New York Personal Injury Attorneys
How Insurance Companies Investigate Car Accidents
After those involved in a car accident file an insurance claim, insurance companies send an adjustor to investigate. However, these adjusters are not unbiased and therefore, do not typically conduct objective investigations. Adjusters approach car accident investigations with an eye toward keeping their company’s claim values and liability to a minimum.
With that in mind, if you have been involved in a car accident, you should assume that insurance companies are investigating your accident to find evidence that helps limit the amount they owe for your claim. It is also fair to assume that when they contact you for an interview they are not just interested in finding the facts. They are also hoping that you will make statements that are detrimental to your case for financial recovery.
Recorded Interviews With Drivers And Witnesses
Insurance adjusters will attempt to record interviews with drivers and other witnesses involved in your accident. You should be very cautious if you agree to a recorded statement without an attorney present who is representing your interests as anything you say in a recorded interview is preserved. Adjusters will often use statements from recorded interviews against you to benefit their insurance company.
Gather Evidence To Determine Accident Facts And Fault
Insurance companies will go over accident evidence, such as police reports and damage to automobiles involved in the accidents. If you have a no-fault accident claim, it will not matter who caused the accident, and adjusters will focus only on your injuries and damages.
If you have a bodily injury claim against an at-fault party, adjusters will examine all relevant facts and evidence to determine responsibility. Insurance adjusters will allege or deny fault based on evidence found during their investigation. As mentioned above, their investigations are typically biased, and their findings often reflect what is in their best financial interests.
Gather Evidence Related To Your Injuries
As part of their investigation, adjusters will also examine evidence related to your injuries. They will look to medical bills, medical records, doctors’ reports, and other documentation to determine the severity and extent of your injuries. Adjusters will search for evidence that helps support the conclusion that your injuries are not serious or long term so that they can reduce the value of your claim.
Speak With Witnesses Again
As the investigation continues, insurance companies may contact you and other witnesses several times to ask questions about things they discover or to go over statements previously made. Adjusters will look for inconsistencies and discrepancies in your statements to use against you. They may attempt to discredit you by calling into question your truthfulness and the accuracy of your memory.
Make Settlement Offers
Insurance companies will sometimes make early settlement offers to injured parties while applying pressure to settle the claim quickly. They often do this when they know their company is at risk for significant liability. A common adjuster tactic is to pressure you into settling your claim for an amount that is far below the true value of your claim.
You should never give in to pressure to accept a settlement by an arbitrary date set by an insurance adjuster. Sometimes it takes time to discover the totality of your injuries and how they will impact your future. An experienced car accident attorney in New York can help to value your claim and make sure that any settlement you accept is not less than what you deserve.
This article was updated on Aug. 26, 2022.