Unfortunately, vehicle accidents are a fact of life. They are something that happens to most people, at least once in their lifetime, either as a driver or a passenger.
When you are involved in a car accident the consequences can be devastating even life-changing and we are not just talking about if you are injured. If you hurt someone else you could end up with a huge compensation bill. For example, the settlement for a pedestrian hit by a car can be very high indeed. Usually, they suffer very serious injuries because there is no protective shell surrounding them.
Does your policy cover legal costs?
Regardless of the circumstances of your accident, if your insurance coverage is not adequate you can end up with huge issues. One of the most common mistakes people make is not buying a policy that gives them adequate coverage for their legal costs. It is always worth checking what is included. If it does not seem adequate to you speak to the insurance company and see if extra coverage can be purchased.
Pay particular attention to the Duty to Defend clauses
Insurers are contractually obliged to provide lawyers for their policyholders if they are sued for damages as the result of a car accident. However, this is not as clear cut as it sounds. An awful lot of firms now have a list of exceptions.
Circumstances in which insurance companies may not provide a lawyer
Here are a few examples of situations in which your insurance company may not provide a lawyer.
Failure to notify in a timely manner
If you do not notify the insurer quickly about the accident your right to help with defending yourself could be voided. Unfortunately, the wording of many policies makes it hard to work out how long you have.
You are accused of intentionally causing the crash
Being accused of intentionally causing the accident could also void your right to a lawyer paid for by the insurance company. This is because most policies will only cover you for negligent actions.
Be aware of policy coverage limits
Perhaps the biggest issue is the coverage limits of the policy. Let’s say you have a policy with $50,000 liability coverage and the injuries that your accident causes mean that the injured party needs to receive compensation of $150,000, you have a problem. A big one because the insurance company will pay out the $50,000, but the claim will still remain “unsettled”. Naturally, the injured party will have to sue you for the rest of their compensation. At that stage, you will need to pay a lawyer to defend and settle your case.
How to hire a good accident lawyer
Fortunately, there are some excellent accident lawyers out there who can act for you without your having to pay their fees upfront. The best ones will put together a “no fees unless we win” contract. This enables you to get the legal assistance you need to minimize the amount of compensation you have to pay. You can click here to find out more about how that works.
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