Negotiating Insurance Claims in Dallas
Understanding the Claims Process
Every year, Americans pay billions of dollars in premiums so that they can be covered in the event that they sustain damages, whether those are damages to property or self. It may come as a surprise that many insurance claims are denied. There are many reasons why an insurance company will deny your claim, or even under-compensate you for your claim.
Some of those reasons include:
- Waiting too long to file
- Failing to provide physician referral (for medical claims)
- Not being entitled to particular benefits
- Unmet deductibles
- Failing to seek appropriate treatment (for workers' compensation claims
You may have started the claims process with your insurance company, but this also means that you have the freedom to dispute or negotiate your settlement. During the negotiation process, an insurance adjuster will likely contact you to assess what happened in your particular situation. You will then at some point receive an offer to settle your claim. If this amount is lower than was requested or lower than you believe that you should be getting, this is the point at which you negotiate.
Determining the Amount of the Settlement
It is important that you make an accurate determination of what your settlement should be. Typically, individuals benefit from the help of an attorney who can investigate your claim and find every possible area in which you deserve compensation. Know your insurance policy, so that you can know if you are being cheated out of the funds that you deserve and paid for. To help make the case for your settlement, you will need evidence. This evidence will include things such as receipts, police reports, correspondence with your insurance company and evidence of medical visits. What an attorney can do is track down this information and ensure that you have the necessary backing to support your claim. With the right evidence, you can get a larger settlement than was originally offered.
What is a "reservation of rights" letter?
What may sometimes happen is insurance policyholders will receive what is known as a reservation of rights letter from their insurance company. This is a letter simply to inform you that your claim is being investigated. If after the investigation there is no evidence that your accident is covered by your policy, then your insurance company, by way of this letter, is informing you that they are under no obligation to pay you anything. Documents and other correspondence such as this may be intimidating upon first sight. Common insurance companies that individuals deal with are Allstate, Farmers, State Farm, USAA, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, Travelers and GEICO. It is important to have a legal professional with you to discern what your insurance company is telling you.
Settling Your Claim Inside & Outside of Court
While it is absolutely reasonable to believe that your claim can be settled outside of court, there are some cases in which there must be a trial. Personal injury claims only go to court if a settlement cannot be reached that both parties agree on. A judge or a jury will then decide on an acceptable settlement for the party that suffered damages. Comparative liability is often an issue that can arise that causes dispute during the claims process. If you file a claim but hear back that you are actually partially responsible for contributing to the damages, then you may only be able to recover up to the amount that the other party was responsible for. Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney in Dallas means that you will be represented before your insurance company to prove an accurate amount of liability, as well as achieve an accurate settlement.