After a motor vehicle collision, the insurer for the driver who caused the crash should be responsible for making crash victims whole. This means paying for property damage caused by the collision as well as paying for economic and non-financial damages the accident has caused. Unfortunately, many insurance companies are reluctant to pay what is due. This is true not just for big claims, but even when relatively small amounts of money are at stake.
Getting the money you need is important so you can get a new car, repair your vehicle, and respond appropriately to treat all injuries and losses. The more serious your injuries and the more extensive your damages, the more important it is for you to have an Atlanta car accident attorney to help you stand up to the insurance companies and fight for what you are due.
Car Insurers May Fight to Avoid Paying Out Fair Value of Atlanta Car Crash Claims
One recent case reported on the SC Times shows just how far insurance companies may be willing to go to avoid paying out even small amounts of money they clearly owe. The case arose when a young man was involved in an automobile accident while driving his family's Buick. The Buick had 147,000 miles on it, and was worth between $3,500 and $5,000 based on the value of comparable cars. The young man was struck in the Buick by a driver in a rental car from National Car Rental. Records show the driver of the National Car Rental vehicle was at fault for the accident. This made the insurer for National Car Rental responsible for covering losses caused to the young man.
The Buick had only collision coverage on it, so the insurance company providing coverage for the Buick did not provide any assistance to the family in making their claim against the rental car's insurance company. The mother of the young man driving the vehicle began representing her family and her son's interests. She made repeated telephone calls to find out what was going on before learning an appraiser had valued the car very low. Even though the family had paid $1,200 just to store the vehicle and to tow it back home, the insurance company offered a total settlement amount of just $1,300.
The mother showed the insurer proof of the value of the car and disputed the insurer's claims that the vehicle mileage could not be checked because the car could not be turned on. The insurer was very slow to move the case forward, did not provide reasonable information to the mother, and made multiple low offers that were not even reasonably close to covering damages.
Even when the mother complained to the Insurance Commissioner, the insurance company refused to budge. The insurance company told the Commissioner they would not pay more and said that when the family did without collision coverage, they took a chance of having no carrier to help them mitigate losses. Of course, this is not how it works- the insurance company should have been responsible for the losses their insured caused.
Ultimately, after more than a year of fighting and after producing a stack of paperwork more than four inches thick, the mother succeeded in getting a settlement from the insurer of $3,522.
The lengths the insurance company went to in order to avoid paying out just $2,222 show just how reluctant insurance companies are to pay. When you have suffered greater losses, it is even more essential to have an advocate helping you to fight to get what you deserve.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Van Sant Law, LLC can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent driver. Call today at 404-991-5950 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.