Automobile Insurance Claim Lawyers
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What Does My Automobile Insurance Cover?
The amount of automobile insurance coverage you have depends on what kind of policy you purchased from your car insurance company. There are three primary types of car insurance:
- Collision Insurance - If you're involved in an accident, collision coverage pays for the damage to your car. It does not pay for the other person's car
- Liability Insurance - Liability insurance covers an injury you caused to another person's property or body
- Medical Insurance - Medical insurance covers the bodily injuries you might receive in an accident
Most states require you to carry at least a minimum amount of coverage. Many states only require liability coverage.
What's the Difference Between "No-Fault" and "At-Fault" States?
Each state has different rules about who is responsible for an accident:
- No-Fault - In a "no-fault" state, it doesn't make a difference who caused the accident - each person's insurance company pays for their insured driver's damages.
- At-Fault - In "at-fault" states, the party responsible for the accident (or their insurance company) pays for both parties' damages.
What If I'm Injured by an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?
The chance exists that you might be involved in an accident with a driver who is either uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover the damages. If this happens to you, there are several ways that you can get full compensation for your damages:
- Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage - Most car insurance companies offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This type of insurances pays for your damages if the other motorist didn't have enough or any insurance.
- No-Fault State - In a no-fault state, your insurance company pays for your damages even if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured. However, if your losses exceed your own coverage, there is nothing you can do to recover.
When Can My Automobile Insurance Company Deny My Claim?
There are situations in which your car insurance company can deny your claim, even if the accident wasn't your fault:
- Claim Procedure - If you don't follow the procedure for reporting a claim as laid out in your policy, your insurance company can deny your claim. For example, most policies require you to report your accident within a specified period of time. If you miss the deadline to report it, you might not be able to collect payment.
- Vehicle Location - When you sign up for your policy, insurance companies often ask where the car is going to be kept and then uses that information to calculate your premiums. If you don't keep the car where you told them you were going to, they could deny you coverage.
- Misleading Statements - If you make any misleading or false statements when you purchased your policy, or if you fail to tell the insurance company when you have moved or other relevant information has changed, your insurance company can deny your claim.
What's a "Total Loss"?
If the cost to repair your car after an accident exceeds the value of your car, your car is a "total loss." This means that your car will not be repaired; instead you will be paid the current value of the car and the insurance company will take your wrecked car away to be sold as salvage. An insurance company need not pay you enough money to buy a new car; they only have to pay the fair market value of your car.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Insurance companies will occasionally deny a claim that they should have paid for. If this happens to you, you'll probably have to sue the insurance company for bad faith. You might also have to sue the other driver if he or she is underinsured. Having an attorney assist you with these problems can make your life easier. A lawyer will know all your state laws and have experience dealing with car insurance companies.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 04-28-2014 12:00 PM PDT
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