Auto Accident Insurance Claims Process
If you get involved in an accident in your car, there are some important steps you can take at the site of the accident, to the extent that you can. Take your first chance to report your accident to your auto insurance company and get started with the claims process. After you submit a claim, an adjuster (who is employed by or acts for the insurance company and is a professional at dealing with claims such as yours) will contact you about the claim you have made. He or she will have looked through your insurance policy to figure out the exact coverages you paid for, your deductible, and the monetary limits on your coverage. Each of these will affect the validity and amount payable for your claim.
If the claim you made is simple (such as, fault not being an issue, any damages were minimal, and you needed very little or no substantial medical treatment), this insurance company representative may ask you to get estimates for repairs and send you a check once they have these. You will need to do some paperwork, but shouldn’t have to meet with an adjuster yourself. However, If your injury claim is more complex (for example, if liability is not clear, there is not enough coverage in the policy, or if the settlement offer by your adjuster isn’t enough), then any negotiations will take a lot longer.Investigating Your Automobile Accident Claim
In a complex personal injury accident investigation, many adjusters typically need to do an investigation so that they can adequately assess the liability risk for the insurance carrier. This adjuster will check through the policy at issue then conduct the investigation. This will possibly consist of contacting any witnesses who might have seen the accident. They will talk to the other driver in the accident. They will look at any existing police report. They will get pictures of any damages and of the accident scene and they will investigate possibly covered medical expenses. They will do this by getting out legal requests to all of your medical providers for any information about your treatment. If you want the insurance company to pay for your medical bills, the adjuster needs to send you an authorization form for you to authorize releasing your medical bills and records to the adjuster.The First Settlement Offer
After the adjuster investigates your claim and looks through the relevant policy, he or she usually sends you a first settlement offer. This settlement offer tells you what your insurance carrier is initially willing to pay you for your claim. This could be the entire claim. The offer could be part of the claim. They may even offer to “pay” nothing. This first offer is generally on the lower end. Keep in mind that the adjuster’s actual job is to represent his or her employer’s interest. It is in that interest to save that employer money. However, this adjuster also needs to close cases and the adjuster is usually given a range within which to settle the case. This offers room to negotiate.Getting an Attorney Involved
If you have gotten an unacceptable offer from your insurance carrier, this is the last good time to get a lawyer involved if the lawyer is to do all of his or her job. Once the case has reached the negotiation stage between the injured person and the insurance company, a good lawyer’s help can be invaluable.
If hire Carabin Shaw at this point in your case/claim, that is when we go to work. We have the experience you need to deal with negotiating with the insurance company. We have the investigators, attorney and expert witnesses you need to put together the best possible counter offer to a low ball settlement. If that does not work, we are ready to go to trial and let a jury decide how much the insurance company should pay you. We have over 20 years of experience taking insurance companies to court if they will not be reasonable and settle.
Are you in Corpus Christi? Were you injured in an Auto accident?
Give Carabin Shaw a call. We can help. Call us at 361.444.1111, local if you’re in Corpus Christi
The Carabin Shaw Offices in Corpus Christi are located two blocks south of the Nueces County Courthouse in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Our Corpus Christi telephones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 361.444.1111.