If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you will need to file a car insurance accident claim. The purpose of this claim is to recover money from the insurance company for any vehicle damage and injuries resulting from the accident. If the accident is not your fault, you will need to file a car insurance accident claim with the insurance company for the at fault driver. Not sure who is fault for the accident? Read my blog on How to read a North Carolina accident report.
To file a car insurance accident claim, contact the insurance company and report what happened in the accident. WARNING: if you speak to the insurance company before speaking to a personal injury lawyer, you run the risk of ruining your claim by saying something harmful to your claim. The insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to your claim.
Insurance Adjusters and their Role
Your car insurance accident claim will be handled by an insurance adjuster is an employee for the insurance company who will investigate your claim. Keep in mind that insurance adjusters’ job is to save money for the insurance company. This means paying you as little as possible for your vehicle damage and injuries. Often, adjusters are given raises and promotions for their ability to pay you less for your car insurance accident claim.
It is not recommended to deal with the insurance adjuster without a personal injury lawyer. Adjusters are familiar with North Carolina laws, such as contributory negligence, which may actually prevent you from obtaining any money from your car insurance accident claim. However, some claims can be handled without a lawyer. See my blog, Do you need a lawyer for your car accident claim?
Negotiating the Settlement
If you proceed without a lawyer, you will need to provide the adjuster with as much information as possible about your accident and your injuries. Your car insurance accident claim will be evaluated based on how serious the accident was, and the extent of your injuries. Provide the adjuster with all of your medical records, medical bills, and anything else related to your doctor visits. Also provide all documentation of the accident itself, any lost wages you incurred, and photographs of the vehicle damage and your injuries.
Your car insurance accident claim adjuster will eventually offer you an amount to settle your case. Keep in mind that without a lawyer, the adjuster will now that you will probably not file a lawsuit and proceed to a trial. The amount the adjuster will almost always be much lower than the amount they would offer if you had a personal injury lawyer representing you. The offer should reflect compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, possible punitive damages, and other damages.
At Minick Law, we offer free consultations for your car insurance accident claim. Contact us to set up an appointment.
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James Minick is a criminal defense attorney in Asheville, NC and is the owner of Minick Law, P.C.