How an Insurance Company Investigates a Car Crash
Despite what they tell you in their commercials, your insurance company isn’t necessarily on your side. Insurance companies are for-profit corporations that are constantly looking for ways to increase profitability. One of the ways that they do this is by reducing the amount they pay out in claims every year. Even though you are their “valued customer” who has paid years of premiums, your car accident claim will be scrutinized in a rigorous investigation process.
The car accident lawyers at Randall & Stump, PLLC can help you successfully navigate the insurance claim process so that you can get the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured in the Charlotte area and need someone on your side, call us at (980) 237-4579 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation
Initial Contact with the Adjuster
Once the insurance company has learned of the accident, the first step is to assign an adjuster to the case. The adjuster will contact you by phone almost immediately to begin gathering basic information about the accident. While the call may seem innocuous, be mindful that even statements made during this phone call can be used against you later. As a result, be careful to avoid any statements pertaining to the following:
- Do not speculate as to what caused the accident, and do not admit any fault.
- You can admit that you were injured. However, you should tell the adjuster that you do not yet know the full extent of your injuries but are seeking medical care. If you don’t know whether you are injured, simply tell them that you are seeking a thorough medical examination.
- Do not engage in small talk. The adjuster may be asking whether you have any plans for the weekend as a way to determine whether or not you are actually injured.
The Adjuster Will Collect Information
Once the adjuster has gotten the basic information from you, they will begin collecting information from outside sources. The first thing they will do is get a copy of the police report and any other accident reports that may have been generated. They will also contact any witnesses and the other driver in order to get their statements about the accident.
The Adjuster May Inspect Your Vehicle
In some cases, the insurance company may rely upon the repair estimates and other documentation provided by the mechanic. This helps them determine the value of the property damage portion of your claim. In other cases, the adjuster may visit the shop to inspect your vehicle in person. This may be because they do not have a relationship with your mechanic, or it may be because they are trying to determine fault or whether your claim is fraudulent.
The Adjuster May Visit the Scene of The Accident
The adjuster is also likely to visit the scene of the accident. They will inspect traffic signs and lane markings, sightlines, and observe traffic patterns. This is part of an attempt to recreate the accident in order to determine who was at fault.
Investigation of Anyone Who Was Injured
The adjuster may also conduct a background investigation of anyone who was injured in the accident, including you. This may involve reviewing your driving record and accident history, including checking the insurance database to see if you’ve filed any previous claims. In addition, they may also review your social media profiles or even place you under observation in order to determine whether you are actually injured.
Review of Medical Records
The insurance company will also review your medical records very closely in order to verify the severity of your injuries and identify any possible pre-existing injuries. If they determine that there was a pre-existing injury, they will attempt to reduce or deny your claim.
Ultimately, the insurance company may demand that you submit to an “independent” medical exam. You may be required to comply, but note that the exam isn’t really “independent” – it will be performed by a doctor who works for the insurance company.
Injured in a Car Accident? Contact the Charlotte Car Accident Attorneys at Randall & Stump, PLLC
Don’t let the insurance companies find a way to reduce or deny your claim. You are entitled to the benefits of your insurance policy that you paid for. The car accident attorneys at Randall & Stump, PLLC know how to fight these tactics and protect your rights. Don’t delay – call us at (980) 237-4579 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation and discuss how we can help you.