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What Will An Insurance Company Do After A Car Accident?

Insurance companies are businesses, and their goal is to make money. While these companies have a legal duty to abide by the terms of their policies, they often allow business considerations to override such obligations.

When you’re injured in an accident, an insurance company will generally investigate what occurred. They may send out an adjuster to inspect the vehicles damaged in the accident as well as take photos of the accident scene.

Most importantly, an adjustor will speak to you to discuss the details of the crash. When doing so, they will often offer to settle your claim – usually before you have a chance to assess your situation. Before speaking to an employee of an insurance company, we recommend that you speak to an attorney with experience trying car accident cases. That is where we can help.

Due to our extensive experience trying car accident cases in Chicago and throughout Illinois, the attorneys at Mark L. Karno & Associates will apprise you of your options and help you understand the legal process for settling cases with insurance companies. Because of our understanding of the short-term and long-term medical and financial needs of automobile accident victims, we can recommend whether an insurance settlement is in your best interests. We will be there every step of the way to ensure you receive the compensation you require.

What Should I Do Following An Accident?

Following an injury accident, you should try moving your vehicle to a safe location – if this is possible. If the car is not operable, shut the engine off. If you are injured, you will require immediate medical care. Call 911 for medical assistance as soon as you can. You should also report the accident to the police. If you or a family member can take photos at the scene, these can often prove useful for establishing liability of another driver.

Avoid getting into any discussion about placing blame on yourself or another driver concerning the accident. Even witnesses at the scene may recall what you say, and some of what you share may prove damaging to your claim.

However, if possible, you do wish to gather information such as the names of the drivers involved, insurance coverage information, the names of investigating officers, and important details concerning the location of the crash. If you are physically able to do so, also take photographs of the damage to the vehicles and their position in regards to each other and the roadway.

After taking care of these preliminaries, it is time to discuss your claim with an attorney. You will wish to do this before making any statements to an insurance company. An attorney can provide you with valuable guidance and answer your questions. An attorney can also assist you throughout the claim filing process.

What Should I Say When Contacted By An Insurance Company?

The insurance company may be looking for reasons for denying your claim. By communicating any information without first understanding your legal options, you risk putting yourself at a disadvantage. It is generally best to confer with a lawyer before communicating with an insurance company adjustor. Generally, the insurance company adjuster is looking to pin you down to giving a statement that may not be quite accurate based upon further investigation by your attorney.

A good example of this is giving a statement to the adjuster the day of the accident that you were not injured and then the next day you feel all kinds of soreness and stiffness in your body which requires you to seek medical care. By giving a statement that you were not hurt, it can cause your credibility to be put in issue and negatively affect your ability to collect any money from your case. A lawyer can interact with and negotiate with an insurance company adjuster on your behalf and make certain that your rights are protected.

What Reasons Will Insurance Companies Give For Denying A Claim?

Again, insurance companies are a business. If they believe they have a reason for denying a claim, they will do so. They may deny a claim because they believe another policy should cover the costs. On the other hand, they also may deny a claim for many other reasons including:

  • Medical records do not adequately document your injury
  • The suspicion you are suffering from preexisting injuries
  • A doctor concludes during an independent medical exam that your injuries are not related to the accident
  • The terms of the policy do not cover your particular injuries

Please note that such denials do not always have a factual basis. The existence of a preexisting injury does not necessarily disqualify a claim. Certainly, the aggravation of a pre-existing condition is almost always compensable. Insurance companies often hire doctors to perform independent medical exams, and they may have a bias in favor of the insurance company. And an insurance company’s interpretation of a policy may not be accurate.

Therefore, you should not give up on your claim simply because a denial occurs. Insurance companies often wrongfully deny claims. A skilled attorney may be able to contest such a denial.

How Mark L. Karno & Associates Can Assist You

Following an injury in a car accident, you have many other concerns besides filing a claim with an insurance company. Yet a denial of a claim only leads to greater complications. Having an attorney at your side who understands how insurance companies operate and who can negotiate on your behalf is invaluable.

Our lawyers will fight to make certain insurance companies honor the terms of their policies. The purpose of such policies is to help injured people like you. We are always there to make certain they treat you fairly and provide you with the compensation you need and deserve. We will be at your side during the entire claim’s process. If necessary, we will represent you in court.

You can contact our offices in Chicago by calling 312-574-3362.