If you’ve been named as the party responsible for a car accident in San Fernando Valley by an insurance company, you have the right to dispute their decision. Here’s what you need to know about car insurance disputes in California.
You Have the Right to Dispute Liability
If your car insurance company or the car insurance of the other party informs you that they’ve decided that you carry most of the responsibility for the car accident, you have the right to dispute that. If you do not believe that you were liable for the car accident, you should submit copies of pictures and documents that you have related to the car accident and the scene. Insurance companies aren’t necessarily interested in the financial or medical best interest of anyone involved in the car accident. They’re more interested in limiting their payout.
Of course, the insurance company adjusters involved may take your documentation and not change their mind. It could be that they are legally correct or it could be that they are acting in bad faith. However, their refusal to change their minds isn’t necessarily the end of the road for you.
You Have the Right to Retain a Lawyer of Your Choice
Usually, when you’re told by an insurance company that you are liable for a car accident and if the plaintiff sues, your insurance company appoints an insurance defense attorney. Yet, there are times when your own insurance company believes that the accident is your fault and they may not want to pay out properly on your claim. You have the right to retain a lawyer. A car accident attorney licensed in the State of California can look out for your best interest. Attorneys understand the law and can deal with the insurance company on your behalf in an effort to minimize your presumed liability.
Filing a Complaint with the Insurance Commission
If you believe that your insurance company is acting in bad faith, you may want to consider filing a complaint with the insurance commission in your state. Before you do this, talk with your attorney to determine whether it is possible that the insurance company acted in bad faith.
Book Your Own Appraisal
Insurance companies use appraisals to determine how much financial damage occurred. You have the right to book your own appraisal. You may need to pay out of pocket for this, but it could help you limit your liability.
Mediation is where a third party is chosen to try and settle the dispute between you and the insurance company. This is a neutral person who looks at the facts and speaks with the parties involved and tries to determine a fair settlement. Mediation is different from arbitration because mediation does not bind you by law to accept the agreement. You can bring your lawyer with you and you may be able to reduce your liability.
If you’re the one who was injured in a car accident, contact Woodland Hills accident attorney Barry P. Goldberg for a free consultation.