Category: Car accident claims

car accident

Injured After a Car Accident? Don’t Fight the Insurer on Your Own

A car accident can be a terrifying experience, and the effects can be long-lasting. While some motorists are killed, others may suffer from neck and spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, serious burns, broken bones, and more. If you have been in a crash, and seriously injured, you may have lost hours at work while recuperating or you may have been forced to stop working completely—whether temporarily or permanently. This can be an extremely difficult time, and while the physical effects may drag on—so can the financial issues and the frustrations of filing an insurance claim.

If you were in an automobile crash due to the negligence of another party, the claims process is more complex than just filing for an inconsequential fender bender that may have left a dent or chipped some paint. When injuries are caused due to an accident, and a police report is filed, you can bet that the adjusters for the other side will be on the case faster than you can say “I’m home from the emergency room!” You may find yourself surprised at how quickly they call, and at how many questions they have! This is not the time to be speaking to an insurance adjuster, but it is time to be consulting with an experienced injury attorney.

Due to an impending lawsuit or settlement, it is in your best interest to let your attorney do all the talking when it comes to the insurance company. Without their help, you may find yourself being asked to do tape-recorded interviews, sign medical release forms and give access to medical records and other information, all the while feeling like you are in good hands because the adjusters come across as warm, empathetic, and trustworthy. What may truly be happening behind the scenes is that adjusters are gathering information to use against you later, so they can either deny you a settlement or get away with a lowball offer. Be wary also of bad faith practices such as no investigation of the case at all, failure to interview any witnesses who were on the scene, overlooking obvious evidence, delaying settlements, and denying claims with no cause.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

car accident

Do Not Delay Seeking Medical Help If You Are Injured in a Car Accident

While tens of thousands are killed in the US each year due to car accident injuries (last year, those numbers hovered around 40,000 deaths annually), there are millions of traffic incidents each year. And as the numbers of motorists continue to grow, so do car crashes, along with motorcycle accidents, and those involving pedestrians and bicyclists too. Nothing is worse than hearing that sickening thud or screeching wheels as your car is hit by another motorist—but the best outcome is that of a harmless fender bender. And although that is a common occurrence on the roads, far too often there are accidents resulting in concussions or traumatic brain injuries, neck and spinal injuries, broken bones, and more.

As drivers, most of us will experience several car accidents in our lifetimes. That isn’t something most of us like to think about much. Having a healthy amount of respect for the dangers of the road and driving defensively is vital though, especially as the numbers of distracted drivers seem to grow—even with so much public safety information out there today warning about the potential for catastrophe in texting and driving along with other activities such as talking on cell phones, fiddling with other electronics, eating, engaging with passengers, and more. Distracted drivers—along with drunken, reckless, and speeding motorists—are still responsible for far too many accidents and deaths.

In the unfortunate case that you are in a car accident, after pulling over (if that is possible), ascertain whether anyone in the car has injuries. While it may be obvious that you or one or more passengers require an ambulance, if there is any question at all seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you are suffering from an injury, but delay in having treatment, that could result in a big question mark for the insurer—and especially if you were hit due to the negligence of another motorist with the potential for a serious lawsuit or settlement.

Make sure to file the claim directly following the accident and your visit to the hospital or doctor, and consult with a skilled injury attorney who will be able to speak with insurance adjusters on your behalf.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

car wrecks

Car Wrecks: Make Sure You Have a Copy of the Accident Report

While some motorists travel as if on autopilot, commuting and running daily errands, many of us proceed with extreme caution every time we head onto the roads. With statistics showing that traffic accidents just continue to rise, everyone should be worried today whether they are traveling by car, on two wheels, or on foot. This means practicing more diligence and defensive driving than ever, along with knowing what to do if you are in an accident.

Most of us would rather think about a million other things than what to do or how to prepare for the aftermath of a car wreck; unfortunately, most drivers will be involved in at least one traffic accident in their lives. For some, a car crash means debilitating and life-changing injuries—for others it can still mean substantial property damage and trauma, even if it is just emotional. Depending on the severity of the accident, there may be grounds for a lawsuit or your injury attorney may be involved in settlement talks with the insurance company. What you do right after the accident could have a major bearing on your case though, so take time now to be prepared for such an occurrence later.

Making sure there is an accident report is the first course of action. This happens after you call the police. If you were in a wreck due to the negligence of others, they may not want to call the police, or it may seem like no one is hurt. In some cases, the at-fault party may just want to offer you their personal information or even just cash in exchange for everyone leave the scene without calling local law enforcement. Unless you have been in an extremely minimal fender bender, such behavior is almost always unacceptable. An accident report should be completed, and it is vital that you have a copy to pass on to your attorney, as well as the insurance company later.

