After being involved in a motor vehicle wreck, injury victims will often begin looking into opportunities to recover compensation for the damages. One of the most common ways to do this is by filing a claim with the insurance company. Insurance settlements can help alleviate the financial burden of a collision and help you start to rebuild your life.
However, if you are feeling intimidated at the thought of filing an insurance claim, you are not alone. An experienced Elk Grove car accident lawyer at Triumph Law can help you navigate the claims process and ensure you understand what is to come. Read on to learn more about what to expect when you initiate a car accident insurance claim in Elk Grove.
California Fault Insurance Laws
Every state has different laws in place for how car insurance claims are handled. Some states follow no-fault insurance rules. However, California is a fault insurance state.
In no-fault states, motorists are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and file a claim with their insurance companies after an accident. This is because PIP coverage is designed to cover damages without regard to liability for the collision. Fortunately, California laws are different.
In fault states, liable parties are expected to compensate injury victims for the damages. After a collision, you will not file a claim with your personal insurer. Instead, you will pursue a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance policy.
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When You File a Claim with Your Insurer
There are some instances in which it may be appropriate to file a claim with your insurance company. For example, suppose you set up your insurance policy and decide to opt into no-fault insurance or personal injury protection coverage. In that case, you may have the right to file a claim against your insurance policy after an accident. However, it may not be the best idea to do so.
Insurance companies do everything they can to avoid paying out on claims. If they offer you a settlement after filing a no-fault claim, you can almost surely expect them to increase your auto insurance premiums when it is time for your policy to renew. Even though no-fault coverage is designed to protect you, it could ultimately cost you more as your insurance company will consider you a more risky driver.
For this reason, we do not often recommend our clients file claims against their personal insurance policies. Instead, filing against the liable party’s insurance policy may be the way to go. After reviewing the details of your case, your Elk Grove personal injury lawyer will know more.
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What Your Insurance Claim Will Cover
Do not expect your insurance claim to cover the total value of your damages. In fact, expect quite the opposite. Insurance settlements will only cover a portion of your damages. The amount insurance covers will be based on how much coverage the liable party has purchased.
If the driver that hit you only has $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage, the insurance company will only pay you up to $50,000 for your medical bills. Even seemingly minor injuries can be far more expensive due to the high costs of U.S. healthcare. The types and amounts of covered losses outlined in the liable party’s policy terms will determine how much you could be awarded and which damages will be compensated.
Bodily injury liability coverage may cover medical expenses, but property damage liability coverage will cover a portion of your vehicle repair costs. Generally, car accident insurance settlements do not cover any other type of economic or non-economic damages.
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What to Expect from Your Elk Grove Car Accident Insurance Claim
The car accident insurance claims process can be intimidating while you are still healing from your injuries. Fortunately, you do not need to worry about anything except recuperating. Your car accident attorney will handle all insurance claim filings and negotiations with insurance adjusters on your behalf.
After preparing your car accident insurance claim and filing it with the insurance company, your lawyer will prepare to negotiate. The insurance company may request that you give them a statement, but you should defer to your attorney so the insurance adjusters cannot take advantage of you. It is not unusual for insurance representatives to manipulate statements given to them by well-intentioned claimants.
For this reason, it is almost always in your best interests to direct the insurance company to your legal advocate. We will never let the insurance company trick you into accepting a settlement that is less than you are entitled to receive. If the offer is too low or they operate in bad faith, we will be prepared to renegotiate settlement terms or pursue additional legal actions to protect your rights.
How to Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Insurers
Dealing with the insurance company should not be as stressful or tenuous as it is. While you are healing, this contention could disrupt your recovery. Fortunately, you do not need to deal with the insurance company alone.
When the insurance company reaches out to you for a statement or needs to talk to you about other details of your case, do not say anything. Instead, have your car accident lawyer step in and take over your insurance claim. This may be the best way to show the insurance company how seriously you are taking your case, which may be enough to deter them from trying to reduce your settlement or take advantage of you.
Meet with a Car Accident Attorney in Elk Grove, CA, Today
Insurance companies are not known for equity. Insurance adjusters are tasked with looking for any opportunity to reduce a claimant’s payout or deny a claim altogether. Do not let yourself be taken advantage of by money-hungry insurance companies. You can fight back and hold them accountable to their financial obligations.
Connect with Elk Grove’s top-rated car accident law firm for a 100% free consultation. Meet with a personal injury lawyer at Triumph Law today to figure out who is responsible for causing your collision and seek maximum compensation for your damages. Complete our quick contact form or call our office to get started as soon as today.