After you have filed a claim with a car insurance company for your accident, the claim will be investigated by that company, in most cases. The way that the accident will be investigated by the auto insurance company depends upon these factors:
- What kind of accident and how severe it was
- The policies of the car insurance company
- Whether the car accident involved injuries, property damage or both
After the claim is filed, an insurance company claims adjuster will contact you. They will review the policy to ensure that you are covered. It is possible the claims adjuster will ask you for more information about the crash. As the insurance company investigates the claim, they may do the following things:
- Ask that you send them a copy of the police report
- Contact the driver for the other vehicle
- Talk to witnesses to the car accident
- Go to the accident scene
- Look at your car and damages
- Take pictures of your car
- Request that you sign a medical release so your medical records can be reviewed
- Talk to your medical providers about your injury costs
Your auto insurance company should cover your injuries and repairs, minus your deductible. It will negotiate with the insurance company for the other driver to determine who will pay what in the end. This process of initial payment is called indemnification. If the other driver is determined during the investigation to be at fault, your auto insurance adjuster will try to get payment from that company through the subrogation process.
Regarding your repairs, your insurance company will investigate the damage to the car. They may recommend that you use an approved body shop. But you have the right to choose a shop that you prefer.
During the investigation, the adjuster may ask that you sign a waiver so the company can review your medical records. Even if it is your own company, you may wish to consult a personal injury attorney to determine if you should or not. Once the insurance company has access to your records, the insurance adjuster could try to use the information to lower the claim amount.
At the conclusion of the investigation, your adjuster may determine that the other driver was at fault, you were at fault, or both of you share the blame. Your settlement amount could be reduced by the percentage of blame you have for the crash.
It is important to provide all of the information the insurance company asks for as they do their investigation. But if the accident involves substantial injuries and damages, you may be better off having a personal injury attorney review the case.