An auto accident that comes out of nowhere can be jarring and terrifying. When it’s not your fault, it’s also frustrating and annoying. You carry insurance, and you expect other drivers to do the same. Once the accident happens, you also expect the insurance companies to do their job.
But that’s not always what happens. If you’ve been in a bad auto accident, and you’re getting the runaround from insurance companies, you’re not alone. Here’s what to do when the insurance company doesn’t help you after the accident.
Other Insurance Company Disputes Claim
You’re positive that you’re not at fault for your car accident, and you’ve got witnesses and information to back you up. But the other driver’s insurance company is disputing the claim. Of course, they are because they don’t want their customer to be at fault or have to pay the claim. This is why it’s important to have a police report, witnesses, and even pictures to make your case.
The worst thing you can do is just give up. That’s what the insurance company wants you to do. Stay on them, and when it gets to be too much or you realize you need help, contact a car accident attorney. Sometimes just hearing from an attorney is enough for an insurance company to do what they’re supposed to do.
Not Sure Who’s at Fault
It happens sometimes that no one is quite sure who’s at fault for your auto accident. Under normal situations, you should be able to file a claim with your insurance company, get what you’re owed, and let the two insurers battle it out between themselves. But that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes you’re the one caught in the middle of their fight.
You shouldn’t have to drown in medical bills and property damage repairs or wait around for what you’re owed. If the insurance company is keeping you stuck in limbo, you need an attorney who will fight for you.
Low Settlement Amount
Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible for a claim. Their job is to save money, not pay it. Before you accept an amount for a totaled vehicle or any property damage, do your homework and don’t rely on the claims adjuster’s numbers. Take your vehicle to a mechanic to get an estimate on the repairs. Check out Kelly Blue Book to get an idea of what your vehicle is worth.
When you get an offer that you know is too low, you can try to negotiate or you can contact an attorney who can help you. Don’t settle for less than you’re owed. The smallest amount the insurance company is willing to pay you won’t help fix your car or replace it.
Medical Costs and Bills Not Being Paid
If you’re in an accident and the other driver is at fault, their insurance company is supposed to pay your medical bills up to the limits of the policy. Which means you’ll have to pay whatever is left over. In some cases, drivers don’t always have any insurance. This means nothing gets paid for you unless you have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
When you don’t receive any reimbursement for your medical expenses, your only real recourse is a personal injury claim. Talk to a personal injury attorney who can look at the details of your situation and advise you on the best course of action.
Insurance Company Acting in Bad Faith
Insurance companies are required to comply with certain rules and regulations to process claims, but that doesn’t mean they all do. If you’re dealing with an insurance company acting in bad faith, you’re the one who loses. There are several things considered “bad faith acts.” Here are just a few:
- Denying your claim but not telling you why
- Not paying your claim in a timely fashion
- Refusing to pay a claim covered by your policy
- Requiring unnecessary or unreasonable effort on your part to process the claim — usually in the form of a lot of paperwork.
If you think the insurance company has acted in bad faith, you may have legal recourse against them. This is above and beyond any potential legal action, you might want to take about the auto accident itself. The best thing to do is contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
In a perfect world, when you get into an auto accident, insurance companies would pay the claim, make you whole, and let you get on with your life. In reality, that doesn’t always happen. Denied claims, unreturned phone calls, and low settlement offers are all too real. When this happens to you, work with a personal injury attorney who will fight for you. Contact Ed Bernstein and Associates today.