How Car Insurance Companies Investigate Accident Claims # #car #insurance, #claim,


How Car Insurance Companies Investigate Accident Claims

After you file a claim with your car insurance company, the claim goes through a process that leads to a settlement. The exact way that your car insurance company investigates accident claims can vary depending on the following:

  • The nature and severity of the accident.
  • Your company’s own policies.
  • Whether the accident involved property damage, injuries, or both.

However, certain steps are common to most claims investigations. We’ll review these steps here.

Immediately After the Claim Is Filed

After you file your claim, a claims adjustor will be assigned to your case. The adjustor will review your policy to make sure that you are covered. He or she may contact you to ask for more details about the accident.

During the investigation, the adjustor may:

  • Request you send a copy of the police report for review.
  • Contact the other driver.
  • Talk to any listed witnesses to the accident.
  • Visit the accident scene.
  • Inspect your car for damages.
  • Take photos of your car.
  • Ask you to sign a medical release form in order to view your records.
  • Contact your medical providers for information regarding your injury expenses.

Medical Care and Vehicle Repair

Your insurance company will cover your injuries and repairs until fault is determined and then will negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to decide who pays in the end.

The process of initial payment is “indemnification,” which means coverage for damages and losses.

If the other driver is found to be at fault, your insurance company will seek payment from his insurance company through the process of “subrogation.”


Typically, you have several options when it comes to getting repairs for your vehicle:

  • Using an approved body shop. Your adjuster may request that you take your car to one of your car insurance company’s approved body shops for an estimate.
  • Getting quotes. The adjuster may ask you to go to several shops of your choice and obtain quotes to compare.
  • Choosing your own repair shop. You can get the repairs done at any location you choose; however, you may have to pay the difference between that shop’s estimate and the amount the insurer determines is a fair price.

Medical Bills

If your claim includes medical expenses from injuries from the accident, your claims adjuster will need to see evidence of your medical bills.

He or she may request that you sign a waiver to grant permission for your car insurance company to access your medical records. Before signing this document, you may wish to speak to a personal injury attorney about whether signing it is in your best interest. Once she has access to your records, information in your medical history may be used to lower your claim.

Review of Your Side of the Story

You will need to provide as much information as you can to get the best possible settlement. The adjuster will ask for your recollection of the events.

In addition, you may need to submit the following to your car insurance company.

  • Policy number (can be found on your insurance card).
  • Date of the accident.
  • Location of the accident.
  • Description of how the accident occurred.
  • Name and insurance information for the other party involved.
  • Name of the police department involved and the police report number (if applicable).

Review of Official Records

During the investigation phase, the adjuster reviews the case. Your rep may review the following information:

  • Amount of property damage.
  • Police reports.
  • DMV accident report.

Determination of Fault

One of the roles of your insurance adjuster is to determine fault. In most states, a driver does not need to be 0% or 100% at fault.

Your adjuster may decide that you are partially at fault (e.g. 70% responsible for the accident). If you are 70% responsible and the other driver is 30% responsible, your company may pay 70% of the settlement and the other driver’s car insurance company may pay the remaining 30%.

In some cases, the settlement is entirely paid by the car insurance company of the driver who has the majority of fault. Speak to your auto insurance agent to learn more.

Review of Claims

While reviewing claims, the claims adjuster may look at evidence such as:

  • Medical records.
  • Bills.
  • Evidence of property damage.
  • Proof of wage loss

The Role of Social Media

The adjuster will investigate the claimant (you). In addition to reviewing your claims history, car insurance companies are also likely to look you up online.

They may go to Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites to make sure that you are not lying. For example, if you are claiming car damage for an accident Tuesday morning, and you post a picture of you with your car intact on Wednesday, your company will recognize the fraud.

Your car insurance company has a special investigations unit (SIU) to investigate suspected fraud. You can protect yourself on social media by:

  • Setting your privacy settings so that only approved people can look at your photos.
  • Avoiding posting photos or anything about your accident online.
  • Not filing a fraudulent claim.

