Ways to Learn About a Negligent Driver's Liability Insurance Coverage
After an auto accident, it's important to contact the negligent driver's insurance company to file a claim. However, you might find it challenging to obtain the most basic information from the insurance adjuster, such as how much insurance coverage the other driver has to allow for compensation for your medical bills and vehicle repairs. Adjusters may neglect to provide this information in the hopes you'll take a lesser settlement amount. Fortunately, you have other ways to obtain this critical information.
Take These Steps to Determine the Other Driver’s Insurance Coverage
You need to know the other driver’s liability insurance coverage before you negotiate a settlement of your claim. This will tell you if sufficient funds are available to fully compensate you, or if you'll need to file an underinsured motorist claim with your insurance company if you have this coverage option.
In addition, you don't want to accept a lower settlement under the mistaken impression the driver had less insurance than his actual coverage policy. Take these steps to learn this information if the insurance company won't provide it:
- Ask the driver. The driver may be willing to provide this information if you ask him for it. This is more likely soon after your wreck. Once he starts talking to his insurance adjuster about the accident, he or she may advise him not to talk to you.
- Send a demand letter. If the insurance company won't tell you the insurance coverage, hire an experienced car accident attorney right away, because it's unlikely the company would be reasonable in settling your claim. Your attorney can send the insurance company a demand letter notifying it of your claim and demanding documentation of the policy limits. In some cases, the adjuster may be willing to provide this information to your attorney.
- File a lawsuit. Your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf and request a copy of the coverage policy as part of discovery in your case. The insurance company will almost certainly be required to provide this information.
- Ask your own insurance company. If you make a claim for the repairs of your vehicle through underinsured motorist coverage you have with your insurance company, your adjuster may contact the negligent driver’s company to obtain the policy limits for you.
If you or a family member was involved in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver, call our office today to schedule a free consultation with Alan Morton to receive answers to your questions and to learn about your legal options.