What If the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Won’t Pay Your Claim?

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You may have a definite idea that the other driver was to blame for the car accident, and you may even think that you have the evidence that proves it. However, the other driver’s insurance company may see things differently, in part due to their financial interests.

If the other insurance company denies your car accident claim, they may be playing a dangerous game that could even lead to their direct liability to you. You are always better off when you approach any insurance company with the help of an experienced car accident lawyer.

Call the Rock Hill car accident attorneys at Schiller & Hamilton to discuss your claim.

You May Begin the Legal Process By Filing a Car Accident Claim

Working with your attorney, you have decisions to make about where to begin the legal process of seeking financial compensation after a car accident.

You can either start by filing a claim against the responsible driver’s insurance policy or a lawsuit against that driver in court. Depending on the situation, some attorneys may advise their clients to start with an insurance claim because it means that they may get money more quickly with less risk.

You can begin by filing a claim that contains evidence of both liability for the car accident and your damages. It can take a while for the insurance company to respond to your claim. Anyone hopes that they would at least begin by offering some money in a settlement, which you would then need to negotiate higher.

However, you may be dismayed when the insurance company comes back and denies your claim entirely, or they will not fully pay it because they argue that you are partially at fault.

While you may be angry and stressed, there is still something that you can do, and it is not the end of the road for your legal rights. Never overestimate the power that the insurance company has in the legal process.

The Insurance Company Does Not Have the Power of a Jury

The other driver’s insurance company is just a participant in your car accident claim. Because they must defend their policyholder, they step into the shoes of the other driver when you file a claim.

The insurance company’s job is to represent their driver and potentially settle the claim on their behalf. The insurance company would provide an attorney if one is necessary to defend any lawsuit that you file. They aim to make your case go away for as little money as possible so they can make high profits and close the claim.

In other words, the insurance company does not have the power to dictate the size of your settlement. They would negotiate with you at arm’s length, knowing that you have a right to full financial compensation for all the harm that you have suffered, up to the amount of the policy limit.

The insurance company is not a decision-maker. Instead, they are your adversary when you have a legal claim against their driver.

Once you have presented a claim to the insurance company, they would decide whether to accept liability. They may confer with your insurance company, or they may even submit the matter to arbitration when they cannot reach an agreement on who was at fault.

The other driver’s insurance company could determine that you have not presented sufficient evidence to prove that their driver was at fault and did not deserve any compensation.

You Can Take Your Car Accident Lawsuit to Court

The other driver’s insurance company does not get the final say about your legal right to financial compensation in a car accident. Your legal rights can only be decided conclusively in a court of law, should you decide to take your case there. If the insurance company will not pay your claim, that is exactly what you will have to do to get any financial compensation.

Your lawyer will then file a lawsuit on your behalf against the responsible driver, which the insurance company would be obligated to defend. Your attorney can present the evidence that shows why the other driver owes you money.

Assuming that the insurance company does not settle the claim before trial, the jury would then be the one who decides whether you deserve money and how much you would get. Only then, once you have your day in court, are your legal rights fully determined after your car accident.

The Car Insurance Company Could Be Liable for Bad Faith

Insurance companies have a legal obligation to act in good faith. Their policy is a legal and binding contract between them and their driver. Each party to a contract must act in good faith, and they are presumed to do so unless you can show otherwise.

In South Carolina, you may be able to file a bad faith claim against the other driver’s insurance company when they have unreasonably denied your claim. However, you would not be able to sue the insurance company directly as a third party. Here, you can only sue for bad faith when you have taken your case to court and won.

The result of your case will have been that the driver owes money that they otherwise would not have because the insurance company refused to settle the claim when they could have. Then, you would reach an agreement with the driver not to collect that money in exchange for the right to step into the driver’s shoes and sue their insurance company for bad faith.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Beaufort, South Carolina Today

The experienced car accident lawyers at Schiller & Hamilton can deal with the insurance company on your behalf. We can negotiate for you and fight when it is necessary. We have a track record of delivering results for our clients.

To learn how we can help, you can call our office today at 843-379-5006 or send us a message online to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys.

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