One of the most common reasons an individual may hire an attorney is after they are involved in a car accident. When that person meets with an attorney one of the first questions that they may ask surrounds what the insurance claim process is like, how long will it take for their automobile claim to be resolved, how will they pay for their medical treatment, etc. Although these questions from injured individuals come up time and time again, the main confusion people experience in regard to the letters and calls they get from insurance companies after any type of accident is – why are they asking me that specific information? What are they evaluating? What do they take into consideration in determining if they are going to pay anything on my claim?
Although each accident and insurance claim is unique and fact specific to that accident and the type of insurance coverage that applies, there are some general considerations that insurance companies may take into consideration when evaluating your claim. Among these are some of the following:
1. The circumstances surrounding the accident:
- Who was at fault?
- Was anyone cited for their actions?
- Were there environmental factors leading to the accident?
- How many people were involved?
- What was the impact of the collision like?
2. Your injuries:
- Were you taken to the hospital via ambulance?
- When did you begin to treat for your injuries?
- How serious are your injuries?
- Are your injuries of a permanent nature?
- What course of treatment must you take part in?
- How much in medical bills have you accumulated because of your treatment?
3. The effect of the accident on your daily life:
- Did you miss any work?
- If you did not miss any work, were any of your work activities limited?
- Have you been able to return to work?
- Have you been required to take a different type of job?
4. The effect of the accident on your relationship with your family:
- Were you unable to complete any household responsibilities because of your injuries?
- Did your spouse have to take on more responsibilities while you recovered from the accident?
- Were you able to continue to fully care for your children or were alternate arrangements required to be made?
As you can tell, there are a number of factors that go into an insurance company’s evaluation of what your claim is worth after an automobile accident, these are just a few examples of the type of evaluation that an insurance company may make when handling an automobile accident claim.