If you suffered property damage and injuries in a car crash, you need to move forward with an insurance claim. Filing an insurance claim is the best way to recover compensation. But it is not always a straightforward process. You have to prove the other driver is at fault and how much your injuries are worth.
When you have serious injuries, it is best to hire a car accident lawyer to help. Anderson Injury Lawyers will make sure you get the most from the car insurance claim process. Give us a call at (817) 294-1900 or use our online form to request a consultation.
Insurance Company Offered $4,000, We Fought and Won $45,000
Get Medical Help First
Always see a doctor after a severe accident. You should receive a thorough examination because you might have more injuries. than you realize. Your headache might be a concussion, and your sore, bruised side might be a broken rib. You want a doctor to document your injuries thoroughly for your upcoming insurance claim.
It is essential to follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations. If you do not, the other driver’s insurance company might claim you made your injuries worse. It can make it harder to settle your claim.
You are probably worried about how you will pay the medical bills. It helps to talk with a lawyer about your options, including how you can recover compensation for medical expenses through an auto insurance claim.
Notify Your Insurer
As soon as you are safe, tell your insurance company about the crash. Texas is an at-fault insurance state, which means the at-fault driver’s insurance should pay for your injuries. But it is usually required in your policy that you notify your insurer of accidents.
Most insurers give you several ways to tell them about a crash, including calling a specific number, sending an email, or sending a message through a mobile app or website. You should take the time to speak with a personal injury attorney before you even call your own insurance company. This will help you know what to say without accidentally accepting fault.
Once your insurer is on notice, you can pursue benefits from your insurance policies. If you do not provide notice in a reasonable amount of time, your insurance company could deny a claim for compensation under your policy.
Another benefit is that your insurer can directly communicate with the other driver’s insurance company, so you do not act as a middleman.
Notify the At-Fault Driver’s Insurer
Whether or not you need to call or email the other driver’s insurance company depends on the situation. Often, your insurance company or your attorney will handle this. You do not want to answer questions about the crash or your injuries until you have talked with a lawyer.
If you do speak with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance, keep what you say during the call or email simple and factual. Do not answer questions until you know more about your injuries and have consulted a car accident attorney.
Once insurers know about a crash, they open a claim and start an investigation. They are required to gather and review evidence, determine fault, and determine what you – the claimant – are owed based on the policy.
You do not have to agree with an insurer’s conclusions. If you think an adjuster is wrong about something that impacts your claim, call a car accident lawyer right away. Insurers are not always right, and in some cases, they wrongfully deny valid compensation claims.
A lawyer can dig up more evidence about a car crash, but you should get started:
- Get a copy of the police report
- Save and print any photos you took of the accident or your injuries with your phone
- Write down everything you can remember about the accident
- Save copies of your medical records and bills
- Save any letters or documentation you receive from an insurance company
Bring whatever information you have about the crash with you to an attorney consultation. Our law firm can further investigate. We may be able to obtain video footage from nearby traffic or surveillance cameras. We can reach out to witnesses for their statements.
In complicated situations, we may hire an accident reconstruction expert who can use the facts to recreate what happened.
Add up Your Damages
The legal term for your physical, emotional, and financial injuries is damages. You have to figure out how much your damages are worth. It helps to talk with a lawyer about this because several factors can influence your claim’s potential value.
You may be entitled to compensation for your:
Send a Demand
Depending on the severity of the crash and your injuries, you might receive an offer from an insurer first. Initial offers are usually low, though, which is why we recommend running it by an attorney. If you are suffering from significant or catastrophic injuries, then it is more likely your lawyer will start with demand.
After we investigate the crash and calculate the value of your damages, we will send the liable party a demand. This includes a letter explaining your right to compensation and demanding a certain amount. We provide evidence of why the other party is responsible for your injuries.
Communicate With the Insurer
You have to cooperate with the insurance company’s investigation. This might mean answering questions, giving a statement about the crash, and providing evidence of your injuries. You do not have to do any of this before talking with a lawyer.
We highly recommend hiring a car accident attorney who can communicate with the insurer on your behalf. It can help to have a lawyer prepare you to answer questions and provide evidence. You want to cooperate, but you do not want to give the insurer anything they can use against you.
Negotiate a Pre-Trial Settlement
The demand letter or the initial offer from an insurer can kick-off pre-trial settlement negotiations. Insurers prefer to pay as little as possible on claims. It is how they stay profitable. It is up to you to stand up for yourself and pursue the maximum compensation possible.
We have a lot of experience with insurance settlement negotiations. We know how insurers tend to under-value medical expenses, including future care, physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish. We refuse to let an insurer under-value your claim and aggressively pursue a fair outcome.
File a Lawsuit
You might not need to file a lawsuit after a car accident. It depends on the complexity of your situation. A majority of car accident claims are resolved with settlements, but that does not mean you would not benefit from filing a lawsuit.
During litigation, you go through the discovery process. You can get a lot more information from the other side this way, which could help you prove your claim.
If you are worried about whether or not to sue, talk with a lawyer. We can explain when filing a lawsuit is unnecessary versus when it might help or become necessary.
Settle or Go To Trial
We settle most car accident claims before going to trial, and many claims never end up in court at all. It is usually possible to win an insurance settlement when it is clear the other driver is at fault. But if the insurer wrongfully denies your claim or refuses to settle for a fair amount, you may need to file a lawsuit and take your case to trial.
Do You Have Questions About the Car Insurance Claim Process?
The auto insurance claim process can go smoothly or take years to get through. It all depends on your specific situation and whether you have strong legal representation from the beginning. When you hire an attorney, the insurance company knows to take your claim seriously. You also will have a better understanding of what your claim is worth and how to win the maximum amount.
Anderson Injury Lawyers is here to answer your questions. We want to help you get through a car insurance claim as quickly as possible and with good results.