Options to Resolve Claim Disputes

If you are unhappy with the settlement offer, you have some options:

  • Take the claim to the adjuster’s supervisor.
  • Mediation.
  • Arbitration.
  • Small claims court.
  • Hiring an attorney. Insurance Finder

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Cloud Computing Options #insurance #software,insurance #agency #management #software,insurance #billing #software,insurance #agency


“Cloud” Computing and Thin Client Solutions

As we find ourselves in an increasingly fast-paced and mobile world, our dependency on technology to provide real-time access to information increases as well. One of the most utilitarian advancements of technology towards this end has been the advent of thin client or ‘Cloud’ based computing systems.

In a nutshell: A thin client solution allows a computing device (PC, IPad, IPhone, Android device – aka the ‘client’) to ‘dial in’ to the desktop of another computer (aka the ‘server’). The user can then pass keystrokes and mouse clicks to the desktop of that computer, and receive screen shots of what the resulting screen looks like on the other computer (server) to their local computing device (client). It is called ‘thin’ client because you wind up passing very little data over the internet, just screen shots, mouse clicks and keyboard clicks.

The term ‘Cloud Computing’ appeared around 2006, and encapsulates the notion of thin client computing with the ability to securely store your data ‘somewhere else’. There are a variety of solutions available to your agency that provide thin client access to your local software, and provide automated methods to back up your local data to a secure, offsite location.

Remote Desktop (aka Terminal Services) is probably the best solution thin client solution for multiple remote users to access your local data for long periods of time. It is also the most expensive requiring the services of a local hardware technician, a Server operating system (Windows Server 2003, 2008, etc. which can cost $800 or more), and Remote Desktop licenses – which run about $80-$100 apiece (although you typically get one license for free). The advantages of using Remote Desktop to dial into a Server based operating system are that it is more secure, less prone to data corruption, and does not require a separate computer for each person logging in.

There are less expensive (even free) solutions for people that need to occasionally dial in to the home office, or dial in one at a time. These solutions all require that there is a separate computer at the home office, for each person dialing in. Some of these solutions can be found at: and Each product has advantages and disadvantages regarding ease of use, reliability, supported client devices, and features; and there are several factors such as how printing and file transfers are handled between the ‘Free’ and ‘Pro’ versions of each software that must be taken into account. If you are considering one of these less expensive thin client solutions, it might be money well spent to hire a tech for an hour or so to help you sort out your options.

Another aspect to Cloud Based computing is the ability to securely backup your data by copying your files over the internet to a secure facility offsite, thus limiting your liability if your local location burns down, or is involved in a natural disaster. Some companies that offer offsite backup solutions for a small fee are and With a little help from a local tech – you can quickly set one of these programs up, and then have peace of mind that your data is stored securely ‘somewhere else’. Just make sure that your tech sets the program up to send the files over the internet at night, otherwise you will see your daytime internet speeds drop dramatically.

Of course Agency Software, Inc. offers turnkey hosting solutions as well. If you’d rather not worry about configuring your Remote Desktop solution, or making sure your data is securily backed up, we recommend the services of EME Cloud For about $30 per user / per month, DJ and his staff will web-enable your Agency Software applications for use on nearly any device, from nearly anywhere in the world. If you have questions, please fee free to give us a call at (800)342-7327 to discuss your Cloud Computing needs.


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Water Damage #water #damage #insurance #claim


Water Damage

Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.

More than just removing excess water, IICRC-certified restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to pre-loss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur.

All IICRC-certified professionals have the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.

Before entering a building where flood damage may have occurred, make sure it’s safe: check for electrical hazards and structural damage, and use proper protective gear like boots, gloves and respirators. Before you start any construction or repairs, check for common hazardous materials like lead paint and asbestos, which may require help from professional and State-licensed contractors.

Then, follow these tips:

