727-4000 or use the confidential contact form on this page to have your case personally reviewed by our legal team .
If we believe we can add value to your case and increase the chances of a favorable consequence, our lawyers will meet with you for a free case evaluation at your convenience .
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