Auto Insurance Claims/Claim closure

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Question
Once all medical care is completed after a motor vehicle crash,how is a claim actually closed?  We have signed the medical release of information forms allowing the at fault driver's auto insurance to obtain records so bills can be paid. We do plan to ask for compensation for pain and suffering since this crash has been so unbelievably disruptive to our lives.1) So, will the at fault driver's insurance offer us a settlement that includes pain and suffering or do we need to specifically ask for the compensation? 2) And when do we do this? We do not have a lawyer and really do not want one at this point.3) Is there a special form they send us that officially closes the claim?
Thank you for all your help, it is very much appreciated.

Answer
You should call your claim representative and ask him/her to explain the process.  Generally they collect your medical bills and reports, then evaluate your claim, and make you an offer.  They will evaluate it in a range and the first offer will be at the bottom of the range, so don't take the first offer.  Negotiate back and forth until you agree on a fair amount.  When you come to an agreement, they will ask you to sign a release.  One you sign the release, you are giving up the right to make any future claims in exchange for the money.

Auto Insurance Claims

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Claims Guy

Expertise

I am currently an Auto Claims Manager for a large insurance company. I have 20 years experience in the industry, having worked as a Claims Adjuster, Injury Settlement Negotiator, Claims Manager, SIU/Fraud Investigator, and Compliance Officer......I can answer questions related to any aspect of Automobile insurance claims and coverages. I can provide an inside look at how insurers operate. I always treat my customers fairly and want to help make sure you are treated fairly. However, please keep in mind that being treated fairly according to the law does not guarantee that you will get what you want. I can also answer some questions regarding Homeowner's and other types of insurance claims. I have handled all types of auto insurance claims and coverages. I am NOT an automotive repair expert but can give advice re how insurers handle complex repair issues. Please keep in mind that every state has its own set of laws pertaining to rules of the road, liability, and insurance. No one is an expert on every state. I am most familiar with laws in Maryland, DC, West Virginia, and Virginia, but will attempt to answer questions for other states. I am not an attorney an cannot provide legal advice. My advice will be my opinion based on my experience.

Experience

I am currently an Auto Claims Manager for a large insurance company. I have 20 years experience in the industry, having worked as a Claims Adjuster, Injury Settlement Negotiator, Claims Manager, SIU/Fraud Investigator, and Compliance Officer. I am not an attorney an cannot provide legal advice. My advice will be my opinion based on my experience.

Organizations
CPCU Society. Adjusters license in multiple states. International Association of Specal Investigators

Education/Credentials
I have a B.S. in Finance and have completed the AIC and CPCU designations.

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