  • Act quickly
    The severity of damage escalates the longer water sits and building components and contents stay wet, so time is of the essence in the aftermath of a flood. In fact, mold will grow within 48-72 hours, so aim to start removing water and drying the environment within 48 hours. Have a list of professionals on hand to call, and understand your insurance policy, as some only cover mold damage up to a certain amount, while others don’t provide any reimbursement for mold.
  • Ventilate affected areas to prevent mold growth
    Mold loves moisture and organic materials such as paper or particleboard. In order to mitigate or slow damage, open windows if weather permits and place fans inside of them to keep air moving and maintain moderate temperatures. Work toward the fan as you clean to minimize cross contamination.
  • Assess damage to items and materials
    Assess the type of water absorbed by items, such as rainwater, water from broken pipes, contaminated river water or bacteria-filled sewage. There are ways to salvage specialty items but the decision on whether to save or trash an item will vary depending on the dollar and sentimental value to the owner. It may not be worthwhile to salvage drywall, carpets and pads, mattresses, pillows, box springs and particleboard. On the other hand, it might be worthwhile to restore costly Persian rugs, leather couches and antiques or heirlooms. Wet clothing and many household fabrics may be salvageable through machine washing, and a 10-minute soak in detergent and hot water, to remove contamination and stains. The IICRC strongly recommends that in water damages where there are contaminants present (e.g. bacteria, sewage, mold) or where small children or immune-compromised individuals are present that an inspection be conducted by an appropriately trained restorer and remediator.
  • Expose pockets of saturation
    Hidden and concealed pockets of saturation need to be opened for cleaning and drying. Layers between building materials hold water that must be discovered and removed or dried. On walls, find the water line and inspect at least a foot beyond it to make sure all damage, wet materials and mold are discovered. Remove and discard the damaged drywall and wet wall insulation. Wet carpets can usually be dried by professionals with the right equipment, but carpet padding, which is like a big sponge, should be discarded. Wood base trim and hardwood can also be saved with the right equipment if they can be accessed and completely dried on both sides. Remember to investigate concealed cavities such as behind walls, in mechanical spaces, under cabinets and furniture, and in crawl spaces.
  • Conduct a thorough cleaning
    Durable, non-porous or semi-porous materials, such as studs and joists, hardwood flooring and vinyl products, can be cleaned with common cleaning products or specialized products with detergents. During cleaning, take care to protect areas that are unaffected by the water or mold. After a thorough cleaning of salvageable materials, a disinfectant solution may need to be applied in case of harmful bacteria from sewage, river water debris or even standing water that has gone bad. Professionals like water restoration and mold remediation contractors and indoor environmental professionals can help you decide what is best for your situation. Once you’ve cleaned the wet materials, conduct another round of cleaning. If you choose to vacuum, use a HEPA-filter vacuum to remove allergens, fine dust and spores.
  • Confirm drying before reconstruction
    In order to prevent dry rot and structural damage, it’s important not to reconstruct or cover wood and other wet materials until the moisture content has been adequately reduced. A water restoration professional can confirm proper drying before reconstruction.

Sewage is one of the most dangerous substances to enter homes or buildings. It contains fungi, bacteria and viruses, many of which are disease-causing. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand the hazards that sewage presents, particularly for the very young or very old, or for those with compromised immune systems or respiratory problems.

The IICRC complied guidelines for professional sewage clean-up called the Standard for Water Damage Restoration (S500).

Here are the key principles homeowners should know about sewage back-ups:

  • Sewage contains a variety of pathogenic – disease causing – fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites. Anyone who works on sewage losses must have updated vaccinations, including one for Hepatitis B.
  • Sewage exposure is particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, including anyone under two or over 60, those who are pregnant, ill, recovering from surgery, on prescription drugs or chemotherapy, or are AIDS victims.
  • It is not safe to stay in a building that’s flooded with sewage unless the contaminated area can be completely sealed off and placed under controlled air flow so that there will be no cross contamination of unaffected areas.
  • Highly absorbent sewage-saturated materials, such as carpet, pad, upholstery, bedding, wicker, paper or even fabrics that can’t be washed in hot water (130°F/54°C) for at least 10 minutes, must be contained and disposed of properly. This goes for sewage-saturated drywall, insulation and several other structural materials too. There’s simply too great a health risk involved if any of these materials are dried in place and cleaned only.
  • Only the most highly trained professionals should attempt sewage remediation work. Then, a “third party” indoor environmental professional can provide post-remediation verification or “clearance testing” to ensure that the home or building is safe to re-occupy.
Why use a certified technician?

Professional restoration technicians understand the need for quick response. Immediate remediation is key to controlling any escalating costs. The longer the remediation is delayed, the higher the cost of restoration. Certified restorers have the knowledge to test materials and apply the restoration techniques required to return the items to their pre-loss condition. Look for the IICRC logo to verify IICRC certification.

Read about the benefits that the IICRC provides to consumers.


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Hoffman Insurance Resources Report A Claim And Forms – Hoffman Insurance


Reporting a claim, Resources Forms

For emergency claims after regular business hours, call our main number 781-235-0087 and press #4, you will then be connected to our 24 hour emergency claims reporting service.

