In the aftermath of an auto accident, there are times when civil court plays a deciding role. Of course, causing an auto accident is not a criminal act, but an individual is financially responsible for the property damage and injuries that they cause. If a policyholder's auto insurance company fails to pay a claim being made against the car insurance policy, then the matter may be resolved via a lawsuit.
To understand how one might wind up in civil court, it is essential to comprehend that car insurance and civil court resolve similar issues with regard to negligence and liability. It is not a matter of having broken a law, although a traffic law may have been violated. Negligence occurs when a party does not take reasonable care with regard to protecting others from harm. An individual who caused an accident due to negligence is considered legally liable for the property damage and injures which resulted.
Car insurance companies conduct investigations into how accidents happen. A claim against a car insurance policy may be denied if the investigation were incomplete or inaccurate, or often in the instance of a "word-versus-word" scenario. When it is the word of one driver against another, then the insurance company must support their policyholder, which may result in a claim denial.
When a claim is denied, the party making the claim against the policyholder's car insurance policy has the option of suing and taking the insured to civil court. A policyholder should notify their insurance company immediately in the event of receiving a summons. When a policyholder is being sued, then a car insurance company has a legal obligation to represent their insured in court under the requirements of liability insurance. One's demeanor in court is especially important; be respectful, polite and accurate regarding the facts of the accident. Following the presentation of all relevant evidence, the court system would then determine negligence and liability as well as awarding damages.
The judge will either rule for or against the insured policyholder. If ruled against, a legally binding judgment means that the policyholder's insurance company, which previously denied the claim, must then pay for the other party's property damage and injuries. If the judgment is in favor of the insured, then the other party is not rewarded any damages. If the policy limits have been exceeded, then the insured is still financially responsible.
The civil court system plays an instrumental role in resolving disputes between private individuals, especially in matters which are not a matter of criminal law. In the event that a car insurance policy has not satisfactorily settled a claim, it is an individual's best recourse for recovery.