EXPERIENCED INSURANCE ATTORNEY IN COLORADO SPRINGS
Dealing with insurance companies is a pain, but it’s something we’ll all have to do at some point in our lives. After an accident, the first question people ask our firm is how to report the accident to insurance and contact the appropriate person.
Is there a different procedure if you were not at fault in your accident? Do you have to report an accident to your own insurance company, another party’s insurance company, or both?
If you are not at fault in a car accident, you will almost always have to deal with the other driver’s insurance company rather than your own. While you should still contact your own insurance company to report the accident, you will not seek compensation. There are some exceptions, such as if the other driver is uninsured, in which case you must check your policy for uninsured motorist coverage.
However, not everything can be crammed into that one paragraph! The number of options available can quickly become overwhelming. This article delves deeper into the topic of what to do about insurance after a car accident. Would you want one piece of advice that never changes? The best advice is to contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible.
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IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE INSURANCE AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
When driving, you must have auto insurance. All states require all drivers to have a minimum level of liability insurance.
Even if you don’t have insurance to cover your damages in a car accident, you must have insurance to cover the injuries of other drivers if you cause one. If you don’t have insurance, you might face steep penalties and have to pay for the damages you cause another motorist out of pocket.
The motorist who hits you in a car accident, on the other hand, may have insurance to compensate for your losses. If they don’t, you’ll have to look into your insurance to see what possibilities you have for reimbursement.
If you are certain that you were not at fault in your car accident, follow the legal procedures to get insurance compensation for your losses. This may include calling your insurance, the insurer of another motorist, or both.
SHOULD YOU CONTACT A NEGLIGENT DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANY?
Even if you only wish to report the accident, you should never call the insurance company representing the irresponsible individual on your own. If you need to submit a claim against the irresponsible driver’s insurance company, hiring an attorney to speak with their insurer on your behalf is the best choice.
Insurance companies normally aim to persuade you to settle as soon as possible, for as little as possible, to avoid having to go through a long and costly trial. If you contact the irresponsible driver’s insurance on your own, they will most likely give you a low-ball offer to encourage you to settle and go away.
Regrettably, insurance firms are not in the business of prioritizing the needs of vulnerable accident victims. The owners and policyholders of an insurance company, including the individual who caused your accident, are the firm’s priority. Because insurance companies aren’t always looking out for your best interests, it’s advisable not to accept the first offer.
If an insurance company calls with inquiries, don’t answer them. They may inquire about your well-being, but beware: if you mention that you’re “doing okay,” they may subsequently distort your comments and accuse you of lying about additional ailments. Everything you say is significant! A single mistake may result in you losing out on a substantial sum of money.
ALLOW YOUR ATTORNEY TO MAKE CONTACT WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY
You should hire a lawyer to report your collision to the other party’s insurance company. However, following an accident, the first thing you should do is consider your health. Allowing short-term issues to dominate long-term issues is a mistake. In other words, if you’re dealing with serious injuries, don’t worry about insurance! Take the time you need to receive the medical help you need. More serious injuries may keep patients in the hospital for weeks, and contacting an insurance company during this vulnerable time can just add to their anxiety.
Even while you recuperate from your injuries, it’s difficult not to worry about the future. Medical costs start piling up, and you’re not sure how you’ll stay afloat. How can you concentrate on rehabilitation while still protecting your financial interests? It’s simple: get legal assistance.
A knowledgeable auto accident attorney will know who to call and how to interact with the insurance company. Their purpose is to help you get the money you deserve on the right course. You’ll not only avoid the headache of dealing with an insurance provider while you recover, but you’ll also have an experienced expert perform the job for you!
THE INSURANCE COMPANY NEGOTIATION PROCESS
At the same time, your attorney contacts the insurance carrier and claims your injuries, generally with a demand letter. The amount of money you desire in compensation is included in the demand letter, but the insurance company seldom pays what you ask for.
The insurance company will go to any length to reject or minimize your claim. They may minimize your ailments and claim that you have overstated your costs. You know the truth: you weren’t at fault in the car accident, and your injuries are as serious as you claim.
Your injuries might be life-changing, and you’ll have to pay for them for years to come. Whatever the case may be, the insurance company will find a way to fight back.
Your lawyer will start negotiating with the insurance company at some time. The bargaining process might take a long, so be patient and wait. Much of the negotiating process is gathering and presenting evidence to the insurance company to establish their insured’s liability for the accident, as well as the costs and consequences you have suffered. Fortunately, the great majority of lawsuits settle—simply, it’s a question of time.
Your lawyer should inform you of any additional proposals from the insurance company throughout the route, but the decision is ultimately yours. You have the option of accepting or rejecting any offer. Your attorney may advise you on whether an offer is good or poor, but you decide how much you want to fight for in a settlement.
You are in command at all times. Even if your lawyer thinks a deal is excellent, they can’t accept it without your permission.
If you decline an offer, your matter may go to litigation and a trial. Hire a lawyer who isn’t hesitant to go to trial if necessary.
EVIDENCE FROM THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT
The discovery process will begin when you have hired a lawyer. The lawyer may go to the accident site and collect as much evidence as possible, including photographic or video evidence, police records, and witness testimonies.
