Car Accident Insurance FAQ
Contact Our Firm's Car Accident Lawyer in Scottsdale
In the event you have been involved in a
car accident that was caused by another driver's negligence, one of your first
tasks will be to deal with your insurance claim – usually with both
the other driver's insurance company and your own. Knowing the correct
way to go about filing a claim after a collision can be complicated and
raise a variety of questions, and often problems.
At The Watkin Law Office, PC, our qualified Scottsdale injury lawyer,
Clark Watkin, has handled countless personal injury claims throughout Arizona.
His devotion to each client is what makes all the difference in the outcome
of each case he takes on.
- He has over 40 years of experience in the field of personal injury and
wrongful death law
- Attorney Watkin provides a customized case approach
- He will personally walk and talk you through every step of the process
Call our Scottsdale car accident attorney at
(480) 281-3838 today or fill out our free, confidential case evaluation form here. We
represent victims who have been seriously injured by the negligence of
another individual, usually one of the drivers involved in the collision.
Common Insurance Questions After a Car Collision
After a serious auto accident,
you will usually need to address two critical, and very different, categories
- Health Insurance; and
- Auto Liability Insurance
Below we answer some of the more common questions that arise when addressing
these two types of insurance in conjunction with car accident claims in Arizona.
Whose health insurance is used and what does it cover?
Whether you have privately-purchased health care insurance, are provided
with health insurance through your job, or are covered by a governmentally-sponsored
program such as AHCCCS or Medicare, premiums are paid each month to keep
you covered and protected in the event of an injury accident. As a general rule,
you must usually use your own health insurance to pay for your immediate
medical care such as ambulance, emergency room, hospital, doctors, skilled nursing,
rehab, physical therapy, and other necessary medical costs. Future medical
care is a different story. Hopefully, once you bring a claim against the
at-fault driver for your injuries, you will be able to recover enough
money to cover the costs of your future medical care. But
until the adverse driver and his auto insurance carrier acknowledge fault
(or are found at fault by a jury) they do NOT have any duty to pay for
your medical care. So you are often "on you own" when it comes to finding doctors
and therapists willing to treat you, then you have to wait to get paid.
Again, the claim process is often (usually) complex, which is why we encourage
you to retain a reliable Scottsdale personal injury attorney who can provide
invaluable assistance and hopefully recover the maximum compensation to
which you are lawfully entitled for your injuries, medical expenses and
other consequential damages.
Whose auto liability insurance is used and what does that cover?
Your auto accident lawyer is there to
bring a claim (either an informal claim against the other driver's liability insurance
company, or a formal lawsuit in court) that seeks monetary compensation
(money) for you to cover the following types of "damages":
- Physical Pain
- Mental Suffering
- Lost Earnings (Both Past And Future)
- Past And Future Medical Expenses
- All Other Consequential Damages
As a general rule of thumb: The more serious your physical injuries, the
higher your medical expenses will be AND the more necessary it is to hire
a qualified Scottsdale car accident attorney with the expertise you need
to navigate the complicated legal and factual issues that will arise in
a serious injury case. Another rule of thumb is: the more serious your
injuries, and the higher your medical bills, the harder the adverse driver's
insurance carrier will fight to avoid paying you a fair value for your claim.
What if the at-fault driver has no auto liability insurance – or
not enough to cover the total value of your claim?
- If the negligent driver has no auto liability insurance, you are left with
two basic options:
- File a lawsuit against the other driver, personally, and attempt to obtain
a judgment that will permit you to try and collect from the driver's
personal (non-insurance) assets, if any; and/or.
- Bring your damages claim against your own auto liability policy; but ONLY
if you have purchased uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
- If the negligent driver has some – but not enough – auto liability
insurance, you basically have the same two options:
- Sue the driver and hope to obtain a judgment against him for an amount
greater than his liability insurance coverage, so you can collect both
his insurance and his personal assets; and/or
- Bring your damages claim against your own auto liability policy of under-insured
motorist (UIM) coverage, assuming you have purchased such coverage.
Is it the responsibility of the at-fault driver's auto insurance to
pay all of your medical bills?
No. As mentioned above, and contrary to popular belief, unless and until
the adverse driver (or his insurance company) admits liability for causing
your injuries via an out of court settlement, his auto liability insurer
has absolutely no legal duty to pay for your medical care. Likewise, in
the absence of an out of court settlement with the insurance company,
you will need to file a lawsuit, which might take many months (often more
than 18 months) to resolve. Even if you eventually obtain a jury verdict
in your favor, and a favorable judgment from the court, the other side
might appeal the decision – of even file for bankruptcy protection,
which might result in your entire claim being precluded.
So what does this mean for you, the victim? Unfortunately you only have
one of three options in order to receive the immediate care you need,
without waiting for liability to be determined:
- Make sure your own health insurance pays for your medical care (remember,
you can also use the "medical payments" coverage you hopefully
purchased under your auto insurance policy);
- Pay your medical bills out of pocket; and/or
- Locate medical providers who are willing to treat you in exchange for "liens"
which will permit them to collect payment for their bills from the money
eventually recovered from the at-fault driver
Having a reliable, experienced Scottsdale injury lawyer on your side from
the onset of your car accident case will always enable you to obtain a
fuller, faster and more favorable outcome for your serious injury claim.
Get the professional legal help you deserve, and obtain the monetary damages
you deserve, too.
Fill out our free case evaluation form today!
If you have been in an auto accident in Scottsdale, pursue the maximum
restitution for your injuries by contacting The Watkin Law Office, PC.
With over 40 years of experience handling serious injury and death cases
throughout Arizona, we have the expertise you need to obtain the success
you deserve. Let us create a personalized case strategy to guide your
claim through every twist and turn along the path to a favorable recovery.
There is no insurance case too complicated for us to handle, so please
do not hesitate to give our Scottsdale injury firm a call at
(480) 281-3838. You can also fill out our free, confidential
case evaluation form here to allow us to review your case as soon as possible.