After a car accident in White Plains is reported to an insurance company, they will often have to do their own investigating when it comes to determining liability. This process can take a week or up to several months before a decision is made on how the accident occurred and who is at fault.
The Car Accident Investigation Process
How the investigation process goes heavily relies on the amount of damages and any potential red flags raised. For example, if an accident only involves minimal vehicle damage, the investigation may only take a few days and consist of a few questions being asked over the phone and submitting an estimate from a vehicle repair shop.
On the other hand, if your claim involves severe injuries and property damage, a more exhaustive investigation will be completed. That is because the insurance company stands to lose quite a bit of money, and the adjuster will require more information and documentation to confirm the extent of damages. You will have to answer questions about the accident, your injuries, provide medical records and a copy of the police report.
The adjuster will also:
- Take statements from the drivers and passengers involved, as well as any witnesses.
- Look at any available photographs or video of the scene and the collision.
- Examine the vehicles and the extent and location of the damage.
- Request your cellphone records.
- Conduct a background check.
- Visit the accident scene.
- Review your social media accounts to see if you posted anything about the crash.
- Ask for an independent medical examination (IME) by a physician of their choosing.
The more losses you claim, the more intensive and time-consuming the investigation will be.
Red Flags That Prolong the Investigation
If an insurance company identifies a potential problem with your claim or suspects fraud, they will investigate further to discover whether there would be motivation on your part to file a bogus claim. Some examples of red flags include:
- Hit and Run Accident
- A recent coverage upgrade
- If the adjuster has trouble reaching you
- Soft tissue injuries
- Lack of police report
- Videos on social media of you being physically active, even though you are claiming a severe injury
- Cellphone records confirm you used the device around the same time as the accident
If your car accident injury claim involves any of these red flags, you may find yourself under very close scrutiny by the insurance company.
Cooperating With the Insurer’s Investigation
Although you are under no legal obligation to provide information to an insurance company throughout their investigation process, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Cooperating and providing evidence to validate your claim increases the chance of a fair settlement. If you choose not to cooperate, you can almost guarantee a claim denial. However, keep in mind that an experienced White Plains Car Accident Lawyer can handle all communication with the insurance company for you. We also serve injured accident victims in Westchester County. That way, the burden of dealing with the investigation will be taken off of your shoulders.