Typically, an insurance policy is the source used to get payment for injury and property damage claims after a car accident. While this sounds simple, navigating the process without legal counsel can be very stressful and difficult.
After minor accidents, the insurance company is usually agreeable and willing to pay the bills related to your physical injuries. They may also repair your vehicle without reservation. However, there are situations that do not close so easily.
Disputes may arise over the amount you think you deserve and what the insurance company wants to pay. To make it easier when dealing with an insurance company, whether your policy or the at-fault driver, there is a stronger chance for success when a San Bernardino car accident lawyer is in the trenches with you.
What to Expect from the At-Fault Driver’s Insurer
While at the accident scene, you will need to get information about the other driver involved in the collision. Their name, address, phone number and insurance information are vital details to move forward with filing a claim. Make sure you obtain the policyholder’s name and policy number.
Although you should also report the accident to your insurance company the at-fault driver’s insurance is responsible for the damage to your car. In addition, the insurance company is responsible for any medical treatment you receive for injuries as a result of the accident.
Most likely, a claims agent from the other driver’s insurer will contact you. The agent should gather facts surrounding the accident and try to settle the claim without a lawsuit. Although the agent may ask for a recorded statement of your account of the accident, you are not obligated to do so.
Additionally, the agent may ask for an authorization to get copies of your medical records and bills. Never provide this type of authorization. Instead, offer to provide a copy of all relevant records and expenses once your accident-related injuries have been treated.
Giving the insurance company authorization to access your medical records includes everything in your medical history. The only reason they would want that is to find something else, other than their driver’s negligence, to use to explain your injuries.
Before agreeing to anything the other driver’s insurance company wants, you have a right to seek the advice of a lawyer. Lengthy conversations with the other side could be an attempt to use evidence against you before offering a low settlement – or a denial to your claim.
Keep in mind that the at-fault driver’s insurance company is not working on your behalf. Their goal is to limit the amount they should reasonably pay for your injuries and property damage. A skilled car accident lawyer will work to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim.
How Your Insurance Policy Can Affect Your Case
Unfortunately, not everyone who drives a car complies with purchasing car insurance. If you are in an accident with someone who is either uninsured or underinsured, you will need your own insurance coverage to help with the losses.
Working with your car insurance carrier sounds like an easier way to reach a fair settlement for personal injuries and/or property damage. The contract between you and the insurer says that the company should act in good faith when negotiating a settlement for your claim.
However, your insurer might be unwilling to fairly compensate you, even when you pay your premiums on time and it is proven that the accident was not your fault. When this is what you face, you have a right to file a suit for breach of contract and bad faith.
Get Legal Representation from San Bernardino Car Accident Lawyers on Your Side
Whether you are dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance or your own, it is a good idea to make sure you have someone on your side. A San Bernardino car accident lawyer will work through the legal ramifications of suffering losses from a crash.
Knowledgeable lawyers with El Dabe Law Firm are eager to use their experience with insurance companies to fight for what is fair. From the first moment you contact our office, we will help you in many different ways. We will handle negotiations with the insurance company and if necessary, file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.