Car Accident Claim Lawyers
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What Is a Car Accident Claim?
A car accident claim may be filed in connection with an automobile accident. This usually involves interaction with an automobile insurance company, which may cover certain aspects of the damage and losses. Most auto insurance companies offer some form of collision insurance, which can cover losses to the policy holder’s own car. This can help the car owner minimize expenses when it comes to repairs, etc. Other insurance policies may cover bodily injuries (such as some medical insurance policies).
How Do Car Accident Claims Begin?
The Car Accident:
A car accident claim begins after you have been in a car accident with another driver. Once this happen, it is important to stay at the accident site as much as you can and collect any evidence that is available to you that can be used later on in your claim. At the first opportunity, you need to report the accident with your insurance carrier and begin the process of filing a claim. After the claim has been submitted, the claim adjuster that works for the insurance company will call you regarding your claim and see what type of coverage you are entitled to.
The adjuster will also then begin an investigation process where they will go through all the evidence that you have, the witnesses available, look at the police report, and requests from your medical provider if you needed treatment.
The Settlement Offer:
After the adjuster has investigated the accident, he or she will send you a settlement offer and tell you what the insurance company is willing to pay for the accident and expenses. If you think that the offer is too low, you can send in your own demand letter or have a licensed attorney send a letter to negotiate a different offer.
Do Car Insurance Policies Cover Everything?
Not always- while most automobile insurance policies cover damage to the policy holder’s own car, it does not cover damage caused to the other driver’s car. Thus, if a person is being sued by the other driver, it will be difficult for them to turn to an insurance company for financial support. They may be required to pay damages, especially in cases where they were reckless or extremely negligent in driving.
Also, insurance policies are subject to all sorts of limitations based on fault. “At-fault” policies may require one party to pay all of the expenses, depending on the policy, as well as state laws. The opposite of this is “no-fault”, wherein both parties pay for their own losses, regardless of who is at fault. Determining fault can sometimes be a difficult task in a car accident claim.
What If I Need to Challenge or Contest a Car Accident Claim?
Challenging a car accident claim can sometimes be difficult, especially if the parties each are dealing with written insurance policies. The terms of such policies are usually spelled out in a contract, and therefore may be difficult to contest once they are signed.
However, it may be possible to contest a claim in some cases, especially where the contract is vague or where a party engaged in fraud or misrepresentation. This can sometimes happen with “staged” accidents, where one driver fakes injuries or damages simply to collect on insurance payouts. In such cases, it may be necessary to consult with an expert witness or with a lawyer to determine the extent of the damages and injuries.
Thus, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the terms of your individual policy coverage. Also, don’t sign any documents before you fully understand the effect that they might have in the long run.
What If the Other Driver Has No Insurance or Is Underinsured?
If the other party does not have insurance and they are at fault for the accident, your own insurance company will pay you for your damages if your policy covers the costs. Your insurance company will try to get reimbursed from the uninsured driver.
If the driver is underinsured, then your insurance company will cover the amount that is needed to fully cover all your damages and will try to get the rest from the other driver’s insurance company.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with a Car Accident Claim?
Car accident claims sometimes involve a complex interaction between state laws and private insurance policies. You may need to hire a personal injury lawyer if you need legal advice or representation. Your attorney will be able to help review a policy document and advise you on how to proceed with the appropriate claim.
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Last Modified: 02-11-2016 09:58 AM PST
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