The Houston Auto Accidents Attorneys at DeSimone Law Office last week started a discussion on the pitfalls for an injured party from a traffic accident involved in trying to handle their insurance claim on their own. From insurance company delay tactics in investigating the case to trying to get admissions of fault from a naive injured party when taking their recorded statement, it is an uphill battle for the injured party if they try to stand on his or her own against an insurance company. Insurance companies have unlimited resources and extensive knowledge, accumulated over a period of many years, of how to limit payments. It is surprising that anyone would attempt such a feat without legal representation backing their personal injury claim.
Let us suppose an injured party has the resources to pay for his own rental and medical bills. Let’s also suppose that the facts of the case are so clearly in the favor of the injured party that even the insurance company is admitting they owe 100 percent of the claim for property damages and medical bills. The first problem will be collecting for the rental. If a car is totaled, meaning it would cost more to repair than what it is worth, the insurance company owes no rental to an aggrieved party. The injured party rides in their rental for the time it takes to get paid on their car, usually two to four weeks, thinking the insurance company will pay for the rental. However, when they turn in the bill that are informed they will receive no reimbursement. If the car is repairable, the insurance company is likely to not want to pay for the entire rental bill, using such excuses as the shop took too long to do the repairs, the daily rental rate was too high, or the injured party got into the rental too quickly. If the car is totaled, the insurance company will probably hire an independent service to value the car. That’s so they can claim the value of the car is less than the NADA or blue book value. Deductions on the payment of the car will be made for supposed prior damage on the car, such as dings or a dirty interior.
Arguments on repairable cars are normally over items the insurance company does not want to pay. Next week, we will continue our discussion. That said, it is clear that something as seemingly simple as getting your car taken care of can get complicated quickly.
If you have been in an accident, don’t handle the case yourself. Hire the lawyers at DeSimone Law Office. We will make sure you get the monies to which you are entitled.