If you need to contact an individual company after normal business hours, please use the contact information provided on this page.


Important links and contact information

Commerce Insurance Company
Billing/Customer Service 1-800-922-8276
Claims Reporting 1-800-221-1605

Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
Billing /Customer Care 1-866-324-8222
Claims Reporting 1-800-252-4670

Harleysville Insurance Company
Billing/Customer Care 1-800-338-8301
Claims 1-800-892-8877Hartford Insurance Company
Billing/Customer Care 1-800-962-6170
Claims 1-800-327-3636

Massachusetts Property Insurance
(Fair Plan)
Billing/Customer Care 1-800-392-6108
Claims 1-800-392-6108

New London County Mutual Insurance Co.
Billing/Customer Care 1-860-887-3553
Claims 1-877-383-1742

Peerless Insurance Company
Billing/Customer Care 1-800-228-7830
Claims 1-800-522-7152

Philadelphia Insurance Company
Billing/Customer Care 1-877-438-7459
Claims 1-800-765-9749

Safety Insurance Company
Billing/Customer Service 1-800-951-2100
Claims Reporting 1-800-951-2100

Travelers Insurance Company
Billing/Customer Service 1-800-222-4184
Claims Reporting 1-877-425-2466

Forms and documents

Click on form’s title below to get a downloadable PDF form.


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Academic Programs – Health Information Technology #health #information #technology #program, #health


Academic Programs Health Information Management

Visit the Health Information Management Academic Program page on MC’s online catalog

The US Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible program that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation. Midland College is committed to creating an educated workforce by offering occupational programs that lead to gainful employment.

Medical Coding Specialist
Health Data Coordinator
Health Data Specialist – Physician Practice

The Health Information Management online associate degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health information management jobs are expected to increase by 15% from 2014-2024. The median income is $37,110, (2015 statistic), but additional credentials do add to the marketability of professionals.

The HIM program was established in 1998 as a traditional face-to-face program. In 2007-2008, the HIM program transitioned to an “online only” program to meet the needs of working students and professionals. The exception to online courses are the requirement for clinical courses completed onsite at a facility (HITT 2261 for the associate degree and HITT 1167 for Medical Coding Specialist certificate).

Program Statistics for years 2011- 2016 :
Registered Health Information Technologist: 91 % pass rate for graduates t aking RHIT exam.
Employer Satisfaction Rate: 100%
Student Graduate Survey, Satisfaction Rate: 100%

Many students admitted into the program have already completed one degree, and some have bachelors or masters degrees. The reason they pursue the associate degree training is to be eligible for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) upon graduation. The RHIT credential, and the RHIA credential for the bachelor’s degree, continue to be a preferred credential that healthcare employers seek when hiring Health Information Management candidates.

Online Technology Requirements

Students meet the minimum requirements listed on Canvas to complete the courses. See for details.

Students must be self-motivated, able to comprehend information in written form, and have the ability to communicate effectively both in written and verbal forms. Students should also be able to research websites, upload and download documents, post discussions, and access email. The courses are not self-paced, but have scheduled weekly due dates for assignments, discussions, and tests. Students should expect to spend 6 9 hours per 3 hour credit course to complete assignments, readings, and tests. Instructors are available to answer questions online or by phone related to course topics.

Skills Needed for Health Information Profession:

ability to analyze patient data for payment or registry information,
able to sit for long periods to complete work at work station
research and review patient information for regulatory compliance,
code and categorize patient information using standard coding systems.
communicate effectively with patients, physicians, and other customers
ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines
keyboarding skills and ability to use software systems, patient portals, etc.

Students may apply to the program in the semester they are completing the prerequisites. Final grades will be verified before admittance. Students are accepted prior to each semester (Summer, Fall, and Spring). Most of the students in the programs are considered part-time; taking 2 to 3 classes each semester since most have part-time or full-time jobs. There are approximately 70-80 students taking HIM classes or prerequisite courses to gain admission to the program.

Clinical Requirement Onsite:

Students that live outside the local Midland area are able to locate clinical sites in their area with the assistance of the HIM program. More information and directions are given to students upon acceptance into the program (courses related to associate degree and Medical Coding Specialist certificate). Prior to the clinical course, students are required to meet certain facility requirements to attend clinical practice. These include a background check, drug screen, immunizations, and other requirements based of the facility. More information provided prior to clinicals.

