Progressive is one of the most recognizable auto insurance companies, thanks in large part to its ever-present ads featuring the cheerful spokesperson “Flo.” In New Jersey, Progressive is among the five largest car insurers, with $800 million in underwritten auto insurance premiums. There’s a big chance that you or other drivers around you have Progressive auto insurance.
What happens when you have to make an accident injury claim with Progressive Insurance? Here’s what to expect, plus tips on how to maximize your settlement. To get legal guidance specific to your case, please consult a trusted personal injury lawyer.
How to Make an Injury Claim with Progressive: The Claims Process
If you get injured in New Jersey and Progressive is your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) provider, you’ll need to file a claim with them first. This is because NJ is a “no fault” state, meaning it doesn’t matter who caused the crash – your PIP provider will cover your losses first. If your losses are greater than your PIP coverage, then you may claim the excess amount from the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability insurance.
Whether you’re making a PIP claim or a liability claim, these are the general steps in the Progressive insurance claims process. Do read our tips further below before initiating your claim.
Step 1. Contact Progressive.
You can initiate your claim by phone, website, or Progressive’s mobile app. Be prepared to provide details such as the accident date, time, and location, and your insurance information as well as the other driver’s.
Step 2. Progressive assesses your claim.
Within three days of your filing, a claims adjuster will likely call you to arrange a damage inspection of your car, analyze police reports, and interview witnesses.
Be aware that the adjuster may also give you an initial settlement offer, which may be a much smaller amount than you deserve. They may also try to get you to sign a settlement release in exchange for a small check. Insurers typically want to close claims quickly, so they’ll try to get you to accept an immediate settlement.
Step 3. Negotiate.
At this point, it’s ideal for you to already have an experienced lawyer who can help you evaluate how much your claim is really worth. You and your attorney can negotiate with Progressive for an acceptable settlement.
Step 4. Settlement
If Progressive offers a settlement that you find agreeable, you may accept it and they will close your case. Note that once you sign the settlement release, you are waiving your right to claim any more compensation.
On the other hand, if you’re not getting a fair amount from the negotiation, or if the insurance company isn’t taking your claim seriously, you have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit. Discuss with your attorney about the best legal strategies for your case.
Often, insurers are more compelled to settle favorably with you once you’ve filed suit, because they want to avoid costly and time-consuming court litigation. However, if your case does go to court, you can expect to face a seasoned legal team representing Progressive. It’s crucial to have a competent attorney on your side to represent you as well.
Claims Adjuster Tactics to Look Out For
Most insurance companies will assure you that they’re working with you during your claim, but in reality, they aim to reduce payouts to protect their profits. This makes it challenging for injured claimants to get their rightful compensation for bodily injury. Many have ended up accepting settlements that are much less than they need and deserve. Some have had to deal with puzzling rejections.
When pursuing a bodily injury claim from insurance companies like Progressive, be aware of these common methods that insurance claims adjusters use:
- Getting you to give a recorded statement that they may later use against you
- “Lowballing” or offering a dismal settlement amount (some have reported getting a $1,000 to $3,000 offer from Progressive for their bodily injury)
- Assert that your injuries and losses aren’t as serious as you claim (they may point out, for example, that you exaggerated your symptoms or that you had a pre-existing injury)
- Put surveillance on you to gather evidence that you’re not as injured as you say
- Adding various delays to the claims process, in hopes that you will finally settle for a small payout
- Denying your claim without proper investigation.
It’s best to have an attorney’s guidance even before you speak with an insurance representative. A good lawyer will protect you from common mistakes that could cost you your claim. They should also be familiar with the real-world tactics that insurers apply in the claims process.
Tips to Protect and Maximize Your Bodily Injury Claim
- Get immediate medical attention. Adjusters will find any delay in your medical care, using it as a sign that your injuries aren’t that serious. Thus, you’ll need to have a doctor check your injuries right away, even if you think they’ll heal on their own. It’s also important not to miss any subsequent medical appointments.
- Collect evidence early. As much as you can, take photos and videos of the accident scene, including the crash site, your visible injuries, the damage on your car, and relevant details like skid marks, broken signs, or beer bottles on the ground. You must also keep your crash-related medical records, medical bills, work logs, travel stubs, and other documents.
- Report to the police. Motorists in New Jersey are required by law to report car accidents resulting in injuries. After reporting, ask for a copy of your crash report.
- Get a lawyer’s help. You may enlist an attorney at any point in your claim, but it’s best to get legal guidance from the get-go. As we discussed above, insurers are not on your side and they will try to minimize your claim. An experienced attorney can recognize this from the moment you get in touch with an adjuster.
Even if you’re not thinking of lawsuits at this point and are focused only on your insurance claim, having a lawyer increases your negotiating power. The reality is that insurance companies don’t usually take claims seriously until the claimant gets an attorney.
Contact a Progressive Bodily Injury Claim Lawyer in NJ
New Jersey citizens have long trusted the Grossman Law Firm for personal injury claims. Over the last 20 years, our firm has recovered deca-millions of dollars on behalf of New Jerseyans who have been injured in motor vehicle crashes. We’ve successfully handled claims against major insurance companies like Progressive, many of which resulted in substantial amounts for our clients.
Consultation with the Grossman Law Firm for free. Talk to us about your Progressive bodily injury claim. Call (732) 625-9494 today.