What decides how much a person hurt in a car accident can get in compensation? Many people are surprised by the answer. Almost always, the limit of the person who caused the accident is the biggest factor. If you were damaged in a car accident caused by someone else, the most crucial thing a car accident lawyer can do is to find out who might be responsible and how much insurance they have.
If you were seriously hurt in an accident, an attorney’s help could make the difference when you try to get money for your medical bills and changes to your quality of life. The lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP have a lot of experience representing people who have been in car accidents in insurance claims and lawsuits. They also know how insurance companies try to avoid or reduce payouts and how to prove a case to an insurance provider and the courts.
Some recent successes we’ve had for our clients are:
A settlement of $5 million for a truck driver who was hurt when his truck hit the back of another truck that had suddenly stopped to avoid a stopped car. We worked out the deal while the trial was going on. A $3.5 million resolution for a client who got a brain injury in a car accident made by a tired worker who had worked long hours and fell asleep at the wheel and hit him.
The Importance of Auto Insurance
Insurance does more than pay to fix a driver’s car after an accident. It also protects the driver financially if someone else gets hurt in an accident. Insurance companies pay for most car accident settlements and awards.
You can file a claim against an unexpected bill and even get a court ruling in your favor, but it may be hard to get your money because most uninsured people don’t have the funds to pay for someone else’s medical bills out of their pocket.
Regarding automobile insurance laws, most states are “fault” states. In a fault state, drivers must buy liability insurance to pay for any injuries or damage to property they cause while driving. Thirteen states have “no-fault” laws, which mean that drivers must buy their own “personal injury protection” (PIP) policy.
A PIP policy pays a portion of the driver’s and their passengers’ medical bills and lost salary in the event of an accident, no matter who was at fault. In no-fault states, a wounded driver or passenger can’t file a claim against the driver who caused the accident unless they’ve used up all of their PIP coverage or their injuries are severe enough to meet a legal standard.
Filing a Claim
You must file a claim to get money from your insurance plan or the policy of the person who was at fault. As part of a demand package, which includes all the evidence in the case, an expert’s analysis of the accident, and a request for financial compensation, an attorney can put together a claim on your behalf.
An insurance adjuster will look into the claim by talking to you and any other witnesses, looking at your health records, the police report, and the car damage.
Then, they can decide to:
- Pay the claim the way it is written.
- The claim should be denied, and the claimant should be told why.
- Accepting responsibility while disputing the size of the claim This is often the first step in coming to a settlement.
To get money from a third-party auto insurance claim, you have to show that the insured party is legally responsible for causing the accident that hurt you.
You have to show fault by showing the following things:
The person who hurt you had a duty to take care of you.
The term “duty of care” means what a reasonable person would do in a certain situation to avoid hurting others. Drivers have a duty of care to everyone else on the road to drive safely and within the law.
The person at fault broke their duty of care.
What the party at fault did that broke the duty of care is called the “breach.” Common driving mistakes and actions that go against the duty of caution include speeding, failing to yield, driving while distracted, driving while drunk, driving while tired, following too closely, and more.
The accident happened because of the breach,
which led to your injuries and the costs and effects that followed.
How a car insurance attorney negotiates a settlement
When you employ a car insurance lawyer to assist you with your case, they will find out about the person who caused the accident and their insurance coverage from you and the police report. Your lawyer will start putting together a demand package for the insurance adjuster.
Since an insurance adjuster’s job is to find ways for the insurance company to pay out less, they rarely receive and pay out injury claims as they are written in the demand package. Instead, the insurance company will usually make an initial settlement offer or deny the claim.
If the insurance company denies the claim, your lawyer may advise you to sue the insurance company in court. The first provision from an insurance company is usually much less than what you want and need, but your lawyer can use this as a starting point to negotiate a better settlement.
Even if the insurance provider is still talking with your lawyer, there will come a time when both you and your lawyer may decide to file a lawsuit. When someone files a lawsuit, the insurance adjuster will often make a better offer to keep from having to pay for going to court. But the process of negotiating a settlement can go on until the court makes a decision.
How a lawyer for car insurance can help you with your case
A skilled car accident attorney can assist you in getting the most money possible for your case by:
- You are offering a free, no-obligation particular instance evaluation, a period with an attorney where you can ask about your legal concerns and learn how to get compensation for your damages through a car wreck claim or lawsuit.
- You are identifying all the people who are responsible and all the insurance resources you can use to get paid.
- Figuring out how much your case is worth based on the costs and effects of the accident you’ve already had and those you may have in the future.
- Trying to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident.
- This will help you determine the advantages and disadvantages of accepting or turning down any settlement offer.
- I am filing all paperwork the court needs on time and going to represent you at all pre-trial meetings and hearings.
- You are putting together evidence and witness statements to help you win your case in court.
- You are taking your case to court if necessary.
- Help you get your final settlement money or court-ordered damages.