See Frequently Asked Questions for more information and application.

Click on the links below for the suggested sequence of courses for Midland College’s Health Information Management associate of applied science degree and for the various Health Information Management certificates.

Click on the links below for the suggested sequence of courses for Midland College’s Health Information Management associate of applied science degree and for the various Health Information Management certificates.

Associate of Applied Science Degree for Health Information Management

Medical Coding Specialist Certificate

Health Data Coordinator Certificate

Student Support Coordinator, Raquel Valenzuela, RHIT
2 1 8 DFHS, 432-685- 6893

Midland College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates and associate and baccalaureate degrees Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Midland College.

Notice of Non-discrimination (Title IX)


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Medical Billing 101 – Medical Billing Website #medical #billing, #medical #billing


Medical Billing and Electronic Claims Processing — A Business With a Future

Read our brochure on Medical Billing, Medical Billing Software
and Electronic Claims Processing

Medical Billing as a Business

If you are like many people these days, you may be thinking of starting a medical billing business. How do you know which company is the right one to purchase your Medical Billing Training from? How can you be sure you’re getting the right training products you need to be successful?

Here at AMBA, our job is to assist you in making an educated purchase decision. Owning and operating your own medical billing business is challenging in itself.

Choosing the right company could mean the difference
between your success — and your failure

The fact is that unless you thoroughly research a company before you invest with them, you could be throwing your hard earned money away. That’s right — you could be out of business even before you start!

Only you can make the choice —
Can you afford risking a poor decision?

You can tell a lot about a company by doing your homework. Researching a company’s history and past performance could save you thousands of dollars — or it could make you feel very comfortable about your purchase decision.

You could spend literally thousands of dollars buying a package deal to start a medical billing business, but the fact is, you can do it much cheaper and more effectively by taking your time to find the right products at a reasonable price.

Request Free Information on Getting Started in Medical Billing and Electronic Claims Processing and get our Free FAQ on Medical Billing and Electronic Claims Processing!

NOTE: Please complete all information or we cannot send you our free information on our Medical Billing Essentials Starter Program information. All information received is confidential and never released to anyone

Be sure to list your entire email address. Also note that if you do not list an email address we won’t be able to send you our free information


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How to Deal with Auto Insurance Claims Adjusters #how #to #deal


How to Deal with Auto Insurance Claims Adjusters

After you file your car insurance claim, you will need to work with an insurance adjuster who researches your accident, studies your policy, and decides how much money you are entitled to. The best way to approach the car insurance adjuster is to be respectful and well prepared. Although the adjuster works for the insurance company that makes money by paying you less, most car insurance adjusters will deal with you fairly, especially if you are respectful, knowledgeable, and prepared to prove the value of your accident claim.

Remember: A car insurance adjuster’s main concern is to justify the insurance settlement for the file. Therefore, providing them with the correct documentation to prove your settlement will not only make your car insurance claim go more smoothly, it will also help you get the settlement that you want.

Negotiating Your Accident Claim with Insurance Adjusters

Negotiating your car insurance claim with an insurance adjuster can be a little intimidating at first. However, knowing your claim value and having all the necessary documentation will give you the tools you need to navigate the negotiation with confidence. Be polite but cautious when dealing with a car insurance adjuster, and always remember that they will ultimately serve the company’s interests over yours. A few simple tips to keep in mind as you speak with an adjuster:

  • Start your conversation by outlining the overall circumstances that created your auto insurance claim, highlighting the points that support your value of the claim (other driver’s negligence, you following rules of the road, what the police report says, etc). Remember, you’re not telling the insurance adjuster anything that they probably don’t already know, however, you are letting them know that you’re an informed claimant and that you understand the value of your auto insurance claim.
  • Advise the insurance adjuster of the total of your special damages and the amount you’re demanding for the settlement of your accident claim. At this point, don’t be surprise if the insurance adjuster breaks off the conversation by saying that they will consider your demand and get back to you. This is to break your momentum. Not contacting you for two or more days may be a tactic to slow you down and to make you think that you have to settle for less. Remember, a well-documented auto insurance claim has merit and when fault is not in question, it is in the best interests of the insurance company to settle.
  • Do not lower your claim value or offer until the insurance company has made a counter offer. If they request documentation to substantiate your accident claim, such as photos or medical records, send the information that you feel will best help your auto insurance claim.
  • Keep in mind that showing good faith during negotiations will move your auto insurance claim to settlement. Set the minimum you are willing to take. Understand that the insurance adjuster will start low to save the insurance company as much money as possible. Do not be offended or react emotionally to the process. Stay calm and professional throughout the negotiation process.

