Knowing Whether a Defendant is Insured or Uninsured is Vital to any Auto Accident Case
All drivers in Texas must have auto insurance. Several powerful high-tech tools made available to law officers for them to immediately know this important fact; and mete-out “street justice” by quickly towing non-insured vehicles and giving these uninsured drivers costly tickets. But still, one-in-four in Texas insist on driving uninsured. Whether an insurance company is involved in your case or not makes a significant difference in the legal process and the ultimate disposition of your claim. Certain conditions surrounding your accident (and compensation) can become intricate, and litigious. And much of the time, these elements arise from an insurance company that doesn’t want to pay-up.
Suppose that both drivers involved in your accident were insured and an insurance company is responsible for compensating you for your injuries. Coverage is generally good news for you as it usually means there will theoretically be some amount of money available to compensate you for your losses if you’re successful in bringing your claim. Most drivers with “street legal-only” insurance carry minimum coverage on their vehicle, and the insurance policy may not fully reimburse you for your losses if your accident was especially severe. Also, just because there is money supposedly available under an insurance policy to compensate you, doesn’t necessarily mean that that the check is coming without some sort of negative drama. Anyone who has carried minimum coverage (or been hit by negligent drivers who have it) understands that some companies pay better (meaning quicker) than others. And some – with claimants as well as customers in-general – aren’t apt to respond quickly to any process other than taking in premiums. In just about any accident where an insurance company is involved, it means that at some point, you’ll be up against opposition. There will be aggressive adjusters, accident recreation specialists, defense attorneys, and others who all work to see that you lose (and they win by keeping their money). More information here @ https://www.accident-lawyers-corpus-christi.com/car-accident-attorneys-auto-crash-lawyers/
Then there’s the 25 percent chance (at least!) that the other driver involved in your wreck was uninsured. Hopefully, you have uninsured (UM) /underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage. Since the other driver is responsible for paying you for your injuries, your primary interests are this. If he is uninsured or underinsured, will your insurer provide the UM/UIM service you paid-for and cover you (or pay the difference) when the negligent driver comes up-short, and it’s time to compensate you?
You also must know how solvent this negligent driver is. If a defendant is insolvent, it means that he or she does not have the money to compensate you for your injuries completely: if they can even compensate you all. When a defendant is insolvent, there’s little value in pursuing litigation against him, no matter how strong your case is in proving he should otherwise be held liable for your losses. It is a sad but regular reality that some accident victims are unable to recover compensation from insolvent defendants. And if that happens, hopefully, you have UM/UIM coverage, which we’ll talk about in greater detail in a moment or two.
Sometimes, the other driver will take steps to hide his assets to appear insolvent. He might also try and hide this wreck from his insurance company that threatens to drop his coverage if he gets in one more accident. Our Law Firm traditionally performs an asset check on any defendant to find out how much he’s worth, and also get a clear picture of his actual insurance coverage. If there’s money available, we’ll find it and work to make sure the court is aware of the defendant’s efforts at hiding assets so that you will receive the damages owed to you.
Regardless of the Insurer, the Odds That Your Injury Claim Will be Initially Denied Can be High
Many auto liability insurers will find any excuse to cancel a customer’s policy once they are involved in an injury-related accident. Though we don’t encourage “profiling,” we have noticed the connection between such arbitrary insurance cancellation and the size of the Yellow Page display ad the insurer buys: the bigger the ad, the flimsier the coverage. Many cancel for no stated reason or say that the monthly premium payment didn’t arrive before the wreck was reported, even if it did come during the state-mandated ten-day grace period from the due date.
The Texas Department of Insurance keeps records on how insurance companies honor claims in our state. They’ve revealed some very sobering data. In one year, one Texas minimum coverage insurer took-in over $271 million in premiums. But it has a claims complaint index that is two-and-a-half times higher the state complaint average. Another minimum coverage insurer took in $575 million and had a complaint index of nearly four times over the state average. The TDI also has a “Top 10” hit-list of insurers that have the highest total complaints when it comes to handling claims.
A recent analysis of the Insurance Department’s consumer complaint figures showed that 11 of the 25 largest auto insurers in the state, all of whom are supposed to be underwriting over 100,000 policies, had a 3010 complaint index that was above average. Complaints that drivers filed with the state included such practices as delays in processing claims, “low-ball” settlement offers, outright denial of legitimate claims and other liability disputes.
Another favorite trick of some insurance companies in denying an injured claimant is for an adjuster for the company to tell the injured party that if the claim isn’t paid, the person will have to hire a lawyer and will probably wind up with little money for their trouble. At that point, the driver feels forced to take 50 cents on the dollar (or less) of the original damage claim. This excuse is patently false! But since the driver probably hasn’t talked to an experienced auto accident attorney, he’s probably unaware of this fact, feels that he’s alone against the big bad insurance company, and accepts the substandard offer. In one year alone, Texas consumers filed more than 6,600 complaints against auto insurers. More than half were filed by drivers who said they were not at fault in an accident but still had trouble getting an insurer to pay their claim.
A high percentage of these denials come from insurance companies that do business in Texas but are headquartered in another state. Then maintain they are subject to the insurance laws of the state in which they are incorporated, not the states in which they do business. If you’re dealing with an adjuster in another state, this action could be a clue that the insurance company might deny your claim.
The auto accident lawyers at our Texas Law Firm have effectively handled car accident litigation for over 30 years. We’ve won favorable verdicts and settlements against nearly every major auto insurer in the state. Insurance companies recognize our name. And the reputation that precedes us is beneficial in securing special attention to our clients’ claims from these insurers. Our goal is to make sure that you recover as much as possible for your injuries and make this sometimes complicated legal process as easy as possible for you.
Put our years of experience to work for you. Know your rights, how to proceed with your claim, and how much compensation you can secure from your auto injury case. Call our Law Firm now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you recover the full fair value of the damages you have suffered through the negligence of another driver.