Everyone is required by Michigan law to have auto insurance in case they are involved in a traffic-related collision. While you may be aware that, following an accident, you should exchange information with any other drivers involved, it is easy to be confused by the actual process of making an auto accident insurance claim and receiving compensation. Many insurance companies advertise the ease of their claims process in an attempt to draw more customers. However, in reality, making a claim is not always as easy and straightforward as it may seem. Many car accident victims end up facing denied or significantly reduced claims and they do not understand why. The following is some brief information regarding auto insurance claims.
No-fault insurance claims in Michigan
In Michigan, auto insurance is “no-fault,”1 which means that you will make a claim with your own insurance company whether or not your were at fault in the collision. This should mean that your insurer will be the one to reimburse you for your medical costs and other injury-related losses. Unfortunately, your insurance company does not always offer enough or your policy may not be large enough to cover all of your losses, especially in cases of serious injury. In such cases, you may have the right to recover from the responsible party's insurance company or you may be able to file a legal claim against that party.
The claims process
When you call your insurer to make a claim, you will be assigned a claims adjuster. The claims adjuster will look into the expenses you claimed you incurred for medical bills and lost wages and will come back with a payout offer. Some insurance companies use a software program to help determine payout amounts while others give claims adjusters wide discretion in determining the value of your case.
Filing an insurance claim should be easy—after all, many companies claim ease of recovery as a selling point to choose their services. In many cases, however, the claims process can be complicated, as you may receive a lower payout offer than you expected or you may face a denied claim altogether. In this type of situation, you may have to provide evidence of the nature and severity of your injuries to prove the full amount of your losses to your insurer.
Should you have an attorney when you make a claim?
Having the assistance of an experienced attorney who understands how to negotiate with insurance companies can greatly increase your chance of a full recovery. An attorney will understand what evidence is needed to increase your payout so that you are compensated for all of the losses your incurred. An attorney can also identify when you need to seek other means of recovery outside of your insurer.
Following a car accident, you should not hesitate to discuss the insurance claim process with an experienced attorney at Michigan Injury Lawyers. Please call our office at 313-GET-HELP for a free consultation today.