After a car accident, you’ll likely have to deal with an insurer or multiple insurance companies. Sometimes these companies can cause issues, necessitating the need of an attorney. For help in dealing with an insurer after an accident, call our Ohio insurance claims lawyers for help.
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If you incurred injuries in a car accident, or a loved one was killed, you are most likely going to deal with one or more auto insurance companies. When another person is responsible for the crash, then that person is liable for compensating you for your injuries. However, at-fault drivers rarely pay out claims themselves. Instead, their insurance company handles your claim for compensation. Or, it could be that you are seeking compensation from your own insurance company after a crash. In either case, you do not deal with one person. Instead, you deal with an entire company that is highly knowledgeable about Ohio insurance law and has its own team of lawyers. To even the playing field, you should work with our Ohio insurance claims lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick.
Who is Liable for a Crash?
After you are hurt or lose a loved one in a car crash, you need to know who is responsible for the accident. This often requires obtaining evidence of another driver’s careless or reckless conduct behind the wheel.
Our Ohio insurance claims lawyers are highly experienced in investigating accidents. When you are going through an insurance claim, the insurer will also investigate the crash. You should not rely on their findings. They will interpret the facts in a way that supports them – not your claim. You will benefit from your own attorney conducting an independent investigation into the crash and gathering evidence.
Our lawyers will gather as much evidence related to the crash as possible, including:
- Crash report
- Video footage of the accident
- Documentation regarding the driver’s record
- Documentation related to the vehicle
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert witnesses
Through this evidence, we will determine who caused the accident. We will then analyze who is liable for compensating you for your injuries. This may be the at-fault driver. It could also be another party, such as the vehicle owner or the driver’s employer.
When we are confident as to who is liable for the crash, we will pursue compensation from them and their insurer.
Car Accident Compensation
You are entitled to a number of types of damages after being injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you may seek compensation for your:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
To discuss the potential value of your claim, taking into consideration your injuries and how they have impacted your life, call our Ohio insurance claims lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away.
The Insurance Claim Process
When someone else was responsible for your accident, you are going to pursue compensation from their insurer. This is known as a third-party claim. If you were to pursue compensation from your own insurance company, this would be considered a first-party claim.
Whenever an insurance company is notified of an accident and claim, it must promptly open a new claim and assign an adjuster. The next step is for the insurer to investigate. The insurer will gather evidence to determine who is at fault and liable. This is necessary in determining whether your claim should be approved or denied.
If the insurer believes its policyholder is not responsible for the accident, it will deny your claim. It may also deny your claim if it is outside of the policy coverage. Also, your claim may be wrongly denied, in which case you should speak with our Ohio insurance claims lawyers about insurance bad faith.
The insurer will also look closely at whether you have suffered an injury, and if so, the type and extent of that injury. This requires the insurer to review your medical records. To do this, the insurer will probably send you a release. They are hoping you will simply sign this document and send it back to them without talking to a lawyer. However, we recommend you do not sign a release. This often gives an insurer access to your entire medical history, which is unnecessary. By working with an experienced car accident lawyer, you can be confident the insurer will receive the medical documentation it needs to value your injuries without invading your privacy.
If your insurance claim is approved, an insurer will offer you a settlement. It is in your best interest to not automatically sign a settlement offer or cash a check. Instead, discuss the value of your claim with an experienced Ohio insurance claims lawyer. In most cases, a first settlement offer is low. An insurer will try to minimize its costs. You do not have to accept this first offer. Your Ohio insurance claims lawyer can make a demand for fair compensation, and then enter into negotiations with the insurer. If negotiations progress, they should lead to an appropriate resolution of your claim.
We Handle the Insurance Claims Process With All Insurers
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, we have been handling car accident insurance claims for years. We are highly knowledgeable and experienced with the auto accident insurance process. At this point, we have worked with all major insurers as well as many smaller businesses.