Obtaining video footage is very beneficial. Public traffic cameras are becoming more common on our roadways, particularly in urban areas. An expert car accident lawyer would know how to access this kind of video.
What if there wasn’t a public traffic camera on the site of the collision, but there was a tiny convenience store with a security camera that recorded the incident? It might be more difficult to collect security video from inside a company.
Nonetheless, a lawyer has the tools to collect such material, albeit it may take longer. Any convincing picture or video evidence may demonstrate precisely what occurred in your accident, which is quite useful when bargaining with insurance.
Video evidence alone may sometimes be enough to establish your innocence. This might increase the pressure on an insurance company to reach a settlement number that you need.
YOUR MEDICAL BILLS AS EVIDENCE
Your medical bills are another important piece of evidence that your lawyer will need to gather. Without proof of your financial difficulties, an insurance company may not proceed with negotiations.
Your lawyers can assist you in collecting medical bills and keeping them organized and recorded. Medical bills may continue to mount, especially if you sustain serious injuries. Make a point of keeping all receipts, benefit notices, and other documents.
Medical bills show you how much money you’ve spent and how much money you’ll spend in the future. Other medical data, such as records of your doctor’s visits and prognoses, are likely to be required to verify future medical costs.
Spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries are two types of car accident injuries likely to result in costly future consequences. Both of these issues are likely to cause substantial, costly problems even after your case is resolved, which is why it’s critical to include future medical costs in your settlement demand.
INTANGIBLE IMPACTS EVIDENCE
You’ll need proof of all of the aforementioned actual costs to support your case.
But what about the intangible consequences you’ve experienced? What about the mental agony, as well as the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of your accident?
You should be compensated for these consequences as well. You will, however, need to acquire proof to do so.
It’s easier to establish mental and emotional distress if you can show what your future looks like based on your ailments. A doctor may tell you that you won’t be able to work again due to physical or mental disability or that you won’t be able to participate in many of the things you used to like.
When you talk to an attorney about the particular ways that an accident has impacted your life, they can help you figure out what kind of evidence you can gather to substantiate your claims.
WHAT KIND OF INSURANCE SETTLEMENT COULD YOU EXPECT?
The first goal following a car accident that wasn’t your fault is to get a fair settlement. You may get a big compensation if you work patiently with your lawyer, ideally enough to help you get by while you learn to live with your injuries.
No one, though, can say how much you’ll be able to recoup. It all relies on how the bargaining process goes, how much proof you can gather in your favor, and other specific details about your case. Your lawyer can offer you an estimate of how much you may be able to collect based on comparable cases they’ve handled in the past, but no two instances are identical.
Find a legal team that has taken on insurance companies before—the more situations like yours they’ve handled before, the better.
DO I HAVE TO REPORT AN ACCIDENT TO MY INSURANCE COMPANY?
Your insurance provider must always be aware that you were involved in an accident while driving a car they insure.
If there’s even a remote chance that someone may claim you due to the accident, you should contact your insurance company.
Following an car collision, the at-fault party may seek to contest responsibility. If the at-fault party can show that you caused or contributed to the car accident, your insurance company may be forced to pay a portion of the repair costs. Your insurance provider may need to know the specifics of the accident, such as the time and location of the incident, the persons involved, and any information about how the accident occurred, to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
Your insurance company will not take action on a claim without first speaking with you, especially if there is a question of guilt. Making sure your insurance provider is aware of the specifics of the collision, on the other hand, might help you prevent complications down the road.
If you know you caused or contributed to the accident, you may need to tell your insurance company about it. Do not contact your insurance carrier if you intend to contest guilt, know that you did not cause the accident, or have not yet talked to an attorney! Instead, speak with a lawyer about your legal options, including who could be liable for your car accident.
If you intend to utilize your insurance to cover any part of the claim, you must tell your insurance company.
Even if you were not at fault for the accident, you might need to utilize your car insurance to cover some of the costs associated with the incident.
You intend to utilize your PIP insurance to assist cover the cost of your medical expenses upfront.
Personal Injury Protection insurance, which will assist cover the first medical bills incurred by an car accident, is required or optional in several jurisdictions, including Colorado. Because medical expenses may be pricey, many drivers opt for PIP coverage. PIP coverage kicks in regardless of who caused the accident, so you don’t have to worry about disputed culpability or even situations when you may have been at fault.
Notifying your insurance carrier that you need such benefits will assist simplify your claim, as well as provide you with additional information about the coverage you may require. PIP coverage, for example, may cover things like lost income, which might leave you with a significant financial burden. To take advantage of such coverage, you may need to contact your insurance carrier.
However, keep in mind that you may not want to contact your insurance company directly. In certain situations, you may wish to have your attorney file the claim and paperwork on your behalf to ensure that you get all of the benefits you are entitled to.
TO PAY FOR MEDICAL BILLS, YOU MUST UTILIZE MEDPAY
Monday, which is utilized in Louisiana, only covers medical bills after a car accident and may not provide as much protection as your PIP policy. Suppose you need to utilize your MedPay benefits. In that case, you may need to notify your insurance carrier of your intention to do so, the degree of your injuries, and any other pertinent information regarding your accident.
