The Role of Insurance Companies in Personal Injury Cases

When you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or another personal injury accident, one of the first steps you’ll take is filing a claim with an insurance company. Making this initial report will launch the next steps that will provide you with the financial recovery to take care of your medical bills and other damages from this incident.

According to Caputo & Van Der Walde, the role insurance companies have in personal injury cases is significant. The way these entities operate can have a major impact on your claim.

It is important to understand how insurance companies operate when it comes to handling personal injury cases to determine your best course of action. Once you contact the insurance company to report your personal injury, here is what you can expect in terms of its role.

Launching an Investigation

When you contact the insurance company to file your initial injury claim, they will then assign an adjuster to your case. The insurance adjuster will investigate what happened to properly assess the extent of your injuries and damages. You should be prepared to provide your medical records to prove the validity of your claim. Other documentation may be requested, depending on the type of personal injury accident, such as police reports or witness statements.

Determining Liability

In a fault-based state like California, the insurance adjusters must consider the liability of their policyholder concerning your injuries. As they review the evidence and speak with witnesses, they will analyze all the data and evidence to see who is at fault. Since California follows comparative negligence, that may mean that they assign you a percentage of the blame. This can directly impact the amount of compensation they will award for your claim.

Negotiating and Settlements

After liability in a personal injury accident is established, the insurance adjuster will negotiate with you directly unless you have an attorney. The amount they offer will be based on their evaluation of the case. While they will always be polite and seem concerned for your well-being, keep in mind that they are trained to negotiate in a way that benefits the insurance company.

In other words, this may mean that the amount they offer you is not sufficient to cover the full extent of your damages. When you are making an insurance claim after suffering injuries caused by another person, you need to understand all the factors that go into calculating this value. Signing an agreement for this settlement means you forfeit your right to claim additional expenses or damages. This is why working with a personal injury attorney is such an important consideration because they will calculate your future medical expenses and other items you may not have considered seeking in your claim.

Common Tactics Used by Insurance Companies

As you review your settlement offer, you may find that it is far too low to cover the damages you’ve experienced. You may even find that the defendant is trying to blame you to lower the payment. When injured victims represent themselves, the insurers will take advantage.

The company might also attempt to coax you into making recorded statements that seem innocent. However, these are mere fishing expeditions used to gather information they can use against you to deny your claim or lower your settlement. If you work with a personal injury attorney, you will avoid falling for the tricks the insurers use to protect their bottom line.

What to Do If You Get a Denial on Your Claim or a Settlement That Is Too Low

Depending on the type and severity of your injuries, it may be more difficult to get a fair settlement from the insurance company. The next step would be to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. The insurance company would then begin defending their policyholder throughout the legal process.

If you didn’t hire an attorney prior to this point, you will not want to file a lawsuit without one. They will advocate for your legal rights and help you fight for a fair amount in compensation, whether it settles out of court or needs to go to trial.

When you deal with insurance companies, it is important to remember their role and what tactics they will use to lower your potential settlement. Avoiding the common pitfalls in personal injury cases is much easier when you have legal representation to guide you every step of the way.