Why You Need An Accident and Personal Injury Attorney

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Why You Need An Accident and Personal Injury Attorney

Accidents or injuries can cause ongoing health issues and hefty medical fees. If the incident wasn't your fault, you may want to learn your legal rights in this type of situation. Many people who've been hurt have sought out help from an attorney and received monetary compensation to help them pay their bills. Although we aren't qualified to give legal help, we can offer information. As you read this blog, you'll find many resources and articles about accident and personal injury attorneys and how they can help you. You'll learn why you shouldn't bear this burden on your own when legal assistance is available.


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The Duty To Defend And To Indemnify — Car Insurers' Obligations To Customers

When you're accused of causing a car accident, your insurance coverage is your most important tool to prevent financial disaster. But what is your insurer obligated to cover and pay? What are their limitations? To help you understand how to protect your rights, here's what you need to know about the duties to defend and to indemnify.

What Is the Duty to Defend?

Your car insurance liability policy likely includes a provision known as a duty to defend. This means the insurer takes on the legal costs of defending you, the covered party, against a lawsuit claiming you are liable financially. This duty generally kicks in as soon as there is a legal action related to an incident that is — or may be — covered. The carrier will likely be involved in your defense since they are footing the bill. 

What Is the Duty to Indemnify? 

The other primary duty of insurers is to pay legal damages that result from an accident lawsuit. This is what indemnification is. Each policy specifies the maximum in damages or settlement funds that the insurance carrier will pay. 

What Affects These Duties?

Neither the duty to defend nor to indemnify is without limitations. First, your policy may include both obligations, or it may be limited to one or the other. And if either duty is included, there are financial limits. 

Just as importantly, the insurer who has to defend you has a say in how your defense operates. They may choose legal representation or require approval of it or its fees. They also have the right to require you to accept a reasonable settlement offer. This can be challenging for a defendant who believes they are innocent but whose insurer wants to save money by settling. 

Finally, the duty to defend may start quickly and automatically in the face of a lawsuit, but the insurer can stop defending in certain cases. One reason would be if you do not cooperate with the legal team. And while the case is progressing, the insurer will investigate whether or not the incident really is covered by their policy. Finally, some states limit financial obligations regarding things like willful negligence. 

Where Should You Start?

Learn more about your insurance coverage and its ramifications for your accident by meeting with a car accident law firm in your state such as Blackwell Ruiz Injury Law. With their guidance and help understanding your policy details, you'll soon start building the best defense against any accusations.