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Unpacking The Role Of Insurance In A Personal Injury Case

Man holding insurance paper with pen in hand - Lamb & Frischer Law Firm, LLP.Notifying Relevant Parties Of Your Incident

You’ll need to deal with both your own insurance and the insurance company of the other party as you go through your personal injury claim process. If you hire an attorney, they’ll handle this for you. If you don’t hire an attorney, you should promptly notify the at-fault insurance company of the incident and injury. If you’re planning on hiring an attorney later, you don’t need to give them much information other than the basics of the incident, such as where and when it happened, and that you are looking for legal representation. Under your insurance agreements, you’re required to contact your insurance company. You will also have to participate in their investigation. Many insurance policies have what’s called medical payments coverage. This means that no matter who’s at fault, your insurance company will cover you for a certain amount of medical treatment. You’ll want to make this claim. Doing so won’t cause your premiums to go up. You also want to give your insurance company a chance to inspect your vehicle. If there’s a dispute over who’s at fault, you can use your own insurance’s collision coverage to get your car fixed in the meantime, too. This allows you to get back on the road while your insurance company works out who’s at fault with the other insurance company. If the other driver is determined to be completely at fault, your insurance company will reimburse you your deductible. If your claim comes from a car accident with damages of $600 or more in property damage or any physical injuries, you’ll also have to notify the DMV. Again, if you’ve hired an attorney, they can do this for you.

Interacting With The Opposing Insurance

Keep in mind that talking to an opposing insurance company is like talking to the police: anything you say can be held against you. For this reason, if you hire a lawyer, or plan to hire a lawyer soon, you personally shouldn’t even contact the other insurance company at all. Your attorney will do it for you. If you hire an attorney, relay any and all information through them. This is essential because if you find yourself in a lawsuit later on, the defendant will have the right to depose you under oath, subject to penalty of perjury. One common tactic they employ is attempting to catch you in contradictions between your statements, which could be used to discredit your credibility. Relaying information through your attorney safeguards you against potential discrepancies or misinterpretations that may arise if you provide statements independently. Initially, you might not have all the facts or could be mistaken about certain details. Refraining from offering statements directly mitigates the risk of inadvertently providing inaccurate information. If you choose to pursue an insurance claim on your own and opt not to file a lawsuit, you may have to provide a statement in order to get a settlement. This underscores the importance of retaining legal representation to navigate such situations effectively and avoid such risks to begin with. In addition to this, it’s important to recognize that the opposing insurance company already retains legal counsel. These attorneys craft the questions for their adjusters to pose to you. Responding without sound legal guidance, you unknowingly walk into a trap. If the other party’s insurance company reaches out to you and you have legal representation, simply provide them with your attorney’s contact information. If you don’t, you can tell them you are seeking legal counsel. Typically, they won’t pursue further communication at that point because they know an attorney will reach out to them later on. The same applies if the actual defendant contacts you directly – not through their insurance company if they have one. If this happens and you have legal representation, direct them to your attorney. If you don’t have legal representation, refer them to your insurance company. It’s not necessary to engage in discussions with the other party involved in the incident, other than to exchange insurance information at the scene of the incident.

Common Defenses And Tactics Employed By Insurance Companies

The two primary defenses often raised by insurance companies concern the causation of the injury and liability. These are the key elements that the injured party must establish. In cases where liability is evident, such as in a rear-end collision, insurance companies strive to cast doubt on whether the accident directly caused the reported injuries. Increasingly, insurance companies challenge the link between the accident and the injuries sustained, as well as the necessity of all medical treatments received thereafter. Occasionally, they allege that the injured party is seeking excessive medical treatment to inflate their claim. However, this is rarely valid, as health insurance providers are reluctant to cover unnecessary treatments, people generally prefer not to have unnecessary medical procedures done, and doctors aren’t exactly quick to administer needless treatment. In rare situations, there might be a dispute about whether the insurance is available at all, whether the defendant paid their insurance premiums or whether the defendant did something that voids their insurance coverage. These cases are sparse, as insurance companies typically strive to demonstrate that coverage is indeed available. Another strategy employed by insurance companies involves shifting blame onto other parties. In multi-car accidents, they may argue that another driver is at fault or even claim that an unidentified driver caused the collision by cutting off the other driver and immediately fleeing the scene. These claims are naturally met with skepticism, as the existence of the purported unknown driver is extremely questionable, at best. For more information on Role Of Insurance In A Personal Injury Case, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 966-4471 today.
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