After the initial shock of the car accident wears off and you have evaluated and dealt with your injuries, the first thing that you must begin to think about is contacting your insurance company and starting the claims process.
If you have never been involved in an accident before, the first question you will need to ask is how do insurance companies settle personal injury claims?
The answer is simple, yet complex. Settling an insurance claim with your insurer must follow a specific process for the insurance company to comply with the request.
Steps To Settling A Personal Injury Claim With An Insurance Company
1. Notify the Insurance Company of the Accident
To start the claims process you will need to notify the insurance company that the accident took place. You will need to provide details about when and where the accident occurred. Since Florida is a no-fault state, you will begin this process by notifying your personal insurance company of the event.
It is recommended at this time that if there are injuries that you tell the insurance company that you are seeking medical care. Do not go too far into details about the injury at this time, You will want a medical care provider to determine the extent of your injuries, not you or the insurer.
2. Gather Evidence
You will need to start gathering evidence to support your claim when you submit your personal injury claim letter. Some of the types of evidence you will have to gather include:
- Police report of the accident
- Witness information and testimony regarding the event
- Medical information about the injuries and the long term prognosis for recovery
- Financial losses you have incurred as a result of the accident
- Future financial losses anticipated by the injury
- Maximum medical improvement rating and if there is a disability rating
- Value of property damage
- Proof of who was at fault for the accident, even in a no-fault state
- Accident reconstruction information if the evidence does not show clear proof of who was responsible
- Information about the other driver such as personal information, insurance information, and if any injuries or property damage was received
This process of gathering evidence is sometimes tricky and frustrating. We highly recommend working with an attorney who specializes in this field, as they are likely experts at gathering the needed evidence. If you are starting an insurance claim, the attorneys at Landau Law are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Once you have gathered all of their information, and are still within the set time limits to submit this info to the insurance company, you (or your attorney) can submit the letter to your insurance company for your claim settlement.
3. Review the Response from the Insurance Company
Once the insurance company receives your demand letter, they will review it and send back a counter offer. The offer will most likely be very low compared to what you have requested. This is part of the negotiation process.
It will be very important at this point to respond to the insurance claim settlement letter with the right type of evidence to prove that their figures are wrong. You will need to prepare a counteroffer and submit it with the necessary evidence within the stated time for the insurance company to consider the new offer.
Again, this is something your attorney can help you with.
4. Review Final Settlement Offer
The insurance company will send back another offer and you will have to decide on settling the insurance claim at this time. Before settling, you will need to figure out if the newest claim:
- Covers all of your current losses
- Covers all potential future losses
- Covers all obligations of the insurance company
- Uses the right formula to calculate losses
- Includes non-economic damages such as pain and suffering
- Is a complete settlement
Insurance companies are famous for “forgetting” some types of compensation that they are required to pay injury victims. You will need to make sure that you are aware of all of the terms of the insurance policy covering the event so that you receive full compensation.
If you accept the offer, the case will be settled. You cannot seek any additional compensation at a later date.
Would You Like Help With Settling Personal Injury Claim?
If filing a personal injury claim by yourself sounds like a nightmare, there is help available. Speak with a personal injury attorney about your accident and allow them to manage your claim. This will give you the freedom to focus on recovering from your injuries and not having to worry about the stress related to filing the claim.
Contact the attorneys at Landau Law today for a free case consultation.