How Auto Insurance Companies Investigate Car Accident Claims
After you have suffered an injury in a car accident, your insurance company and the one that insures the other driver would try to figure out who was liable for the crash. Each one may perform their own investigation.
You must be very wary of the investigation that is being performed by the other driver’s insurance company. While it may eventually result in you being compensated for your accident injuries, the investigation also has the ability to cost you money.
Why Insurance Companies Investigate Car Accidents
The purpose of the insurance company’s investigation of an accident is twofold:
- Before the insurance company writes a settlement check to you, they want to be certain that their driver was responsible and what your damages really are.
- They are looking for any piece of information possible to save money at your expense.
At first, the insurance company will assign an adjuster to your claim. Never make the mistake of thinking that the adjuster is a friendly face or a listening ear. When they are listening, they are looking for anything possible to save the insurance company money.
The insurance company would look at both the evidence that you provided as part of your claim and proof that their adjuster was able to gather. The adjuster will also conduct their own independent investigation of the accident if they have the ability.
They may visit the scene of the accident or take their own look at the damage to both cars. If you are dealing with the other driver’s insurance company, the thing that you have to be most cautious of is when the insurance company asks you for a recorded statement; this has the potential to be very detrimental to your claim, so you should proceed with caution and consult with your attorney first.
Insurance Companies Investigate Large Claims More Closely
Generally, the extent of the insurance company’s investigation depends on their potential liability. If the insurance company is being asked to write a large check, you can be sure that they will thoroughly look into both the circumstances of the accident and the damages that you are claiming. The insurance company investigation may also include:
- Speaking to witnesses who saw the accident
- Looking at pictures from the scene of the crash
- Asking for cell phone records to see if a driver was distracted
- Reviewing your medical records and history
- Reviewing the police report
Insurance Companies Can Even Hire Someone to Investigate You
The adjuster may not be the only person that the insurance company uses to try to investigate. Insurance companies are known for hiring people to check over your social media posts and even follow you around. They are looking to find any way possible to undercut your claim. For example, if they see a picture of you enjoying a day out, they may think they have proof that you are not as hurt as you claim.
You need to be careful about underhanded car insurance investigative tactics. What you may think is an objective and thorough investigation may actually be a pressure campaign to get you on the record saying something that undercuts your claim. All it takes is an offhand or ill-thought-out statement, and the insurance company plays “gotcha” when they deny your claim or cut their settlement offer.
An Experienced Attorney Can Help Protect Your Legal Rights
You should never be unrepresented when the auto insurance company is doing its investigation. They want to speak to you, but you should not be speaking with them.
However, you would not know that you do not have to talk to the insurance company. When you have a lawyer, the insurance company would have to go through your lawyer to get to you. An experienced attorney knows how to protect you from insurance company tactics.
If the insurance company goes too far in its attempt to perform an investigation, your attorney can put a stop to those tactics. In addition, your lawyer will also push back if the results of the investigation are misrepresented, self-serving or incorrect.
Even though the insurance company gets to investigate the accident, you have equal access to the evidence. If the facts still support you, in spite of what the insurance company found, the jury should decide in your favor if your case goes to court.
In some cases, the insurance company would aggressively investigate your claim to help improve their own bargaining position at the negotiating table. Depending on the facts of your case, an experienced attorney would be confident in the strength of your case before engaging in negotiations. An experienced attorney can deal with any hurdles that the insurance company would introduce into the process.
Contact a Myrtle Beach Car Accident Attorney Today
The insurance company does not have an unlimited right to push you around in the name of their profits. When you hire a determined personal injury lawyer, they will push back.
Contact our attorneys at the Maguire Law Firm today at (843) 438-5561 or message us online to learn more about how we can help you recover the maximum amount of money through a firm and aggressive legal strategy.
Auto Insurance Investigation FAQs
What if the insurance company is pressuring me to give them a statement?
You do not have to speak with the insurance company. The words “speak with my attorney” should carry power and meaning when spoken to an adjuster.
Can I take back what I say to an insurance company?
You are not necessarily bound to what you say, but contradicting yourself will harm your own credibility if your case goes to court.