While you can control your own actions on the road, you can’t control or predict other drivers’ behavior. When you’re in a car accident and the other driver is at fault, you can seek compensation for your losses.
If you’ve never been through this process, you might not know how to deal with an at-fault driver’s insurance company. This is why legal representation is so important. If you were recently in an auto accident in New Orleans, contact The Voorhies Law Firm to learn about your options.
Louisiana Laws for Car Accident Fault
Despite Louisiana’s efforts toward accident management, car accidents occur regularly. Louisiana uses a fault-based system for car accidents. That means you can pursue compensation from whoever is at fault for the accident, either through a claim with their car insurance company or through a lawsuit.
Louisiana is also a comparative fault state. If you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still pursue a lawsuit. However, the court will reduce your damages by your portion of the fault. For example, if they find you were 20% at fault, they will reduce your initial damages by 20%.
How Insurance Companies Determine Fault
While you can speculate about which driver caused the accident, it will initially be the responsibility of the insurance companies to determine who is at fault. Insurance companies primarily use police reports to determine fault and pay out insurance claims.Regardless of what the insurance companies determine as to the person at fault, the issue of a driver’s fault must ultimately be determined by a court of law.
In New Orleans, you must call the police for any car accident case that causes injury, death, or property damage over $5,000. When they arrive, they’ll assess the situation and take accounts from both drivers. They may also speak to witnesses, assess road conditions, and determine if either driver violated traffic laws.
How To Deal With an At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
When dealing with an at-fault driver’s insurance company, you should tread carefully. If you’ve never dealt with a car accident insurance adjuster before, you may feel underprepared for these interactions. Knowing what to expect can help you know how to deal with an at-fault driver’s insurance company in New Orleans.
Prepare for Investigation
After an accident, the insurance company begins its investigation. The adjusters use police reports, witness statements, and any other evidence to draw conclusions about fault. When you speak with an insurance adjuster, avoid giving them information past what is absolutely necessary. They can use anything you say against you to argue you were at fault for the accident.
Review the Settlement Offer
After determining the other driver is at fault, the insurance company may offer you a settlement offer for your losses. In many instances, they start with a low-ball offer. The insurance adjuster’s goal is to settle this case for the least amount possible.
Therefore, you must know the value of your case. Consider economic damages like property damage, medical bills, and medical treatments. You must also consider non-economic damages like emotional suffering.
Negotiate With an Attorney
If you decide the settlement isn’t equal to the value of your case, you can negotiate for more compensation with the help of an attorney.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to minimize your losses, but a car accident attorney can argue on your behalf. If this negotiation still doesn’t have the result you want, your attorney can help you pursue a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
An attorney can also help you:
- Collect evidence
- Calculate your damages
- Prove the value of your case
Seek Car Accident Compensation With The Voorhies Law Firm
You don’t need to learn how to deal with an at-fault driver’s insurance company on your own. Our team at The Voorhies Law Firm will offer you the support you need as you negotiate with insurance companies or file a personal injury claim. As a New Orleans personal injury firm, we’ve helped our clients recover tens of millions of dollars. We can help you, too. Contact us today at 504-875-2223 to schedule a free consultation.