Bridgeport Auto Insurance Claims Lawyer

A car accident victim documenting the details of the collision for an insurance claim.We often receive calls from people who are frustrated at some point in the auto insurance claims process. This is understandable—it’s a complicated system, and the insurance companies don’t make it any easier.

You fill out the forms online, and then they send you an email or text asking you to answer some questions or maybe send pictures of the damage. If you’re lucky, your claim will eventually be approved, and hopefully, you’ll receive the total value of your claim.

However, claimants often run into difficulties getting their claims approved. They may be denied for a number of reasons, the most common of which is fault.

When you make a claim on another driver’s liability insurance, the insurance adjuster will scrutinize that claim, looking for anything to indicate you might be at fault. The other driver is not liable if you were at fault, and their insurance company owes you nothing.

However, your claim could be more complicated than that.

People often think of car accidents as being all one driver’s fault, and that is possible. But in many cases, both drivers made mistakes that ultimately contributed to the collision, and Connecticut law has allowances for these situations.

Each driver is assigned a percentage of fault, and a party who is less than 51 percent responsible can collect damages from the more-at-fault driver (or their liability insurance). Any percentage of fault assigned to the injured party will be subtracted from their final settlement.

The potential problem is that the insurance company may overestimate your percentage of fault or claim you had some responsibility when you didn’t. Either way, they save money if no one challenges them.

If they claim you were at least 51 percent to blame, they can justify paying you nothing; if they say you were 30 or 40 percent at fault, they could save thousands of dollars on your payment. Finally, if they argue that you were 10 or 20 percent at fault when you had nothing to do with causing the accident, they could at least save 10 or 20 percent.

Get Help From a Bridgeport Auto Insurance Claims Attorney Today

An experienced auto insurance claims attorney can help you with these and other common insurance claim issues. We aim to help you maximize your settlement to receive compensation for all your losses after a car accident.

We can help you with the following challenges that may accompany an auto insurance claim:

Proving Fault

We’ll investigate your accident and collect evidence to show what happened. Our investigators may be able to recover photos or video evidence, especially if you contact us quickly after the accident.

We canvas the area where your accident occurred and look for doorbells or security cameras; in some cases, the owners may provide us with a video of the collision. These recordings are usually erased often, so the sooner we get started, the more likely we are to find a video.

When visiting the accident scene, we’ll also talk with people who live or work in the area and ask if they remember when the crash occurred. Sometimes, we find a witness who can shed light on what happened.

While conducting a local investigation, we will also pursue records for both vehicles’ event data recorders, or EDRs. These devices, found in most modern cars, record at least fifteen data points, and in some cases, even more, for any significant event (like a collision).

We can learn how fast each vehicle was moving, whether the driver accelerated or hit the brakes, the direction the car was headed, and more. Sometimes, we may also seek other electronic data, such as the other driver’s phone records, if we believe they were texting and driving.

Once we’ve compiled as much evidence as possible, we’ll establish a strategy to win your case. If your claim has been denied, we can appeal the denial using additional evidence, or we will file the initial claim if you haven’t done so yet.

When the insurance adjuster has unrealistic ideas about your percentage of fault (if any), we will work to demonstrate that you had little or no responsibility for the collision.

Negotiating With the Insurance Company

Sometimes, people picture a car accident claim ending in a courtroom trial, but this is not necessary in most cases. We will try to negotiate a reasonable settlement with the insurance company.

Most of the time, when we explain all the evidence in our favor, the insurance adjuster is willing to work toward an equitable solution. They don’t want to go to trial and lose any more than we want our clients to unnecessarily go through the stress of a trial.

Sometimes, the injured person tries to negotiate with the insurance company independently, often after receiving a denial of claim. We understand the urge to explain to the insurance adjuster why they’re wrong, but we recommend you let an attorney handle this process.

Many people have unintentionally made their cases more complicated by talking with an insurance adjuster. Most insurance companies record their calls, typically informing the caller that this is for “quality control” or “to serve our customers better.”

Once your phone call is over, the insurance adjuster will review everything you said, and they may interpret an innocent comment to mean you were at fault in the accident. Or they might find another excuse to deny your claim on a technicality.

Even if you don’t encounter one of these pitfalls, the insurance adjuster is unlikely to change their mind about denying your claim because of your call, so it’s better to speak with a lawyer instead. In fact, you should always consult an attorney before giving a statement to an insurance company.

Valuing Your Claim

Another potential problem you could run into with an auto insurance claim that we haven’t discussed yet is the settlement offer.

Why is that a problem? Don’t you want a settlement offer?

Yes, you do. The concern here is ensuring the settlement offer is fair.

Over the years, we’ve found that many initial offers from an insurance company significantly undervalue the client’s damages. If this happens to someone without an attorney, they may accept this initial offer because it is very challenging for the average layperson to calculate what their claim should be worth.

The insurance adjuster knows this, and they may undervalue a claim in several ways:

  • Ignoring or never considering some of your damages. Often, claimants inadvertently help the insurance adjuster by filing a claim only for their current medical bills and car repair estimates. If the adjuster knows it will be hard to show the claimant was at fault, the easiest solution is to simply offer the injured party exactly what they requested. Unfortunately, the injured person may not know they have a right to seek compensation for other damages, such as pain and suffering, lost income, or even depreciation on their car. Plus, they may have more medical bills in the future if their treatment isn’t complete. However, they release the insurance company from any further obligation once they accept the settlement.
  • Undervaluing the damages they do consider. In some cases, the insurance adjuster will question whether a medical treatment was necessary or claim certain charges or damages are not allowed under their policy interpretation. Your personal injury lawyer in Bridgeport will help you by explaining the need for your treatment or carefully reviewing the policy language.

If you’ve received a settlement offer from an insurance company, we highly recommend reviewing it with an attorney before accepting.

First, we’ll help you determine exactly what your claim is worth by considering all possible damages. Then, we’ll compare our estimate to the insurance company’s proposal. If it’s genuinely a reasonable offer, we’ll tell you that, and you can sign it right away.

However, if the offer fails to cover all your damages, we’ll explain what it’s lacking and lay out your options. If you want to pursue a better offer, we can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

How Can You Get Help From a Bridgeport Auto Insurance Claims Law Firm?

If you or a loved one need help filing an auto insurance claim, reviewing an offer, or appealing a claim denial, please contact Bert McDowell Injury Law for a free, confidential consultation. We’ll review your accident’s details, review where you are in the claims process, and explain your options for recovering your damages.

Bert McDowell Jr. is an experienced trial lawyer who is dedicated to helping injured people and their families get the compensation they need to move forward. He uses his experience in the insurance industry to maximize client settlements and has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for people injured in car accidents and other personal injury situations.

In 2021, he was featured in 40 Under 40 Connecticut Magazine, and National Trial Lawyers also selected him for their Top 40 Under 40. He has also been a Super Lawyers Rising Star for four consecutive years.

Mr. McDowell’s community service has earned him the 100 Men of Color Award and the Man of Excellence Award from the organization Black People Rocks. Start working on your claim by calling Bert McDowell Injury Law today at (203) 590-9169.