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Don’t Get Ripped off by an Insurance Company

By GC Law21 Jun 2013

Car Accident and Compensation Lawyers - GC Law

In this article we are going to discuss how you handle an insurance company when you have an accident in a private place or you are injured in a car accident regardless of whether it is your or someone else’s fault.

Has an insurance company informed you that you are 10 or 15 percent at fault just because you were involved in the accident? Don’t get ripped off. There is no such law.

This is a common tactic employed by insurance companies to convince you to accept less than fair value for your case.  For instance, there is no motor vehicle law that states you are at fault merely for being there. It is common for insurance companies to point the finger at the victim of an accident for causing or contributing to the accident. Using such terms as “Comparative Negligence”, or “Contributory Negligence”, the insurance company will attempt to pay as little as possible in settling your case.

Insurance companies make this argument because under contributory negligence, your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering are reduced by the percentage you are found at fault for the accident.

Let’s say you’re found to be 15% at fault in a claim worth $10,000. It will be reduced by $1,500 and you receive $8,500. Therefore, it benefits the insurance companies to make the “at-fault for just being there” argument because over hundreds of claims, they can save millions of dollars.

Claiming you are at fault merely for being involved in an accident is one of only a number of excuses insurance companies use to reduce the value of your claim. Although you believe your case is cut and dry because the other driver ran a stop sign, went through a red light, or quickly made a left turn in front of you, an insurance company will likely argue you could have done more to avoid the accident.

They may very well argue that because you did not avoid the accident you bear some responsibility. The point being, insurance companies will resort to as many excuses as possible to claim you bear some fault, because by doing so, they can pay much less money to injured people.

As you can imagine, claims involving these fault issues can be complicated and fiercely contested. Don’t become a victim of these insurance company tactics.

Protect yourself by not saying or admitting to anything at the scene of an accident. Do not sign any releases or make any statements until you speak to a solicitor.  Do not accept any payment or compensation on the spot from the other driver. 

Exchange insurance information and call a lawyer.

Of course, just calling a lawyer doesn’t guarantee you will be fairly compensated either. The best chance at fair recovery is having adequate insurance coverage. Do not rely on the other driver to cover your losses. You have to be proactive and buy the right insurance at the right amounts to fully protect yourself. The best thing you can do when purchasing motorcycle insurance for example is to purchase as much as you can afford and be an educated consumer.

Be aware that there are a few nuances to motorcycle insurance policies that make it different than normal car insurance. First, if you customise your bike, it could increase its value. Your underlying property damage limit may not be enough if you have added many custom items. Keep receipts for any accessories or modifications you make to your bike. Take photos and provide these to your agent. It could mean a slight increase in your premium but at least you will know these accessories are covered.

Insurance coverage varies. In some cases your policy may automatically include uninsured coverage.  In many policies, underinsured coverage is optional and must be requested. You should purchase  underinsured coverage in limits as high as you can afford. This insurance will compensate you when an at-fault driver’s insurance is inadequate to pay for your losses.

Speaking of buying additional insurance, there are ways to reduce your premium costs to make it more affordable. Multiple vehicle policies with the same company usually result in discounts of some kind. Also, change up your coverage to best suit your needs, eliminating or reducing coverage on certain policy items you don’t need. Increasing deductibles also results in a lowering of premium costs. Some companies also offer “good driver” discounts for safe driving, theft alarms, graduation from a credited rider course and other things. Shop around to get the best coverage you can afford for the best value.

If you’re an unrepresented claimant injured in an accident at work or in a car accident chances are you’ll be ripped off by the insurance company in any settlement.

If you want good advice about your rights and want to maximise the compensation to which you’re entitled to then let us fight for you. 

We are here to help.  Contact us on 1300 302 318.  
 

Original story source: http://roadguardians.org