A majority of the Insurance companies have a bad reputation. It is in their best of interests to not pay claims. If you have been the victim of an accident or an injury, do not make the mistake of representing yourself alone. The worst outcome is you having to accept an unfair settlement offer. The insurance company shall try every possible strategy not to pay your claim or lower your claim. So it is vital for you to hire a suitable lawyer to stand by your rightful claim.
Here are some basic FAQs pertaining to how to deal with your Insurance Company:
What steps should I take when the opposition party’s insurance company calls me and asks about my injuries?
When you are the victim of a car accident, you inform others about it and talk about the severity of your injuries. You even tend to shout aloud that you intend to file an injury claim! This is a complete no-no. Insurance companies soon start calling you and ask you about your injuries. These are often referred to as “first conversations” that occur before you file your claim for compensation. You need to keep the following things in mind while carrying out such conversations:
- Be composed, calm and gentle.
- Make sure to know the person or company who you are speaking to.
- Give only limited set of personal information. You might just provide your name, address, and phone number.
- Refrain yourself from providing details about the accident or your injuries.
- Do not give in to settle your claim. They might try to sweet-talk you into agreeing for a low settlement. Do not give in.
- Mark the specific phone contact and set limits on it for future.
- Make note of any valuable information that you receive during the phone call. You might also note down the information you gave to be clear for future purposes.
When you obey these guidelines, your chances are brighter of getting a decent settlement for your injury or accident claim.
How to make a formal claim for a suitable compensation for my injuries?
First of all, you need to decide which insurance company or companies should pay for your injuries. Make sure to collect all the evidence pieces that shall help you in strengthening your claim. Then, send a demand letter to the insurance company of your choice. This letter is more than vital for your claim and negotiation process. Write it carefully. Make sure to mention a set of basic arguments such as:
- The reason why the insured person is legally responsible for your injuries
- The severity and nature of your injuries
- The list of medical treatments that had to undergo and their respective expenses
- The amount related to the loss of wages, if any.
- The list of other damages that you suffered.
It might be the case that you have no-fault automobile insurance. But if you feel you deserve compensation and you need to file a claim you can explain in the letter the reason why you should make a claim.
Your demand letter is complete only when a conclusion is mentioned with a demand on the insurance company for a fixed claim.
How do insurance companies decide on what amount of compensation they shall pay someone for an injury?
In general, insurance companies and attorneys use a mechanism to calculate a range of compensation for an injury. When you have been injured, you are usually compensated for:
- Medical treatments
- Lost wages
- Pain, sufferings such as mental trauma and other physical discomfort and disability
- Loss of family members, relatives or closed ones
- Loss of social and educational experiences.
The claims adjuster usually begins with a basic damages formula.
Will my health insurance coverage or paid sick leave from work lower my claim for an accident?
You might have been paying for your consistent medical treatments on your very own. There might also be a case that your health insurance covered it for you which certainly has nothing to do with the claims adjuster’s business. A similar case involves your sick leave or vacation pay to be covering your lost time at work. You are really lucky if you get covered up that way. You have paid for both of these either by money or your hard work. So, do not mix these compensations with that of your insurance company. The insurance company of the person who caused the accident is liable to do the payment.
How does the insurance claims process function?
It is easy to figure out as to how claims proceed usually since they have their common stages. You must inform people against whom you are intending to file the claim. This literally heightens your chances of getting a speedy settlement. In the hindsight, it prevents others from saying that your claim rather shocked them. You should have a clear idea as to how much compensation you deserve. For this, it is essential for you to get your claim investigated thoroughly. This can be made easier when you have gathered all the pieces of evidence. You can plan your strategies, certain defensive ones in case your opposition attacks you.
You need to plan and mention good arguments in your formal demand letter. You need to submit it to the insurance company of the person who is responsible for your injuries.
You might be in unusual situations such as you might be covered by a no-fault automobile policy or need to make a claim for uninsured motorist coverage etc. In these cases, you need to carry out informal negotiations with the insurance company and make sure you get an agreement on your fixed settlement. The claim adjuster might be simple or might be a crooked one. In the latter case, you should consult an efficient local personal injury lawyer. You might even be required to take your case to court.