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How Insurance Companies Investigate Car Accidents

July 12, 2021Car Accidents

In the aftermath of a vehicle accident in Arizona, we will find that insurance carriers will get involved relatively quickly. Every driver in the state of Arizona is supposed to carry a minimum amount of insurance in order to remain legal on the roadways. When a crash occurs, the insurance carrier of the at-fault party will typically be responsible for covering the injury and property damage expenses of the other party. However, insurance carriers will conduct an investigation into the incident to ensure that they are paying the fair amount and that their policyholder was truly at fault. Here, we want to discuss how insurance companies go about investigating car accidents in Arizona.

Why do Insurance Carriers Need to Investigate?

Car accident insurance carriers are always going to conduct some sort of investigation into incidents where they may have to pay out claims. The thoroughness of these investigations typically revolves around how large the claim is. Typically, the more an insurance carrier is on the line to pay out, the more scrutiny they are going to place on a claim.

Insurance carriers are protecting themselves, and they want to ensure that they do not pay any more than they actually have to for a claim. It is true that there are times when fraudulent car accident claims are made, and investigations can help prevent this kind of fraud from occurring.

More importantly, insurance carriers want to protect their bottom line. When an insurance carrier conducts an investigation, they want to properly assess the claim to ensure that their policyholder was truly at fault and that they are paying the correct amount of money for the claim.

How do the Investigations Move Forward?

As mentioned above, the thoroughness of these investigations will depend on various factors, including how much money the insurance carrier is on the line to pay out. If there are no injuries involved or if the dollar value of the claim falls below a certain threshold, the investigation may only take a few days and be resolved through a few phone calls.

However, for claims that involve significant injuries and extensive property damage, the investigation will likely include more than just a phone call. Typically, the insurance carrier will need various types of evidence before they move forward and approve the claim, including the following:

  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Photo or video surveillance of the incident

The insurance carrier will likely want to talk on the phone to every party involved, and they may ask for a recorded statement. Insurance claims adjusters may even visit the scene of an accident or go see the damaged vehicles in person.

It is important to know that insurance carriers may also review a claimant’s social media presence. Any statements made on social media could end up being used against the claimant. Insurance carriers may also send over a request for claimants to release medical records.

It is very important to point out that any person who has a car accident claim should work with an attorney who can handle all communication with insurance carriers. Signing medical authorizations or early settlement offers could result in a person receiving much less compensation than they would otherwise receive if they had an attorney helping them through this process.