Learn about how the insurance process works — and how an attorney can help you get the best recovery for your injuries.
For most people, the legal process is confusing and complex — and so is the insurance claim process. While it may seem simple on its face (you file a claim and get money for your injuries), in reality, it can be quite complicated if you are trying to recover from an accident. This is particularly true if you are stressed and overwhelmed by your injuries and bills after a crash.
After a car accident, a claim will likely be filed with at least one insurance company. What happens next? As an experienced Phoenix car accident attorney will tell you, no two situations are the same — but there are some common features in most insurance claims that can help to demystify the process.
How Insurance Claims Work
If you have been involved in a car crash, you should always exchange information with the other driver, including names, contact information, insurance information and other details about the cars that were involved in the accident (such as license plate numbers). With this information in hand, you can then contact your insurance company to notify them about the collision. Typically, your insurance company will ask you to provide a statement about what happened and to provide as much information as possible about the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. The insurance company will then give you a claim number and assign an employee to handle the case. Note that many Phoenix car accident lawyers may advise you to only speak to an insurance company with them present — even your own.
Next, the insurance company will begin an investigation. This will be handled by an adjuster, who may call you to find out more details about the accident, interview other witnesses, review police reports, examine your car or visit the scene of the accident to determine the facts of the case. This process can take some time, depending on the facts of the case; it may take a while for the adjuster to gather all relevant evidence and talk to everyone involved, including witnesses. The adjuster will also want to review your medical records to verify your injury claims; talk to your Phoenix car accident lawyer before providing these documents to an insurance adjuster.
After the investigation has concluded and a determination has been made regarding fault, the insurance company will typically offer you a settlement. This is intended to compensate you for whatever damages you have suffered as a result of the accident, including injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage to your car and personal possessions. Importantly, you do not have to accept the settlement offered by the insurance company; you can and should negotiate for additional money to fully compensate you for your losses. You may also be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible party and/or his insurance company to handle the case through the legal system.
Throughout the process, it can be helpful to have a skilled Phoenix car accident lawyer to represent you. Insurance companies and adjusters do this work every single day, and are incredibly familiar with the process. They typically try to minimize the settlement amount, which may leave you without adequate funds to pay for your damages. An attorney will represent your best interests and work to ensure that you get the money that you deserve. He or she can guide you through the process, and fight for your legal rights.
If you have been hurt in a car accident in Phoenix or the surrounding areas, contact the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker today at 602-340-0030 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We have represented more than 100,000 clients and recovered billions of dollars on their behalf. Initial consultations are always free, and we never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.