Insurance Claims After an Accident
If you’re injured in an accident, filing a claim with an insurance company should be one of your first courses of action. Depending on the circumstances, you’ll file with your own insurer or with the insurance company that covers the party responsible for the accident. Once your claim is in the hands of an adjuster, there will be an investigation into the circumstances and whether you’re entitled to compensation for your losses. After all, insurance companies are businesses and they don’t make a profit by paying victims without first assessing the claim.
As part of the investigation, an insurer may request certain information from you; the agent may also request that you sign an authorization allowing the company to obtain information about the accident and your injuries. Because of the legal implications, you should always consult with an experienced attorney before working directly with an insurance company during the investigation. When you know the basics of filing a claim, you’ll understand the importance of having a lawyer to represent your interests.
First Party Versus Third Party Claims
You have options to file a claim with your own insurance company after an accident, potentially recovering compensation up to your coverage amount for bodily injury and property damage. Because you are the policy holder, this process is a first party claim. Typically, if you caused the accident – perhaps by driving negligently – you would file a first party claim.
However, where someone else is responsible for your losses, you may opt to pursue that party’s insurer by filing a third party claim. The Mississippi Insurance Department requires certain businesses and motorists to carry insurance coverage that covers other individuals in the event of an accident.
Information the Insurance Company Will Seek
When you filing your claim, the insurer will request certain information from you focusing on the details of the accident and extent of your injuries. You may be required to provide the names of witnesses, any photos of the incident scene, or medical records. If the accident took place at a business, an insurance agent may inspect the property as part of the investigation.
Request for Signed Authorization
An insurance agent may request that you sign an authorization that enables him or her to obtain certain details directly. Doing so allows the company access to very intimate personal information, like medical history that goes back years before the accident even occurred. Your medical records might reveal details that the insurer will use to deny your claim or reduce your recovery. Instead of signing the authorization, you can obtain the records yourself, or through an attorney, and produce them directly to the insurance company.
Talk to a Biloxi Personal Injury Attorney About Filing an Insurance Claim
It may be tempting to work directly with an insurance company after you’ve filed a claim for your injuries after an accident, but you’re at a disadvantage unless you have a lawyer on your side. Insurance companies don’t have your interests in mind when conducting their investigation, and will use the information they find to justify a lower compensation amount. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy Guice based in Biloxi, MS have decades of experience in dealing with pushy insurers and are committed to getting you the financial recovery you deserve. Contact our law offices today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.