INSURANCE ISSUES IN A LOS ANGELES CAR ACCIDENT
Most compensation for Los Angeles car accidents comes from insurance companies.
In fact, it is rare for car accident cases to go all the way to trial. Usually, the at-fault driver’s insurance company reaches a settlement with the injured parties. But this doesn’t mean that everyone always gets the compensation they deserve. The insurance claims process can be complicated, and some insurance companies can be unscrupulous when it comes to compensating accident victims.
Furthermore, many accident victims are in no state to prepare and defend an insurance claim when they’re trying to heal from their injuries.
This is why hiring a car accident attorney from The Law Offices Of Gerald Marcus to handle your insurance claim can not only not only reduce your stress after an accident, it can improve your chances of getting a settlement that covers the full extent of your damages.
Along with a driver’s license and valid registration, car insurance is one of the main requirements of driving legally. Nonetheless, research suggests that around 13% of drivers on the road are not covered by an insurance policy. And there’s an even greater number of drivers with insurance policies that don’t meet the minimum coverage amounts.
The Difference Between First Party and Third Party Claims in Car Accidents
When you file a claim with your own insurance company, it’s called a first party claim. And when you file a claim with another person’s insurance company, it’s called a third party claim. In addition to the situation described above, where an uninsured driver was at fault, there are other situations in which you would file a first-party claim after an accident—but it depends on your insurance policy.
Usually, only premium insurance policies offer collision coverage. This would enable you to recover for the value of your car if you were responsible for its damages.
Also, some insurance policies offer medical coverage, so you may be able to file a first party claim to recover for your medical expenses after an accident regardless of who was at fault. There’s a lot of diversity among insurance policies, so it’s important to read your policy agreement carefully to understand what coverage you have.
When you think another driver was the cause of an accident in which you were involved, you would file a third party claim. You would provide an account of how the accident happened and include a copy of the police report and any medical or car repair bills you paid in the accident’s aftermath.
Proving your Damages if You’ve Been in a Car Accident
Whether you’re filing a first or third party claim, you’ll need to provide evidence of the damages for which you are seeking compensation. Insurance companies hire investigators and claims adjusters whose job it is to ensure that claimants aren’t exaggerating or making up damages.
If you’re claiming for car repair expenses, the insurance company will need an estimate from your repair shop. In some cases, the insurance company will want proof that the car damage was actually caused by the accident and not some prior event. Therefore, you should take photos of the accident scene and your car damage and include them in your claim.
When claiming for medical expenses, you’ll need to prove that the treatment you received was reasonably necessary to address injuries that were actually caused by the accident.
An investigator may compare your medical bills with the police’s accident report and any available witness testimony. If the investigator sees anything suspicious, you might need to provide further justification for your medical expenses. In some cases, investigators will follow an accident victim around to determine whether the injuries are real or not.
A Skilled Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Recover a Bigger Settlement
Like all businesses, insurance companies seek to increase their revenue and decrease their expenses. Thus, anytime an insurance company can justify reducing or not paying a claim, it will do so.
For this reason, you should ensure your claim is well documented, and avoid giving verbal statements to an insurance adjuster. If you contradict a previous statement—even accidentally—the claims adjuster may attempt to lower your settlement. Claims adjusters are professional interviewers, and they may try to corner you into saying things that hurt your case.
If you’re an accident victim and you want to make sure you get full compensation for your injuries and property damage, hiring a lawyer to help with your insurance claim is a good start.