Highlight words on this page  

Car Accidents: Insurance Claims Adjuster; Correcting Officer's Report (Part 2)


Car accident insurance claims adjuster relations can be handled successfully, self-help, on-line, using the tested and proven information, forms, demand letters, and templates at SettlementCentral.Com.

The first-ever Internet self-help guide for settling personal injury insurance claims, SettlementCentral.Com is the product of cooperation among seasoned personal injury attorneys, career insurance adjusters, dedicated chiropractors, and an award-winning neurologist. WE KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE how to work with the insurance claims adjuster to get TOP DOLLAR from your insurance injury claim.
While SettlementCentral.Com members are provided the best and most useful information to settle their car accident injury claims, we also want to provide you-our non-member visitor-sufficient information to help you along in the process. Who knows: you might just like what we have to offer and become a member. But even if you do not join SettlementCentral.Com, feel free to use all the information we present on this and all the other pages in the SettlementCentral.Com directory of free information to settle car accident personal injury insurance claims.
This is Part 2 of the Car Accident Personal Injury Insurance Claim series. Part 1 is linked below.
Here are just two of topics you might need to deal with to settle your own car accident injury claim: successful relationships with the insurance claims adjuster, and correcting the investigating officer's report. Within days following a car accident injury, you will find yourself forced to make a lot of decisions, but at the same time, your mind will still be in a daze because you are still reeling from the car accident itself.
Take a load off yourself, and rely upon the proven experience of SettlementCentral.Com attorneys and insurance adjuster experts to lay out the steps for you to achieve a top dollar personal injury insurance claim settlement. We have easy-to-follow instructions, and forms and demand letters and templates that allow anyone willing to work to settle his own car accident injury claim with any insurance claims adjuster.
In this short Directory of Car Accident Information and Insurance Injury Claim Settlement Procedures, Part 2, we will give you two of the topics we want you to consider right away, even if you decide not to join and become a member of SettlementCentral.Com. By the way, our commitment to providing good solid information without charge continues in our SettlementCentral.Com award-winning monthly personal injury claims newsletter, "Settle It Yourself". If you looked at all of the archives of the newsletter, you could just about settle your own claim with no further help. So even if you are still "looking" to see what kind of help you may need, why not take a free subscription to our newsletter and benefit from the wealth of valuable information carried there each month? Privacy Guaranteed-we NEVER disclose our newsletter subscribers. The link is on the upper right of each page.
Here are the next two areas to master for following a car accident:
1. Establish Firm, Professional, and Positive Relationships With the Insurance Injury Claims Adjusters if You Sustained Bodily Injury in the Car Accident
Working with one or more insurance claims adjusters will be a new experience for most of us, so we WANT to be able to trust them and rely upon a belief that "like a good neighbor" we "are in good hands". While most insurance adjusters are professional and will work with you to some extent, they also know who is signing their pay check, so you will rely upon them for guidance and advice to your detriment. There is a minority that is uncooperative and deceptive.
Rely instead upon the attorneys and insurance claims adjusters at SettlementCentral.Com for the most effective guidance to settle your car accident personal injury insurance claim for MAXIMUM DOLLAR SETTLEMENT.
It is important to know how to react to the initial push of the insurance adjuster for a recorded statement, a blank-check medical authorization, and-within a short time, an offer to settle (which is usually going to be BEFORE you have even finished treating for your injuries, and will be an effort to cut short your necessary treatments). Here are some of the initial considerations in your relationship with the insurance claims adjuster.
  • Reporting the accident. Irrespective of fault, it is best to report the accident to your own company, unless you are certain you will not be using your own PIP or your own UIM. Naturally you will want to call the tortfeasor's insurer as soon as possible.
  • No recording-if possible. The first thing you will experience when you report an accident is the request that you give a tape-recorded statement. It makes life a lot easier for the adjuster if you would just speak into this phone and let her record you. She will put a lot of pressure on you to make a recorded statement.
  • BUT, you need to understand how it can work to your disadvantage to give a recorded statement, especially if you are not prepared. Avoid Giving Insurance Adjusters a Recorded Statement About Car Accident and Personal Injuries
  • Prepare for recording-know the topics the insurance claims adjuster will ask about and do some script practice; keep written materials at hand during the call. Many car accident personal injury victims just give in and make a recorded statement, but if you are going to do that, at least be prepared to answer the wide range of questions insurance claims adjusters often ask in these car accident personal injury insurance claims.
  • SettlementCentral.Com Topics for Recorded Interview of Car Accident Personal Injury Victim by Insurance Claims Adjuster
  • Arrange for the insurance adjuster to send you a free copy of your statement BEFORE you agree to be examined on tape
  • Confirm in writing the statute of limitations date. Directory of Information Regarding Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Insurance Claims
  • Payment of medical bills. Who should pay for your medical/chiropractic treatment:
    • 1) tortfeasor's insurance (not recommended)
    • 2) your PIP coverage (2nd choice)
    • 3) your health insurance (1st choice, but ONLY IF it gives you independence in selecting your type of care and doctor: otherwise, go through your PIP)
2. Correcting The Car Accident Investigating Officer's Official Accident Report
This is the subject of a SPECIAL TIP to maximize your personal injury insurance settlement because there is often something that is in error or omitted from such reports.
This tip is one most of us have an aversion to doing: we like to think the officer is objective and makes a thorough investigation and that her report reflects all the facts about the car accident and the personal injuries you suffered.
Instead, the official reports are frequently either in error, or have omitted important information. Remember, oftentimes the officer just gets her information by interviewing witnesses, and perhaps she did not get the complete story. What she writes in the report is very important to the insurance claims adjuster in valuing your personal injury insurance claim, both from the standpoint of your potential liability AND to prove bodily injury damages or to support a claim for severe personal injuries (i.e., in a mental or emotional damages claim she will look to see if you did report hitting your head or if the officer noted you suffered a period of unconsciousness).
What if there is an error of fact or an omission of a fact? Most people just move on and ignore it, but that is dangerous because if you do not correct or supplement the report early on, you cannot come back at the time of negotiations and try to change it then.

