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What to Expect During the Car Insurance Claim Process in Pennsylvania

If this is your first time getting into a car accident and you need to file an insurance claim in Pennsylvania, the process may seem daunting. Unfortunately, a car insurance company is not there to help you recover fair compensation. It wants to save as much money as possible on your payout. It is important to prepare yourself for a claim by learning how to avoid being taken advantage of by a car insurance company. 

Prepare Ahead of Time 

Before you initiate a car insurance claim, take a few steps to prepare your case. Start by seeking immediate medical care for any injuries you suffered in the car crash and requesting copies of your medical records. If you reported the accident to the police, request a copy of your police report, as well. Write down as much information as you can about the accident, including the names of everyone involved.

Report the Car Accident 

Pennsylvania is known as a “choice” no-fault state. This is a hybrid between a fault and no-fault law that allows drivers to choose whether they wish to purchase limited or full tort insurance. Regardless of which type of coverage you selected when you purchased your policy, contact your own car insurance first to report the car accident. Your insurance company will investigate the crash and may defer your claim to the other driver’s insurer, if applicable.

Cooperate With the Insurance Investigation

When an insurance company receives a car accident claim, it will launch an investigation into the collision. The goal of the investigation is to identify the cause of the accident and determine who is liable, as well as to assess the damages being claimed. An individual known as the insurance claims adjuster will be assigned to your case for the evaluation process.

While it is important to cooperate with the insurance investigation by providing any information or documentation requested, you should not give the claims adjuster more information than is necessary. During your claim, the adjuster will be looking for reasons to reduce your coverage. Do not give the adjuster a recorded statement or admit fault for the car accident.

Seek Compensation From the Other Driver

Read your insurance policy or ask a representative to explain your coverage to find out what will be paid for under your first-party insurance (such as personal injury protection or medical payment coverage), as well as what your deductibles are. Then, consider your ability to hold the other driver responsible for your car accident if he or she is at fault.

If you opted to pay for full tort car insurance in Pennsylvania, you may have grounds to sue the at-fault party for all of your losses, including pain and suffering. With limited tort insurance, you may still have the option of filing a claim against the other driver but will not be able to collect damages for pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses unless your injuries are severe.

Negotiate a Settlement

If a car insurance company accepts liability for your claim, it will offer a monetary settlement to cover your losses and resolve the legal dispute. You have the option of accepting the settlement as-is or negotiating for a higher amount. If the insurance company rejects your claim or refuses to offer a fair settlement, you may be able to take your car accident case to court in Pennsylvania to fight for a just outcome.

Hire a Car Accident Lawyer for Assistance

The best way to protect your rights and ensure you receive a fair payout for the full extent of your crash-related losses is by hiring a car accident attorney in Pittsburgh to advocate for you. Your lawyer can take over the insurance claims process for you and use aggressive strategies to negotiate for the compensation you deserve, including taking your case to trial, if necessary. Meanwhile, you can focus on healing from your injuries.

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