Reduce your auto insurance claim’s settlement demand gradually and the adjuster will likely come up on his offer. If you find yourself within an acceptable range, consider settling for a mutually agreed upon amount. They will send you a check with a release form to sign. Once signed, that is it! Never sell yourself short by signing a settlement agreement that leaves you stuck with any outstanding medical bills. Make sure the settlement is an amount that covers your bills and adequately compensates you.

Remember: Being unpleasant with the adjuster will not do you any good. If they are being difficult, take the high road and ask to speak to a supervisor or a different claims adjuster.

Reaching a Roadblock During Negotiations

If you find yourself at a roadblock and unable to settle your claim with your adjuster. you still have other options:

  • Ask to speak to the insurance adjuster’s supervisor. Be polite but firm, explaining that you sense a stalemate in negotiation and perhaps a fresh pair of eyes on your auto insurance claim may help to resolve this for both parties. Be prepared for push back. However, if a supervisor is requested, the claim adjuster must comply. Move through the process with the supervisor, explaining that it is in both interests to get the claim resolved.
  • Write theState Department of Insurance . Call or write the department of insurance for your state, especially if you find unjust delays in the negotiation process (weeks between offers). This could be deemed bad faith on the part of the insurance company. Copy any documentation you may have and outline your demand in writing and your reason for the complaint (delay in settlement, unjust or low balling offer, etc.)
  • Consider talking with or hiring an attorney. Speaking with an experienced car accident attorney will let you know if your claim’s value is in line and if you are on the right track. A car accident attorney can also negotiate all aspects of your claim and may help win you a larger overall settlement. If you engage an attorney, you must cease all communication with the insurance adjuster and refer him or her or any other communication to the attorney.

If you find that you are not moving towards the insurance settlement you need, consider contacting an attorney. A car accident attorney will step into your insurance claim and work with the insurance adjuster to achieve a fair insurance settlement.

How to Avoid a Rejected Claim

The first line of defense against a rejected insurance claim is to document every dollar spent or lost as a result of your accident. Medical bills, prescription receipts, mileage to and from the doctor, old paystubs that can verify your pay rate, car payment records, and repair estimates, will serve as proof of your damages. Insurance adjusters will never, ever, just take your word for it. If the adjuster disputes your claim. provide him with the basis for your number. It is entirely possible that the adjuster s file is incomplete or contains errors. Often, submission of supporting documents accompanied with a detailed letter outlining why the documents support the claim can be enough to get the adjuster to raise their settlement number.


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Litigation legal definition of litigation #claim #lawyer




An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.

When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. Under the various rules of Civil Procedure that govern actions in state and federal courts, litigation involves a series of steps that may lead to a court trial and ultimately a resolution of the matter.

Before a lawsuit is filed, the person contemplating the lawsuit (called the plaintiff) typically demands that the person who caused the alleged injury (called the defendant) perform certain actions that will resolve the conflict. If the demand is refused or ignored, the plaintiff may start the lawsuit by serving copies of a summons and complaint on the defendant and filing the complaint with a civil trial court. The complaint must state the alleged injuries and attribute them to the defendant, and request money damages or equitable relief.

If the service of the complaint on the defendant does not result in a settlement of the issues, the plaintiff must begin the discovery process. This involves sending to the defendant written questions (called interrogatories) that seek information involving the dispute at issue. The plaintiff may depose the defendant and others concerning the issues, with the deposition recorded by a court reporter. The plaintiff may also request copies of documents for review. Once litigation commences the defendant is also permitted to use discovery to learn more about the plaintiff’s case. The discovery process may be conducted in a matter of weeks, or it may take years, depending on the complexity of the case and the level of cooperation between the parties.

