How to Make an Insurance Claim for Car Accident
Wilmington Auto Accident Lawyers
There is no doubt in our minds that if you attempt to settle your injury claim yourself, without the guidance and care that hiring our firm will bring you, the insurance adjuster will take advantage of the situation and you will get substantially less. Below are some frequently asked questions dealing with insurance claims.
1. ” The insurance adjuster sounds nice, she must be my friend because she’s pleasant to talk to. Can I trust her?”
NO. Without any doubt you can not trust the insurance adjuster, and regardless of how the adjuster talks or acts, they have one main goal, to take advantage of you. You can not even put it past them to lie to you about what signing a document will do. For instance, an adjuster might say: Your case is still young, you’ve only treated for a few months, but here, sign this and it’ll be an advance on your injury claim of a few thousand, but it won’t settle it.
This simply is NOT true. Insurance adjusters are not always above lying to injured victims. Many times at Ramunno & Ramunno, our clients or would be clients adamantly told us (in disbelief at how they’d been conned by the insurance adjuster) that the adjuster had told them the document just was a “receipt” for an “advance” or something to that extent, when in reality, it was a full and final release of ALL injury claims. The Delaware Superior Court has gotten tougher and tougher on these situations and less and less willing to allow injured victims to pursue injury claims once these releases where signed.
2. “I’m in pain from my car crash, but I can’t go to the doctor because I don’t have health insurance?”
Incorrect! The auto insurance will pay your medical bills through something called PIP coverage, sometimes referred to as No-Fault coverage. In Delaware the minimum PIP coverage a Delaware registered vehicle can carry is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident (this second amount comes into play if there are three or more people involved). However, many PIP policies have much higher amounts, and it is not uncommon to see $50,000/$100,000 PIP policies and $100,000/$300,000 PIP policies.
3. “I’m concerned hiring a lawyer will mean less money in my pocket for my car accident claim for me versus if I just settled directly with the car insurance adjuster?”
While it’s true Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. charges a contingency fee (a percentage) there are two things to remember. One, some law offices charge as much as 45% or even 50% and costs depending on the situation, while we charge 33.3% for auto injuries and costs. And, more importantly, even after factoring out Ramunno & Ramunno’s share, the vast, vast, overwhelming amount of the time, a person will still put more money in their pocket even after our share than they would if they had handled the claim themselves.
One of the very, very few exceptions to this might be where the injured person has only an extremely minor injury, say a few scratches or mild discomfort that required only one or two visits to a medical provider. This sort of very minor claim is probably worth about $500 or so dollars in Delaware, whether you have an attorney or not.
4. “I was injured in a Delaware car accident, but I’m thinking about calling an out of state lawyer who is not licensed in Delaware, can they sue in Delaware?”
The answer is maybe. If they find a Delaware licensed attorney who then files a motion for that out of state lawyer’s admission to Delaware for that specific case (an admission “pro hac vice”) AND the judge in Delaware approves it. All this takes time, money and slows things down. On top of that, the Delaware Courts are getting tougher and tougher in admitting out of state attorney’s “pro hac vice.” And, insurance companies know these things and hence can feel emboldened.