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Even a minor car accident can be scary and stressful. In fact, there is no such thing as a “minor” accident when you consider the insurance claims process involved. Dealing with an insurance company following a car accident in Pennsylvania can be a headache-inducing process. Claims adjusters may ask for several kinds of supporting documentation and require a thorough examination of your vehicle and medical records before making an offer on your claim. While these processes may seem like an annoyance, your interaction with your claims adjuster may have a direct effect on the outcome of your insurance claim so you should consider speaking with a qualified Philadelphia car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
KEYS TO SUCCESS: PREPARATION
Remember, a claims adjuster’s main job is to justify an insurance offer in your claim. Providing the correct documentation in a timely manner will not only hasten your claims process, it also increases the likelihood of getting the settlement you want.
Talking to an adjuster can be frustrating at times, but it’s essential to remain respectful. Losing your temper will do nothing to help your claim; in fact, it might detract from it. Follow these tips to make the most of your claims process:
KNOW WHAT TO SAY IN THE FIRST PHONE CALL
When making your first phone call to your insurance company, outline the overall circumstances that gave rise to your claim. Provide a factual overview of the accident, highlighting the points that give credence to your claim. For example, if a police report said the other driver was at fault, mention it in your phone call. You might not be telling your claims adjuster anything they don’t already know, but this helps establish you as an informed party in the process.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
At this point, you’ll want to tell the insurance adjuster the total amount of your special damages and how much you want from your car insurance claim. This will require a little research on your part. For example, visit a mechanic and get an estimate for the repairs to your vehicle, and collect all of your relevant medical bills and receipts (emergency room visit copay, diagnostic tests, etc). You might find your adjuster breaks off the conversation and says the company will get back to you after an investigation.
STAND YOUR GROUND
Do not lower your initial offer until you hear from the insurance company with a counter offer. If they request additional documentation to substantiate your claim, send it as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that an insurance company will start low in an effort to save their company the most money. Do not react emotionally to the process or get offended. Instead, defend your claim in a professional manner. State the lowest you’ll accept to move your claim into settlement.
Once you find yourself within an acceptable range, consider accepting their offer. If you find the insurance company will not budge to an offer that’s acceptable to you, consider getting a Philadelphia accident attorney involved. Sometimes, the simple act of hiring legal counsel can hasten you claim to a fair resolution.