When you’ve been in an auto accident for the first time, you might not know what to expect. You have auto insurance, but what is the process of using your insurance to get back on the road? What do you do if the other person was at fault? When you contact your auto insurance company to recover from an accident, you make a first-party claim. By contacting the other driver’s insurance to help with your repairs, getting a new car or covering medical costs, you make a third-party claim. No matter which insurer you contact, there are certain ways an auto insurance company can respond to a claim.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident or need a way back behind the wheel, contact the Chicago personal injury attorneys of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. for help with your insurance claim.
There are a finite number of ways an insurance company can respond to your claim, including:
Many accidents simply result in damage to your vehicle. You may need to get one or more estimates of the cost of the damage to your car. The insurance company may agree with the estimates or try to negotiate a different price. The end result is that they pay for the repairs of the vehicle. You may need an attorney to help you negotiate to ensure all of the repairs to your vehicle are recovered and that you are able to use the best, most reliable new parts for the repairs.
Some accidents result in damages that cost more than the estimated worth of the car. This is when a vehicle is totaled. If you have full coverage on your car, the insurance company often pays you the car’s market value minus the deductible you’re required to pay. While this technically reimburses you for your car, it may not be enough to pay off your auto loan and then get a new car. Even if it pays off the auto loan for the totaled car, you are stuck looking for a way to pay for a new car.
You may have a new car or gap coverage that will pay you more than the fair market value of your totaled car. The policy may call for a specific amount in these circumstances such as paying the total cost of purchasing a similar new vehicle or paying out the value that will definitely pay off the outstanding loan. You may also need to negotiate a higher settlement by proving the car is worth more than the insurance company estimated.
There are many reasons why an insurance company will deny your claim entirely or part of it. If you made a third-party claim, the auto insurance company may not agree that its customer was at fault. It will state it’s not liable for your recovery. In this case, you will need an attorney to help appeal this denial and prove the other motorist was at fault. Your auto insurer or another may also deny your claim in part, which often means they disagree with the amount your request for your recovery. You and your attorney may need to provide additional evidence of why you deserve a certain pay out.
Your insurance company needs to respond to a first-party claim. However, other insurance companies are technically under no obligation to respond to a third-party claim. While there is no obligation to work with you because you are not that insurer’s customer, the insurance company should respond to your claim in good faith. If it does not, contact an attorney right away.
Dealing with insurance companies after a car accident can be a hassle. By working with an experienced lawyer, you have someone with experience in handling property and personal injury claims. A skilled attorney understands insurance law and can anticipate an insurance company’s tactics. Instead of piling more on your plate, call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away at (312) 236-2900.