Dealing with insurance companies can be a hassle, which is why you should let one of our auto accident attorneys speak with an insurance adjuster on your behalf. You should never give too much information to an insurance adjuster without speaking to a lawyer first, even if you’re talking to your insurer. After an accident, people often ask if they should report the accident to their own insurance company when they aren’t at fault for the accident.
In most cases, the accident victim only has to deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company; however, reporting the accident to your insurance company may benefit your case. Before speaking with an insurance adjuster, seek advice from an experienced auto accident attorney who can tell you how to contact your insurance company and what information you should provide. If you’re recovering from injuries, your lawyer can also submit a claim on your behalf.
Why is insurance important after a car accident?
All states require drivers to carry minimum liability insurance. If you cause injuries or damages to another driver and fail to have proper insurance, this may result in you paying significant fines or paying out of pocket. Even if your insurance doesn’t cover damages to your vehicle in an accident, the law requires that you carry insurance if you cause an accident and it results in another motorist’s injuries.
If a driver hits your car but does not carry adequate insurance to cover your damages, you may collect compensation through your own insurance. To recover compensation for damages in a car accident case, you must take the proper legal steps to prove that another driver’s negligence was directly responsible for the injuries or damages you incurred.
Should I contact the insurance company of a negligent driver?
You should never contact the insurance company representing the negligent party if you want to report the accident. Even speaking with your own insurance company before seeking advice from a knowledgeable auto accident lawyer is not advised.
If you wish to file a claim against a negligent driver’s insurance company, you should hire a lawyer who can communicate on your behalf and safeguard your best interest against the insurance company.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money which means they won’t prioritize the interests of accident victims. To avoid a lengthy and expensive trial, an insurance company will offer you a low-ball settlement amount to make the issue simply disappear.
For this reason, you should avoid talking to an insurance company altogether or accepting the first offer they make. Hiring a car accident lawyer to report your accident to the insurance company on your behalf is the best way to increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. Save yourself the hassle of trying to communicate with the insurance company as you heal. Our lawyers know how to communicate with tricky insurance adjusters so you can focus on recovery.
What happens when the at-fault driver is not insured?
If the negligent driver who hit you does not have car insurance, your only recourse might be to sue for damages. Keep in mind that most uninsured drivers don’t carry insurance because they cannot pay for it. Drivers who cannot pay for auto insurance often do not have the assets or personal funds to cover the cost of your injuries or damages.
Uninsured motorist coverage can help you pay for damages caused by an uninsured driver or a driver whose insurance cannot cover the accident costs. Additionally, obtaining medical payments coverage can help pay for any medical bills for you and any passengers involved in the accident.
With medical payments coverage, you will also have protection if you were struck as a pedestrian. If you are at fault for an auto accident, liability coverage can help you pay for the cost of injuries and damages you cause to others. Your attorney can help you better understand the claims process, investigate your case, obtain necessary evidence, calculate your damages, and recover a fair settlement for your injuries.
You likely have many questions for an attorney, and below are some common questions that car accident lawyers hear.
How much should I expect to receive from an insurance settlement?
Working patiently with your lawyer is the best way to ensure you’ll receive a favorable settlement award. Your lawyer’s goal is to secure enough compensation to help you get back to the life you had before the accident. Because every case is unique, no one can predict how much you will recover from a car accident claim. How much evidence you collect, the negotiation process, and other facts of your case will determine what you recover.
Who can I file a claim against if I suffered injuries and it was someone else’s fault?
If you suffer injuries in an accident with another party, you are entitled to bring a claim against any person whose negligent actions may have caused your injury or damage to your property.
Should I wait to call an attorney until after I complete medical treatment?
Because there are time limitations for filing various claims, you should not delay in contacting an auto accident lawyer. To give yourself the best chance of receiving the maximum value in your case, you should schedule a consultation with a lawyer as soon as possible following the crash.
A hit-and-run driver injured me. How can I obtain compensation for my medical costs?
Pursuing hit-and-run accident cases is complicated and makes filing an insurance claim even more difficult. In some cases, filing a lawsuit against a hit-and-run driver is next to impossible. Depending on the specific circumstances of the accident, you may recover compensation by filing an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance company.
Do I need to seek medical treatment even if I feel fine?
Seeking prompt medical treatment even if you feel alright after a car accident is essential. In some cases, minor pain may develop into something more serious, and symptoms of some types of injuries are delayed. Getting a full medical examination from a physician is the best way to determine if you’ve sustained any injuries. Not only is it essential for your health, but it can also potentially benefit your claim.
What about property damage?
While car accident lawsuits are typically associated with injury victims, you can still sue if someone hits your car to recover damages after the crash. A lawsuit might be necessary in minor car accident cases if your vehicle was damaged and the insurance company does not want to pay to repair it.
Pursuing a lawsuit against an at-fault driver for a minor car collision means that you will need to prove they were directly responsible for the damage caused to your vehicle. Our auto accident lawyers have experience recovering damages after an auto accident even if you were unharmed. Schedule a case review with one of our car accident lawyers to better understand what your options are.
Is suing after a car accident worth it if I don’t have injuries?
You may decide it isn’t worth suing the other driver if you can recover the cost of your damages with an insurance claim. While most car accidents without injuries do not justify a lawsuit, your case may warrant one. You may consider suing a negligent driver for damages if you’ve suffered a high amount of property damage and the insurance company does not want to compensate you for the full extent of your financial losses.
Consulting with a lawyer, who will go over the details of your case with you, is the best way to calculate the total value of your losses and determine whether you should pursue a lawsuit.
What to do when hurt in an accident due to another driver
Many driving behaviors are negligent – for example, texting and driving breaches every driver’s duty to act reasonably. All drivers have this duty to every other driver when they are on the road. Acting reasonably means that the driver operates their vehicle without distractions and in compliance with the law, so a driver who violates the law and causes an accident is legally responsible for the harm they caused.
To prove a negligence action, a plaintiff must prove four elements. The elements of negligence are:
Duty refers to the obligation to act as a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances. A duty may arise out of a relationship between two parties. Every driver has a duty to all other drivers on the road to act carefully and safely when they are sharing the road.
A defendant breaches a duty when they fail to act as a reasonable person would in similar circumstances. It may be challenging to understand when a breach has occurred. A person who texts and drives acts unreasonably and, therefore, they have breached their duty to drive carefully and exercise care on the roads and freeways. Generally, a person who texts and drives is responsible for the harm resulting from an accident if one occurs.
Plaintiffs must prove that the defendant’s breach of duty caused their injury. To establish proximate cause, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s actions were causally related to the plaintiff’s injuries. A plaintiff proves that the defendant caused the accident by taking care to go to every doctor’s appointment and follow all medical advice. An accident victim must also cooperate with each stage of the accident investigation and case stage. An accident lawyer can assist an injured person in proving causation. Accident lawyers know how to structure an argument, negotiate with the insurance company, and present a case to a jury or judge persuasively.
The negligence lawsuit will fail even if the plaintiff can prove duty, breach, and causation. Non-economic damages can include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain, and suffering.
Suppose a plaintiff suffers injuries in an accident with a negligent driver. In that case, get medical care at the scene, go to the doctor and follow their recommendations, and call a car accident lawyer. An accident lawyer works to protect victims’ rights after an accident.
What Happens After a Car Accident?
The parties involved in a traffic collision should call the police. The police will arrive on the scene and speak with the drivers, passengers, and any other witnesses. A police officer will collect witness statements. In addition, the officer will observe the scene and try to understand what happened based on any physical evidence they notice, like tire marks or damage to street signs, streetlights, or surrounding vegetation.
After collecting as much information as possible, the officer will complete their accident report. The officer will make an initial determination regarding who is responsible for the accident. Nevertheless, the police officer’s determination is not the final word on responsibility. But the parties’ insurance companies will still consider the officer’s findings when determining fault for the accident.
No matter who the police decide is responsible for the accident, each driver must report an accident to their respective insurance company. The insurance companies will investigate the facts of the accident independently after the drivers file their reports. The insurance company will decide after the investigation concludes. Premiums may rise as a result.
The responsible driver must pay medical expenses and other damages to the injured party. Negotiations can take months or years, depending on the injuries and property damage severity. If a driver fails to cooperate with their insurance company’s investigation, their premiums might increase, or the company may cancel their policies.
In some cases, the responsible driver’s insurance company may not be willing to pay the money that the injured driver needs to recover. An accident lawyer can help accident victims get the compensation they deserve by preparing and filing a personal injury lawsuit. While this can draw out the process, it will help ensure that the victim receives full compensation.
Abels & Annes
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602