I was taken to emergency, no broken bones and my bike was totaled. His insurance says they cannot settle anything until they interview him and they have 40 days; it has been 23 days. They have been unable to contact him. What are my rights now or do I have to wait for them to find him?
You are going to want to talk with an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the state where your motor vehicle accident happened at your earliest opportunity. Most personal injury attorneys will speak with prosepective clients over the phone and do not charge for the initial consultation. However, I do not practice in Texas so I am not able to advise you as to the particulars of Texas law.
In New York and Connecticut, most personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis which means that the client does not pay the attorney unless the attorney is able to negotiate a settlement or obtain an award from a jury or a neutral arbitrator.
In your case, I would also urge you to contact your insurance company to report the accident because you may be entitled to have your own insurance company compensate you for the damage to your motorcycle. Your insurance company may also be required to provide you with a rental vehicle during the time that your motorcycle is being repaired. The key to whether your insurance company will compensate you for the property damage that you sustained will be whether you purchased coverage for your own property damage and loss of use of your motor cycle. The coverages that I am speaking about should be set forth in the declarations page for your motorcycle insurance policy and in the insurance policy itself. If you don't have a copy, you can call your agent and request one.
Contact a Texas attorney that can get the accident report and send them a notification and demand letter. While they are entitled to a do an investigation you don't have to wait an unlimited amount of time while they do it. Contact an attorney and let them work for you.
If the truck driver's insurance company contact find the truck driver, that is their problem, not yours. Also, 40 days sounds like a very long time under these circumstances. You certainly do not have to wait for them to find their own truck driver. You have valuable legal rights that have nothing to do with them finding the trucker.
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They just made up the 40 days, but you can't force them to pay you faster than that. It is important that you make sure you have healed completely before you settle with the insurance company. You would be well served to contact a good personal injury lawyer in Texas who deals with insurance companies like this every day.
The Insurance policy is from California and in that state the Insurance Company has 40 days to accept or deny coverage or they must put in writing to Insured driver that they need more time to investigate. Insurance Companies have a right to deny a claim if their Insured does not talk to them about accident. This was never used in the past, however insurance companies seem to be using this provision all the time. If you know where he is, either send a letter or have someone make him contact his Insurance Company. If he doesn't contact them, they will deny your claim.
You should consult with an attorney in your area who handles cases such as these. That is your best option for protecting your rights. And in all likelihood, you will be faced with a decision to enter into an early settlement, or file a lawsuit. I don't practice in Texas, but in my area there is no set time limit for an insurance company to contact their insured and settle a claim. It is the plaintiff's job to prove that he has a claim and enforce his rights.
Again, please contact an attorney to go over your specific case. Most personal injury attorneys will be more than happy to meet with you for a free consultation.
Best of luck.
If you have converage on your motorcycle to take care of your property damage, I would file a claim with your own insurance company. They will then try to recover what they paid from the other insurance company and also recover your collision deductible.
Your medical bills should be submitted through your own health insurance if you have it. It looks like liability is clear (should obtain a copy of the police report) but the insurance company does need to talk with their own insured to complete their investigation.
At some point they will need to make that decision. We have specific statutes in the state of Washington which governs the way insurance company handles claims. Perhaps Texas has a 40 day deadline to complete their investigation.
You should contact a local injury attorney in TX to discuss further.
There is nothing in the law that mandates the insurance company interviewing their insured. However, they do have a list of information that they would prefer to have before making an offer to settle the case. You do not have to wait for the insurance company to track down their insured. I have handled many cases where the insurance company has been unable to find their insured. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. I handle California personal injury cases and have a colleague that handles injury cases in Texas.
It is common for insurance companies to do some investigation work when a claim is reported. There is not usually a set time period that they must respond to you, except that they know that if they do not keep in contact with you, that raises the chance that you will hire an attorney and pursue a claim against them. In general, you have a broad range of options you can follow. You can decide to simply wait for the insurance company to finish investigating the claim. You can go ahead and file suit. There is nothing under any law that requires that you wait to file a lawsuit. However, you should not wait too long before pursuing legal action if you cannot settle your claim. The time period will be set by law in the state having closest relationship to the collision - in your case, most likely Texas, since that is where the accident occurred. Issues relating to insurance are secondary to the happening of the collision when it comes to where the lawsuit should be filed. From a practical standpoint, you do not gain anything by filing suit immediately, since lawsuits are more expensive than just working out the claim with the insurance company. It may take some time for all the facts to be collected and the value of the claim analyzed to determine how much is fair in your circumstance. It is not always a quick process. It is also importannt that you not attempt to settle your claim until you know the full amount of any medical bills, and the full extent of your injuries. If you need further advice, contact a reputable attorney in the locality in Texas where the accident happened.
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