How Does a Car Accident Claim Work?
If you are in a car accident, you might wonder if you have a claim or potential lawsuit. Many people don’t want to file a claim or become involved in litigation, or they are afraid of what those things might entail. As an experienced car accident lawyer Memphis, TN we’d like to share with you the basics of what generally happens when you make a claim to an insurance company or hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit because of a car accident.
Reporting a Claim to an Insurance Company
When you are involved in a car crash, you should report the claim to your insurance company, as well as to the insurance company for the other driver. The insurance company will assign a person called an “adjuster” to your case. The adjuster will call and try to interview you and obtain as much information about the car accident and your injuries as possible. Keep in mind that insurance adjusters work for insurance companies and their goal is to settle claims for as little as possible. For this reason, we always recommend that you speak with an attorney before speaking with an adjuster.
The adjuster will also try to interview the other driver and any witnesses to the accident. He or she will also probably ask you for a copy of the police report and may visit the scene and take photographs. The adjuster will also likely ask you for the medical records and bills you incurred because of the wreck, or will ask you to sign an authorization form allowing the adjuster to obtain your records directly from your doctors. Again, we recommend you consult with an attorney before signing any document sent to you by an insurance company. If you missed work, the adjuster will want to know how much and will also probably ask for verification from your employer.
The adjuster’s job is to obtain as much information about the wreck and injuries as possible, determine who was at fault, and then try to settle the claim. Once a decision is made, the adjuster may offer you a settlement and you will have to decide whether to accept it.
Hiring a Lawyer in your Car Accident Case
If you are not satisfied with the amount of money an insurance adjuster offers you to settle a claim, you can hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit against the other driver. In all cases, though, we recommend that you get a lawyer involved immediately, so that the lawyer can help present your case to the insurance company in the most effective way. When you hire a lawyer, the lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company before filing a lawsuit. Chances are, your attorney will have some ideas about how to better present the claim, and in any event can make sure that the insurance company is considering all the proper factors before the decision is made to file suit. Filing a lawsuit is usually the last resort way of resolving a dispute, but sometimes it is necessary in order to get a fair settlement for your injuries.
If you need help with your car accident case, or another kind of personal injury case, contact the experienced car accident lawyer Memphis, TN turns to when injuries are serious. Thanks to our friends and contributors at Wiseman Bray PLLC who have significant experience fighting for car accident victims in Tennessee. Contact Wiseman Bray PLLC today if you need a car accident lawyer Memphis, TN trusts with its most serious cases.