Dealing with Car Insurance Companies
When you have car insurance, you assume your losses will be covered in the event of an accident. Often people discover that insurance companies seem unwilling to pay insured parties the compensation they deserve.
In accidents that cause injuries, insurers will want to look at all available medical evidence regarding the nature of the injuries. If the injury is disabling, insurers should account for lost wages in their settlement offer. Yet, the settlements offered to injured parties are often inadequate.
If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident, you need a personal injury attorney on your side. Your attorney will handle all communication with insurance companies and work diligently to get you the settlement you deserve.
John R. Colvin has helped individuals and families injured in car accidents in Tennessee and Alabama get the compensation they need to pay for their medical costs, lost wages, and ongoing care.
Contact our office to request your free, no-obligation case consultation: 1-931-962-1044.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists
Tennessee and Alabama require drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in liability coverage. Yet, if you’re hospitalized for three days, your bill could be $30,000 or more. Often, car crash injury victims’ medical costs exceed the maximum benefit of car insurance policies.
In Tennessee, about 20 percent of drivers have no insurance. If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, and your own policy includes uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, your policy should cover your medical costs. If you have health insurance, you may be able to file a claim for benefits under that policy, too.
Personal injury attorneys understand how to find various means of compensation for their clients. For instance, if an uninsured and intoxicated driver causes a crash that injures other parties, an attorney will attempt to learn where that driver was before the crash – if that driver was at a tavern immediately preceding the crash and was visibly intoxicated, the parties injured in the crash may be able to pursue compensation through the tavern’s liability insurance.
Questions of Fault
Tennessee follows a comparative fault statute – even if you share some fault for a crash, you can still collect damages, but the amount you can receive will be reduced accordingly. So, for example:
- The other driver’s insurer determines you are 10 percent at fault for a crash
- That driver carries the state minimum liability coverage of $25,000 per person
- Your medical costs amount to $30,000
- You would receive the maximum benefit ($25,000), minus 10 percent ($2,500) for your share of fault.
Insurers may spend a great deal of time determining fault, and their conclusions may not necessarily reflect what actually happened. If you disagree with an insurer’s determination of fault, you will need a personal injury attorney to pursue a fair settlement.
Attorneys can sometimes resolve disputes about fault outside of court, although it can be a time-consuming process. Negotiations usually involve a lot of “back-and-forth,” with insurers making settlement offers and attorneys rejecting offers until insurers offer a fair settlement.
Preparing for the Future
When you are seriously injured in a crash, you need a settlement that accounts for all of your costs – now, and in the future. If you’re the primary wage-earner in your family, and you have dependent children, your settlement must account for that. The compensation you receive should also ensure you can afford ongoing medical care, including any home health care visits or assistive equipment you may need.
Hiring an attorney is the best way to protect your interests in the settlement negotiation process. Insurers are likely to offer a more generous settlement when you have legal representation, and they are more likely to resolve your claim as quickly as possible.
We know that a serious personal injury can create severe economic hardship for families. That’s why we don’t require our personal injury clients to pay for services up-front; John R. Colvin works on a contingency basis, meaning our legal fee comes from any settlement we’re able to negotiate for you.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, don’t wait to ask for help. Contact us online, or at 1-931-962-1044, to ask for your free case consultation.