Insurance Company Hassles
Let Mike Christensen Deal with the Adjuster So You Can Deal with Getting Better
The car accident wasn't your fault, but the insurance company might argue otherwise. In some cases, the insurance company might agree your rear-end accident was the fault of the driver who crashed into you in Northwest Columbus. Or they might concede that the person who T-boned you at an intersection in Downtown Columbus was drunk. But then they come back to you with an unreasonably low settlement offer. You might be facing steep medical bills. You might not be able to go back to work anytime soon. You might be seriously worried about your future.
What does insurance cover in a car accident?
In most cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays for all of the car accident expenses. This is especially true in Ohio, which has a fault-based insurance system. If you have been in a crash caused by another driver, your insurance claim should cover all your bills, including money for:
- Medical bills, including physical therapy, emergency room care, surgery and other medical treatment
- Car repairs or compensation for vehicle replacement
- Replacement income if you are hurt and cannot work
- Future income if you cannot return to work due to your car accident injury
You should not have to pay for the at-fault driver’s mistakes, especially if you have been in a bad car accident. If you are in a lot of pain after your crash, you should have time to rest and recover. That’s why it’s important that you receive a reasonable settlement amount that covers all your car accident expenses. A lawyer can help you do this and demand the money you deserve.
What if the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to pay my claim?
Many times, insurance companies deny accident claims. This is especially true if your claim is worth a lot of money. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will often hire investigators and attorneys to look for ways to not pay you for your accident. In such cases, the other driver’s insurance company might try to claim you caused the accident, even when the other driver was clearly at fault.
Whatever the reason why the other driver’s insurance company denied your claim, it’s important to respond effectively to their actions. Do not contact them directly yourself. Anything you say or write to the insurance company could be used by them to deny your claim.
The best way to respond is to hire a lawyer. An attorney can work with you and help you demand the money you deserve for your car accident claim. Sometimes, this involves your lawyer negotiating a settlement offer on your behalf with at-fault driver’s insurance company. Other times, the best way to obtain the compensation you deserve is to take legal action. Your legal team can also deal with your insurance company and handle all the paperwork associated with accidents.
Can I sue a car insurance company?
Yes. If you believe your car accident claim is too low or has been denied, you have the right file a lawsuit in Ohio. Often, this is the best way to get the maximum financial compensation from the insurance company for the at-fault driver who caused your crash. A lawyer can help you sue the other driver’s insurance company. Your attorney may even be able to negotiate a settlement offer with the insurance company before your lawsuit goes to court.
But be prepared for the at-fault driver’s insurance company to hire its own legal team and investigators. Rather than simply pay you the money you deserve, many insurance companies do everything they can to avoid paying you the financial compensation you are entitled to for medical bills and other expenses. It’s also important to know that you only have two years in Ohio from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. That’s why it’s critical that you contact an experienced lawyer right away if you want to sue an insurance company.
Should I get a lawyer to deal with insurance companies after a car accident?
Yes. Michael D. Christensen Law Offices has been fighting insurance companies for nearly two decades. We know that having insurance is one thing. Getting insurance companies to pay is another.
The state of Ohio requires all auto insurance policy holders to carry minimum amounts of liability coverage:
- per-person bodily injury: $25,000
- per-accident bodily injury: $50,000
- property damage: $25,000
But each crash is different. Insurance companies may dispute the amount you are seeking, or think that you were responsible for the accident.
Getting injured in a car accident can be very disruptive to your life. Doctor's appointments, physical therapy, lost wages if you can't work. It's a lot to handle on top of your other daily responsibilities. And dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating, aggravating and exhausting.
Our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies. We know about the games they play with lowball offers and stalling tactics. And we won't put up with it. We will fight aggressively until you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries. We think your focus should be on making a full recovery.
Contact us for a free evaluation of your case.
What should I know about dealing with another party's insurance company?
Here are some general tips when dealing with the insurance company of the party that caused your accident:
Cooperate with the adjuster for the other insurance company, but don't volunteer any information. For example, don't discuss what kind of further treatment you might need for your injuries until your doctor has given you a treatment plan.
You may be asked to give a recorded statement. It's a good idea to get legal advice first. After consulting with a lawyer, give brief and direct answers to the questions you are asked. Don't provide any extra details.
The adjuster for the insurance company may make you a quick settlement offer to cover your claim. We advise that you do not settle quickly. Your injury may require further treatment, or you may develop complications. One of our lawyers can advise you on how to determine a fair amount of compensation.
What if I was in an accident with an uninsured driver?
In Ohio, you can buy uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM coverage) as part of your policy. It is not required, but it is a very good idea to get it. If you are hit by an uninsured driver, your insurance company would pay your claim. If you are hit by an underinsured driver, your insurance would pay the amount of your claim that exceeds the other driver's liability limits.
If you are hit by a driver who is uninsured, and you don't have UM/UIM coverage, your insurance company will not pay for medical bills, property loss, lost wages or other types of expenses. If the driver was underinsured, the other insurance company would pay no more than the liability limit. You could try to take the other party to court in an attempt to get payment-but the person may not have much money.
Even if you have UIM coverage, it is still a good idea to have legal representation. Your insurance company may contest the amount you are seeking or try to assign blame for the accident to you.