Dealing with Car Insurance Companies
The typical person in the United States will pay an average of $84,000 for car insurance in their lifetime. That’s a lot of money, by most standards, but it’s not nearly as much as the value of your losses, should you suffer a debilitating injury in a crash.
A serious crash injury can result in extensive hospitalization, surgery, lost wages, ongoing rehabilitation, psychological trauma – all of which can cause extreme financial hardship for families. Unfortunately, insurance companies rarely seem motivated to quickly issue settlements. They are bound by law to stick to certain timeframes regarding communication, but many insurers will use any means at their disposal to avoid paying you what you are rightfully due.
If you’re having difficulty getting your car insurance settlement, or if you’ve recently suffered an injury in a crash, contact the Columbia, MO, personal injury attorneys at Bley & Evans. We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t charge our clients up-front for representation; our fee comes from any settlement you may receive.
Call us to ask for your free, no-obligation case consultation: 1-844-443-8385.
Delays and Requirements
When you file a personal injury claim with a car insurance company, Missouri law requires insurers to respond to your claim within 15 days to tell you if it is approved, denied, or if more time is needed to make that determination. An insurer must explain in writing the reason more time is needed and must contact you again within 45 days, and every 45 days thereafter, until it issues a decision about your claim.
Needless to say, for the families of those who have been seriously injured in a crash, ongoing delays can put a strain on finances. When insurers know you are represented by an attorney, they may be more likely to process your claim quickly.
Determination of Fault
Sometimes, delays are inevitable, especially when multiple vehicles are involved in the same crash. Each insurer will look into the details of the crash to determine who was at fault, and to what degree. They may also need to review medical records, doctor’s statements, and the nature of and severity of each injury before they can prepare a settlement offer for injured parties.
Occasionally, insurers deny a claim, based on their findings of fault. If you disagree with a determination of fault, you can file a complaint with the Missouri Department of Insurance, but that agency has limited authority – it can review whether the insurer conducted a thorough investigation, but it cannot change the determination of fault.
A dispute about fault must be handled through legal channels.
Once you have an attorney on your side, they will handle all communication with insurance companies. In many cases, attorneys will be able to negotiate a settlement on your behalf without the need to go to court, although litigation may be necessary if efforts to reach an agreement are unsuccessful.
Sources of Compensation
People who are seriously injured in a crash and who are waiting on an insurance settlement might be able to file medical claims under their health insurance policy. And some car insurance policies offer immediate medical benefits, regardless of who is at fault for the crash. So if you are awaiting a settlement from another driver’s insurer, your attorney can review your existing car insurance and health insurance policies to determine whether you can file claims under those policies.
Get the Help You Need
Insurance companies have extensive legal teams to protect their interests. They look for any facts that could cast doubt on personal injury claims or questions of fault. Insurers will also hire private investigators to look into your past or to monitor your day-to-day activities, in an effort to determine whether your personal injury claim is suspicious or whether your injuries are truly severe.
To ensure you are fairly compensated in a timely manner, you need an experienced personal injury attorney working on your behalf.
Bley & Evans has helped many families in and around Columbia, MO, get the insurance settlements they need to cover their medical costs, lost wages, and long-term care. If you are in the midst of a dispute with an insurance company or are still waiting for a settlement offer, don’t wait to get help. Contact us online, or at 1-844-443-8385, and let us take care of your case.