The moments, days, and weeks after an auto accident can be disorienting and overwhelming. If you have suffered an injury, your health and recovery are your immediate concern. However, there are several additional issues you will need to address, such as determining the extent of the damage to your vehicle, worrying about your insurance rates increasing, and wondering how you’ll be able to afford the unexpected medical bills your injury incurred. Depending on the severity of the injuries and damage involved in the incident, the claims process following an auto collision in California can be fairly direct and straightforward or more complex. Today we will focus on simple claims and what you can expect during the process.
The Insurance Claims Process Following an Auto Accident
After a car accident occurs, the first step should always involve assessing people at the scene for any injuries. Contact an ambulance if immediate medical assistance is necessary, and call law enforcement to report any incident that is more than a small fender-bender. You’ll also need to contact your auto insurance company to report the accident. Once the insurance company receives the claim, they will assign an insurance adjuster to investigate the accident and determine how much compensation you are entitled to receive—if any. They will then provide you with a settlement offer, and if you are satisfied with the proposed amount, you can accept it in writing and secure the compensation.
Be Wary of Insurance Adjusters, Even for Simple Claims
While it is tempting to believe that your auto insurance carrier is on your side and wants what’s best for you, remember that their top priority is saving themselves money. Insurance adjusters may attempt to deny you the full amount of compensation you need, which can be frustrating. In situations involving straightforward claims, especially those where determining fault is not necessary, you can expect to be notified of whether your claim has been accepted or denied fairly quickly—sometimes within a number of days. However, in more complex cases where fault is disputed and must be investigated thoroughly, it may take months or even years before you receive a settlement offer. For these challenging cases, it’s a good idea to work with a skilled auto accident attorney who can guide you through the process.
Legal Solutions When You Need Them
Whether you are seeking compensation following a minor or catastrophic auto accident, you’ll be faced with several questions along the way. Even simple claims that can be handled directly through your insurance company may encounter turbulence; for instance, you may not be pleased with the initial settlement offer and wonder how you can push for the full amount of compensation you are seeking. As soon as any questions or challenges arise, reach out to a trusted and experienced auto accident lawyer who can provide you with the answers and solutions you need.
To learn more about filing an auto accident claim in the Temecula, Murrieta, or Riverside area, contact Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation today at (951) 489-3320.