When another driver causes your car accident in a state with fault-based traffic collision laws, you must file an insurance claim based on their policy to recover damages. Knowing the process of how American Family Insurance accident claims work can help you protect your rights and negotiate an appropriate payout.
While you should contact your auto insurer and give them the basic facts of the crash as soon as you can, it is a good idea to speak with a car accident attorney before filing your claim. This is because you must be careful what you say. The insurance companies are not on your side.
Navigating the American Family Insurance Claims Process
American Family Insurance, frequently branded as AmFam, provides a wide range of insurance products to individuals and businesses. They also market investment and retirement-planning services and tools. Their claims process is similar to other auto liability insurance providers.
Investigating the Accident
There are two reasons why an insurance company would assign an adjuster to a case and begin an investigation:
- Their policyholder notified them of the crash
- The victim filed a claim for compensation based on the collision
While each insurance company has its methods and protocols for gathering evidence, you can trust they will seek out anything available that might reduce their financial burden. This includes evidence to reduce the value of your claim or show you share fault in causing the crash.
In addition to the police report, interviews with witnesses, video, physical evidence, and more, they may want to speak with you and get a recorded statement. It would be best if you had them talk with your lawyer to refuse to go on record.
Based on the evidence they uncover, the AmFam adjuster will determine who caused the crash. They may allege you acted negligently and share in the fault or are 100 percent at fault. If this happens to you and you do not have an attorney, you may consider consulting with one.
Valuing Your Accident Claim
If AmFam determines their policyholder is liable, they will put what they consider a fair value on your claim. If you do not know how much your case is worth, this may seem like a lot of money. However, your expenses and losses likely add up to much more.
You should know your case’s approximate value or settlement range before you make any decisions or sign anything. If the representative from American Family presents an offer that is too low, you can negotiate. Fight for the payout you deserve based on the facts of your claim.
Payment for Damages
American Family Insurance should cut you a check for your damages if you can reach an agreement during negotiations. They will ask you to sign a release barring you from further action before they deliver your payment.
Be aware that one tactic insurers sometimes use is sending a check early before a victim files their claim or has any idea about the value of their case. Therefore, do not sign anything without having your attorney review it first.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
What If I Have American Family Insurance?
If you have American Family Insurance and only suffered property damage in the collision, you may want to file a claim based on your collision coverage, if that is available. You will have to pay a deductible.
However, your insurance company should take care of the claims process for you. They will:
- Assess the damage to your car or have your repair shop give an estimate
- Give you a payout amount
- Agree to the settlement
- Pay you or the repair shop directly
- Use subrogation to recover their money and your deductible from the at-fault driver’s insurer.
If you have American Family Insurance, you can file a claim by:
- Using the MyAmFam app
- Logging in to My Account on the website
- Calling 1-800-MYAMFAM
Should I Work with a Car Accident Lawyer to Ensure My Rights Are Protected?
While some people opt to handle their auto insurance claims independently, having an attorney makes the process easier and less stressful. This is especially true if you are undergoing treatment for injuries or trying to return to the everyday life you had before the crash. In addition, navigating a car accident insurance claim can seem like a full-time job.
Car accident attorneys work based on contingency fees, meaning they do not charge anything upfront. They can handle your insurance claim or sue the at-fault driver on your behalf.
There is a limited time to sue in these cases, and this could become necessary if AmFam refuses a just settlement. The deadlines across the Gulf South vary from one year in Louisiana under La. Civ. Code Art. 3492 to three years in Mississippi per Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49. Exceptions could give you less time to sue, too. Act as soon as your injuries allow.
Contact Our Office for Help with Your Insurance Claim and Accident Case Today
The Morris Bart law firm offers free case reviews for car accident victims. We can help you understand the best options for moving forward with your case. We have 15 locations to serve clients. This includes all parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Call (800) 537-8185 to speak to a lawyer.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.