Most people are rarely involved in an auto collision. On average, motorists make a car accident claim once every eight to 10 years. This means most people do not have very much familiarity with how to deal with car accident insurance issues. Recently, Edmunds released an in-depth article about the process insurance companies use to handle auto accident claims.
If you allow your insurance company to handle everything for you, the insurance companies representing drivers involved in the crash will determine who is at fault and who must pay for losses. The insurance company representing you or another driver will pay for losses they consider covered, but insurers may not offer you the full amount of money you deserve or that your case is worth.
It is very dangerous to simply trust an insurance company to do the right thing, because insurance companies care more about their bottom line than they do about ensuring the rights of injury victims are upheld. If you want to protect yourself during the claims process and get help overcoming car accident insurance issues, you will need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney.
How Car Insurance Companies Handle Auto Accident Claims
Edmunds advises drivers to call their insurance companies right away at the collision scene and alert the insurer to the crash. You are advised to tell the insurer the details of the accident; however, you need to remember you do not want to say anything that could suggest you were to blame or that could undermine your right to seek compensation for property damages and losses. Although you do need to notify the insurer immediately, think carefully about how much detail you want to go into in the first phone call - especially if you believe you may have been hurt and you think the other driver could be at fault.
You should also do other things at the crash scene like call the police, get their badge numbers and information, report whether any emergency personnel were present at the scene, obtain witness info and contact details for the other driver, and take pictures of the crash area, the other cars, and the license plates of involved vehicles.
Your insurer will call back to get more details soon after the crash, and will assign a claims adjuster. The claims adjuster will begin an investigation into things like how the crash happened and the extent of the losses and damages. As the claims adjuster does his work, repair estimates can be obtained and medical treatment can begin.
The insurers will investigate the crash and can determine if there is a consensus on who is at fault. If fault is assigned to either driver, that motorist's insurance company will pay for losses (including those by other crash victims). Disputes over fault can be resolved among insurers without your involvement if you don't want to be part of the case. But the process of the insurers determining fault is going to be different than the process of assessing liability if you file a civil case.
You may not want to leave all of this in the hands of your insurance company, since their primary concern is keeping as much of their money as they can while you need to focus on getting the compensation you need for losses.