Information Booklet for Personal Injury Clients
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If you think that the insurance company covering the at fault driver will just pain you for your pain and suffering, think again. At it's core, an insurance company is a business. Its not good business to write a check. It is however good business to receive a check. If the other insurance company can pay you a little money to go away, they will. If they can convince you altogether that you don't have a case it is even better for them. Be careful when dealing with the insurance carrier for the at fault driver.
After the insurance company has been notified about the claim, a file is established on you and your case. An insurance claims adjuster is assigned to your file by a claims manager or claims supervisor. The supervisor may assign different adjusters to your case as it progresses.
The insurance claims adjuster responsible for your file will maintain contact with your lawyer. The adjuster will also perform an independent investigation of your claim to ascertain the following:
a. Who is at fault in your case.
b. Whether or not you bear any fault for your own injuries. This is also referred to as comparative negligence or contributory negligence.
c. Potential witnesses in the case.
d. The location of the scene of the accident.
e. The contents of police reports, Department of Motor Vehicle reports, and any other investigative reports that have been filed in the case.
f. A recorded statement. The insurance carrier for the at fault driver will try to get a recorded statement from you. They will usually tell you that they need this statement to complete their investigation. Don't fall for this trap. What they want to do is get a recorded statement so that they can use it against you later. If they get a recorded statement and you give another statement later on, they will compare them. If they don't match exactly, they will argue to a Judge or Jury that you have changed your story. Do not give a recorded statement.
After the initial investigation, the claims adjuster will request medical reports and any other reports dealing with your injuries. The adjuster will also review documents about your time lost from work. Most importantly, the insurance claims adjuster will want to receive accurate records of your medical bills, prescription bills, hospital bills, therapy bills, and any other actual expenses incurred as a result of your injury. That is why it is very important for you to maintain an accurate account of your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses which result from your injury.
Best advice, speak to an experienced attorney before speaking to an insurance company. The attorneys at Penglase & Benson have spent years working with and speaking to insurance carriers to protect their client's rights and to maximize personal injury settlements.