If you’re injured in an accident with a negligent motorist, a Bronx car accident attorney can scrutinize the evidence, examine the medical and police reports, obtain statements from witnesses, and help you file and pursue a personal injury claim for monetary damages.

In the state of New York, the injured victims of negligent drivers are entitled by law to financial compensation for their injury-related medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and related damages.

However, that compensation is not simply handed to injury victims. If you’re injured by a careless driver, to obtain your compensation, you and your lawyer will have to prove the driver was negligent and that the negligence was a direct cause of your personal injury or injuries.

What Happens When You File an Injury Claim?

That means your car accident claim will be investigated by an insurance company as well as by your own attorney. What happens in a car accident claim investigation? What will a New York car accident attorney do on an accident victim’s behalf?

If you’ll keep reading, you will learn the answers to these questions. You will also learn more about your rights and options if you become the injured victim of a negligent driver in the State of New York.

How Do Insurance Companies Investigate Injury Claims?

When you submit an injury claim to an auto insurance company, the company will assign a claims adjuster to your case, and the adjuster will examine the specifics of your injury claim. The adjuster’s job is to determine the value of your claim and negotiate a settlement with you.

New York’s no-fault insurance system is supposed to ensure that an auto insurance company will pay injured victims in traffic accidents up to $50,000 for demonstrable economic losses, including all medical bills and related expenses.

No-fault insurance also reimburses victims for lost wages, but it provides no compensation for pain and suffering. To receive compensation for pain and suffering, a victim must file a separate claim against the at-fault driver or any other party liable for causing the accident and injury.

What Steps Will a Claims Adjuster Take?

If you have been injured by a negligent driver, and if you’re submitting a pain and suffering injury claim to that driver’s auto insurance company – a “third-party” injury claim – one of a claims adjuster’s first steps will be to meet with and interview the negligent driver.

When you file an accident claim, a claims adjuster will additionally need copies of any records – for example, your medical records and the written police accident report – that are pertinent to your accident and injury.

A claims adjuster’s typical next step is sending the injury victim a letter explaining what the at-fault driver’s insurance policy provides. This letter may also request documents including hospital receipts, medical test results and records, and proof of other damages.

What Are Claims Adjusters Looking For?

All of this is merely the start of a car accident claim investigation. When you submit a third-party injury claim, the claims adjuster will seek to learn who you are and how to reduce the payout amount that you’re pursuing.

A claims adjuster may check your background to determine if you have a history of submitting insurance claims. A claims adjuster may also examine your social media accounts to determine if anything “useful” can be found there.

If a negligent driver injures you, don’t post anything – or delete anything that’s online – until you discuss your case with a Bronx car accident lawyer.

What is Your Attorney’s Role?

Claims adjusters usually ask injury victims to make a “formal” statement regarding the accident, exactly how it happened, and how the injury has affected the victim’s life. Don’t make any statement – that is your attorney’s job.

Understand that if you file a third-party accident claim, you and your claim will be thoroughly scrutinized. The claims adjuster will likely ask you for authorization to access your medical records.

Don’t sign that authorization – or any other insurance document – without consulting your lawyer. You could end up waiving your rights or consenting to something that is not in your interests. Let your attorney do all of the talking and negotiating with the insurance company.

What Else Should You Know About Claim Investigations?

When an adjuster has spoken to everyone involved and has fully examined the evidence, that adjuster will then determine the amount that the auto insurance company will offer to settle your injury claim.

To protect yourself, it is good to know several of the tactics that auto insurance companies may use when investigating car accident claims:

  1. Auto insurance companies may conduct video surveillance that constitutes an invasion of privacy.
  2. Auto insurance companies may use your old medical records to argue that your injury was pre-existing, or they may use your old driving records to argue that you are a careless driver and the accident was probably your fault.
  3. Auto insurance companies may determine if you’ve filed previous personal injury claims. If you have, an insurance company may try to portray you as someone who is a “professional” personal injury plaintiff.
  4. Auto insurance companies may not only look at your social media accounts. They may look at your friends’ accounts and comments, too.

How Are Personal Injury Claims Resolved?

If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, let a Bronx car accident attorney answer all of a claims adjuster’s questions and handle the negotiations with the insurance company. Your attorney will protect your legal rights and negotiate aggressively for the compensation you need.

Most personal injury claims are resolved in private, out-of-court negotiations. In the rare cases where no reasonable settlement offer is made, a personal injury attorney will take the victim’s injury claim to trial and ask a jury to order the payment of the victim’s rightful compensation.

How Can You Learn More?

Don’t let an auto insurance company bully or intimidate you. Seeking a just settlement of a claim with an attorney’s help is your right. If an insurance company’s initial settlement offer is insufficient, your lawyer can almost certainly negotiate a more generous settlement offer.

If your injuries are severe, your future could depend on having the right attorney’s help. It is your right to seek and have a car accident lawyer’s help if you’ve been injured by another driver’s negligence, and it won’t cost you anything to learn more – or to take legal action.

Your first consultation with a traffic accident attorney is provided at no cost and with no obligation. If you and your attorney agree to proceed with a third-party claim, you will pay no attorney’s fee until and unless your accident attorney recovers compensation on your behalf.