If anyone is injured on the scene, an ambulance should be called immediately. If you have any question at all that you or a passenger (or if someone seems injured and unconscious or groggy in the other car) is hurt, it is still recommended that you act immediately. Keep in mind also that waiting to be treated may look questionable later if you are involved in a lawsuit regarding the accident. Contact information and insurance information should be traded as soon as possible after the accident, and if you have access to a camera, photograph both cars, license plates, and the entire traffic scene—to include road signs, traffic signs and lights, and any other pertinent information. Contact information should be requested from witnesses too.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

claims

Claims: How Much Documentation Will the Insurer Require from Me?

Even in a world that is becoming increasingly wireless—and paperless—there is still plenty of paperwork and documentation required for different services, whether you are operating on the business or personal level. From beginning to end, insurance is about the paperwork; in fact, that’s really all you will have to show for your expenditure as you walk away with a policy in hand, and the cost could be quite substantial for something that is virtually non-tangible.

Read Your Policy & Know What to Expect

Whether you are purchasing car insurance, life insurance, or a variety of different types of business insurance, documentation is required in the beginning and there may continue to be different requests and requirements. When it comes to a claim though, the insurer may ask for a surprising amount of information. This could be even further exaggerated if the insurer has another agenda, whether they are trying to rule out fraud or are practicing in bad faith and hoping to inconvenience you to the point of dropping a case.

A car accident case is usually a good example. If you were injured due to the negligence of another party, don’t be surprised to begin hearing from the other motorist’s insured almost immediately. You may have barely made it out of the doctor’s office or emergency room and into the garage before your phone starts ringing. If you are suddenly dealing with a physical challenge due to injury—and one that could be quite serious and even long-term—it may be extremely difficult to deal with the number of questions an adjuster wants to ask. They may also be trying to trip you up as you discuss the facts and then hope to pin some of the blame for the accident on you. Because of this it is in your best interest (and that of any potential legal case) to refer all insurance calls to your car accident or injury attorney.

Be Suspicious if the Insurer Asks for Inordinate Amounts of Paperwork

In an example like a car accident claim, you can expect requests for paperwork such as a copy of your license and insurance coverage, the accident report filed by local law enforcement, and any medical records. An experienced attorney will be well-apprised of the usual documentation required, and at alert if the insurance company seems to be trying to intimidate you into dropping the case or deny the claim altogether. For other types of insurance—and especially those with large settlement amounts at stake, the insurer may begin reaching far outside the realm of normal paperwork, asking for tax returns and other financial records as they build a case to show fraud or another problem that could feasibly cause the case to be dismissed or allow them to deny quickly.

The amount of information that can be requested is sometimes not clear, and you may have trouble finding that specifically outlined anywhere. If you suspect bad faith practices, call the Bolender Law Firm as soon as possible for help. Other red flags to watch for are lack of an investigation into the case, constant delays that don’t seem to have any rationale behind them, as well as an outright lowball offer.

Contact Us for Help!

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

Commercial truck crashes

Commercial Truck Crashes: The Potential for Damage & Injury is Greater

You probably travel numerous roads each day for any number of mundane tasks. While there is the daily commute, other responsibilities call too such as carrying children to and from to school and activities, the endless grocery shopping, trips to pick up a range of different consumer items, and often visits to doctor’s office and other appointments. On most days, the drive will be just as uneventful as the day before, but chances are you will have at least one car accident in your life time. Busy roads, often with a melee of cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians, can be deceptively dangerous for everyone traveling—and in fact, car accidents and fatality rates continue to rise at an alarming rate, showing a 13 percent increase just over two years.

Trucks Weigh Exponentially More

Just as pedestrians and bicyclists are more vulnerable due to the potential of a 4,000-pound car striking them, cars (and everyone else) are at significantly more risk when hit by a truck—and mainly commercial trucks which could anywhere from 10,000 pounds to 80,000. In the case of an accident where a large truck hits a car, the collision could be much more complex as a smaller vehicle could be completely crushed, resulting in serious injuries if not death. There may be trailers involved and 18 wheels to contend with as trucks jackknife or contort with the pressure of a crash. Along with that, there is the concern of the truck’s contents at the time of an accident. While there may be many pounds of inventory, serious environmental hazards could arise with a chemical spill or other toxins.

Injuries in an Accident with a Truck Can Be More Serious or Fatal

If you were harmed in an accident due to negligence on the part of a commercial truck driver (or any other motorist), you could have sustained major injuries (brain injuries, spine and neck injuries, broken bones, and more are common) and been out of work temporarily or permanently. An experienced injury attorney should be the one to speak with any insurance adjustors who may call—and especially if they are prying for information or offering you a quick settlement. Keep in mind that their goal is usually to pay out as little for your accident as possible—and to tie up the case with as little time and effort as possible.

Contact Us for Help Now!

If you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

 

Automobile accident

Automobile Accident: Do You Know What to Do Afterward?

You and your family probably spend a lot of time in the car, usually without the worry of an automobile accident; in fact, you may feel like you live there more than your own home due to what could be a lengthy commute every day, further travel for business trips, typical errands, and drop-offs and pickups for kids. It is easy to let your guard down and almost drive on auto pilot sometimes, but with traffic incidents continuing to rise in the US, extreme diligence and defensive driving are more important than ever. This goes for anyone on the road too, whether you are in a car, driving a motorcycle, riding a bike, or walking.

