Nearly every driver has been involved in an accident. Regardless of which driver was at fault for the accident, each driver must submit an auto insurance claim to their respective providers. However, some providers may refuse to honor a legitimate claim. Others may choose to underpay claims or deny parts of the claim. When this happens, the driver may consider pursuing a lawsuit against the carrier. The process of filing an auto insurance claim lawsuit can be a delicate matter, so an insight into the process can be helpful.
Reasons for an Auto Insurance Claim Lawsuit
Drivers can file an auto insurance claim lawsuit against their carriers for a wide range of reasons. Most auto insurance claim lawsuits stem from what legal experts call “bad faith.” A bad faith claim means that the insurer failed to live up to their part of the policy. For example, if the driver purchases a policy that covers both liability and collision, but the insurance carrier only pays the liability portion of the claim, the insurance carrier can be said to have acted in bad faith regarding the collision portion of the policy.
Auto Insurance Claim Lawsuit Demand Letter
The first step in filing an auto insurance claim lawsuit comes when the driver sends a “demand letter” to the insurance carrier. The demand letter informs the carrier of the driver’s reasons for pursuing the auto insurance claim lawsuit. These reasons can include a slow response to a claim, a denial of a legitimate claim, or an underpayment on a claim. The demand letter also calls for the insurance provider to negotiate in good faith and respond by a specific deadline, or else the policy holder will pursue legal action.
Auto Insurance Claim Lawsuit Trial Process
When a driver files an auto insurance claim lawsuit, the process can be long and involved. Attorneys for both sides must go through the “discovery” process, which entails examining the evidence surrounding the claim. After gathering the evidence, the driver and his attorney can estimate an amount they expect to receive in an auto insurance claim lawsuit verdict. The amount will include repairs, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and attorney’s fees. The trial process can take several months, up to a year, to see through to a final verdict.
Auto Insurance Claim Lawsuit Settlement
In many cases, the insurer will consider a settlement agreement, rather than go through the time and expense of defending itself from an auto insurance claim lawsuit. The policy holder must determine if the amount reached in the settlement agreement will cover all of the expenses stemming from the accident. Most settlement amounts are far less than the amount the driver could gain in an auto insurance claim lawsuit at trial, but the agreements are much quicker and less expensive than a lengthy trial.
Get Answers For Your Auto Insurance Lawsuit Questions
To find out how we can answer your questions about auto insurance lawsuits, contact one of our attorneys today. Our intake team will take down the details of your case and quickly connect you to an attorney who understands how to get the most from your auto insurance lawsuit. You can also fill out the “Confidential Evaluation” form at the top of this page.
NOTE: This blog post is a news story and is not an endorsement of Arguello Law Firm by any party mentioned herein.