After discovery is completed, most courts require the parties to attend a settlement conference to determine if the case may be resolved before trial. If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the litigation continues to trial. Near or on the day of trial, one or both parties often make settlement offers, in the hope of avoiding court proceedings (which are often costly and protracted). Litigation ends if a settlement is reached.

If the parties are still unable to resolve their differences, a trial is held. At trial both sides are permitted to introduce relevant evidence that will help to prove to the jury or the court the truth of their positions. If the plaintiff makes a convincing case, the defendant may seek to settle the case immediately. On the other hand, if the plaintiff presents a weak case, the defendant may ask the court to dismiss the case. If the trial proceeds to a conclusion, either the jury or the judge (if a jury trial was waived) must decide which party prevails.

If the defendant loses the lawsuit, the defendant may ask the court to throw out the jury verdict if the evidence did not warrant the decision, or the defendant may ask that the damages awarded to the plaintiff be reduced. The court has discretion to grant or refuse these kinds of requests.

Once a final decision has been made at the trial court, the losing party may appeal the decision within a specified period of time. The federal courts and the states have intermediate courts of appeal that hear most civil appeals. The appellate court reviews the arguments of the parties on appeal and determines whether the trial court conducted the proceedings correctly. Once the appellate court issues a decision, usually in opinion form, the losing party may appeal to the state supreme court if the litigation occurred in a state court, or to the U.S. Supreme Court if the litigation occurred in a federal court. After the supreme court rules on the case, the decision is final.

Once a decision is final, litigation ends. The prevailing party is then given the authority to collect damages or receive other remedies from the losing party. After the losing party provides the relief, that party is entitled to receive from the prevailing party a satisfaction of judgment, which is filed with the trial court. This document attests to the satisfaction of all court-imposed relief and signifies the end of the case.


n. any lawsuit or other resort to the courts to determine a legal question or matter.



the putting of a dispute before a court or tribunal.

LITIGATION. A contest authorized by law, in a court of justice, for the purpose of enforcing a right.
2. In order to prevent injustice, courts of equity will restrain a party from further litigation, by a writ of injunction; for example, after two verdicts on trials at bar, in favor of the plaintiff, a perpetual injunction was decreed. Str. 404. And not only between two individuals will a court of equity grant this relief, as in the above case of several ejectments, but also, when one general legal right, as a right of fishery, is claimed against several, distinct persons, in which case there would be no end of bringing actions, since each action would only bind the particular right in question, between the plaintiff and defendant in such action, without deciding the general right claimed. 2 Atk. 484; 2 Ves. jr. 587. Vide Circuity of Actions.

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How to Write a Settlement Demand Letter #auto #accident #personal #injury,


How to Write a Settlement Demand Letter

There are a lot of articles on-line about how to write a good demand letter. Maybe you have already read a few articles before landing here. However, most of these how to write a personal injury demand letter articles are not just fundamentally useless, but actively wrong. Useless advice is bad enough, but this nonsense can actually undermine your case.

Before we get into how to write a settlement demand letter in a personal injury case, here are some sample for different types of accident and injury cases:

Here are ten dos and don ts when writing a settlement demand letter in a personal injury case:

1. DON T Write War and Peace.

The size of your demand letter should correlate to the size of your claim. If the case is literally worth millions, then you want a demand package that fully lays out the nuances of the claim. If you are bringing a legitimate seven figure case, insurance companies are willing to spend the time, actually getting in the weeds of what the case is really about and the details of the victim’s losses.

But, conversely, if you have $10,000 in medical bills and no permanent injury; insurance companies are rarely going to focus on details outside of the four corners of the medical record for a pre-suit settlement evaluation.

What is actually harmful in writing a demand letter that is too long? Probably no harm, if you are representing yourself. But if you are an attorney, writing an inappropriately long demand letter that is very disproportionate to the size of the case sends an I m an inexperienced lawyer and I have no idea what I m doing alarm. The insurance company will sense that you are out of your depth and will never take the case to trial.

The result? You will get a settlement offer that recognizes that there is no chance of a lawsuit ever being filed, and their courage to bluff you to see what you will do will increase. Why? Because the insurance company will expect you to take whatever settlement you can get.

2. DO Highlight Unique Facts About Your Case.

If there is something about your case that makes your claim more valuable, make it clear. This is another reason why writing a treatise is dangerous – you bury what really matters. If you missed your daughter s wedding because of the accident, or you were a marathon runner who can no longer run because of a herniated disc, this is something you need to effectively communicate to the insurance company.

