Dealing With Insurance Companies After an Accident
Insurance claims typically represent the quickest means of recovering losses when you sustain minor-to-moderate injuries after an accident. But, while many claims are processed without a hitch, injury victims can face delays, reductions and even total denial of valid claims. When working with our clients, Shepherd and Associates often recommend that our clients pursue insurance claims and provide tips on how to deal effectively with insurers to reduce the likelihood of issues down the road.
Tips on effective claim handling
The following tips can help preserve your rights to the compensation you deserve:
- Protect your rights after the accident: Follow my instructions on What to Do After an Accident. Gather the information an insurance adjuster needs to process your claim and preserve evidence in the event you have difficulties with your claim.
- Talk with an attorney before calling in your claim: Insurance companies focus on protecting their bottom lines, rather than making sure you receive full compensation. I alert clients to tactics insurance adjusters use in attempt to get you to admit fault and will help you prepare an appropriate response.
- Think before you speak when filing your claim: Whether you handle the claim in writing or by phone, the words you use can make a difference to the success of your claim. Stick to describing the events that led to the car accident and what happened during the accident. Do not offer your opinions. And avoid any statements that the adjuster can interpret as an admission of fault.
- Do not arrange for repairs until the adjustor gives permission: Most insurers want to examine damaged property before you repair it. Of course, if you suffer injuries, you need to seek immediate medical attention, but retain receipts.
- Do not sign settlement agreements unless you know they fully cover your expenses: Insurers often release quick settlement agreements to tempt you to put the matter behind you as soon as possible, but these offers may not fully cover your expenses. Your signature closes out your claim, leaving you without recourse if you later incur additional expenses. Do not sign unless you know the offer fully meets your needs, when in doubt, let me review the offer to determine its fairness. I can also intervene on your behalf if the offer is too low.
- Keep records of all transactions: Ask for a recording or transcript of claims filed by phone. Make notes about all contacts with the insurance adjuster, and retain originals or copies of all information and evidence you submit in writing.
If you experience difficulties with an insurer’s handling of your claim
The Department of Commerce and Insurance provides an Online Consumer Complaint Form that you can use if you believe you were treated unfairly by an insurance company. However, most individuals need the quickest possible resolution to their insurance claim issues so they can pay the expenses related to their injuries. As an experienced personal injury attorney, I can offer immediate attention and help you recover financially while you recover from your injuries. If you are treated unfairly, I can intervene on your behalf with the insurer. And when necessary, I will take your case to court and help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Before filing a claim, contact an experienced Maryville personal injury attorney for a free consultation
Filing an insurance claim may not be the best option to obtain the full compensation you deserve. I offer free initial consultations to assess your legal options, and if an insurance claim makes sense for your case, I advise you on how to handle a claim effectively. For more information, or to schedule a consultation with Shepherd and Associates, P.C. call 865-225-9655 or fill out the contact form on this website.
I handle accident claims on a contingency fee basis. You pay no attorney fees until I successfully obtain compensation for you.