The time after a car accident is infuriating, especially when you did nothing wrong. You have to deal with both your insurance and the other person’s insurance. The other driver’s lies, and the other car insurance company’s continual low-balling are scream-inducing. Then, you get a check that is laughably low.
Do you have to accept it?
No. If you disagree with the amount of the check from the insurance company, do not cash it and do not sign anything.
First, ask how did they come to this conclusion? Ask them to justify the check amount in writing, including how the adjuster came to their claim estimate. Then, you can provide your own evidence and estimation from the body shop. You should provide your medical bills, rental car fees and every other expense you incurred as a result of the auto accident, including time off from work. Then, the auto insurance company must incorporate this information in its updated amount.
What if it does not change or they do not care?
First, if the insurance company has taken an unreasonable amount of time to process your claim, and you have incurred additional damages as a result, those additional damages should be compensated. And, this may be an indication that your insurance company has acted in bad faith. Keep in mind that the adjuster must have a reasonable basis for their estimation, and they cannot exclude all information that increases their liability. If they do, they have likely engaged in bad faith.
- What do I do first?
Calling a New York attorney may be advisable here, especially if the insurance company is acting in bad faith. However, if you have elected to keep going in alone, be upfront with the insurance company. Tell them you think that they are acting in bad faith and using unfair claims practices. This should key them into the fact that you know what they are doing is likely illegal. Then, report them to your state’s insurance regulatory body. Both should get the ball moving into your favor, but not always. In the end, you may have to sue to get what you deserve.