I recommend that my clients promptly contact their insurance carrier after a wreck,because you do not know whether the other driver has liability insurance coverage. Sometimes, the other driver will tell the officer at the scene that they have insurance,when they do not. This is because they want to avoid getting a traffic ticket. Perhaps they did at one time have coverage with that insurance company, but they failedto pay their premium andit lapsed.
If the other driver does not have insurance coverage, the only coverage available may be under your automobile insurance policy. You have a contractual duty to cooperate with your insurance carrier.It is included in the fine print of every insurance policy. I suggest that you do not say you are making a claim,but merelyletting them know that you have been involved in a wreck.
What Should Someone Do If the Other Person’s Insurance Denies Liability in An Auto mobile Wreck?
Insurance companies place a lot of emphasis on the Uniform Traffic Crash Report, even though it is not admissible as evidence at trial. Theylook at it to see who the officer has identified to be the driver who caused the wreck.Typically, an insurance company will make a determination as to liability based on what is contained in the Crash Report, along with what their insured tells them. The otherdriver’s insurancecompany may deny liability based on what their insured says, even if it contradicts what the officer put inthe Crash Report.If the other driver’s insurance company denies liability, you need to contact an attorney (if you have not already done so). It is unlikely, at that point, thatthey are going to offer to pay anything on your claim without you first filing a lawsuit.
If your claim is denied by an insurance carrier, the next step is to file a lawsuit. Liability (who was “at fault”) this becomes an issue for the jury to decide.You will then have a betterunderstanding as towhy the insurance company denied your claim. It could be because they contend their insured was not responsible for the wreck.In the alternative, it might be that the responsible driver had no insurance coverage (maybe it lapsed).If the other driver was uninsured, then any recovery will be fromhim or her, individually, or fromyour automobile insurance carrier.
What Factors Determine the Viability of An Automobile Wreck Claim?
Wrecks that happen on private property are very difficult to pursue. In Alabama, there will notbe a Uniform Traffic Crash Report prepared if it occurred on private property. A police officer can, at his discretion,decide to prepare an Incident Report, which is similar to the report that would be filled outif somebody broke into your house.
If there is a dispute as to liability, such as the wreck happened at an intersection and there is a question as to who had the green light, it is quite possible that the other driver’s insurance company will deny your claim.The more significant your injuries, the more likely it is that a qualified attorney will look closerat ways to prove liability.
For more information on Notifying Your Insurance Company of an Automobile Wreck, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (256) 534-3288 today.