Suffering an injury from an accident can change your life. Whatever type of accident you were involved in, your focus needs to be on your recovery. If your recovery requires prolonged medical care or hospitalization, you may need to file a claim for the needed care with an insurance company.
Before you file, there are a few things you should know about dealing with an insurance company.
The insurance company represents the insurance company
Even if you file a claim with your insurance company, you should know an insurance company is always representing their own best interests. That does not necessarily mean they will deny your claim, but in general, they want to keep costs as low as possible. This can be at odds with your desire to pursue just compensation for your injuries.
The company will send a claims adjustor
The insurance company may reach out to you quickly after an accident. They will send a claims adjustor to evaluate your personal injury claim. Remember, the claims adjustor is a representative of the insurance company, not your personal advocate.
An adjustor will conduct a thorough investigation
Depending on what type of accident you have been involved in, the adjustor will ask for information like police reports, witness testimony, and photos of the scene. He or she will also request copies of medical bills and any property damage estimates. An adjustor may also want to review your previous medical history to see if you suffered any prior injuries that could impact your current condition.
Be careful of what you say to the claims adjustor
The adjustor may ask you questions about the accident. You can certainly answer questions, but remember anything you say that implies fault may be used against you to deny or decrease your claim. If another party's insurance company contacts you, you do not have to speak to them.
The adjustor will likely make an offer
After an adjustor has reviewed the evidence, the insurance company will usually make a settlement offer. Before you accept, you should think about the cost of your medical bills and if the bills will continue, any property damage costs, lost income, and the pain you have endured since the accident. If the insurance company's offer seems like it will cover these costs, you might want to accept. One other thing to consider is, your health insurance company may ask you for reimbursement from this settlement. Before you move forward, you should review your health insurance policy or contact the company.
If the insurance company offers you much less than expected, you can reject their offer. If you decide to do so, you may want to reach out to an attorney experienced in handling personal injury claims. An attorney can help you evaluate your claim and pursue a lawsuit against the insurance company.