Do not hesitate to call us for help with:
- Geico Auto Insurance Accident Claims
- Allstate Auto Insurance Accident Claims
- State Farm Auto Insurance Accident Claims
- Esurance Auto Insurance Accident Claims
- American Family Insurance Auto Accident Claims
- Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance Accident Claims
- Progressive Auto Insurance Accident Claims
- AAA Auto Insurance Accident Claims
- Farmers Auto Insurance Accident Claims
- Hanover Auto Insurance Accident Claims
- MAPFRE USA Auto Insurance Accident Claims
- National Mutual Insurance Auto Accident Claims
- Amica Auto Insurance Accident Claims
Common Issues During the Auto Insurance Claim Process
Through the years, we have seen all types of issues surrounding insurance claims. We have been involved in efficient insurance claims processes that have enabled our clients to receive appropriate compensation in a few months. We have also handled claims that repeatedly ran into problems. We have had to push and fight insurers every step of the way to ensure our clients received a fair settlement.
During our years of handling car accident claims, our Ohio insurance claims lawyers have found that some of the most common issues include:
Asking for Duplicate Documentation
Insurance adjusters will sometimes do things to make the claims process more difficult. One of these things is asking for duplicate and repetitive documentation regarding the crash and your injuries. By working with an attorney, you have someone to ensure adjusters receive what they need and do not get away with delaying a claim with unnecessary documentation requests.
Under-Valuing Your Vehicle
An insurer may recognize that the policy covers repairing or replacing your car. However, in order to save money, the insurer may argue that your car is worth less than it really is. This valuation is particularly important if you need a check to replace your vehicle for something of comparable value. Our lawyers will fight back against an insurer’s improper conclusions, such as a low-ball vehicle valuation.
Under-Valuing Your Injuries
An insurance company may agree that you are hurt, and it is responsible for paying you a settlement. However, it may try to claim you are not as hurt as you say. By trying to minimize your injuries and effect they had on your life, the insurer is trying to place themselves in the position to pay you less. We are here to prove you are seriously injured and to prove the damages you have experienced.
Claiming You are Partly Responsible
One way insurers will fight to reduce the compensation they owe you is by claiming you contributed to the crash. They may claim you were also negligent. Under Ohio’s comparative negligence law, this would reduce your final compensation. Our Ohio insurance claims lawyers are highly experienced in battling contributory negligence claims. We will seek to prove you were not at fault, or to minimize your contribution.
Denying Your Claim
There are many reasons why an insurer can deny a claim. When you seek compensation, the insurer will look for any fact that supports it denying your claim without violating the law. This means you may receive a letter stating your claim has been denied and then providing a reason. You should not treat this like the end of your case. Instead, if you are not working with an attorney yet, you should call Kisling, Nestico & Redick. We will look at your ability to appeal your claim or seek compensation through a lawsuit.
Claiming to Not Negotiate
When an insurer provides a settlement offer, they really want you to take it. They do not want you to refuse it and ask for more money. To this end, the adjuster may say this is the best possible offer. Many of our car accident clients are told an initial settlement offer is a final offer. This is rarely true. There is almost always room to negotiate for a better settlement.
Bad Faith Insurance Practices
Going through an insurance claim can be complicated and difficult. Yet, throughout the experience, you expect an insurer to treat you fairly. This is particularly true when it is in your own insurer. Not only is treating you fairly the right thing to do, it is also the law when it comes to insurance claims. Under the law, an insurance company is required to treat you with good faith and fair dealings. If they violate this law, it is known as bad faith.
If your insurer treats you unfairly during a first-party claim, and this results in economic damages or personal liability, then you may be able to sue the insurance company for bad faith. Being treated unfairly may amount to illegal conduct if your insurer:
- Fails to communicate with you
- Fails to properly and promptly investigate your claim
- Wrongly denies your claim
- Misrepresents or lies about the policy coverage
- Refuses to negotiate with the other claimant
Ohio law only recognizes bad faith in first-party claims. If you are involved in a third-party claim, you should work with our Ohio insurance claims lawyers as soon as possible. This may help you avoid unfair and unethical insurance practices, and it improves your chance of receiving an appropriate payout.
Contact Our Ohio Insurance Claims Lawyers Today
When you are hurt in an accident and need to obtain compensation from an insurer, it is a good idea to get help. In minor accidents that only result in property damage, you can usually deal with an insurer yourself. However, when you are dealing with serious injuries, the stakes are too high to go through the process without legal representation.
To learn more about how Kisling, Nestico & Redick can help you with through the insurance claims process, call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW. You can also contact our Ohio insurance claims lawyers online to schedule a free consultation.