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Car Accident Advice to Increase Your Insurance Payout
Learn how the process works, and how to settle your claim
Looking for accident advice? A car accident injury claim can be made if there is a vehicle accident caused by someone else and there is a resulting injury to someone.
This statement is simple enough, but does not really cover everyone that can make this claim. If you are driving and you cause an accident, the people in the other vehicle will be able to make a bodily injury claim against you.
Your passengers can each make a bodily injury petition against you. This includes anyone, even if that person is also a policyholder.
If you are in a vehicle accident and your spouse is injured, your spouse would have a car accident injury claim against you. It would not matter that both spouses are listed as policyholders (note, it is good accident advice to look at your policy and get familiar with it).
Some insurance companies have excluded spouses from coverage in their policies. However, most states strike these clauses as against public policy.
Your kids can also have car accident injury claim against you. If your kids are injured because you cause an accident (or you were partially at fault), then they would have a bodily injury claim against your policy.
There are other circumstances where you can make a bodily injury claim against your own policy. You can make an uninsured motorist bodily injury claim (explained in detail here), or you can be a passenger of your own auto.
Remember that the insurance policy defines “insured” as anyone driving the vehicle.
Therefore, if you are a passenger of your own auto, and you are injured because of the negligence of the driver, you can have a bodily injury claim against your own policy (again, it is sound accident advice to have your policy handy and learn how to interpret its language).
Your insurance company has a contractual duty with the insured (the driver).
What the insurance company is trying to do is to “buy” a lawsuit for less money than what they think you would get in a court of law. They would depreciate or evaluate family claims for a lesser value. Why? Because how many people would actually present a lawsuit against their spouse, parent, or friend.
Insurance companies will try to offer settlements by paying the medical bills (which are covered by Personal Injury Protection Coverage “PIP” anyway), and give them a few dollars to sign a release of all claims. Many times the release will be as a recording, or simply on the back of the settlement check. You must sign the release if you want to cash the check. (It is also sound accident advice that you ensure you always carry PIP).
The offer of settlements is often for much value than they should be. The reality is that the insurance company knows that the injured party will not present a lawsuit against the driver if they are related, so they take advantage of the situation.
A more curious situation occurs when the injured child(ren) is the offspring of the driver that caused the accident. If this is the case, then the insurance company would have to settle the car accident injury claim that the child(ren) has with the same person that caused the accident (the parent).
You cannot make a bodily injury claim against yourself. Someone else must be at fault for your injury for you to have any recourse for compensation. Equally the person driving must be at least 1% at fault before anyone can make an injury claim against him/her.
Every single person that can make a bodily injury claim against the driver will be considered as an exposure against the policy. This means that the insurance company will put money in reserve to settle the bodily injury claims (double check the section on reserves).
Insurance companies are not on your side. You can either get this personal injury eBook or talk to a personal injury attorney before you make any decisions!
Follow the links below for more information about accident injuries, bodily injury claims, and what to ask when making this type of claim.
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