You’ve just been injured in a serious accident, whether on the job or in your personal time. The physical and mental pain can be intense and difficult to handle, but can also be compounded by the stress that accompanies such an incident. You will want to know how your medical costs and lost work productivity will be handled, as such cases can seriously disrupt your ability to earn a living for a significant period of time. As a result, you will be dealing with insurance companies. Here are a few of the important things to be aware of from a Denver personal injury attorney.
The Beginning of a Personal Injury Claim Process
After the dust has settled and you are able to begin the personal injury claim process, you will start by reporting your injury and beginning the claims process with the at-fault party’s insurance company
. If the situation was one in which the at-fault party did not have insurance or their coverage was not sufficient, you will also need to file a claim with your own insurance carrier. The process will end when you decide to accept a final settlement from the insurance claims adjuster.
Filing a claim with the appropriate insurance company is the first step in any injury claims process. Often, you are able to file this claim over the phone with one of the company’s representatives. The sooner you file the claim the better, as many insurance companies require a person to file their claim within 24 hours of an accident.
When filing a personal injury claim, it is important to keep in mind that the process should be viewed as an ongoing negotiation. As a result, it is crucial to advocate for yourself at every step of the way, which means arguing for the highest possible settlement throughout the entire process. By starting a higher figure, the claims adjuster will be more likely to negotiate a number that will give you the biggest payout, as opposed to starting for less and having that figure negotiated down below an ideal amount.
Receiving a Reservation of Rights Letter
After you file your personal injury claim with the insurance company, you will eventually get a reservation of rights letter from the carrier. This letter will inform you that the insurance company intends to investigate the claim and will discuss this process with you. This is all standard procedure within a personal injury claim and should not be alarming to you.
However, by sending you this letter, they are not admitting that they are at fault or are liable for covering any of your medical costs. This letter is to inform you that the claims process has started and that they will be in communication with you regarding the ongoing process.
After you receive this letter, you send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. This letter will essentially list the basic factual information regarding your case, including the extent of the injuries you sustained. This letter should include any medical bills that you have received, and listing these facts in an itemized format will greatly benefit your case. The more information you can provide to strengthen your claims case, the better. This includes listing out of pocket costs as well as lost income.
The Insurance Company’s Response
Once you’ve sent the insurance company a demand letter, you will eventually receive a response through the claims adjuster. You may receive this response over the phone or in the form of a letter. This is when the negotiation process begins in earnest.
Almost without fail, you can expect a claims adjuster to offer you less than what you are asking for. They may use a variety of negotiation tactics to convince you to accept an offer that is less than acceptable to you. They may say things such as it being a one-time offer, and may also state that your claim is too high because this is the maximum amount allowed by the insurance carrier.
A low settlement offer is all part of the negotiation process, and it’s important to not get too stressed about this aspect. Insurance companies are trying to maximize profits and reduce their costs, and this always includes starting the process with a lower offer. If you understand that this is a part of the negotiation process, you will be able to confidently reject this offer and make a counteroffer.
Making a Counteroffer
In the process of receiving an adequate settlement to your personal injury claim, you will eventually need to make a counteroffer. This is done by writing the adjuster and informing them that their first offer is not adequate and that you are formally rejecting the offer. You will want to explain in detail why you are rejecting the claim and you will want to restate why you feel your case warrants a higher offer.
After you’ve made a counteroffer, you will await the response of the insurance claims adjuster. At this stage, patience is definitely essential. The adjuster may take much longer to respond to your counteroffer, and calling them to demand a response prior to their second offer can be detrimental to your case.
Before receiving an offer that you are willing to accept, you may receive may counteroffers before you receive one that is sufficient. It is important to continue to defend yourself consistently throughout this process, always keeping in mind to restate the strong case that you have in defense of a higher offer.
It is critical to understand the injury claims process, as you do not want to sabotage your ability to achieve the maximum payout you deserve. Because of this, it is important to seek out the services of a qualified personal injury attorney
that will fight for your rights every step of the way. Mark Simon is someone who will fight tirelessly for your rights and ensure that you receive the highest possible settlement. He will begin the investigation process immediately, ensuring you receive the best representation possible. Contact him at 303-321-4878 to discuss your legal options during a free consultation.