While no one likes paying car insurance bills, the hope is that the insurance company will at least provide payment in the event of an accident. The reality, however, is that getting insurance companies to pay can be very difficult. Many collision victims face car accident insurance issues, whether they are making claims with their own insurer or are seeking compensation from the insurance company of another driver. Crash victims and individuals whose loved ones were killed in accidents need to ensure they have legal assistance from a qualified and experienced attorney in Oklahoma City who can help them move forward in the wake of tragedy.
Car Accident Insurance Issues Can Turn Into Lengthy Legal Battles
SC Times recently reported one woman who faced a battle with an auto insurer that lasted for a year. The incident first arose when the woman's son was involved in a motor vehicle collision with a vehicle belonging to National Car Rental. Records showed the driver who was operating the rental car was the at fault for the accident.
The family only had liability coverage, and not collision coverage, on the car their son was driving. It was an older Buick from 2000 that had 147,000 miles on it. However, since the son was not to blame for the crash, so liability-only coverage should not have been a problem; the insurer for the other driver was responsible for covering losses.
The family assumed their claim would settle quickly, because fault was clear and the insurance for the rental car company should have covered damage. Instead, the case turned into a lengthy legal battle.
The Buick was totaled after the collision, and the insurance adjuster for the rental car company appraised. However, the family who owned the vehicle was not notified of the adjuster's visit until July 14 and only after many telephone calls and emails were sent. Because there was only liability coverage, the family's insurance company did not agree to help the family make their claim against the rental car provider. The mother of the boy involved in the accident began representing her son and trying to get fair market value for the vehicle.
The rental insurer offered just $1,300 on the totaled vehicle, despite the fact the family had paid $1,200 in storage and towing bills to have the car returned to their home town. The rental car insurer also refused to pay actual costs of storing the vehicle and did not offer a rental car to the young man whose vehicle had been totaled.
The mother fighting the insurer provided proof that cars comparable to the vehicle were selling for between $3,500 and $5,000 and disputed claims made by the insurance company that the mileage on the car could not be verified because the vehicle could not start.
Insurer for the rental car made several more offers, all of which were significantly below market value. In light of problems getting in touch with the insurer and moving the claim forward, the mother contacted the Commissioner of Insurance. The insurer for the rental car company told the Insurance Commissioner that when the family declined collision coverage, they took a chance they would have no insurance to mitigate losses.
Ultimately, it took more than a year of negotiations before the insurance company negotiated a settlement of $3,522 with the family who owned the Buick.
This fight involved a relatively low amount of money because there were no injuries. But the insurer still went to great lengths to avoid paying. The insurers repeated refusals to treat the affected parties fairly is a clear illustration of why it is essential for crash victims to have an advocate on their side, especially in situations where losses are greater due to injuries.