Car Accident Insurance Claims
Get Insight from a Car Accident Insurance Claims Lawyer
The vast majority of car accident claims are paid by insurance providers. Because California operates off a fault-based system when it comes to auto accidents, the driver who caused the accident will be responsible for paying the victim or victims a certain amount of money as compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings and future loss of earnings or medical care. In serious accidents, the driver may even be held accountable for paying non-economic damages, which may cover emotional trauma, pain and suffering. Of course, the average person does not have tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars available to pay a car accident victim. This is where the at-fault party’s auto insurance provider comes into the picture.
Working with a car accident insurance claims lawyer who is adept at dealing with insurance claims, adjusters and providers is crucial if you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident of any kind. You will need to deal with your insurance company, informing them of the collision, and may be approached by the other driver’s insurance company to discuss what happened. A lawyer can handle this communication on your behalf to protect your right to compensation.
It is of the utmost importance that you do not give any statements or admit fault if approached by the other driver’s insurance company. Anything you say could be used against you at a later date when the liability of the collision is determined. Involving a lawyer will mean that you will have a legal representative to handle any and all communication with the insurance providers, law enforcement, the other driver and any other interested parties – and this can make all the difference as you seek financial compensation for your injuries, financial losses and property damage.
California Auto Insurance Requirements
To own and operate a motor vehicle in California, you must have insurance. Under California Insurance Code § 11580.1b, the following minimum liability insurance requirements must be met: $15,000 for injury/death to one person; $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person; and $5,000 for property damage. Liability insurance compensates a person other than the policyholder for injuries or property damage in the event of an accident.
Drivers may choose to purchase collision or comprehensive insurance, however, which will cover far more than liability insurance (including injury or property damage affecting the policyholder). Collision insurance covers physical damage to the policyholder’s vehicle. Comprehensive insurance covers damage that is not related to a collision, such as theft, storms, earthquakes, falling objects, etc.
Comprehensive and collision insurance is required if a driver is leasing a vehicle. A policy for a driver with a leased car may include $100,000 for injury/death to one person, $300,000 for injury/death to more than one person and $50,000 or more for property damage. If you were involved in an accident with a driver who had this policy, for example, you may be able to recover up to $100,000 for injuries and $50,000 for property damage from the at-fault driver’s policy.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
Insurance companies are notorious for offering the lowest possible settlements. Some may delay payment or even deny valid claims, and policyholders and claimants may feel as though there is nothing they can do to get a fair settlement. This does not have to be the case after your car accident. Hiring an attorney shows the insurance company that you mean business, and with a legal professional to handle your claim and all communication with the insurer, you can focus on healing and spending time with loved ones – and moving on with your life.
The team at Pacific Attorney Group is particularly skilled in negotiating with insurance companies when handling our clients’ car accident claims. We know how to put enough pressure on a provider to pay a valid claim in a timely manner, and we have the resources to investigate the cause of a collision when liability is incorrectly assigned to our client. If a case must go to court, we are prepared to litigate on a client’s behalf in order to seek fair compensation.
You Need an Attorney
Instead of trusting that your insurance company will handle your claim, consider taking a proactive approach and involving an attorney. You may not need legal counsel after a minor fender bender in a parking lot, but if you were involved in a serious collision that left you injured and unable to work, you may run into any of a number of difficulties when trying to secure fair compensation. Contact a car accident insurance claims attorney at our firm today to learn more about how we can help you.
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