If you have been involved in a car accident, you are likely wondering about insurance — namely, what your or the other driver’s insurance will cover, who’s responsible, and what you need to do next.
When working with insurance providers, it’s very important that you’re informed of your rights, options, and what coverage is actually available. At the end of the day, insurance companies are businesses, which means they are incentivized to limit the value of your claim by any legal means possible.
Although Liberty Mutual maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, it’s still best to familiarize yourself with the process of filing an insurance claim and how to interact with insurance providers. This will vastly improve your chances of receiving adequate compensation. Below, we’ll cover some of the basics of filing an insurance claim with Liberty Mutual.
There are several actions you can take immediately after an accident to ensure your health and safety and protect your rights. These include:
Understanding who’s responsible for an accident can be difficult, especially if there was no obvious cause. Uncovering the circumstances of your accident may take a lot of investigation. Specifically, things to consider include who was involved in the accident, whether they were working at the time (if they are a truck or Lyft driver, for instance), if they were under the influence of any substances, and if there were any outside factors, like construction or road conditions, that played a role in your accident.
It’s important to note that you and another party (or parties) can share fault in an accident. Drivers may be assigned comparative fault — in other words, their percentage of liability in an accident. In Texas, a party who is found to be 49 percent or less liable will receive 100 percent of compensation in a court judgment.
Unclear or shared liability can make it even more difficult to work with insurance providers, since both parties’ insurers may try to pin the blame on the other or find ways to reduce the value of a claim. In these cases, it’s extremely important to communicate with insurers in a way that won’t compromise your case. For instance, you shouldn’t agree to give a recorded statement or say anything that could be construed as an acknowledgment of liability. A car accident lawyer can help you determine how best to interact with insurers, or even do so on your behalf.
Liberty Mutual customers can file a claim online, through the Liberty Mutual app, or over the phone. Even when discussing a claim with your own provider, you should still be wary of admitting fault or providing a recorded statement until you have spoken to a car accident attorney near you.
You can also file a claim against a Liberty Mutual customer online. Again, you need to be very careful what you say to the claims adjuster in order to protect your rights. Make sure you document every interaction you have with Liberty Mutual and keep all paperwork. In this case as well, you may find it helpful to consult with an accident lawyer before you begin this process.
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Even if you have filed a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance, you may still want to consider filing a lawsuit against the negligent party. There are several reasons for this. First, most insurance policies do not cover all damages associated with a serious accident, such as lost income from missed work. Additionally, there may be limits to how much compensation you can receive, so the insurance payout may not adequately cover your bills.
Lastly, you might consider filing a personal injury lawsuit if you suspect there was gross negligence involved in the accident. For example, if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time, you may be eligible for an additional category of compensation, called punitive damages, that are designed to punish at-fault drivers for extremely reckless behavior.
The type of damages you may be able to recover in an insurance claim will vary depending on the circumstances of your accident and the type of coverage the other driver has elected for.
In Texas, all drivers are required to carry proof that they can pay for damages in an accident. For most drivers, this proof comes in the form of liability insurance. Texas requires drivers to carry what’s known as 30/60/25 coverage: drivers must have at least $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 of coverage for property damage. Some Liberty Mutual customers may elect to purchase additional coverage above these minimum requirements. That’s why it’s important to understand exactly how much coverage is actually available to you.
Most auto insurance policies do not cover medical bills above the policy limits, lost wages, household expenses, pain and suffering, and other harms and losses that may be associated with your accident. To seek compensation for these damages, you will need to file a lawsuit.
Insurance providers like Liberty Mutual will go to great lengths to avoid paying your claim. The way you interact with your claims adjuster could influence the value of your settlement or whether the insurance provider even pays you at all.
Along with never providing a recorded statement, you should also be careful when answering questions about your injuries or how you feel. Always seek written documentation of all communications. Never say “I’m sorry” or a similar statement that could be used to prove liability.
The best way to protect yourself when dealing with insurance providers is to consult with a car accident and injury lawyer. They can provide information on how to protect yourself in order to increase your chances of receiving fair compensation.
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Our Austin accident lawyers at FVF Law not only hold decades’ worth of combined experience but are also dedicated to putting the needs of our clients first. That means we take an educational approach to our services, ensuring that you have the information you need to protect yourself and recover, regardless of whether you decide to hire our team. We offer free consultations so you can examine your rights and options in a pressure-free environment. Contact us today to schedule your no-cost case evaluation.
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