It’s more than likely that at some point in your life you’ll be involved in a car accident—whether or not it’s your fault. When the other driver is at fault, it is expected that his or her insurance will cover the costs related to getting your vehicle fixed or replaced, as well as cover any personal injuries sustained from the accident. But what happens if the other person’s insurance company decides only to pay a small portion of the claim, if any at all?
Why won’t the insurance company pay?
It seems straightforward right? The police officer found the other driver at fault and issued him or her a ticket, so therefore their insurance provider should be the ones who have to pay. However, there are circumstances where the other driver’s insurance company might decide there were circumstances that make the accident partially your fault—despite who the officer issued the traffic citation to.
In some situations, the other insurance company might only pay part of your expenses, but not all. If the insurance company thinks that your car was in the garage and body shop for longer than it should have been, they might only settle for partial payment. Say your car was in the body shop for 15 days, but under circumstances they believe your car was in there for too long. They may only compensate you for 10 of those 15 days of having a rental car. The same concept applies for personal injury—insurance companies may try to pay less for medical care and rehabilitation after an accident.
So what do you do if the insurance company refuses to pay for some, if not all of your expenses? Know that you do have options and the attorneys at Bigda Law are here to help you.
What to do if they refuse to pay
First and foremost, be cautious of what paperwork you sign from the insurance company. In many cases, the insurance company will slip in a form or waiver that, by signing, you are agreeing to not seek further legal redress or compensation for your injuries or damaged property. Be highly attentive to what you are signing, and do not sign any of those types of agreements.
Consult the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Bigda Law before you sign anything from the insurance company. Have your lawyer explain in detail the paperwork to you.
If the amount to be compensated is small enough, you may be able to take the other driver to a small claims court in order to recover the difference. However you would have to check your state regulations to see if this is the right choice for your case. If you can provide enough evidence to prove the other driver was at fault, and show proof that the insurance company is not covering your expenses, you could quite easily win your case—leaving no choice but for the other driver’s insurance company to recover the costs.
A professional lawyer can help you decide whether or not it makes sense to sue for the amount you are owed. In many cases, upon being prompted by a letter from your personal injury attorney, an insurance company will do the right thing and pay. An attorney shows that you are serious about your settlement. Don’t get stuck with unnecessary expenses when you weren’t at fault. Consult with your Wilkes Barre lawyer to get a good idea of what to expect. Call Bigda Law at (570) 714-4001.