Auto Accident Claim
You have an auto accident claim against another driver when you are injured in an automobile accident that is caused by the other driver. Here's how you proceed to file your claim.
First, when you are involved in an auto accident, be sure to get the other driver's insurance company. While your claim is actually against the other driver, in most cases, it is the other driver's insurance that pays the claim. So you initially file your claim with the other driver's insurance carrier.
If your injuries are fairly minor such as soreness from the accident, then, as soon as you can, contact the other driver's insurance company and tell them that their insured driver caused the accident and that you were injured. Do not lie to the insurance company, but also, do not down play or exaggerate your injuries. If you are not sure had badly you were injured, tell the insurance company about your injuries and tell them that you are receiving medical treatment.
Normally, the insurance company will start an auto accident claim file and will assign an adjuster to you claim. The adjuster will often try to settle the case as quick as possible. But don't be in a hurry. You need to make sure that you have fully recovered from the car accident before you settle, because once you settle, the case is settled. It is finished. You cannot go back later and seek more compensation for your injuries.
If the other driver's insurance company ignores you or dismisses your car accident claim, you may have to file a legal action in civil court. If this happens, you need to hire a lawyer because court actions are very technical and you need to comply with a lot of laws and rules. If you fail to comply with the laws and rules, you will lose your accident claim.
If your injuries are more serious such as broken bones or having to stay in the hospital, then you should consider hiring a lawyer first and then have the lawyer contact the other driver's insurance company. Your lawyer will file the auto accident claim for you. Most lawyers will handle your case on a contingency fee basis meaning that the lawyer does not get paid unless and until you receive compensation for your injuries.
What happens if the other driver either does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance? You file a claim with your insurance company. Most states require that, as part of your insurance, your insurance company provide you with both un-insured and under insured coverage. As stated above, you first contact the other driver's insurance company, Then, if you find that there is either no insurance or not enough insurance, you contact your own insurance company and file your auto accident claim with them.
This is general information only. If you have any questions whatsoever, talk with a lawyer licensed in your state who has had experience with an auto accident claim.
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