Five Myths You Need to Know about Car Crash Claims
It seems obvious. The car crash made your vehicle inoperable. Even the insurance company has agreed it’s a total wreck. It’s remarkable that you walked away unscathed. It’s even two weeks later, and you don’t feel a twitch of discomfort. You head to your lawyer to start a claim. What happens next surprises you.
You’re an honest person and have no problem admitting to your attorney that you were not injured in the accident. Tremendously inconvenienced, yes. And, furious that your beautiful car is beyond repair. You are confident that the insurance company for the other driver owes you some type of compensation. You then learn that your vehicle might get fixed under your own policy first. Depending on how the accident occurred, your automobile insurance carrier may make a claim against the other driver’s policy. If you’re lucky, you’ll get back your deductible.
Other money claims? Frankly, you can’t sue for personal injury unless you’ve been hurt. And, depending on your coverage, you may have some limitations. Let’s clear up some misconceptions many people have regarding auto accident claims.
The Top Five Myths about Auto Accident Claims
We know, your agent told you that you have “full coverage.” As attorneys experienced in handling auto accident claims, we’ve heard that phrase at least a zillion times. What does that really mean exactly?
- Property Damage: It’s a myth to think that the owner of another vehicle is necessarily responsible for repairs to your car. It will matter who was at fault in the accident. Also, your own insurance company can initially pay for damages if you have collision coverage.
- Personal Injury: We’ll repeat: You can only make a claim for personal injury if you’ve actually been hurt in an accident. This could include exacerbation of a preexisting condition.
Many injured claimants are under the impression that since they have “full coverage” they can also seek damages for minor injuries. Read our article on the differences between zero and verbal threshold options. Many consumers elect to pay a lower premium and are ultimately held to a higher standard when it comes to compensation for personal injury.
- No Insurance or Limited Insurance: Here’s another misconception. Maybe the driver who was responsible for your accident had limited or no automobile insurance. An experienced personal injury attorney can help review your policy to see if you have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist.
- Medical Bill Payment: There’s some confusion regarding the payment of your medical bills. There are a variety of resources for personal injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents. These may include your own car insurance or health insurance. If you do not own a car, but a family member in your household does, your medical bills may be paid by them. The list goes on to include state funds and workers’ compensation carriers.
- The Blame Game: It’s a myth to think that you can’t be partially blamed and file a damages claim. The trick is the portion of responsibility. According to New Jersey law, comparative negligence determines the relativity between your negligence and the other person involved in the accident. As long as you were less than 50 percent liable for the accident, you can still recover damages.