Common Questions About Insurance After an Accident
If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you probably have a lot of questions. Between insurance adjusters calling and mounting medical bills, it can be a difficult time.
If you have suffered serious or catastrophic car accident injuries due to someone else’s carelessness, you deserve to be represented by a highly recommended car accidents attorneys who can answer all your questions and tirelessly pursue justice for you.
In order to better understand the process and familiarize yourself with what to expect as you work toward your recovery, here are some of the more common questions that people tend to have after an accident:
How Should I Pay for My Medical Bills?
It depends on your case, but there are generally a few ways your medical bills can be paid after an accident.
Most health care providers will ask for your auto insurance policy number, so that they can just bill your auto insurance directly. Because New York is a “no-fault” state, all drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
This “no-fault” coverage on your car pays up to $50,000 to pay medical bills for your injuries, regardless of who is at fault. If you paid for supplemental no-fault insurance, you may be entitled to more than $50,000. Pedestrians get “no-fault” from the vehicle that hit them.
- Health Insurance
If you have health insurance, you may try to use that to cover your medical bills while your claim is pending. Most health care providers have contracts with major health insurance companies, which allow for deep reductions in the actual cost of care. Of course, providers know this and would prefer to receive payment for their entire bill.
When you’ve been injured by someone else, health insurance companies will get paid from the auto insurance.
- Lien-Based Treatment
In some cases, certain providers may not accept health insurance and you may not have enough no-fault to cover all the bills. In these situations, your providers may treat you in exchange for a promise to pay. If so, you will be responsible for paying your bills out of your settlement or judgment.
This is one good reason to work closely with an experienced attorney. Your attorney will argue for full and fair compensation to cover everything.
Who Will Pay for Vehicle Damage?
New York’s no-fault law does not apply to property damage, so whoever causes the crash is responsible for paying to fix the other party’s car. If someone else caused the crash, then that person’s liability insurance is required to pay for your car’s damage.
It’s important to understand that the insurance follows the car, so if you let someone else borrow your car and that person causes a wreck, then your insurance might be required to pay for the damages.
What Should I Do if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
First, discuss your case with a knowledgeable New York car accident attorney. Second, you should check with your own insurance company to determine your uninsured motorist coverage. In New York, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is mandatory. There are several types of insurance coverages that may be available to help you:
- Uninsured Motorist (UM or SUM) Coverage
If you get hurt and the other driver has no insurance, then you will need to file a claim with your insurance company under your uninsured motorist policy. This is generally an excellent benefit that is designed just for these situations.
- Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage
Just like uninsured motorist coverage, this type of coverage will pay for bills if the at-fault driver’s insurance is too little to cover the damages. If the other driver only carries a minimum liability policy but you suffer severe injuries, underinsured motorist coverage may kick in to pick up the difference.
- Collision Coverage
If the other driver is responsible but has no insurance, check to see if you have collision coverage. If you have a loan on your vehicle, you are likely required to carry collision coverage by your lien holder. This will pay for your property damage regardless of who causes the crash.
What Should I Do If the Other Driver Says It’s My Fault?
First, do not admit fault and do not apologize. Take photos at the scene and get the names of witnesses. Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance company. Gather your paperwork, and contact an attorney to review the facts and available evidence.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of unscrupulous individuals out there who will fabricate stories and tell lies to avoid responsibility. Having an experienced lawyer on your side puts you on a more equal footing with the insurance companies, and it helps to ensure that your rights are protected from the start. You and your attorney can work together to formulate a strategy for fighting back.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer?
Not as much as you might think. Personal injury lawyers charge a contingent fee. This means the fee depends on the award. It’s “contingent” upon success. Much like a commission, the contingent fee aligns your attorney’s interests with your own because the more you recover, the more the attorney earns.
At Belluck & Fox, our New York personal injury attorneys do not charge any attorney fees to work on a personal injury claim. We only receive compensation for our work if and when you receive compensation for your injuries.
Our law firm also has the resources to advance the expenses involved in building a strong case, which means there are never any upfront fees for you. That way, our clients can focus on healing, recovering, and enjoying much needed time with loved ones. Meanwhile, we fight for the justice our clients deserve.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by another’s negligence, we are here to help. Contact us to learn more about how we might be able to help you and your family. An initial consultation is always free, but strict deadlines limit how much time you have to act. So don’t delay in getting legal advice about your car accident.