If you are involved in a car accident, odds are you will have to file an insurance claim in order to pay the costs of medical treatment needed, vehicles repairs needed, or both. However, dealing with an insurance company and the investigation the company completes before deciding to offer you money can be daunting. This is because insurance companies offer you the lowest settlement possible for your injuries or property damage. Consequently, the claims adjusters employed or contracted by insurance companies to handle your claim complete a thorough investigation before deciding whether to offer you a settlement at all, and how much to offer. Accordingly, it is important that you understand the basics of an insurance company claim investigation before you submit an insurance claim. We have provided you with a synopsis of the types of information insurance companies will investigate while handling claims.
Assigning A Claims Adjuster To The Specific Claim in Brick, NJ
Whether the insured or a third party is submitting a claim because he or she was injured in the accident or suffered property damage, the first thing that insurance companies do is assign a claims adjuster to investigate a claim. This person will research all facets of your claim to determine if it is valid.
Gathering And Weighing Witness Accounts Of The NJ Accident
Once you have submitted a claim, the first thing a claims adjuster will do is to gather accounts from all witnesses and weigh them accordingly. Specifically, a claims adjuster will ask for the insured, the other people involved in the accident, and bystanders to give either verbal, written, and sometimes recorded accounts of the accident. By obtaining these accounts, the claims adjuster can better determine the facts of the claim, but can also determine if the claimant is a likable person. The likability of the claimant is an important factor to an insurance company in analyzing your claim. The more likable a claimant is the more likely they can win a personal injury trial if the insurance company does not offer you a settlement or the settlement offer is not adequate. By the same token, claims adjusters will also determine if other witnesses seem credible or incredible. Certainly, assessment of witness character is another important part of the investigation because these people will likely be the people testifying at trial about the accident.
Gathering And Analyzing Medical Records, Bills, Your Past, And Records Of Property Damage in Edison, NJ
After gathering and weighing witness accounts, the next thing a claims adjuster will do is to try to obtain any and all of your medical records. Examination of your medical records is key in determining the severity of your injuries and whether the injuries you claimed to have suffered in the accident were actually pre-existing conditions. For this reason, claims adjusters will often request that claimants sign medical record authorizations to obtain the records. If this occurs, it is advisable that you contact an attorney before deciding whether the sign the documents.
In addition to obtaining your medical records, the claims adjuster will request copies of your medical bills incurred because of the accident as well as an estimate from an insurance company approved vehicle repair shop. The adjuster will use these figures to determine the value of your claim and how much of a settlement offer to make you.
Still, even with accounts of the accident, your medical records, and related medical bills, claims adjusters will often investigate your past and present to see if they can find anything damaging to your claim. This search will include looking at your social media profiles, your school records if relevant, your past insurance claim history, and your criminal rap sheet if you have one. Anything damaging that a claims adjuster finds may serve to weaken your claim, and thereby lower the settlement amount offer to you by the insurance company.
Determining The Settlement Offer After a Motor Vehicle Accident in New Jersey
After investigating the above information, a claims adjuster will weigh the information to value your claim. If the claims adjuster believes you have a strong claim, they will offer you a settlement accordingly. However, if the claims adjuster believes your claim is weak, they may not offer you a settlement at all.
Contact a Edison Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Personal Injury Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motor vehicle accident or slip and fall in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party, or their insurance company, to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side and fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. represent clients in their personal injury lawsuits in Piscataway, Toms River, Middletown, New Brunswick, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 709-7992 or email us to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 1862 Oak Tree Road, Edison, NJ 08820, as well as offices in Edison, Brick, Freehold, and Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.