You may not want to have that talk with your insurance company directly, yet again. After your car accident, an expert car accident attorney can help you understand more about the complete benefits you are entitled to and how to get them.
YOUR ACCIDENT WAS CAUSED BY SOMEONE WHO DID NOT HAVE INSURANCE
In Colorado, 20% of drivers do not have car insurance. That implies that if you get into an accident, there’s a 1 in 5 chance that it’ll be caused by a motorist who refuses to have car insurance. In Louisiana, the percentage reduces to roughly 11.7 percent of drivers, yet there’s still a good probability that an uninsured motorist was to blame for your collision.
Most drivers who have car insurance have uninsured motorist riders on their policy, which is a good thing. These riders kick in when the motorist who caused the accident has no insurance at all, and they may give critical protection in the case of a serious collision.
If you need to use your uninsured motorist coverage after an accident, speak with an attorney to learn more about what coverage your insurance company should provide, including how to get the full value for your car and whether you can expect coverage for any injuries you sustained in the accident that PIP or MedPay does not cover.
THE PERSON WHO CAUSED YOUR ACCIDENT HAS INSUFFICIENT INSURANCE
Minimum car insurance sometimes does not contain the coverage required to completely replace a damaged car or pay all accident-related expenditures. However, if you have underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance may kick in and pay part of these expenses!
When the other driver’s insurance company fails to provide enough protection, a personal injury lawyer can assist you in understanding the terms of the insurance policy and giving you a clearer understanding of how much compensation you may anticipate from your insurance company.
WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT MY INSURANCE COMPANY?
You may not want to speak with your insurance company straight after an accident. Instead, contact a car accident attorney, and have the attorney handle such interactions on your behalf.
You must notify your insurance company of the accident within a reasonable period.
Your insurance may specify how long you have to report an accident or reply to an accident report submitted by another motorist in certain cases. It may simply state that you must tell the insurance provider within a “reasonable period” in other instances. Of course, the term “fair timescale” may be defined in various ways!
You should notify your insurance company as quickly as possible, but not before consulting with an attorney.
Make an appointment with an expert personal injury attorney for a free consultation before contacting your insurance company. When negotiating with your insurance provider, an attorney can guarantee that you understand your rights, know how much money you can anticipate, and have a solid concept of what sort of coverage you should expect.
An attorney may assist you in breaking down the compensation you can anticipate for severe injuries, making it simpler to avoid accepting a settlement offer that does not appropriately represent the pay you deserve for your injuries and car damage.
However, you should contact your insurance carrier as quickly as possible to report the accident. When it comes to calling an attorney and obtaining the appropriate information before your insurance agent, don’t put it off.
The longer you wait to report an accident, the longer you may have to wait to get compensated for your injuries and car. Even if you report the accident right away, the claim procedure may rapidly become lengthy and complicated—and the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to locate crucial evidence related to the accident.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE DRIVER ISN’T COVERED BY INSURANCE?
It’s possible that the careless motorist who struck you didn’t have auto insurance. While it is more probable that every motorist on the road is covered by insurance, many do not. Your sole option may be to seek compensation from their finances or assets in certain situations.
On the other hand, uninsured drivers are usually uninsured because they cannot afford it. They probably don’t have the cash to cover your expenditures if they can’t afford insurance.
When confronted with an uninsured motorist, the best course is to obtain legal counsel. To discover whether you have uninsured motorist coverage, your attorney may first look at your insurance policy (UIM.) This is usually available as an add-on to a standard liability policy from most insurance carriers.
Another thing to remember is that if you have five-figure liability insurance, your UIM coverage cannot normally exceed that amount. Other possibilities for covering your injury expenses are frequently available from insurance providers.
In no-fault jurisdictions, you should receive instant coverage for a portion of your expenditures via your insurance policy. While seldom sufficient to cover all of your expenditures, this insurance might be a solid start.
You may obtain extra insurance alternatives such as personal injury protection or even MedPay regardless of whether you reside in a no-fault state. These options are available in certain high-quality insurance plans to help compensate for injuries caused by uninsured drivers.
HIRE A LAWYER TO ASSIST YOU IN DEALING WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
Let’s review everything we’ve learned so far:
After a collision, exchange information and report the accident to your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company.
If you are not at fault, you will submit a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, not your own.
If the other motorist is uninsured, you may utilize your UIM coverage if you have it.
Never offer an insurance company a recorded statement. It has the potential to be used against you.
Never accept an insurance company’s initial offer. To receive the money you deserve, know what you’re worth, and work with a lawyer who knows how to negotiate.
You’re not alone if you’re worried about working with an insurance company to seek reimbursement for your car accident injuries.
Insurance firms all have a similar business plan for making money: they collect premiums and refuse claims.
Approach every insurance provider with a fair dose of skepticism. Allowing an attorney to communicate with insurers is much better. Personal injury lawyers are competent negotiators prepared to file a lawsuit in civil court on your behalf if an insurance company refuses to deal fairly with you. Contact us right now for further help navigating the tumultuous insurance claims process.