While photographic evidence and testimony are valuable when attempting to recover damages from a negligent driver’s insurance company, don’t expect to simply submit the records and instantly close the case. Unfortunately, it will take considerable time and effort to manage this part of the post-accident process.
While the claims adjuster will seem like a reasonable person, don’t be fooled. It is in their best interest to minimize dollars paid out of the insurance company’s checkbook for any damage claims.
They will contact your witnesses to get their version of the story — often more than once — looking for reasons to offer less money. They will do the same to you with your account. It’s nothing personal — it’s their job.
They are looking for consistency in statements. Any misstep in eyewitness testimony turns into an opportunity to authorize a lower payout.
It’s not uncommon for the insurance company of the responsible driver to press for quick closure. They may want you to pay all your bills out-of-pocket, and then submit the entire batch. Rushing the process, especially during the first couple of months, can dramatically lower the settlement amount you are entitled to later.
Finally, don’t expect that the property damage and the personal injury claim will remain together during the process. The same claim adjuster may not handle them both. It makes sense from the insurance company’s perspective, as each of those requires specialized knowledge.
To avoid falling into this trap, have your information reviewed by someone who knows how this process works. Legal expertise can pay for itself many times over at the end of the claims process when you receive the compensation you deserve.