Someone once wrote that good writing does not need to bold, underline, italicize, or use any other emphasis to make your point. But a demand letter is not the great American novel you want to add the extra emphasis to the unique facts of a case. Because you have to work to get their attention. You settlement demand letter will be reviewed by an adjuster who more than likely will look at several demand letters over the course of a day while plowing through hundreds of pages of medical records. Using bold letters. underlining. italicizing. or using ALL CAPS, or any other emphasis may make your key points stand out when the adjuster would otherwise ignore them.

The caveat to this is you cannot go over the top. Do not write a letter with 15 emphasized points. This is unbelievably counterproductive. We are talking about one or two key points that you may need to underscore.

3. DON T Send the Demand by Certified Mail

Listen, I get that many of you out there both victims and lawyers — are not looking to file a lawsuit. You just want to settle your case, for as much money as you can, without filing a lawsuit. I get it. But you have to look the part. Sending a demand letter by certified or registered mail is a loud signal that all you are looking to do is settle the case.

In my office, I do not send out demands by certified mail and I do not harass adjusters to respond to our demands (unless my client has communicated a critical need for money immediately). For us, the demand letter is a we can settle this if you put real money on it, otherwise we are going to come out swinging event in the case. We love trying cases. But I cannot emphasize enough that if you are not of this mindset, you still have to fake it like you are.

4. DO Differentiate Your Case

The adjuster is going to read the medical records in your case. For all of their failings, insurance adjusters do a solid job of pulling out the critical facts in a demand letter. The most important part of the demand letter is explaining why your case is worth more than the adjuster thinks and worth more than cases with similar medical treatment, bills, etc.

5. DON T Make a Specific Settlement Demand

There is an exception to this rule – we will get to in a second. Unless you really know what you are doing, making a demand is a mistake. You are either going to make a settlement demand that is too high or too low. Either is a catastrophic mistake. You can mitigate your risk by letting the insurance company make the first move.

6. DO Demand Policy Limits

While settlement demands before an offer are generally a bad idea in most cases, demanding the policy limits makes sense if the value of the case is in the same ballpark as the policy limits. You should make the demand subject to a verification of assets and other contingencies you control so you are not actually locked into the demand.

You have to find out what the policy limits are. Most states have laws that allow you to do this. Maryland requires insurance companies to provide this information if the Plaintiff jumps through a series of hoops.

Avoid using incendiary language or making wild threats. Do not suggest the possibility punitive damages unless you are sure your jurisdiction allows them in your particular case. Insurance adjusters deal with over-the-top tough guys every day and they are immune to it. Be clear, be resolute, but check your hyperboles at the door. Lawyers who talk like this are the least likely actually to mean it and every insurance adjuster knows it.

8. DO Make Clear the Case Will Not Settle Unless

Our demand packages make clear that there are some factors sometimes external to the medical records — that must be considered and included in the settlement calculus or the case will not settle.

9. DON T Set a Time Limit on a Response Unless You Mean It

You cannot tell an adjuster you will file suit if you don t hear back from them by a certain date and then not file suit on that very date. If the insurance adjuster does not know the lawyer or if the victim is representing herself, they tend to discount your bluster. There is no getting around this. But giving them proof that you are all talk is going to be fatal to your effort to maximize the value of your claim.

10. DO Include All of Your Damages

The idea that there is a settlement formula based on the amount of medical bills is nonsense. Still, there is no question that the amount of the victim s hard economic damages has an anchoring effect of the value of the claim. If you have spent or lost just a penny from the result of the car accident or other tort, include it in your demand package with adequate documentation.

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We serve the following localities: Baltimore; Prince George’s County including Bowie, Laurel, Landover, Hyattsville; Anne Arundel County including Glen Burnie; Baltimore County including Cockeysville, Glyndon, Hunt Valley, Jacksonville, Lutherville-Timonium, Owings Mills, Parkville, Reisterstown, and Towson; Carroll County including Westminster; Frederick County including Frederick; Harford County including Abingdon, Bel Air, Belcamp, and Forest Hill; Montgomery County including Germantown and Rockville; Howard County including Ellicott City and Columbia, Washington, D.C. and Washington County including Hagerstown.


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