The woman hit me and totaled my vehicle after running a red light. The police report stated that her license was suspended. Her insurance company called me today and stated they are investigating coverage. What is the likely outcome and will her insurance pay for my damages or do I need to sue her in small claims court.
There is no way to assess the likelihood of the insurance company providing coverage. You need to give the process a chance to unfold. Once the carrier concludes their investigation on the issue of coverage, you will know whether you have to pursue the matter in small claims. Keep in mind that small claims court has a jurisdictional limit of $10,000.00. If your claim is worth more than $10,000.00, you waive anything above that amount by filing your case in small claims. Best of luck!
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Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
I live and work in California and deal with accidents like yours, so I am happy to answer your question. The answer to your question is your gut instinct is right!! You can ask for money but by yourself you're unlikely to get a high settlement... you should definitely hire an attorney to get the maximum amount possible. Regarding pain and suffering, you need to speak to an experienced attorney that can strategize your case. Just because you were in an accident doesn't mean you have pain and suffering, at least thats what the insurance companies think. Make no doubt about it you have a great case, but you need help from a professional. You are entitled to your medical bills being covered as well. You should be filing a claim, but you should do it through an attorney. Whenever someone makes a claim against an insurance company the insurance company usually gives you a very difficult time. I've seen insurance companies lie to their own insured before!
Do you feel that you are at the same medical condition that you were before the accident? As a basic premise I wouldn't handle your claim by yourself. The attorney you hire can likely refer you to a doctor, if you ask for one, who will see you with no upfront payment! I've done this many times to help my clients out. You should not wait a single day to hire a lawyer, we will advise you on the strategy of your case. There is no upfront cost to hire an attorney.
With a case like yours it seems like you have some good facts in order to get a high settlement, but your case definitely needs to be developed further to corroborate your story. The most important thing when building your case are: liability (were you at fault); how bad are your injuries to your body. A lot of these things sound like they are not complete yet in your case so its something that is worth hiring an attorney for in order to get a sense of whether you have a case and what the strategy would be for you to build a strong case! I've handled many of these cases in the Antioch, CA area.
Its very possible that your case is worth more than the $$$ that the insurance company will offer you by yourself. Make your life easier and call an attorney today, you won't regret it. We give free consultations!
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Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
If her insurance is good you should be covered. If it is not, then you should hire a lawyer to pursue a UIM/UM claim against your insurance company. Best of luck
This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492. Abogado de Lesiones de Accidentes de Autos, provides answers of a general context. These answers are not intended to form an attorney client relationship. Oakland Abogado Accidentes Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Accidentes de carros, Abogado de accidentes de Peatones, practices in Antioch, Berkeley, Concord, Oakland, Hayward, Martinez, Newark, Richmond, San Francisco and San Rafael. El abogado de lesiones y heridos en accidentes de autos, is licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on car accidents, personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado de Accidentes de Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Heridos en Accidentes de carros, Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Accidentes, Abogado de Divorcios, Abogado Latino de Accidentes, Abogado de Accidentes de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq., esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.
Her license suspension should not affect coverage. However, there may be other unrelated coverage problems. If you have your own collision coverage - use it!! If you have uninsured motorist bodily injury that will take care of your injuries.
Small claims is always an option if insurance coverage issue
There are several parts to your question that need to be answered independently. First, the other driver's status as a licensed or unlicensed driver will only matter as to whether her insurance is going to provide coverage for the incident. That will depend on the driver's insurance policy. Unfortunately, if the other driver does not have insurance you will have to pursue the other driver's personal assets in order to recover any potential judgment. That will of course turn on whether the other driver has any assets to begin with.
Whether to pursue the matter through small claims court will depend on your damages and the complexity of the case. If you only have property damage and a small amount of medical expenses (under $10,000) then it might be worth it for you to go through small claims court.
There is another matter you should consider that will come into play if the other driver is not covered by insurance, and that is collecting on the judgment (whether from small claims court or civil court), which is an area of practice all to itself.
I would strongly suggest you consult an attorney if the other driver is not insured.