First time victims of auto and truck accidents and other sorts of personal injury as well, are often unprepared for what comes next. There is a natural tendency to assume that one will be treated fairly by the kindly insurance companies that advertise that you are " in good hands", are "like a good neighbor" and are "on your side."
The fact is that these are enormously profitable corporations that have developed systematic methods for decreasing the amounts of money paid on every aspect of a claim from property damage to liability.
By the time your car has been repaired with aftermarket parts, your PIP has denied your lost wages and/or medical bills and the liability carrier has offered you half of your medical bills as a settlement, it is often too late to change the direction things are going even if you are willing to file a lawsuit and wait a year or more for trial.
That is why a systematic approach is necessary to simply receive the benefits you are entitled to by law. This topic is covered in detail in our book "Seventeen Secrets the Insurance Companies Don't want You to Know About" ,https://www.maryland-law.com/reports/17-secrets-the-insurance-companies-dont-want-you-to-know.cfm
The book is vastly more comprehensive than this article and can be downloaded from our website but a quick checklist can prove helpful in a pinch.
Bear in mind that your discussions or that of your attorney are taking place with both the at-fault driver's insurance company and your own. Keep a log of to whom you speak, the number you called, the date and time and substantively what was said.
Always consider sending the adjuster an email confirming what was specifically said in the conversation as written documentation may prove valuable later if there is a subsequent disagreement.
- Property Damage: Who will repair the vehicle,what parts are being used, do I get a rental and if so for how long, will I have to pay my deductible and will you get it back for me?
- Personal Injury Protection: How much PIP coverage do I have, can you prioritize paying my lost wages over my medical bills, what do you need to support payment of my time lost from work, what forms do I need to file and by when?
- Medpay: How much medpay do I have, what documents do you require to pay for medical bills and how does it work with my health insurance, PIP and/or workers comp?
- Liability: What are the at-fault driver's policy limits, if you say you are "accepting liability" what does that mean and are there any aspects of my treatment, bills or lost wages that you are presently questioning?
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage: Are my U.M. limits more than the at-fault driver's liability limits, will you waive subrogation and will you pay my remaining underinsured limits without litigation?