Following a car accident, one of the first things most people do is call their insurance company to begin the claims process. Although car accidents are common, most people are not familiar with the claims process. Therefore, they make mistakes while filing their claims or communicating with claims adjusters.
Understanding the claims process and how car insurance companies evaluate personal injury and property damage is imperative if you want to receive the settlement you deserve after a car crash. To help you out, we’ve put together this simple guide on how car insurance companies evaluate car accident claims.
Car Accident Claims Staff
The first step to filing your car accident claim is submitting it to the insurance company. When you do, a representative from the claims department will work with you over the phone to gather pertinent information regarding your accident. The claims representative will likely ask for the following information:
- The time and date of the accident
- The location of the accident
- The parties involved in the accident
- The incident report number
- The insurance information of the other party involved
Once the claims representative has gathered these data, they will send the information to a claims adjuster for further evaluation.
The job of the claims adjuster is to review all the available information regarding a car accident and make a decision about what costs the insurance company will cover. Although you pay for auto insurance to protect you financially in the case of an accident, the claims adjuster works for the insurance company, not for you.
Claims Guidelines for Car Accidents
When evaluating a car accident claim, a claims adjuster is required to follow a set of standard operating procedures that tells them how to conduct their investigation. Insurance procedures determine how an adjuster responds to your inquiries, manages the documentation associated with your accident, and will negotiate your settlement.
Possible Car Accident Damages
In addition to the guidelines that determine how an accident claim is handled, insurance companies also have guidelines that outline what car accident-related damages they’re able to release settlements for. Furthermore, the settlement amount you receive is based on the limits you carry on your car insurance policy. Common accident damages you might receive a settlement for include:
- Property (Vehicle) Damage
- Medical Bills
- Loss of Income
- Pain and Suffering
An insurance adjuster will evaluate the costs of these damages by evaluating any bills you accrue and the case you and your car accident attorney make regarding your experience with the accident.
Issues with Car Accident Claims
The problem with insurance companies’ car accident claim process is they often leave room for error. On one hand, the strict guidelines enforced during evaluation often eliminate the adjuster’s ability to see the human side of the story; they may completely miss the amount of pain and suffering a victim has endured. On the other hand, the fact that each adjuster is different often leaves room for human error and the possibility that some costs associated with the accident got overlooked.
Competent Car Accident Claim Lawyers Near You
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s important to never accept the first settlement offer. Many times, insurance companies will lowball the first offer to save them money on your claim. Therefore, negotiation is required.
To get the most out of your car accident claim and receive the settlement you deserve, you need the help of an experienced car accident attorney. At E. Orum Young Law, we have more than 35 years of experience fighting for car accident victims in Louisiana and have won thousands of cases. Each of our attorneys is certified by the Louisiana Bar Association. Call our offices at 318-450-6453 or go online today to schedule your free consultation. We’re available 24/7 and are ready to work for you!