When you file an insurance claim after a car accident, the process is not automatic. The insurer will send a claims adjuster to investigate the circumstances of the accident in order to determine their liability. They are not coming into the process objectively. They want to find reasons to limit their liability and keep claim values to a minimum. Below, our seasoned New York auto accident attorney explains how a New York car insurance company investigates a car crash.
Interviews With Drivers and Witnesses
Insurance adjusters will likely conduct interviews with all of the drivers involved in the accident, and they will try to interview any witnesses in the area as well. They might ask to record their interviews. Be very wary of any statement you make to a claims adjuster, especially if the interview is recorded. They can, and will, use any of your statements against you down the line to limit or deny coverage.
Gather Evidence Relating to Accident
The claims adjuster will gather evidence such as police reports, traffic camera footage, security footage, photographs, and any other evidence available to reconstruct the circumstances of the accident. If you are filing under a no-fault policy, they will be mainly focused on your injuries and other damages. If you are filing an at-fault injury claim against the other driver, however, then the insurance company will be looking to establish fault in the accident. If they are gathering evidence to prove or disprove fault, you should too. Talk to your personal injury attorney to ensure you are building your own case for recovery should your claim get denied.
Gather Evidence Relating to Injuries
In addition to determining fault, the car insurance company will look to evaluate the extent of your injuries. If you are claiming under your no-fault insurance in New York, your insurance provider will be responsible for covering your medical expenses up to the policy limit. They will look at your medical bills, your records, reports from doctors, and other documentation.
They will be on the lookout for anything that minimizes the severity of your injuries and lessens the need for your medical costs. If they see you happily moving around uninjured, or if they suspect that certain treatments are unnecessary, they will try to limit coverage.
Make Settlement Offer
After they have gathered evidence and spoken with witnesses, they may then try to offer you a settlement pertaining to your claims. Often, an early settlement is significantly lower than the actual value of the claim. It is important not to rush a decision and not to feel bullied or intimidated by the auto insurer. Make sure that you are obtaining coverage for all of your costs, including past and future medical expenses, lost wages, medical devices, physical therapy, and anything else you could need for a full recovery. If your injuries are extensive and might even lead to permanent issues, you need to hold out for an offer that actually meets your needs. Talk to a savvy personal injury attorney to ensure you get the full available compensation.
Help With Your New York Auto Insurance and Injury Claim
If you or someone you love has been hurt in an auto accident in New York, find out if you’re entitled to money damages for your injuries by contacting the dedicated and talented New York car crash lawyers at the Bronx offices of the Kohn Law Firm for a free consultation at 718-409-1200.