The reality is that in nearly any journey you will pass distracted drivers who can’t tear themselves away from their cell phones, those who are speeding, ignoring traffic rules, or even driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Their negligence may put you at risk for a car accident at any time, meaning that you should be prepared far ahead of time to know what to do afterward. Here are five of the most important tips:

  1. Stop the car and take just a few moments to catch your breath and collect yourself after the trauma of an accident. The adrenaline flow afterward will be significant, and it is important to try and get your bearings, so you can then establish whether you or anyone else in the car are injured, as well as checking on the other parties involved.
  2. Call the police immediately and file an accident report, as well as making sure medical help is on the way in the case of injuries. Make sure to note the police officer’s name and badge number and ask for a way to get in touch with them afterward.
  3. Trade all pertinent insurance information and contact information with the other motorist(s).
  4. Take pictures. If you can snap photos of damage to both cars, along with the license plate of the other vehicle. It may also be helpful to have any photos of the entire traffic area, including where the accident occurred, traffic signs, crosswalks, and stoplights.
  5. Ask any possible witnesses for contact information also, as this may be the only time you ever see them again and they could be vital to your case.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

comprehensive insurance

Comprehensive Insurance and Collision: Know the Details

Car insurance (comprehensive insurance, for example) is usually a necessity, and one of the typical financial responsibilities most of us take on as soon as we purchase our first car. Not only can it be expensive in some cases, it can also be hard to understand as you wade through trying to figure out which details you need in a sea of different coverages, deductibles, limits, and so much more. While not every state asks you to carry insurance by law, California does require you to have the following:

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage

And while both collision and comprehensive insurance are optional, most of us have at least one or both; in fact, if you have financed a car they may require that you carry ‘comp and collision’ until the balance of the vehicle loan has been paid off.

No matter what types of insurance you are purchasing, it may be tempting to get the bare minimum with the lowest premiums—and as we all know, even that can be high! Collision insurance is not hard to understand, just based on the term itself. If you collide with someone or something—in an accident—your collision coverage (assuming your policy is in force and there are no other extenuating circumstances) will kick in whether you hit another car, an inanimate object, or even a pothole. Deductibles vary. You may not have one at all, but of course that raises the rate of your premium. If you have a $500 deductible in the case of a collision, you would have to pay that before the insurance kicked in to have your car fixed.

Comprehensive insurance covers collisions with different types of obstacles such as animals or falling objects. Along with that, you also have coverage for theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and more. There are limits as to how much it will cover, and again, you may or may not have a deductible—depending on how much you want to pay for a premium.

If you aren’t sure about what types of coverage are best for you, have an in-depth discussion with your insurance agent and consider how much your car is worth, how much time you really spend on the road, and what your budget can realistically afford, whether you pay your insurance by the year, quarter, or month.

Are you concerned about a recent accident, or are you trying to understand your insurance policy? If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, the Bolender Law Firm will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

auto accident claims

Auto Accident Claims: The Most Common Reasons They Are Denied

Traffic incidents continue to rise today, despite added attention to new safety devices from car manufacturers and a plethora of public safety information being disseminated around the US. More people are on the roads—and far too many of them are distracted while driving, leading to the number one cause for auto accidents. But whether you end up in a fender bender due to someone texting behind the wheel, or a serious accident after a collision with a drunk or reckless driver, dealing with the insurance company can be more than a headache. It may be a total nightmare—and one that could drag out for a long time without the help of a skilled insurance attorney.

If you sustained injuries in an accident, having to fight with the insurance company can be even more stressful as you are trying to heal. You may also be unable to work, worried about finances, and very concerned about how to get your car repaired (and perhaps medical bills too).

Claims are usually denied by the insurance company for a handful of common reasons, to include:

  • No report was made – this is why you should always file a police report, unless you were involved in a fender bender so miniscule that it would obviously be a complete waste of time to notify anyone. If there is the slightest bit of damage or injury to anyone, the police should be called—along with an ambulance if necessary. If you were hit due to the negligence of another driver, getting information such as the other party’s name, number, work address, work phone, and insurance data is critical, along with the police report. Were there witnesses? If so, ask for their contact information immediately too as that is likely the only time you will see them, and they could be critical to your case as well.
  • You did not report injuries or go to the hospital right away – if you suspect any injury at all, let those at the scene of the accident know, and get treated as soon as possible. Without any initial reports regarding injury, insurance companies are likely to pounce on the lack of evidence and deny the claim.
  • The insurance company considers you at fault for the accident. This could be due to suspicion of drunk driving, speeding, or other reckless behavior.
  • You did not pay your premium on time (even for one month) or the policy had been canceled.
  • There was a misunderstanding regarding coverage, or the car insurance policy was not actually in force at the time of the automobile wreck.

If you have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver and suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!