If you've ever been involved in a car accident, you know how big of a role insurance can play.
Typically, after every car accident, the people involved exchange insurance information along with filing the police report.
After the insurance information is exchanged, the necessary information is passed along to the insurance companies, and then an insurance adjuster takes it from there.
Even still, from the beginning to the end of your automobile accident claim, the insurance coverage will always be part of the equation.
In the article below, we'll talk about all of the ways insurance can affect your car accident claim.
Table Of Contents
- Who Needs Car Insurance
- The At-Fault Drivers Policy
- The Role Of Your Insurance
- Speak To A Car Accident Attorney Today
Who Needs Car Insurance?
If you drive a car, you need car insurance.
There really aren't any exceptions.
Most states have a required minimum amount of insurance that every driver has to maintain in order to operate and/or register a vehicle legally.
The amounts vary from state to state, but every state as a minimum amount of required insurance coverage.
The type of insurance you carry, as well as the type that other drivers involved in your accident carry, play a huge role in your ability to recover your property loss and medical bills.
The At-Fault Drivers Policy
Soon after the accident occurs, as long as no one is seriously hurt, you need to obtain the information of any other drivers involved in the accident.
This means you should gather names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information such as the policyholder's name and their policy number.
You also need to report the accident to your own insurance company as soon as possible.
The insurance company of the at-fault driver will be responsible for covering the costs of property damage and repair, and sometimes car rentals as well.
The insurer will also be responsible for compensating for any injuries sustained as a result of the car accident.
The other driver's insurance company will assign a claims agent to contact you shortly after the accident.
Some companies will assign multiple agents to handle property damage and injury claims.
The job of the agent is to gather all the facts, assign value to your claim, and try to settle the claim without the need for a lawsuit.
Oftentimes, the claims agent will ask you to provide a recorded statement.
You don't have to do that, and it's in your best interest to contact an attorney before you talk with the insurance company at all.
Saying the wrong thing, even on accident, could end up costing you thousands of dollars.
Also, don't be surprised if the claims agent asks you to provide medical authorizations so they can obtain copies of your medical records and bills.
You shouldn't do that either.
Instead, tell the adjuster that once you're back to 100%, and you've finished treating your injuries, you will provide a copy of all relevant records and bills as part of your settlement demand.
A car accident attorney can handle that for you as well.
It's very important to remember that the at-fault driver's insurance company does not work for you.
With this in mind, you need to gather as much evidence as you can, including proof of your injuries, photographs, and any and all other documentation that can help support your claim.
The Role Of Your Insurance
If you're not at fault for the accident, why does it matter what kind of insurance you have?
Despite all the laws and regulations regarding car insurance, unfortunately not everyone complies.
There are more people driving around out there under-insured or uninsured than we likely realize.
If you are involved in a car accident caused by someone uninsured or under-insured, you have to rely on your own insurance to help recoup your losses.
Almost every car insurance policy today will include an uninsured/under-insured motorist provision that provides you with coverage if you're hit by a driver without adequate insurance.
If that happens, you will work with your own insurance company to obtain a settlement for both your property damage and any injuries you sustained.
Because you have a contract with your insurance company, they are required to act in "good faith" in negotiating with you and settling your claim.
If your insurance company doesn't want to cooperate, and won't compensate you to your satisfaction, you can file suit against them for breach of contract and bad faith.
The majority of insurers will avoid this at all costs because of the potential financial hit.
Courts typically award "triple damages" in many states if a plaintiff is successful in a bad faith claim.
With that said, you also have to remember your own obligations toward your insurance company.
If you don't fulfill your obligations, it could affect whether or not you receive compensation.
For example, most insured individuals are obligated to assist their own insurance company in obtaining facts and evidence relating to the claim.
This could mean submitting a recorded statement and providing additional documentation.
A seasoned car accident attorney can help you navigate this process as well.
Speak To A Car Accident Attorney Today
The aftermath of most car accidents is messy and confusing.
Even the most minor fender bender that seems as straightforward as can be can turn into legal and financial nightmares.
Car insurance is complicated by itself, and that's usually just the tip of the iceberg.
The last thing you need to worry about is talking to multiple insurance companies and filling out mountains of paperwork.
That's why if you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, you should contact a reputable car accident attorney today.
The attorneys at The Roth Firm have years of experience and expertise working with insurance companies and settling accident claims in favor of their clients.
They're ready to help you today.
Click the button below to get started.