In the aftermath of a serious Columbia car accident, many people are rightfully concerned about their recovery first and foremost. Unfortunately, however, the costs of medical care, physical rehabilitation, and property damage can prevent Columbia accident victims from gaining access to the necessary resources on their own. When an accident occurs and an insurance company fails to honor its financial obligations, victims in Columbia may be left to shoulder the financial burden alone.
If, upon being involved in a car accident, you have encountered a disagreeable insurance provider, our Columbia insurance claims lawyers at the Goings Law Firm, LLC are ready to fight for your rights. Our legal team understands the ways in which insurance companies may attempt to undermine their financial commitments, and we are committed to holding them accountable so that you receive the funds that you need.
Situations that May Necessitate an Insurance Claims Attorney
An experienced Columbia insurance claims lawyer may be necessary to help you gain fair compensation when an insurance company representative engages in one or more of the following behaviors:
- Attempts to pressure you into taking a quick, but an unfair, settlement
- Offers inadequate compensation for accident-related medical costs
South Carolina’s statute of limitations may prevent you from challenging a settlement claim after a certain time limit has been exceeded. As such, individuals in Columbia who wish to challenge an insurance claim are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.
Why Hire Us?
You should not try to hand an insurance claim without an attorney because the insurer will attempt to use your inexperience with insurance claims against you. The insurance company can be misleading when communicating with you, especially early in the process. It is very likely that the insurance agent who initially contacts you will express what seems like sincere concern and may even promise to make sure that you are taken care of.
However, you should be very wary. Do not say anything except to let the insurance agent know that you’ve retained legal counsel and all communication should be done with your attorney. Provide your attorney’s name and phone number and hang up.
Goings Law Firm, LLC will step in and immediately begin negotiating for a full and fair settlement to your case that covers all the damages you have suffered because of your accident. If the insurance company does not make an acceptable offer, we will not hesitate to file a lawsuit to take your case to court.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Insurance Claims
How long does it take an insurance company to process an injury claim?
The amount of time it takes an insurance company to review your claim can vary depending on the insurer and other factors, but you should generally prepare for a lengthy waiting period. Insurers know that it is to their advantage to delay prompt handling of these claims because every day that passes is another day closer to the legal time limit that a person has to file a lawsuit.
While you are waiting, the insurance company may offer you a lump sum settlement. This is not a fair or just settlement but is designed to lure vulnerable accident victims into immediate acceptance because they are facing financial hardship.
Do not take the insurance company’s offer of a lump sum settlement to close your case. Once you agree to their settlement, you will not be able to make any more claims for additional compensation.
You need a knowledgeable attorney to represent you with insurance companies. Personal injury attorneys have vast amounts of experience dealing with insurance companies, and they will know how to get you the compensation you deserve.
Can my insurance policy be canceled for filing an insurance claim?
It could. Insurance companies will cancel automobile insurance policies for drivers they consider to be a high-risk driver. If you have filed multiple claims with your insurer, you could be considered a high-risk driver (and, therefore, a liability for the insurance company).
For most people, though, filing a claim might result in a rate increase, but a single claim alone will not usually be a reason to discontinue your coverage.
How does an insurance deductible work?
The insurance deductible refers to the portion of a covered loss that you have agreed to pay before the insurer will begin paying for that loss. The size of a deductible will depend on a person’s specific insurance policy since some people who have higher deductibles for accidents usually pay lower insurance premiums.
You will still have to pay the deductible on an insurance claim if you are filing it with your insurance company, even if you were not at fault for your crash. Some people do not see the point in filing insurance claims when the deductible seems to higher their possible damages, but this can be a mistake. You should always file a claim in case your injuries worsen and the value of your claim also increases.
Am I required to file a police report for my accident?
In South Carolina, police reports are required only with fatal crashes. However, an insurance company will likely require a police report before it will consider your claim.
You always want to contact law enforcement after an accident to file a police report because the police report may contain critical evidence in many personal injury cases. Law enforcement can provide valuable evidence by recording the specific factors involved in an accident and they may also provide some opinion about how an accident occurred.
What happens when a vehicle is totaled in an accident?
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) states that when an insurance company settles a claim on a wrecked vehicle, it must determine the loss as a percentage of the fair market value of the vehicle before the loss. Therefore, a vehicle with a loss of 75 percent or more of its fair market value must be declared a total loss.
A totaled vehicle can be a major complication for a person who has an outstanding automobile loan that is higher than the value of their vehicle. A knowledgeable lawyer can be a great asset in negotiating a higher payout for a totaled vehicle since insurance companies frequently undervalue the Blue Book value of automobiles so they can declare them totaled in an accident.
South Carolina Insurance Claim Statistics
The Insurance Information Institute (III) reported in October 2016 the breakdown, in percentages, of what insurance premiums covered in 2015:
- Bodily injury liability: 24%
- Property damage coverage:18%,
- Collision coverage: 26%
- Comprehensive coverage:12%
- Miscellaneous coverages:12%
The insurance industry had $206.3 billion in losses and expenses in 2015 compared to $198.8 billion in written premiums.
According to the III, collision claims increased 5.7 percent in 2015 and bodily injury claims also increased by 4.1. Driver fatalities in 2015 jumped to 8 percent higher than the previous year as well.
Contact a Columbia Insurance Claims Lawyer Today
At the Goings Law Firm, LLC, our Columbia insurance claims attorneys understand how frustrating it can be when insurance companies fail to honor their financial obligations following a car accident. To discuss the particulars of your situation with one of our lawyers today, please call our Columbia offices at (803) 350-9230.