Perhaps you chose your insurance company based on a particularly catchy slogan which promised they would stand behind you in the event you had an auto accident. You have faithfully paid your premiums every month, and now, the unthinkable happens—a negligent driver caused a car accident and you are left with medical expenses, damages to your vehicle, and may even be unable to return to work due to the severity of your injuries. At this point, you may be confident that your insurance company—or the insurance company of the at-fault driver—will keep their word, and will make sure your expenses related to the accident are fully covered. Unfortunately, this is more often not true than true.
Despite the many insurance commercials we are inundated with, which assure us the insurance company is our friend, like a good neighbor, or that we’re in good hands, in actuality the goal of every insurance company is a healthy financial bottom line, and if that comes at your expense, then so be it. The best way to ensure an insurance company treats you fairly, is to have an experienced Alabama personal injury attorney by your side from start to finish. Your attorney actually does care about your future, your injuries, your medical expenses and your rights, and will work hard on your behalf to ensure you are treated fairly.
You may be unaware of the Alabama statute of limitations, which allows you only two years from the time of your accident in which to file a claim, or you may be dealing with an uninsured or underinsured driver. You may not have the training or experience to properly value your claim, and may feel as though you have little to no leverage against the insurance company. You may have been offered a quick—but low—settlement, and are unsure whether you should take it or not, or you may have been asked to give a recorded statement or give the insurance company access to your medical records. All of these things can be extremely confusing, particularly when you are injured and are just trying to make it from one day to the next. Having a knowledgeable, compassionate attorney from Martinson & Beason by your side during this trying time can make all the difference in the outcome of your auto accident.
The General Insurance
The General began selling insurance under the name of Permanent General Agency in 1963, however the mascot for the company did not join the ranks until decades later. The General Insurance is a subsidiary of PGC Holdings, which is an affiliate of American Family Insurance. The General Insurance Company has been recognized by A.M. Best for their financial stability, through a rating of Excellent, or A-. The General is often chosen by drivers who may have a driving violation on their record, could have less than perfect credit, or may have let their insurance lapse.
The General offers low down payments to policyholders who are unable to pay a large amount up front. Unfortunately, The General also has more customer complaints than other companies of a similar size—primarily these complaints relate to unreasonable claim delays, improper claim denials, and unsatisfactory claim handling by claims adjusters. The General provides only automobile insurance, so if you need home insurance or other types of insurance, you will need to contact a different insurance company.
What Happens if a Friend is Driving Your Car and Has an Accident?
You may wonder what you will do if you loan your car to a friend, who then has an accident. If both of you have auto insurance, you will likely have to file under the collision coverage of your own insurance, and pay the deductible. Under most auto insurance policies, your vehicle will be covered if you are driving, as well as any other licensed driver you allow to drive your car, so long as that person had your specific consent. If your friend’s accident resulted in significant injuries to others, your own assets—even your home—can be attached by the court in order to recover damages for the injured parties.
If your liability limits are insufficient to cover the damages, your friend’s automobile insurance could be considered secondary coverage, or the two insurance company’s may share the cost of the accident. If your friend had no auto insurance, you could be liable for medical and property damage expenses, and, if your insurance is insufficient, then your assets could be attached. If you loaned your car to a friend who was unlicensed, and he or she crashed your car, you may find that your auto insurance policy excludes drivers without a valid license, meaning, once again, that you will be 100 percent liable for the other driver’s injuries and damages to their vehicles.
If your friend drove your car without your permission, then was involved in an accident, you may not be held accountable, rather your friend’s insurance would kick in first. Without clear evidence that your friend did not have permission to drive your car, the insurance company will assume you gave him or her permission. All in all, unless you are 100 percent confident in your friend’s ability to be a safe driver, and you are sure your friend is licensed and insured, it is probably a good idea not to loan your car out at all.
How Martinson & Beason Can Help After Your Auto Accident
If you or a loved one has suffered catastrophic injury due to another person’s negligent behavior, understanding your rights is key. Having a top-rated Alabama car accident attorney from Martinson & Beason by your side ensure those rights—and your future—will be properly protected from start to finish. We understand how difficult it is to be left injured, perhaps unable to work, watching your bills pile up at an alarming rate. We can help! If you are looking for compassion for your injuries, as well as an experienced, knowledgeable, aggressive litigator and/or negotiator, call Martinson & Beason today.