Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020
Being involved in a serious accident can be an incredibly traumatic experience. Accident victims have to grapple with an often protracted physical recovery and at the same time worry about incapacity for work and the resulting drop in income. Additionally, accident victims often miss out on time with loved ones and pursue the activities they used to enjoy. Accident victims may be eligible for compensation for their injuries through a personal injury lawsuit; However, the recovery process is often overwhelming – especially with troubled insurance companies.
Insurance companies will often try to take advantage of accident victims while they are most vulnerable. However, dealing with insurance companies after an accident is an inevitable part of the recovery process. The assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney can greatly reduce the stress of an accident victim and allow them to focus on their recovery.
Insurance is the main source of compensation for most accident victims
If someone negligently injures another, he can be held responsible for damage suffered by the injured party. In most cases, however, an insurance company is the party responsible for actually paying for the victim’s injuries.
For example, if a negligent truck driver causes an accident, the driver’s car insurance is likely to cover the accident. If so, then the insurance company is following in the truck driver’s footsteps. Thus, the injured party will submit a claim for damages to the insurance company, which will then decide whether to approve the claim, return with a counter offer, or reject the claim.
If an insurance claim is rejected, the injured party can file a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver. Since the insurance company is contractually obliged to defend the truck driver, the insurance company will defend the case in the end.
Dealing with more than one insurance company
Insurance laws vary from state to state, with some states using an error-based system and others using a system primarily based on protecting yourself from personal injury caused by motorists. Regardless of the laws of a particular state, many accidents involve multiple insurance companies.
An insurance policy is a contract under which the insurance company undertakes to cover certain covered costs against a monthly premium paid by the insured. However, an insurance policy may require the insured to follow certain steps before the company approves coverage. For example, with insurance policies, motorists must report all accidents to the insurance company – including accidents that were not caused by the insured person. It is therefore important that a motorist reports an accident to his insurance company immediately.
Even if another driver is at fault, there may be certain advantages that the victim may want to take advantage of under their car insurance. For example, if the culpable driver does not have adequate insurance coverage, the accident victim can file an underinsured motor vehicle claim with his insurance company.
Interaction with another party’s insurance company
The very purpose of insurance is to ensure that someone who has been injured as a result of negligent acts on the part of the insured has an opportunity to obtain compensation for their injuries. In reality, however, insurance companies rarely offer accident victims the compensation they deserve without being convincing.
Insurance companies are for-profit companies. As a result, an insurance company relies on borrowing more money each month through monthly premiums than it pays out in approved claims. As a result, insurance companies often try to reach an accident victim early in order to get them to settle the case as little as possible.
For example, suppose the customer slips and falls on a puddle of liquid while shopping at a grocery store. The grocery store will report the incident to its insurance company. The insurance company can then turn to the customer and offer him an amount of money if he agrees not to pursue a personal injury case against the grocery store. However, the amount offered is usually only a fraction of the damage suffered by the customer. Unfortunately, accident victims too often accept these low-ball offers because they are unfamiliar with the process or are in dire need of cash after an accident.
However, accident victims have another alternative. By working with an experienced personal injury attorney, an accident victim can ensure that they are not being taken advantage of by an insurance company. A dedicated injury attorney can not only assess the strength of a victim’s case and provide valuable advice, but can also stand up for the victim in negotiations with the insurance company.
© 2020 by Console and Associates. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 266