Have you been injured in an accident? The first thing you should do is seek medical treatment, then report the accident to your insurance provider or the insurer of the responsible party, whether it be a person or a business. An insurance claim will allow you to be compensated for your injuries, lost wages & medical expenses.
How does the claims process work? There are two types of insurance claims: first party claims and third party claims. A first party claim is one you file with your own insurance company vs. a third party claim, which is one you file with the insurance provider of a business or another person. Most people and businesses who have insurance have coverage for third parties who are injured as a result of their actions.
What kind of claim should you file? That will depend on who is at fault in the accident and the type of accident that occurred. If you caused an accident while driving in your car, you would file a first party claim with your auto insurance provider. On the other hand, if you were hit by a car or were involved in an accident while a passenger in someone else's car, you should file a third party claim with the driver's auto insurance provider. If you were injured while shopping, eating at a restaurant or at another business you can file a third party claim with the business' insurance company.
Reporting the accident in a timely manner is critical. Whether you were injured in a car accident, or while visiting a business, you typically must report the incident to the insurance company within 24 hours of the incident. If you were not at fault for the accident, contact the insurance provider of the business, owner, or driver who is at fault. You will be required to provide information about the cause of the accident and the extent of your injuries.
The insurance company will open an investigation of your claim. You may be asked to provide evidence of the accident scene, photos, the names of any witnesses and an account of the accident circumstances. You will more than likely have to submit to a medical examination by a doctor of the insurer's choice. If the injury was caused by a building condition, or other unsafe circumstances, the insurance adjuster will probably make an inspection of the property.
The insurance company will evaluate the value of your claim, then issue a settlement check. If your claim is denied or you believe you are due more compensation you can appeal. An appeal will probably require you to submit to additional examinations by medical personnel and to provide further information and evidence about the accident circumstances.
Your claim can be denied for a variety of reasons. You may have waited too long to file your claim or failed to submit the necessary documentation to validate your claim.
If you are denied you will receive notification from the insurance company. Appeals procedures are different from company to company, review the policy to determine your next steps. If your claim is denied it is probably in your best interest to consult with an attorney to guide you.
If you have questions or need help navigating the process, contact Larry Avallone today at (386) 682-9235.