Court settlements are only necessary if an auto insurance company has avoided a claim or been deceitful in a relentless way.
Although, it is possible to win when taking auto insurance companies to court, but always try to handle your claims with the insurance agent first.
When considering being wronged by an auto insurance company, try to avoid wrongful auto insurance companies’ withholding claims by choosing a reliable auto insurance company before you purchase your insurance.
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Consult an Attorney in Your Area
There are many attorneys who specialize in cases involving auto accidents and insurance claims.
You should consult with an attorney about any claim you have against your auto insurance company before you sue a car insurance company for bad faith.
If you decide to proceed to court without an attorney, following the steps below will increase your chances of winning a case against your insurance company in court.
Suing auto insurance companies is a good idea only if these circumstances have been met.
Making a Demand
If you have not received a specific written offer of payment from your auto insurance company, you can make your own demand before proceeding to court.
If you are not able to reach a resolution of your claim through discussion, then you will need to decide whether to take your claim to court.
While it is difficult and time-consuming to present a case in court without an attorney, many people are successfully able to do so.
If you decide to take your auto insurance company to court on your own behalf, you must be aware that it is a serious matter that will take time and work on your part.
Thorough and accurate documentation is the best way to prove your case in court.
Any time that you are involved in an accident or believe that your auto has suffered damage covered by your insurance policy, you should obtain copies of:
- Your insurance policy
- Any accident report generated by law enforcement
- Insurance and driver’s license contact information from any other parties involved
- Any correspondence or documentation received from your auto insurance company
- Medical reports and billing information for any medical consultations or treatment received
- Damage repair estimates and bills
- Any documentation concerning lost work, wages, or income as a result of the accident
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Preparing Your Case for Court
Even if you have obtained and organized all of your documentation as described above, you should again consider whether you will need the assistance of an attorney.
In some small claims courts, the assistance of an attorney will not be allowed in the courtroom; however, you can utilize the services of an attorney to help you prepare the case before you get to court.
You will need to submit a complaint form to the court that handles cases in the amount that you are seeking.
You can learn the jurisdictional limits of small claims courts, city courts, etc. by consulting the local government website or visiting the local courthouse.
You will need to carefully review and follow all procedures applicable to the particular court in which you file your claim.
You will need to serve a copy of any complaint or claim form to the insurance company. The local court rules will provide how service is to be made.
Before your court date, you should prepare a narrative statement setting forth a chronology of everything that has happened relating to your insurance policy claim, organize and index all of the documentation discussed above, and contact any witnesses and make sure that they are willing to attend the court date.
You must appear for your court date on time with all of your documentation, testimony, and witnesses prepared.
If there is no settlement of your case, you will need to present your case to the judge or jury and explain your damages and injuries. Both sides will have an opportunity to make their case.
You can settle a case or claim against your auto insurance company at any time before your court date or even on the day you are to be in court.
Insurance companies will often not settle a case until just before a trial.
There are many reasons why insurance companies take this approach to delaying settlement, but be aware that you may receive an acceptable offer to resolve your claim on the courthouse steps.
Any settlement of a claim between you and your auto insurance company will be set forth in a specific written document.
Even if you have not consulted an attorney to represent you thus far in the process, you may still wish to contact an attorney to review such a document.
If you do take your insurance company to court and there is no settlement of your claim, you should be aware that either you or the company will have the right to appeal any court judgment or jury verdict.
You will have to follow strict court rules if you wish to appeal.
Winning in court can be a lot of work and quite time-consuming. It is not something to be taken lightly and can be avoided altogether by choosing a reliable company that will handle your claims.
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