You could see signs the insurance company might try to underpay your car accident claim ahead of time. This also simplifies getting legal guidance about dealing with the issue. We can tell you about these signs, so you know them when you see them.
When the Insurance Claim Adjuster Wants You to Record a Statement
One sign that a company may try to underpay your claim is requesting a statement. While your insurer may require you to provide details when filing a claim, you do not have the same obligation to a third party’s insurer.
If an adjuster requests your statement about a car accident, they could use it against you. For example, they may look for inconsistencies between the police report and the information you provide. They might also use the statement to deny compensation for some damages.
An ideal way to avoid an underpayment is not providing more than the necessary details to the insurance company. Taking this precaution prevents them from taking your statements out of context and using them as proof of admitting fault.
When There Is No Police Report of Your Car Accident
625 ILCS 5/11-401 requires you to report car accidents that meet specific criteria. For example, you must contact the police if an Illinois crash causes personal injury or fatality.
Insurance companies might underpay you if you did not report your case or provide a formal accident record. Most policies require victims to provide a police report as evidence when filing a claim.
When the Insurance Company Outsources an Appraiser
Insurance companies always conduct investigations to approve the damages included in a claim demand letter. However, they might outsource these services if they suspect the settlement amount you claim is more than the actual value of the losses.
If an insurance company informs you that a third party will appraise the compensation claim, they could reduce the compensation offer. Avoid this issue by supporting your claim with evidence of your losses. Proof you can use to support your case includes:
- Medical records
- Receipts of vehicle repair
- Witness statements
- Surveillance footage
Another evidence used to prevent an underpayment is a report from an accident reconstructionist. This includes an analysis of evidence gathered at the scene. This can help you prove fault and result in a fair recovery.
When the Insurance Company Delays Your Case
A car accident can lead to severe financial strain, mainly if it affects your working ability. Your related losses might also cause you to incur high medical expenses. If an insurance company suspects you urgently need money to pay for such costs, they may delay your case. This move may lead to frustration and prompt you to accept a lower settlement.
When you notice that an insurer is delaying your case, consider filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Taking your case to trial can help you prove negligence and get rightful compensation. You must do this within two years, though, under 735 ILCS 5/13-202. If you miss the timeline, the court will throw out your case.
How to Avoid Insurance Companies Underpaying Your Car Accident Claim
If an insurance company underpays your claim, you will need to cover some expenses out-of-pocket. Take precautions while looking out for the discussed signs that can help you avoid getting a meager settlement.
Only Tell Them the Necessary Facts
For example, when insurance adjusters contact you, avoid providing too much information about your injuries. Do not issue a statement or account of how you think the crash happened.
Review Your Insurance Coverage
Another way to avoid an underpayment is by reviewing your contract. This step will allow you to determine fair coverage when seeking reimbursement from your insurer.
Ask About How They Calculated Your Claim Value
Insurance adjusters may not provide details about how they calculated the claim value. When offered an amount that is less than what you requested in the demand letter, inquire about the assessment method. Doing this will allow you to identify injuries the insurance company may have underestimated.
Other ways to avoid underpayment are determining fault before filing a claim and not posting the case on social media.
Contact the Kryder Law Group to Avoid an Underpayment
Getting legal guidance can help you identify signs the insurance company may try to underpay your car accident claim. At The Kryder Law Group, LLC, we have a team of car accident lawyers who can detect when insurers want to offer a lower amount.
With our help, you can fight for a fair settlement from the liable party. If you want to determine the value of your claim and avoid getting an unfair offer, call our staff at (312) 223-1700 for a case review.