After an injury or an accident, the claim you file through your insurance policy is what we know as “first-party claim”. It is your policy that will dictate how the first-party claim is handled. In many cases, the policy requires more from this claim and when you want to negotiate, things are quite different.
Mike Morse law firm discusses the most important things about how to negotiate with the insurance company when a first-party claim is discussed.
The Importance Of Cooperation
Generally, the policy makes you cooperate with the insurance company. However, this is something that is oftentimes not understood properly. In most cases, you need to get help from a personal injury attorney simply because what is reasonable is not easy to assess. Most of the policies will spell out what cooperation points you have to provide, like the following:
There might be a time limit in place to respect according to your policy. This practically means that if you let the insurance company know about the event that triggered the coverage too late, you will not receive money. Contact the insurance company as soon as possible after the accident happened.
This means you have to sign an authorization. This is meant to let the insurance company get medical records about the injuries you suffered. The provider can go to the health care providers to get these documents.
When income loss is claimed, an extra authorization is needed to let the insurance company get details about your work record and income directly from the employer.
Independent Medical Examination (IME)
When the insurance company wants you to have this, make sure you carefully read the policy so you understand absolutely all terms. You should only get one examination done and the insurance provider needs to agree to pay for it. This should be done in writing. Also, you need to make sure the IME happens based on when it is comfortable for you.
Get statements from claims adjusters and make sure they are written. This should be done in advance. The examination you go through should only analyze the injuries that you claim. Never agree to the general physical exam since this is not in your best interest.
Whenever there are disputes, make sure you do not automatically take the word of the adjuster as being the only thing to do. You have to read the entire policy and when you do not have a copy, request one from the adjuster. When stalemates appear, negotiation strategies should change.
Always Be Careful With What Is Signed
The last thing that should be said is that you have to make sure you are very careful with everything that you sign. Whenever offering authorization so that the insurance company can get your employment or medical records, the authorization form needs to be carefully inspected.
The most important thing is that you should never be forced to release any information about medical treatment or time unrelated to what happened and what you seek compensation for. This can be used by the adjuster to deny a claim.