Nearly every state requires drivers to carry a certain amount and type of auto insurance. In Wisconsin, you must have liability coverage damage you may cause for other people’s bodily injuries and property damage. Yet despite the requirement that every driver carry auto insurance, recovering compensation after you are injured in a crash can be difficult. The at-fault driver may have unlawfully driven without coverage or the minimum policy may not be sufficient to fully compensate you for your injuries. Even with appropriate coverage, you can run into countless obstacles on your way to a claim resolution.
To get through a car accident claim as smoothly and quickly as possible, it is best to work with an experienced car wreck attorney from Studinski Law, LLC. Call us today at (715) 343-2850 to find out how we can help you.
Filing a Third-Party Insurance Claim
After being injured in a car crash caused by another driver, your first attempt to recover compensation is typically through the other driver’s insurance company. This is often referred to as a third-party insurance claim. It is known as a third-party claim because you do not have a contract with the insurer – the other driver does. You are a third party to their contractual relationship. If you were to file a claim against your own insurance policy, then that would be a first-party claim.
When you file a third-party claim, your attorney will contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company and start the claim process. One way to file a third-party claim is with a written letter. However, many insurers now offer online forms. Whichever way you file your claim, you will likely need to attach certain information, including:
- Your name and contact information
- The other driver’s name and insurance policy number
- Names and contact information of passengers in your vehicle at the time of the accident
- The police report
- Accident photos or videos
- The name and contact information for your vehicle repair shop
- Your medical records regarding your injuries
Once you file your claim, the insurer is required to promptly investigate the allegations and determine whether it is liable to pay you compensation based on its policy with the other driver. This investigation will often include taking your statement. You have the right to speak with a car insurance lawyer before you give your statement and we recommend that you do so.
Common Issues During the Insurance Claim Process
The insurance claim process may appear straightforward. But, there are a number of ways it can go terribly wrong. Some common car insurance issues to watch out for during the insurance claim process are:
- A delayed or substandard investigation by the insurer without justification
- An adjuster who attempts to get you to admit fault
- A request for you to sign a medical release, which would give the insurer access to all of your medical records without limitation as to time or subject matter
- Unreasonable demands for unnecessary documentation or records you have already provided
- A lack of communication
- Receiving a low ball offer very quickly
- Being pressured to accept an offer right away
- Failure to justify the offer based on the given evidence
- Denying the claim without justification
In some situations, an insurer’s poor behavior can be aggravating. But, this can be overcome with the help of an experienced attorney. An attorney can also realize when an insurer’s unfair behavior arises to the level of bad faith. If this is the case for you, then you may have a separate legal claim against the insurer for their unlawful actions.
Issues with the Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements
In Wisconsin, all drivers are required to have minimum liability insurance coverage in case they cause a car accident. They must have a minimum of $25,000 to cover bodily injury or death per person involved in a crash, $50,000 to cover bodily injury or death of all people involved in a single crash, and $10,000 in coverage for property damage.
While the minimum amounts of bodily injury and property damage insurance may qualify you and other drivers to operate a vehicle on Wisconsin roads, the minimum is not necessarily the best amount to carry. If another driver hits you and only has the bare minimum coverage, you may need to look elsewhere for additional compensation. One of the best options for recovering the compensation you need may be through your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Regardless of the type of coverage involved, the matter may be resolved without filing a lawsuit if the insurer offers fair and reasonable compensation. When the insurer fails to offer fair and reasonable compensation, a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary.
If you are injured in an accident caused by someone without any auto insurance, you can file a claim against your own policy to pay for your injuries. This type of claim involves uninsured motorist coverage. If the driver had insurance but the policy is less than the compensation you are entitled to, you can make a claim against your own policy to pay out the difference. This type of claim involves underinsured motorist coverage.
Whether you have additional auto insurance or not, you can also seek to hold the at-fault driver responsible for the compensation you deserve through a personal injury lawsuit. However, many individuals who drive without insurance or with the bare minimum do so because they do not have much money. If an at-fault driver has little-to-no income and no valuable assets, filing suit against them may be a waste your time and money. This is one reason why we encourage consumers to purchase substantial insurance coverage – not only to protect themselves if they cause a wreck, but also for compensation in the event they are injured by someone with no coverage or insufficient insurance coverage.
Contact Our Wisconsin Car Accident Lawyers for Help
If you were injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to reach out to our personal injury lawyers at Studinski Law, LLC. We understand that you are looking for this matter to be resolved as quickly and as well as possible. The sooner you have the compensation to which you are entitled, the faster you can pay your medical bills, focus on your recovery, and move forward with your life. Call us at (715) 343-2850 to schedule an appointment to discuss your claim.