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There is no convenient time for a car accident, no matter how minor. In the movie Changing Lanes, Samuel L. Jackson’s character gets into a minor fender bender on the way to a child custody hearing, in which he hopes to impress the judge with his continued record of sobriety and financial stability so that the court will stop his ex-wife from moving out of state with their children. The wealthy driver of the other car offers him money, but Jackson’s character says that the only thing he wants is his time, and there is no way to compensate him for what he stands to lose by missing the hearing. While the movie presents a more interesting and story-worthy version of the consequences of delays caused by minor car accidents, almost anyone can identify with the frustration and all the paperwork involved in getting your insurance company to pay your claim for damage to your car.
Filing a Claim with Your Car Insurance Company
The process of filing a claim with your car insurance company starts quickly. Major insurance companies have their phone lines open 24 hours a day so that people can report claims. Many people call their insurance companies to report the accident even before the police arrive at the scene. After that, the waiting begins. Usually, you pay your own money to get your car fixed, and then you wait for the insurance company to reimburse you. Imagine how much productivity the workforce would lose if everyone had to leave their cars at the mechanic’s shop while waiting for the insurance company to pay for repairs.
After that, the insurance company must determine the settlement amount. They look at evidence such as police reports and the statements of the parties involved in the accident. (If no one is injured in the accident, there is no legal requirement to file a police report. The insurance company can just decide based on statements and evidence submitted by the parties.) This part of the process can take a long time, sometimes even more than a year. The insurance company then gives you a settlement offer. If there is only property damage, the settlement will include the amount of car repairs. If you were injured, it will also cover medical bills and lost income. If you accept the offer, the insurance company must pay you the settlement money within 30 days. If you think the offer is insufficient, you may proceed to filing a lawsuit, in which case you will need a personal injury lawyer. Likewise, you can sue the insurance company if they do not pay you the settlement money that you agreed to when they made the settlement offer.
Eric Schmidt Works with Car Accident Lawsuits
If your insurance company has not offered you sufficient compensation after a car accident, a lawsuit may be your best choice. Contact Eric Schmidt in Phoenix, Arizona for a consultation about your car accident case.