Vancouver Insurance Claim Lawyer
When you are involved in an incident that may be covered by insurance, you need an insurance claim lawyer who can walk you through the claims process and answer all of your questions. The insurance claims process is extremely complex. Although the companies will say they want to help, they actually just want to protect their bottom line and save money. You deserve to have someone on your side who will protect your rights.
One of the most complex parts of recovering from an injury is dealing with the different insurance companies. Generally, there are multiple insurance companies and policies involved in personal injury cases. Call a Vancouver WA insurance claim lawyer to handle the insurance companies so that you don’t have to. Contact Uptown Injury Law today for a case evaluation.
What to Do After an Accident
In car crashes, often your own insurance carrier and the other driver’s will try to contact you. Sometimes, these insurance companies will have goals that are very different from yours. Do not assume that the insurance carriers want to help you, or that your insurance company will look out for you more than the other driver’s. In the event of an accident, follow these tips:
- If injured, call 911.
- SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT: Take as much information as you can about the individuals involved, what vehicles, license plate, insurance information, and contact information. Don’t assume that they are going to take care of you!
- SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT: Consult an insurance claim lawyer. This is an important opportunity to ask questions, and learn more about your claim.
- SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT: DO NOT GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT to the other insurance company. Consult an attorney.
- DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING without consulting an attorney.
- YOUR OWN INSURANCE: Call your own insurance company as soon as possible to open a claim. If your insurer requests a recorded statement, consult an attorney. You are required to cooperate with your own insurance company, but I am present during my clients’ interviews to hear that only appropriate questions are asked.
- DON’T WAIT: WRITE DOWN in detail the facts of what happened as soon as you can. It is important to prove who was at fault, but if information isn’t gathered right away, the information can get lost when you need it. Who was involved? Where did the crash or incident happen? Take names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses.
- DON’T WAIT: Take photos of the scene, lights, intersections, all vehicles, or the premises involved. Though it may feel strange, take photos of injuries-cuts, bruises, or other. These photos may later become critical in proving your claims.
Documenting Your Injuries
- If you have been injured in a car crash, a fall, dog bite, or other incident, pay close attention to your body. For example, what is hurting, do you have a headache, are you in shock, are you disoriented, did you hit your head on the headrest, steering wheel, dashboard, window, ground? When did you feel pain, and can you describe your pain? What position was your body in when the impact occurred? Did you lose consciousness?
- Call 911
- DON’T WAIT: WRITE DOWN notes of your pains, and what body parts (from head to toe). What other symptoms do you have? Nausea, achiness, pounding, stabbing, pinching, numbing, tingling, weakness? Anything else?
- DON’T WAIT: If you sustained injury, don’t wait to get medical treatment. If you wait, insurance companies will tell you that you must not be injured, or you’re not that hurt. Don’t let the insurance company speak for you.
Talking to Your Doctors: Be Vocal, Consistent, and Take Action
- What is in your medical records?
- Be vocal with your doctors about your pains and symptoms. Your medical records are critical in proving your injuries. If doctors fail to document your injuries, the insurance company assumes that you did not sustain injury. Don’t let the insurance company speak for you.
- What treatment are you getting? Is insurance going to pay for it?
- You have a right to pick the medical treatment and the medical providers for you. However, the law says that insurance only has to pay for treatment that is reasonable and necessary for your injuries. If your current treatment is not, or is no longer, benefitting you, or makes you feel more pain, have a discussion with your medical providers about the best medical plan for you, what other medical options are available.
- If you are not getting better, follow-up with your doctors.
DON’T WAIT: Meet with a Vancouver insurance claim attorney for a free consultation. I always welcome meeting with individuals and families. Meeting with me will answer questions, tell you the truth about your rights, and provide you with an explanation and truths of the insurance process.
What Does Insurance Cover?
Insurance companies are in the business of making money. They take policy premiums from a large amount of people and pay a smaller amount of claims. When they are presented with a claim, they often try to pay as little as possible or nothing at all. It’s important to work with an insurance claim lawyer who can deal with the insurance company for you. When the insurance company tries to deny your claim, your attorney can present evidence of your losses.
When you have an insurance claim, you may be able to get all of your losses covered. Even if the person responsible has a minimum amount of liability coverage, you should be able to get anything you’ve lost covered. That may include the following types of damages:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
Do Insurance Claims Have Limits?
Every insurance policy has an upper limit that is the maximum amount that it will cover. In Washington, some car insurance claims may have limits as low as $25,000 per person for bodily injury and $10,000 for property damage. Trucking insurance policies may be much higher, and can even reach into the millions. Even when your losses exceed policy limits, you may be able to obtain additional funds from the responsible party themselves.
It’s important to work with an insurance claim lawyer to determine how much money you can get through a claim. Your attorney will evaluate the policy limits and determine if they are enough to cover your losses. If they are not, you may have to file a lawsuit against the party responsible.
What to Do If Your Claim Is Denied
Insurance companies deny many claims. Insurance companies are required to conduct a fair investigation and pay claims that are valid. However, they often determine that a claim is invalid before properly investigating or obtaining all the information. That’s why it’s important to work with a Vancouver WA insurance claim lawyer who can ensure the insurance company has all of the information necessary to make a fair determination about your claim.
If your claim is denied, you should immediately appeal. You may have a time limit within which you must appeal the claim denial. When you appeal, your claim is usually reviewed again by a new claims adjuster or investigator at the insurance company. This gives you an opportunity to provide additional information for reconsideration of your claim.
If your review is denied, you may have to file a lawsuit against the responsible party for causing your losses. Your insurance claim lawyer will review your claim and gather the necessary information to file a complaint against the person responsible and their insurance company. The insurance company will likely handle the lawsuit as well unless the person responsible acted intentionally. An insurance claim lawyer can help you engage in the legal process once you file a lawsuit.
What to Do When the Insurance Company Acts in Bad Faith
If the insurance company fails to conduct a fair investigation or wrongfully denies your claim, they may be acting in bad faith. Bad faith lawsuits rise above the level of filing a claim for your initial losses. You may be able to obtain additional compensation and even punitive damages if the insurance company acted wrongfully.
Insurance companies must comply with state and federal laws. You should consult with an insurance claim lawyer to determine if the insurance company is violating the law and acting in bad faith. Your lawyer can discuss the situation with the insurance company and file a lawsuit in court, if necessary.
When Should I Call a Vancouver Insurance Claim Lawyer?
DON’T WAIT: This depends on the type of legal claim and who is at fault. It is important that you consult with an insurance claim lawyer. You may have a legal right to recovery against someone else for causing you injury, but you may lose this right if you do not bring a claim on time.
The insurance claims process can be extremely complex. If the insurance company tries to deny your claim, you may have to file a lawsuit. It’s best to work with an insurance claim lawyer who can guide you through this process and make sure you protect your rights at each step. Call Uptown Injury Law for more information about how our insurance claim lawyer can help.