  • Obtain the car accident official report and read it carefully. If there are errors or omissions, then you will have to supplement and correct the report; or, since most agencies will not accept corrections, at least make to offer to do so, and document your attempted corrections.
  • Why should you correct or supplement an auto accident official report? What the officer wrote down at the time will govern your claim much more than your version of the facts. The insurance adjuster knows that it is easy for someone to make up favorable information once the issues of the personal injury claim come into focus months later. Thus, it is important to have your corrections or supplementary items of record as soon as possible following the car accident.
  • What types of information should you be looking for to correct in the official report?
  1. Look for factual errors or omissions affecting liability, such as distances, number of times a vehicle was hit, timing of vehicles, etc. Make sure these were reported accurately and nothing favorable to your side was omitted.
  2. Does the report have errors or omissions as to what people said, such as admissions of the tortfeasor or his passengers, your own statements, or statements of any witnesses?
  3. Look for factual errors or omissions affecting damages, such as whether or not you reported to the officer or manager that you were in immediate and severe pain following the car accident, that you hit your head, or that you were dazed and confused, or that you suffered a loss of consciousness. (Be PARTICULARLY attentive to the coverage of issues such as hitting your head or reporting a loss of consciousness. These are most important facts that MUST GET INTO THE RECORD, even if you first report them some time after the accident. It is NEVER TOO LATE to report hitting your head or loss of consciousness in a car accident trauma.
  4. How do you go about correcting an official car accident report filed by an officer? IN WRITING. Do not "ask" if you can correct or supplement the report, because they will tell you that you cannot. In fact, one cannot really "correct" an officer's car accident report, but what you are trying to do is at least make a record that you ATTEMPTED to correct the record. So be sure to include a statement of the facts that you want to dispute or to add to the record. What steps should you take?
    1. First, put your correction material in writing, being sure to reference the date and place of the accident and the name of the reporting officer or manager.
    2. Next you should call the office where the report is filed and tell the staff that you want to correct or supplement the report. DO NOT LET THEM TELL YOU that they will not take your supplementary information because they do not "CORRECT" REPORTS (which is almost always the case). Tell them that you understand that, but just the same, you do want the officer to have the benefit of new information that was not given to her at the scene.
    3. Get the name of the person you are speaking with and note the date and time. Get an address. Then, go ahead and send in your correction letter. Mention in your letter the name and date of your conversation and ask that your letter be given to the officer and filed with the car accident file.
    4. Even if the officer is not going to correct her report, hopefully she will take your letter and stow it along with other backup information in her notebook or attached in the report file.
    5. At the least, you should ask that your letter with supplementary or correction information be filed with the accident report. Even if they will not accept your letter and they send it back to you, save the return envelope because that alone is proof that you tried early on to correct the report.
    6. You see, if you were to first mention this favorable information later on in the personal injury claim negotiation and settlement process, the insurance adjuster would not give it as much credibility as if you tried to present the correction soon after the accident. Thus, with the name of the person you spoke with and the date you did offer to supplement or to correct the official record, you then are in a much better position to argue later with the insurance adjuster that this supplementary information was fresh at the time, and not made up many months later to buttress your claim.
      Try Some Additional Sites of Free Legal Information in aid of Do-It-Yourself Insurance Injury Claim Settlements right here in SettlementCentral.Com:
      Follow our 5 Simple Secrets to Successful Personal Injury Settlements and settle your own insurance injury claim for the maximum amount of cash, and in the time of your choice (not as dictated by the order of files in the stack on the attorney's floor).
      Part 1 of this Directory of Car Accident Information and Insurance Injury Claim Settlement Procedures discusses the first two aspects of Car Accidents: Handling the Accident Scene & Your Damaged Vehicle.
      Visit our Directory of Information on Car Accident Insurance Claims Procedures for a good starting point in learning how to settle your own personal injury car accident claim.
      If you suffered permanent and disabling injuries, even soft tissue injuries, then your insurance injury claim could be of significant value. Thus, you might have to contend with insurance policy limits issues. Be sure to carefully read the SettlementCentral.Com Directory of Legal Information on Liability Insurance Policy Limits Settlements in Personal Injury Insurance Injury Claims
      Finally, see what our members say about SettlementCentral.Com's demand letters, forms, and information they used to settle their claims: SettlementCentral.Com Members Settle Personal Injury Insurance Claims For Top Dollar