The perceived value of your injury claim will depend on what evidence is available to the insurance company. In most cases, the value of a claim will be determined by the amount of property damage and medical bills associated with the accident.
That said, the claims adjuster might look for ways to limit the company’s expenses by challenging some of the expenses or limiting non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. But these are often complex matters with conflicting points of view and potentially life-changing results.
What Is the Claim Adjustment Process?
Once you open a claim with the insurance company, it will trigger a chain of events. The company will assign a claims adjuster to your case. Then the claim adjuster will begin investigating what happened.
This includes collecting the police report (if there was one), talking to witnesses, reviewing video footage (if there is any), and getting a cost analysis of the property damage.
The claim adjuster will also try to talk to the individuals involved. In the case of a car accident, this includes all drivers and passengers involved in the accident. In the case of a slip and fall accident, it would be talking to the victim and the property owner.
Depending on the type of claim it is, there might be other aspects of reviewing the claim. Once the adjuster has completed their assessment, they will submit a claim approval or denial.
In some cases, the denial is due to the finding that another party was liable for the accident. Or the denial might be due to the adjuster finding that the victim was guilty of contributory negligence.
What Does a Claim Adjuster Do?
Claims adjusters evaluate property damages to determine the cost of repairing them. They also review injury claims to determine how much the insurance company is liable. To reach their assessment value, they’ll inspect the location of the incident, and any property involved and review documents such as medical bills or statements from medical professionals.
What Is Contributory Negligence?
The legal doctrine in Virginia is contributory negligence. That means that if the courts find that the victim was even minimally at fault for their injuries, they cannot recover any damages for those injuries.
In the case of a car accident, it could be as simple as the police report listing that the victim had been going over the speed limit at the time of the accident. Or in the case of a premises liability claim, it could be because the victim was distracted and looking at their phone at the time of a slip and fall accident.
Hiring an attorney can help you avoid accusations of contributory negligence or challenge an adjuster’s findings. Presenting strong evidence can prevent a claim denial so you don’t have to appeal the decision.
Connect With an Insurance Claim Lawyer
You should work closely with an attorney. Your attorney will work directly with the claim adjuster and guide you in saying and doing the right thing to protect your claim and your finances.
For a free consultation, contact Geoff McDonald & Associates. Our team features experts who know how to work with insurance companies to ensure victims get fair compensation.