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Many auto accident victims are experiencing difficulties in dealing with their insurance companies. This is very true especially when the accidents involve complicated matters that are still needed to be settled. These scenarios occur when the liability in doubtful, the insurance coverage is insufficient or if the claimants disagree with the insurance adjuster's settlement offer. Because of these instances, the process of negotiation with the insurance companies takes more time.
The following are the standard procedures that have to be accomplished in pursuing a much complicated auto accident insurance claim:
Formal Investigation of the Claim
Normally, if an auto accident claim cannot be settled thru a simple means, the adjuster will have to perform an investigation to evaluate the scope of the insurance company's liability. This may entail:
- verifying the claimant's policy,
- interviewing accident witnesses,
- having a dialogue with the other parties involved in the accident,
- looking at the report furnished by the police authorities,
- taking some photos of the accident scene as well as the damages incurred, and
- inspecting the claimant's medical records and expenses
After concluding his investigation, the adjuster is now set to send his settlement offer to the claimant. This will tell the amount of compensation that the insurance company is offering and willing to pay based on the claimant's demand. Usually, insurance companies begin with low offers ? knowing that doing the other way will cost them huge expenses and lesser income. However, some adjusters devise tactics to speed up the resolution of the case. This is by allowing negotiation if ever the claimant does not agree with the offer.
Letter of Demand
If the claimant is confident enough with his own calculation regarding the compensation that he should receive, then he has the right to submit a demand letter to his insurance company. This may include his own analogy of fault; damages and the amount that he demands to resolve his case. This process may be done before or after the adjuster sent his settlement proposal.
Once the adjuster has sent the opening offer to the claimant, it is now the time to negotiate, particularly if the said offer is not that reasonable. In this process, both parties propose and defend their offers with evidences and facts until they have finally agreed with the amount.
Denial of Claim
Not all auto accident claims reach in a negotiation procedure. The insurance companies for various reasons subsequently deny a great number of them. Hence, the claimants result in filing their cases in civil court wherein a judge is authorized by the law to sustain or reverse the decisions of the insurance companies.
Nevertheless, since almost all the insurance companies implement strategies to lessen their liabilities to the victims, it is therefore a wise option to consult an auto accident attorney from the very start of filing a claim. This will ensure the claimants that they will be properly compensated for the injuries, losses and expenses that the accident caused them.
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