How Insurance Companies Affect Auto Accident Claims
Multiple parties play significant roles in your auto accident claim. The defendant's insurance company has some of the biggest roles. Below are some ways insurance companies affect auto accident claims.
They Provide Auto Insurance Adjusters
Many people resolve their auto accident claims outside the courtroom. If you have a claim against an insured defendant, you will negotiate with their insurance company and (hopefully) settle your case without a lawsuit. The insurance company's adjuster will be your negotiation partner.
Insurance companies have experienced adjusters who know how to lower their employer's payouts. The adjuster probably knows more about auto accident claims than you do. That means you have your work cut out to get a good settlement. For example, you should know that the adjuster's initial offer is unlikely to be their final one and demand a higher settlement.
They Pay for Top Defense Teams
You have the right to file a lawsuit if the adjuster's final offer doesn't satisfy you. If you do, expect the insurance company to hire the best defense team. Attorneys, expert witnesses, and private investigators are some people to expect from the insurance company's defense team. Insurance companies have pre-vetted professionals for such cases.
Any auto accident lawyer will advise you against going up against an insurance company's defense team without assembling a team on your own. Hire an attorney and let them assemble a team to prosecute your case. After all, many auto accident lawyers handle cases on a contingency basis, meaning you don't pay if they don't win your settlement.
They Determine the Maximum Payout
Many auto accident defendants don't pay settlement or judgment fees out of pocket. The defendant's insurance coverage pays your award if you prevail during negotiations or with your lawsuit. The insurance companies' involvement limits how much you can receive for your damages.
Consider a case where your auto accident damages total $100,000, but the defendant's coverage limit is only $50,000. Unless the defendant has valuable assets to pay for the difference, you will only get $50,000 from the insurance company, even if the court awards you the full $100,000.
Thus, the onus is on you to include all the defendants in your case to maximize your award. For example, in case of a drunk-driving accident, you might have a case against the driver, car owner, and establishment that sold alcohol to the driver. A claim against all three maximizes your chances of full recovery.
To learn more, contact an auto accident attorney in your area.