Every day, residents and visitors to the state of Arkansas suffer injuries in auto accidents. Those whose accidents are caused by insured drivers may think that getting compensation for their losses should be a piece of cake. While that should be true, sadly, it is not. Numerous individuals end up either fighting tooth and nail to get fair compensation or just give up and take what they are offered.
Why is it so hard? As a victim of an accident you are entitled to maximum relief, aren't you? Insurance is there for this purpose, isn't it? You would certainly think so, but insurance carriers are not there to take care of victims. They are businesses, which means they want to protect their investors. Insurance carriers are not always your friends when you need them.
Filing a claim
If you are the victim of a car accident and you want to seek compensation, you would need to file a third-party claim with the responsible party's insurance provider, usually within 24 hours of the event. After you file your claim, the carrier will investigate the matter in order to determine liability. The information they will need to conduct this investigation includes:
- Detailed information about the incident
- Police report
- Witness statements
- Documented losses
If they say you are partially at fault, they may only offer partial compensation. If they find their policy holder fully at fault, they may offer you their idea of full compensation. If you are not happy with a settlement offer, you do not have to take it. You, with the assistance of legal counsel, can work to negotiate terms you feel are fair.
My claim did not receive approval, now what?
If you filed a third-party insurance claim and it did not receive approval, it does not mean you have no hope of achieving compensation. You may file an appeal. If you wish to do this, you have a short window of time in which to get it done. If the appeals process fails, you may have other options.
Going to court
If settlement negotiations do not produce a fair compensation package or if your claim keeps getting denied, you may take the matter to court. You may file a personal injury claim against the driver and his or her insurance carrier. If you and your legal counsel are able to establish negligence to the satisfaction of the court, a judge may issue a monetary judgment in your favor.