Many people don’t quite understand how motor vehicle insurance works. When you pay your insurance policy premium in Louisiana, you are not paying for coverage for yourself. Instead, you are specifically protecting yourself from liability in the event that you are responsible for a crash that hurts someone or damages their property.
Their policy, in turn, will cover your injuries and property damage if they are the responsible party for the collision. You can also add riders that provide you with medical coverage and protection from drivers without insurance or without adequate coverage for your injuries or losses.
Regardless of who is at fault, you need to take a careful approach to your interactions with both your insurance company and the insurance carrier for the other person involved.
Don’t say anything that admits fault on your part
If the other driver caused the crash, but they also got hurt, you might feel compelled to apologize to them for their injuries. Unfortunately, such an apology could be considered an admission of partial liability for the crash. You should avoid apologizing to the other party, law enforcement and insurance representatives after an accident.
Take notes, and get a copy of the police report
When you need to file an insurance claim against someone who causes a crash, your insurance company may pay for your initial expenses. They do that with the intention of subrogating those payments to the other insurance company. Subrogation involves one insurance policy charging another policy for expenses related to a claim.
Having a copy of the police report that shows that law enforcement believed the other party was responsible can help you move your claim process forward. Having information about the responding officer, the other party involved in the crash and any witnesses can also help speed up the insurance investigation into the collision.
Prepare yourself for potential negotiations
Insurance companies are businesses, and they don’t like to just hand away money to people. Even if you get an offer for a settlement, the chances are good that the offer will be less than what you actually deserve based on the property damage or injuries you suffered.
You need to be ready to stand firm and negotiate with your insurance provider or the other insurance company. However, many people find that negotiating, especially after a serious injury, is prohibitively difficult. That is why working with the Louisiana personal injury attorney makes a lot of sense if you get hurt in a crash caused by another driver.
Your attorney can give you advice regarding what to say to the insurance company. They can also help you negotiate a fair settlement or take the insurance company to court if they refuse to pay your claim in bad faith.