What do I do if I was involved in an auto accident in which my insurance company has found the other party at fault?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What do I do if I was involved in an auto accident in which my insurance company has found the other party at fault?

I only have liability insurance so I am relying on the other drivers’ insurance to cover the damages. I also have a witness who can give a statement. There was a police report filed. I have called quite frequently to the other insurance but that company keeps telling me there is nothing they can do until they get a recorded statement from their insured party. The insurance company says they keep trying with no results. What should I do? It has been 2 1/2 weeks since the accident and my vehicle is sitting at the dealership waiting to be repaired. My vehicle is incurring storage fees.

Asked on January 9, 2013 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

Kristina Combs / The Law Firm of Kristina L. Combs, PLLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

After an auto accident it is best to contact an attorney immediately in order to protect your interests. Hiring an attorney may help getting your claim expedited. Some attorneys may work on a contingency basis (meaning they don't get paid until you get paid), and other attorneys may offer payment plans. The insurance company of the guy at fault is not looking out for your best interests, they are looking out for their policy holder. Insurance companies may give you a hard time resolving your claim, and they may drag it out. As time goes by your claim becomes stale and attorneys may not want to take your case, or the statute of limitations may run out. The statute of limitations is the time you have to file a lawsuit on a claim. If they are giving you a hard time, you should contact an attorney right away. You should probably contact an attorney anyways to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You have a couple of different options-- and some will depend on any "fine print" details of your policy.

First, it would help if you have an attorney.  They can send demand letters and get some things expedited.  Even though you only have liability insurance-- review your whole policy.  Some actually have clauses or benefits which require your insurance company to help you with legal representation.  If there is no clause- you'll be stuck with trying to find a car wreck or personal injury attorney.  Many offer payment plans or will defer their fees until you receive your settlement.

Your second option is to contact the state board of insurance and file a complaint.  The insurance company should be telling you something by now.  They have had time to look at your vehicle and at least do a cursory investigation.  If they are dragging their feet, they can be subject to action by the state board for refusing to respond to a valid claim.  The only time they can extend the period for responding is when the claim is not valid.  From what you describe-- your claim is valid.

 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The other driver's insurance does NOT owe any duty or obligation to you--you are not its insurered. Therefore, you cannot count on them aggressively trying to make sure you get paid. Their obligation is to their insured--the policy holder. If you are not getting cooperation, the way to try to force matters to a resolution is to sue the other driver. If he is at fault, then a court will, presumably, award you compensation. If he ignores the lawsuit and doesn't respond, you will win by default. Also, his insurer should step in to defend and/or indemnify (pay for) him--including by possibly settling the matter. Therefore, if the other party and/or his insurer is not voluntarily arranging to pay you (or not offering an acceptable amount), the way to vindicate your rights is with a lawsuit.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption