Have you been involved in a car accident in the San Bernardino or Redlands area? You may already know that insurance coverage plays a huge role in these serious accidents when it comes to covering costs associated with the accident. Everybody must have an insurance policy. If you are planning on taking your vehicle on the road, then it is a legal qualification to carry some type of car insurance. The type of insurance you carry will have a very real impact on your ability to recover all that you need to, including property loss and medical bills. This means, if you have minimal insurance, you may only be able to make minimal recovery.
Many people carry something known as “Liability Insurance Coverage.” This is a standard car insurance type that insures the driver and authorized users of a vehicle against claims coming from car accidents stemming from negligence. Negligence occurs when somebody is acting recklessly and, as a result, you end up injured. If you have damages worth $200,000 and make a claim against somebody whose insurance only carries $100,000, then you will only be able to receive $100,000. That is the coverage limit of their policy.
It is also a good idea, when injured in a car accident, to call the police to come make a report. They will be your “best friends” when it comes to receiving information, and this includes finding out their insurance information. They will also be able to tell if any of the drivers involved are uninsured, which is illegal. The police will demand the driver’s license, car registration, and insurance information from each driver. This is the best route to take because, otherwise, the other driver is able to take off without giving you any information. This would not be legal, but some drivers will do so to avoid the law – so you should call and hope that the police arrive to gather this very important information.
WHAT MUST THE AT-FAULT’S INSURANCE COMPANY DO?
There are certain aspects that the at-fault party’s insurance company is responsible for in the accident. This includes covering the cost of property damage, repair for rentals, and compensating you for your injuries that you have sustained as a result of the accident. The other driver’s insurance company will typically contact you and you will be assigned a claims agent. The agent will gather all facts surrounding the accident, assign a value to your claim, and try to settle the claim without the need for a lawsuit. They may also ask you to provide medical authorizations in order to obtain copies of your medical records and bills. However, you should always refuse, as they do not work in your best interest. They will try to limit the amount that they can reasonably pay you for your property damage and injuries.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU HAVE TO RELY ON YOUR OWN INSURANCE COMPANY?
In cases where the other party did not have an insurance carrier, you may be faced with some questions regarding who is going to pay your damages. Uninsured motorist coverage may be your best option for gaining the reparation you deserve after your property has been damaged.
WHAT ARE THE LIMITS OF THIS INSURANCE?
Let’s say that you have uninsured motorist coverage to cover an accident where the other party does not have proper insurance. Most states will actually require insurance policies to contain minimum uninsured motorist coverage around the $20,000 range. However, you can always purchase additional uninsured coverage as well. However, the uninsured coverage cannot exceed your primary coverage.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE?
Like all things, there comes a good and bad side to uninsured motorist coverage. The main benefit involved in this coverage is the fact that you get insurance even though you have been hit by an uninsured driver. It is always worth the money to make sure that you have uninsured motorist coverage because there will always be drivers on the road without insurance.
As far as the downside, there aren’t many, only things relating to being hit by an uninsured motorist. For instance, if you do not carry this insurance and nobody can pay for the costs, you will go without. This means you will have to pay out of pocket for all damages. You may also lose the right to pursue a negligent driver for damages because there could be limits stating that you are limited to the amount that you recover from your own insurance company.
Typically, if you are going to file a claim, it will progress almost the same way as a regular car accident claim. However, the claim will be against your own insurance company instead. You should expect a pretrial investigation, disclosure of your medical records, and depositions of witnesses. You will have to see an arbitrator if you and your insurer cannot reach an agreement, where the arbitrator will decide who wins the settlement.
You should always act quickly if you are making a claim, because time is always money. You should give notice to your insurance carrier immediately. The time for these claims is limited, being as little as 30 days in some cases. You should also expect your insurance company to investigate everything that has happened thus far. This includes medical treatment, the nature of your injuries, and more. Insurance companies legally have a duty to handle claims in good faith so, if you suspect they have not, then they have violated their rights.
So, what can you do if you are involved in a car accident and the other driver doesn’t have insurance? This is why it may be in your best interest to carry uninsured motorist coverage after all. If you have been involved in a car accident that resulted in damages, you may want an attorney on your side that you can trust. Call Welebir | Tierney to discuss your case today. We will speak with you about your options.
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