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The Insurance Claims Process

After a serious collision, injured people must face the insurance claims process

After an injury accident, an insurance claim needs to be filed to ensure that the injured person receives compensation for medical expenses, lost work and wages, damaged property, and pain and suffering caused by the accident. Here is valuable information about the insurance claim process.

When an accident happens, regardless of who is at fault, all parties should contact their insurance companies immediately. The insurance adjusters will acquire information about the cause of the accident and the extent of injuries and property damage.

The insurance companies will then open an investigation. Those involved in the accident will be interviewed and asked to provide any accident-scene photos, names of witnesses, and any other information that has been collected.

Anyone injured in the crash will likely be asked to undergo an independent medical examination by a physician of the insurer’s choice to document the cause and extent of any injuries.

The insurance adjuster will calculate the value of the claim, and will issue a settlement check. If the insurance claim is denied, or if the insured feels that the settlement amount is too low, the insured can appeal to the insurance company.

Calculating Insurance Claim Value

While it is relatively easy to determine the cost of medical expenses and lost income, it's much more challenging to place a realistic dollar amount on the pain and suffering a person deals with after being injured. Insurance companies have developed damages formulas to calculate how much to pay the injured for these types of non-monetary damages.

Denial of Claims and the Appeals Process

There are many reasons why a claim may be denied:

  • The statute of limitations may have run;
  • The injured person failed to submit to an independent medical examination;
  • the type of accident may not be covered under the insurance plan.

If the claim is denied, the insured will receive notification from the insurance company. The insured then has the option to appeal the denial of claim. Appeals procedures vary from company to company, so it is important to review the policy in learn about the appropriate next steps.

When to have a personal injury lawyer step in to help

After having a claim denied or receiving a settlement offer that is too low, many people seek the help of a personal injury attorney who has experience in interpreting insurance policies and dealing with insurance adjusters to obtain the highest settlement possible. Many other people choose to find an experienced injury lawyer soon after an accident, so that the attorney can handle the insurance claim from the start and allow an injured person to focus on healing.

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Joplin, MO-Pittsburg, KS

8 Mistakes to Avoid After a Kansas Car Wreck

Many people who have been injured in a Kansas car accident attempt to handle their own insurance claims. Here is a list of common mistakes people make that can damage the viability of an insurance claim. This list is not intended to be legal advice, but rather it is a list of considerations for working with insurance companies.

Wichita-Hutchinson, KS Plus

No Insurance, Don’t Blame Me

Because of this law, uninsured drivers can’t make a claim for pain and suffering. Drivers who do not have a basic, state-required personal injury protection (PIP) policy at the time of an accident will not have theFULL ability to sue for losses.  Go here to learn more about how this law affects Kansas drivers who are injured in car accidents.

Everett-Bellingham WA

This massive semi and car accident demonstrates that size does matter in crash safety

Though engineering and materials are increasingly sophisticated in manufacturing safer cars, certain factors will always favor larger vehicles. For information on the top five safest vehicles in crashes, and what you should do if you are injured in a car accident, click here for this article from Bill Coats Law, a personal injury law firm in Bellingham WA who helps victims of drunk and distracted drivers. 

Everett-Bellingham WA

An often-overlooked key to winning settlements in personal injury cases

Negotiation, strategy, experience and skill - all of these qualities make a personal injury claim reach a successful verdict or settlement. But here is one key aspect that can easily be overlooked by personal injury attorneys working with injured people. Bill Coats Law, of Bellingham, Washington, is the top car accident law firm in the fourth corner and writes on this basic human quality that wins cases.

Everett-Bellingham WA

Lost wages? PIP to the rescue

PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection and is automatically included with many auto insurance policies. Though individual policies vary, it may include $10,000 towards wage loss. But there are some important things to know about PIP and what it means to put it into action. Bill Coats Law in Bellingham, WA put together this article and video to help consumers understand auto insurance policies and what next steps to take in the unfortunate event of a car accident. 

Everett-Bellingham WA

Required to pay back your insurer for its help with your medical bills? Here's one big reason to hire a lawyer

The thought can be quite shocking to accident victims when they first learn it. "Why would someone hurt in an accident have to pay back their insurance company for covering medical bills?" Most people believe this coverage is already compensated through years of paying premiums. However, many insurance companies will seek reimbursement once they have paid medical bills. Bill Coats Law hosts a YouTube channel with a video about what to do if you are in this situation, and sometimes, a legal advocate is your best bet for arguing a fair claim when things get complicated in auto accident claims.