When you submit a personal injury or car accident claim to an insurance company, it will go through an evaluation process. The person in charge of this process is called an insurance claims adjuster. This is the agent who will contact you shortly after you submit a claim to ask questions and obtain more information. The adjuster will assess your claim and submit a recommendation to the insurance company whether or not to issue an acceptance. Knowing what an insurance adjuster looks for when evaluating your claim could help you obtain fair compensation for your losses.
First, an insurance company will request to see any police reports associated with your accident. If you called the police from the scene of your accident, the officer most likely created an official report you can access from the police station later. The insurance claims adjuster may ask for a copy of the report or the police report number to gain more information about the incident. Contacting the police after a serious accident could help you obtain evidence to submit to an insurance company, such as photographs and eyewitness information.
Whether You Saw a Doctor
An insurance adjuster will look through your medical records related to the accident. The adjuster will check to see if you went to a hospital or doctor after your accident for professional treatment. If you did not, the adjuster may try to use this against you. The adjuster may argue that by failing to obtain medical care, you contributed to the current severity of your injuries or state of health and therefore deserve less compensation. The adjuster may also view your failure to see a doctor right away as proof that your injuries could not have been that bad.
Medical Records and Documentation
The insurance adjuster may ask your permission to access your medical records. Do not give this permission without consulting with an attorney first. Insurance companies often ask for blanket authorizations to access and view all of a client’s medical records – not just those pertaining to the accident and claim. This is a tactic to try to claim that the client’s injuries were pre-existing. You do not have to give an insurance company permission to access all of your records.
A Las Vegas car accident lawyer can help you release only the necessary medical forms, such as those that will show you followed your doctor’s treatment plan. A lawyer can also help you combat issues you might encounter when negotiating with an insurance adjuster. If you are seeking benefits for alternative medicine, for example, an adjuster may be skeptical about your claim and try to shortchange you. A personal injury lawyer could help you prove the validity of your claim.
If You Contributed to the Accident
If the insurance company’s investigation finds any evidence that could place some fault for the accident or injury with you, the adjuster may try to use this as a reason to diminish the value of your claim or deny it altogether. Nevada has a comparative negligence law, however, that allows a victim to continue recovering compensation for an injury with up to 50% fault. An attorney can help you combat a shared fault defense to maximize your payout.
Let Claggett & Sykes Law Firm Help
Finally, an insurance claims adjuster will look to see if you hired an attorney. If you did hire a lawyer, he or she will send a letter to the insurance company explaining that the law firm will be taking over your case. Receiving a letter from a lawyer can let an insurance adjuster know you will not put up with bad faith tactics such as lowball settlement offers. At Claggett & Sykes Law Firm, our experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorneys help clients file insurance claims and deal with insurance adjusters in Las Vegas. We may be able to assist you with claims filing and negotiations for the best possible results. Contact us today for a free consultation.