Handling an Accident Claim with Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual Insurance Company has been in business since 1912. They are a vast multibillion-dollar insurance company. Indeed, they are one of the largest auto insurers in the world. Because they are so large, there is a good chance that you might deal with Liberty Mutual if you are involved in a car accident.
Knowing how to handle an accident claim with Liberty Mutual could help you avoid some common mistakes when filing an insurance claim. Unfortunately, some of the mistakes people make can be costly. That’s why it’s often best to hire an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer to help you with your claim.
Before dealing with Liberty Mutual, you may want to consider the following information.
Steps You Need to Take After a Car Accident
Before filing a claim with Liberty Mutual, there are several steps to take and things to keep in mind:
- Report the car accident to the police. Calling 911 is the quickest and easiest way to report the crash and request medical assistance.
- If it is safe for you to do so, take pictures of the accident scene. Making a video of the accident scene can also be very helpful when settling injury claims.
- Do not discuss the car crash with anyone at the accident scene except for the police officers.
- Avoid admitting fault or apologizing for the accident. Even if you believe you could be partially to blame for the accident, talk with a car accident lawyer before saying anything about fault.
- If there are eyewitnesses at the accident scene, ask them if they will give you their names and conduct information. Try to remember what the witnesses say to you and write it down.
- See a doctor as soon as possible if you do not go directly to the emergency room. Never say that you are fine, okay, or uninjured. It is better to state you are unsure and plan to see your doctor.
Obtain a copy of the police report or accident report as soon as it is available. Review the report carefully for any errors. Report factual errors to the police officer who completed the crash report.
Keep copies of all documents you receive regarding the accident. The best way to keep track of documents and information is to create a filing system. Also, print out and file the photographs you took at the accident scene. Make backup copies of the photos and videos to at least two external backups.
Filing an Accident Claim with Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual offers a 24/7 online claims reporting system. You can file a claim against a Liberty Mutual customer online. If you are comfortable using the online system, the company states that you can manage your claim on their website.
Gather all of your information before you begin filing your claim. Review the information to refresh your memory.
To begin a claim, you will need:
- The last name and policy number of the Liberty Mutual customer (this information should be on the accident report or provided to you at the accident scene)
- The incident date
- An explanation of what happened (do not admit fault or say anything that could be used to shift blame for the accident to you)
- The damages caused by the accident
- The driver’s name and contact information
The company makes it difficult for you to file an accident claim other than online. You must search for the customer service number on their website. Liberty Mutual’s customer service number is 1-800-290-8711.
If you call Liberty Mutual, be aware that most telephone calls are recorded. Do not admit fault and avoid chit-chat. Insurance adjusters are highly skilled in using small talk to get people to say things they may not mean to say.
After you submit your claim, you should receive a case number. An insurance adjuster or claims investigator is assigned to your case and will investigate your claim.
Settling a Property Damage Claim with Liberty Mutual
The initial step in the claim process is an investigation. The adjuster verifies that the insured driver has a valid car insurance policy with Liberty Mutual. The adjuster typically begins with the property damage claim.
Property damage claims are settled quickly in most cases. If the other driver caused the crash, the company should pay for repairs to your vehicle. If your vehicle was totaled, you should receive the fair market value for the vehicle.
You may want to obtain two or more estimates for the fair market value to ensure that Liberty Mutual adjusters are not undervaluing your property damage claim. If your vehicle is being repaired, request a rental vehicle comparable to the damaged vehicle.
Also, inquire about aftermarket or used parts. Using these parts to repair your vehicle could decrease the value of your vehicle. Demand that they use new parts made for your vehicle’s make and model.
Investing an Accident Claim with Liberty Mutual
After the property damage claim is settled, the adjuster continues the investigation. The adjuster should begin gathering evidence regarding your damages so that he can calculate a value for your claim.
There are a few things to keep in mind:
- You do not have to provide a written or recorded statement to settle your claim. It is not in your best interest to provide statements because they could be used in court if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
- Remember, the adjuster works for the auto insurance company. His job is to pay as little as possible for your auto accident claim. Therefore, he is constantly searching for information he can use to undervalue your claim.
- Only provide copies of medical records related to the accident. Never allow the insurance company to review your entire medical history or sign a medical records release form for Liberty Mutual.
- Keep copies of all documents you receive related to the automobile accident. Make detailed notes of every conversation you have with a representative of Liberty Mutual.
When you complete medical treatment, it is time to begin negotiating a settlement for your claim. Do not settle your claim until you complete treatment. You need to know the extent of your injuries and damages to determine if a settlement offer is fair.
Negotiating a Car Accident Settlement with Liberty Mutual
You do not have to accept the first settlement offer made by the company. First offers are generally lower than the value of your claim. If you are unsure of the value of your damages, it is wise to consult with a personal injury lawyer before attempting to negotiate a settlement.
The types of damages in a car accident case typically include:
- Medical bills and medical expenses
- Lost wages, benefits, and other income
- Pain and suffering damages, including emotional distress, mental trauma, and physical discomfort
- Permanent impairments, scarring, disfigurement, and disabilities
- Decreases in future earning potential
- Cost of long-term care or personal care
- Loss of quality of life or enjoyment of life
All types of damages should be included in the settlement amount.
NOTE: When you sign a settlement agreement, your claim ends. You release Liberty Mutual and all parties from any further liability for your damages and injuries. If you failed to include something or discover additional injuries or damages, it is too late to demand more money.
Signs that You Might Need a Houston Personal Injury Attorney to Help with a Liberty Mutual Accident Claim
There are several situations in which you might want to consider hiring an attorney instead of handling an accident claim with Liberty Mutual yourself.
- You sustained traumatic injuries or permanent impairments
- Your medical bills, loss of income, and other economic damages are significant
- The accident involves a commercial truck, government entity, or child injury
- A defective product could be a factor in the cause of the crash
- The insurance company is blaming you for causing the accident
- The other driver or Liberty Mutual disputes liability
- You are unaware of the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit set by the Texas statute of limitations
- Liberty Mutual is dragging out the claim, failing to respond to you, or refuses to negotiate in good faith
If you have any doubts about your claim or are unsure what to do, it is best to seek legal advice before taking any further steps regarding a Liberty Mutual claim.