If you’ve recently been hurt in a serious vehicle accident in California, filing an insurance claim is probably at the top of your list. Your first instinct may be to contact your own insurance carrier to report the crash. If you don’t believe you were at fault for the accident, however, you need to contact the insurance company of the at-fault driver or the other entity or individual you believe is responsible.
This is what makes it so important to file a police report after a serious accident and to collect the contact information for the other driver. If the other driver did not admit fault at the scene but you have evidence that he or she caused the accident, the other driver’s insurance company should be contacted. This initiates the third party claims process. Stick purely to the facts of the case and give brief answers to the representative’s questions.
Having a personal injury attorney to guide you through the third party claims process can make it much easier to handle. The insurance agent who is assigned to the case will have a goal of minimizing liability and settling for as little as possible. When you make a third party insurance claim, the company may try to offer an initial settlement award that is well below the injuries you have sustained. Your property damage and injuries, however, may lead to a much higher award or verdict in a personal injury claim. You should always talk directly with your lawyer first before accepting any settlement offers in the third party claims. Be careful when talking to insurance adjusters over the phone about third party insurance claims. The insurance adjuster works for the insurance carrier and not for you. They may see several cases over the course of the month and will have less information about your claim than you do.
Keep your answers short and brief and only provide detailed information about the accident directly to your personal injury attorney in San Diego. You need to be truthful and provide factual answers about the questions that they ask but you do not need to veer off too far and make the mistake of providing too much information that could ultimately hurt your case.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines