If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a car wreck, you will need to know a few things to get you through this difficult and trying time. This list of common questions was written to help you understand the how and why of the insurance claims process. The questions most asked by our clients have been listed. If you have any questions which are not covered or you realize you need the help of a lawyer, please contact San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyers.
I JUST HAD A WRECK. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
You need to save the evidence. This means you should take photographs of your car and the other car, if possible, the injured parts of your body, if the injuries are visible, and the accident scene. Remember, the evidence determines whether you win or lose your case.Do yourself a favor and save the evidence.
DO I HAVE TO GIVE A STATEMENT?
If you are injured, do not let the other driver’s insurance company pressure you into giving a statement. Talk with a personal injury attorney first because you may not need to give a statement. The
insurance adjuster is not conducting an unbiased and fair valuation of the facts; he is looking for any reason to refuse to pay your claim.
I SPOKE WITH AN INSURANCE ADJUSTER. WHAT IS AN “INSURANCE ADJUSTER” AND WHAT DOES SHE DO?
An “adjuster” is a person hired by the insurance company to handle claims in a manner directed by the insurance company. The adjuster represents the insurance company. She does not represent you.
I HAVE SPOKEN WITH THE ADJUSTER WHO SAID THAT SHE WILL TAKE CARE OF ME. SHE SURE SEEMS NICE. WHY SHOULD I HIRE ALAWYER?
The adjuster has been trained to be as nice to you as possible and will try to make you believe that he or she is “on your side.” This is done to keep you from hiring an attorney. If you do not hire an attorney, the chances are the insurance company will pay you less for your claim.
SHOULD I MAKE A CLAIM AGAINST MY INSURANCE COMPANY OR THE OTHER DRIVER’S?
It depends upon the particular facts of your case. There is not enough space in this pamphlet to cover every possible situation. For instance, if the other driver does not have insurance coverage, you will probably need to make a claim against your insurance company. If the other driver’s insurance policy is large enough to cover your damages, you may not need to make a claim. If his insurance policy is not enough, you probably need to make a claim against both insurance companies, assuming you have the proper insurance coverage.
I WAS TOLD THAT I HAVE “PIP.” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
“PIP” means personal injury protection insurance. It is a type of insurance coverage that many people have as part of their automobile insurance policy. Unlike other types of insurance, PIP is no-fault insurance, meaning it does not matter whether you caused the accident or not. In Kentucky, all automobile insurance companies are required to offer you a minimum of $10,000 in PIP insurance when you purchase your automobile insurance policy, but many people buy PIP insurance in the amounts greater than $10,000. Buy as much as you can afford.
WHAT DOES PIP COVER?
PIP covers reasonable and necessary medical expenses resulting from the wreck and 80% of your lost income until you reach the policy amount. For instance, if your PIP policy amount is $10,000, you can recover medical expenses and 80% of your lost income until you receive $10,000.
MY CAR IS IN THE SHOP. DOES THE OTHER DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANYOWE ME FOR THE LOSS OF USE OF MY CAR?
Yes. You are entitled to be paid for the loss of use of your car while it is being repaired. The amount you are owed is the reasonable rental value of a substitute car, usually calculated on a per day basis. You are entitled to loss of use even if you do not rent a replacement car or spend money for alternative transportation. Whether you are entitled to a rental car can depend on your insurance policy.
IT SEEMS THAT THE INSURANCE COMPANY IS TRYING TO PRESSURE ME TO SETTLE MY PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM BY REFUSING TO PAY FOR THE REPAIRS TO MY CAR. IS
No. You have the right to settle your property damage portion of your claim before you settle your injury claim. An insurance company which commits this unfair act is violating Kentucky law. You may be entitled to damages caused by this practice and attorney’s fees.
THE INSURANCE COMPANY IS REALLY PUSHING ME TO SETTLE MY PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM. WHEN SHOULD I SETTLE MY CLAIM?
You typically should not settle your claim until your doctor releases you. If you are seriously injured and you will not be released for a while, you should remember that the statute of limitations for a lawsuit resulting from a car wreck is two years. That is, you should have the other driver sued and served with citation within two years of the date of the wreck. If this is not done, you will, in most circumstances, lose your right to recover for your injuries. Remember, the initials for “Statute of Limitation” are S.O.L. This means if you wait, you lose.
DO I NEED A LAWYER TO REPRESENT ME?
If you have serious personal injuries, you should never try to represent yourself. You need a lawyer. Experience proves unrepresented individuals typically receive much less than they would have received even after the attorney’s fees have been deducted.
THERE ARE OTHER QUESTIONS
An auto accident is a horrible thing to have happen to you. It turns your life upside down. These are answers to just a few of the questions you will have. If you need your questions answered, do not hesitate in contacting Hogan & Robinson, PLLC. We will be glad to give you a free consultation and talk with you about your case.