5 Myths About Your Car Wreck Settlement
Car accidents can be financially stressful and force you to pay for car repairs, a rental vehicle, and medical bills if you’re hurt, and you can lose wages and income if you’re unable to work. Having to deal with insurance companies adds to the stress, but if you’re able to get a good car wreck settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurer, you may be able to recoup all your expenses. Getting a good settlement isn’t always easy, however, so take a moment to learn about these common car wreck settlement myths and what the realities are so you’re prepared for the process that lies ahead:
- 1. The insurance company has to cooperate. While it’s true that the other driver’s insurance company is required to evaluate your claim and pay for a portion of your expenses if their driver was at fault, they are by no means required to give you everything you want. You might think your car repairs are worth $5,000, but an adjuster on their side may state that the damage only warrants $2,000, leaving you short. In reality, victims are at the mercy of the other driver’s policy and the amount their insurance company is willing to pay for damages.
- 2. If you were the victim, you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket. Texas is a fault state, meaning that anyone who has any level of fault in an accident must pay a portion of the damages, so even if you didn’t cause the wreck entirely, something you did or didn’t do may have played a role in it. If you were speeding when the other car hit you, it might not have caused the accident per se, but it did make the damages suffered worse, so the insurance company might determine that you hold a percentage of the fault in your wreck. This means that you must pay a portion of the damages that’s commensurate with your level of fault. If you were found to be 25 percent responsible for an accident and the total damages of the wreck come to $10,000, the insurance company would only pay a car wreck settlement of $7,500, leaving you responsible for the other 25 percent.
- 3. The insurance company has your best interests in mind. Whether it’s your insurance company or the other driver’s, always remember that they are only out for their own financial gains and benefit. Insurers will do anything they can to keep money in their company’s pockets, so they will try to pay you as little as possible and close out your claim as quickly as they can.
- 4. You have to go to the insurer’s recommended doctors or auto shops. Some insurance companies will try to make you go to their recommended doctors or auto shops for post-accident help, but these providers often receive payment from the insurance companies in exchange for providing lower-priced or lower-quality services. This can lead to lowball auto repair quotes, poor work, or ineffective healthcare for the victim, so always insist on going to your own body shop and doctor instead to ensure that you get treated fairly and properly.
- 5. You don’t need a lawyer. A lawyer is always a good ally to have after an accident. They ensure that you won’t get undercut or underpaid in your car wreck settlement, and they handle all communication and negotiation with the insurance companies so that you don’t have to. Insurance companies will try to tell you that you don’t need one so that they don’t have to pay you as much as you deserve.
If you were recently in an accident, contact the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today. We’ll make sure you get the car wreck settlement that you are rightfully owed.