UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.
We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
When you are involved in a car accident there is a lot of paperwork to fill out. The first step is to file a police report. The police officer that handles the accident report will then provide each of the individuals involved in the accident with a copy of the report that is filed. This police report is then provided to the car insurance providers.
A car insurance company will look over the police report and fault of the accident is determined. If you are found to be the one at fault for the accident it is your insurance company’s responsibility to pay for the damages done to the other vehicle as well as any medical costs associated with personal injury.
While this all sounds very straightforward, accident cases can become quite complicated, especially when insurance companies are involved. As an insured motorist you have the right to question the coverage that is being provided to you by your insurance company. However, when it comes to settling a claim, insurance companies often have the right to settle a claim without the insured’s consent.
Do You Have to Give Consent to Settle a Claim
The question that many people have when they are involved in an accident claim is whether or not they have to provide consent to their insurance company in order for the case to be settled. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is a bit complicated as there are certain times where an insurance company has the right to settle a claim without consent, while in other cases consent from the insured must be obtained.
Every accident that occurs is different, just as the people involved in the accident are different. There are different causes of vehicular accidents and determining who is at fault for the accident can be complicated. However, there are certain factors that police and insurance companies look at when considering who is at fault and these all come into play when considering how a claim will be settled.
The most important thing to do when involved in an accident is to gather as much evidence as possible. Take pictures at the scene and record any conversations that you have with witnesses and the other driver. This can all be used in a case for liability.
Essentially, each car insurance policy is a contract with a lot of details provided about what the company will and will not cover. This means that the insurance company has the right to determine how much they will pay and to who base on the contract that you have agreed to.
What to Do if You Disagree with Your Insurance Claim Outcome
When it comes to settlements for auto insurance claims, most of the time an insurance company has the right to settle any claim as they see fit. This is based on your particular coverage as well as the coverage of the other person or people that were involved in the accident.
What this means for your rights is that the majority of the time you will have to go with whatever settlement that your insurance company agrees to. However, this does not mean that you have to settle. It is possible to fight the insurance company if you truly believe that the settlement is unfair or unlawful.
Hiring a Lawyer
If you are involved in an accident, whether or not it was determined to be your fault or not, it is important to make sure that you rights are protected. The best way to do this is to discuss the situation with a lawyer.
A lawyer who is licensed in the state where the accident occurred will be able to go over your rights with you. In addition to knowing your legal rights, your lawyer will also be able to make sure that the settlement being negotiated is fair.
When it comes down to whether or not your car insurance company can settle a claim without your consent, the short answer in most cases is yes. In most states insurance companies are provided with the right to be able to settle claims as they see fit. In addition, when you sign a contract with an insurance company you are often agreeing to allow the car insurance company to settle accident cases as they see fit.
However, as a consumer you are provided certain rights and if a settlement does not seem fair, hiring a lawyer to discuss your rights is your best option.