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How Attorneys Work With Insurance Companies From Both Parties After an Accident

How Attorneys Work With Insurance Companies From Both Parties After an Accident

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Contacting an experienced attorney if you’re in a car accident can get you the help you need. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, choose to file a first-party or third-party insurance claim or even both. Working with a car accident attorney means they can handle the paperwork and negotiations, allowing you to focus on recovery. Here’s an overview of car accident insurance claims and how attorneys work with insurance companies from the parties involved:

First-Party vs. Third-Party Insurance Claims

If you’re in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you’ll want to work with their insurance company to recover damages.  Seek a lawyer’s help to claim medical bills, property losses, lost wages, emotional distress, and other damages. Claims against the negligent driver or party are known as third-party insurance claims. Once the claim is filed, the defendant’s insurance company investigates the accident and either accepts fault and settles or refutes it. If they deny the claim, you’ll go to trial, where a judge or jury determines the outcome of the case.

Accident victims can also file a first-party insurance claim. This claim is filed against your own insurance company based on the policy and contract you have with them. First-party claims are often filed when you’re responsible for the accident or if the defendant is uninsured or underinsured. Since fault is not always clear, filing for both first-party and third-party insurance claims can help protect you. An experienced car accident attorney will help you determine the proper claim to file based on the circumstances of your crash.

How Attorneys Work With Insurance Companies

After an accident, speak to the police and first responders to give them the details of what happened to get the care you need. Next, you will want to inform your insurance company of the crash. You can hire an attorney to handle this part. The attorney will also take care of communications coming from the other driver’s insurance company. Here are four ways attorneys work with insurance companies from both parties:

Representing You in Communications

Instead of talking with the defendant’s insurance company, let the attorney handle such communications to avoid providing information that could support your negligence or downplay your injuries. 

Sharing Information During Discovery

Car accident attorneys can share information with both insurance companies during the discovery phase. This phase involves gathering and sharing evidence as both teams work to determine liability. Your attorney can gather evidence from dashcam footage, eyewitnesses, expert witnesses, medical bills, and other receipts to prove your case.

Negotiating Fair Monetary Compensation

If your case is backed by solid evidence against the defendant, their insurance company may choose to settle out of court. Your attorney’s job is to negotiate the maximum possible settlement for your damages. If the insurance company refuses to pay what your lawyer believes is reasonable compensation, take the case to trial.

Closing and Settling the Insurance Claim

Attorneys work with insurance companies to determine acceptable ways to settle your claim. Once the insurance company agrees to settle, your lawyer negotiates the terms. The insurance company may pay a lump sum or deposit installments over a pre-determined duration. Once the total amount is settled, the attorney can help you close the lawsuit.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today

Experienced car accident lawyers offer comprehensive services, from free consultation to legal representation in negotiations and trials. If you’re in an accident, an attorney can help you recover damages from insurance companies. Lawyers protect your legal rights and interests to help you get fair compensation. Speak to a car accident attorney today to learn more about your rights and options following an accident.

FAQs

1. What is the difference between a first-party and a third-party insurance claim?

  • First-Party Insurance Claim: Filed with your own insurance company based on your policy terms, typically when you are at fault or the other party is uninsured/underinsured.
  • Third-Party Insurance Claim: Filed against the insurance company of the at-fault party, seeking compensation for damages caused by their negligence.

2. Why should I hire an attorney after a car accident?

  • Attorneys can handle all the complex paperwork, negotiations, and communications with insurance companies, allowing you to focus on your recovery. They ensure that you receive fair compensation and protect your legal rights.

3. How do attorneys communicate with insurance companies on my behalf?

  • Attorneys handle all interactions with the insurance companies to prevent any statements that might harm your case. They communicate details of the accident, negotiate settlements, and manage all legal correspondences.

4. What evidence do attorneys gather during the discovery phase?

  • Attorneys collect evidence such as police reports, dashcam footage, eyewitness statements, medical records, expert testimonies, and other relevant documents to build a strong case.

5. How do attorneys negotiate settlements with insurance companies?

  • Attorneys present the gathered evidence and argue for the maximum possible compensation based on the extent of your damages. They leverage their legal expertise and negotiation skills to reach a fair settlement.

6. What happens if the insurance company denies my claim or offers a low settlement?

  • If an insurance company denies your claim or offers insufficient compensation, your attorney can file a lawsuit and take the case to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome.

7. How is the settlement amount determined and paid?

  • The settlement amount is based on the evidence presented, the extent of your injuries, property damage, lost wages, and other relevant factors. Once agreed upon, the payment can be made as a lump sum or in installments, as negotiated by your attorney.

8. Can I file both a first-party and a third-party insurance claim?

  • Yes, in some cases, filing both claims can provide additional protection and ensure you receive adequate compensation, especially when fault is unclear or the at-fault party is underinsured.

9. What should I do immediately after a car accident?

  • Contact the police and seek medical attention for any injuries. Document the accident scene if possible, exchange information with the other driver, and notify your insurance company. Consult an attorney to guide you through the next steps.

10. How long do I have to file an insurance claim or lawsuit after a car accident?

  • The timeframe to file a claim or lawsuit varies by state and the specific circumstances of the accident. It’s important to consult an attorney promptly to ensure you meet all deadlines and preserve your legal rights.

11. Will my insurance premiums increase if I file a first-party claim?

  • Filing a first-party claim may result in an increase in your insurance premiums, depending on your insurance policy and the circumstances of the accident. An attorney can advise you on the potential impact.

12. How much does it cost to hire a car accident attorney?

  • Many car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. The fee is typically a percentage of the settlement or court award.

Hiring an experienced car accident attorney can significantly enhance your ability to navigate the complex landscape of insurance claims and legal proceedings, ensuring that you receive fair and just compensation for your damages.

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