The majority of car insurance claims filed involve damage from fender benders, sideswipe crashes, and other scenarios. Not every claim filed with an insurance company will be for a totaled vehicle. On the other hand, auto insurance companies also receive claims that seem weird, crazy, or even fabricated. Anyone who has ever seen a Farmer’s commercial knows that some of the claims people make can be pretty incredible.
But there are car accident claims that may be a little less common (and a lot less wild) than the ones we see in those commercials. Today, we wanted to look at some of those types of claims, so that you can feel confident making a claim for damages in a less-than-life-threatening crash.
My bike fell off my car and caused an accident
Going on vacation with your significant other or your family can be relaxing and stressful at the same time, especially when you have to bring a lot of items with you. One of the most common items transported during a vacation is a bicycle. Some cars have one or two bikes on them, while others might have four or more bikes attached to bike racks.
Bike racks can be installed on the roof or rear of a vehicle; it all depends on the type of bike rack and the connections available for your car. Securing the bikes properly before heading out on the road can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration. However, what happens if your bike falls off your car and causes an accident?
As with any other accident claim involving debris falling from a vehicle, you will likely be held liable if a crash occurs. It was your responsibility to make sure that the bikes were secured to the vehicle prior to your trip. The slightest mistake in hooking the bikes up to the bike rack can cause them to fall and strike another vehicle near yours, meaning you’ll need to look to your own policy for compensation.
A bird flew into my windshield and caused me to crash
Animals cause a large number of car accidents. Drivers might swerve to avoid hitting a deer and instead hit another vehicle, a guardrail, or a fixed structure. Drivers hit squirrels, deer, foxes, dogs, cats, and other animals, causing thousands of dollars of damage to the vehicle. You might not think some of these animals won’t do much damage to your vehicle, but a bird can cause more than $1,000 in damage.
If you have comprehensive coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, an accident with an animal will likely be covered. Even if a bird flew into your windshield, cracked it, and led you to cause an accident, all of the resulting events should be covered because you have comprehensive coverage on the policy. If you aren’t sure about your coverage, check the declarations page of the policy.
A tire blew and I crashed my car
In 2017, the most recent year data is available, there were 738 fatalities on the roads of the United States due to tire blowouts. In the same year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that there were 3.2 trillion miles driven across the country. If you experience a tire blowout that caused an accident, it will only be covered by your auto insurance policy if it has comprehensive coverage. Any policy that has coverage less than this likely won’t cover an accident caused by a tire blowout.
You can avoid a tire blowout and serious liability claims by doing the following:
- Only install tires on your vehicle that are made for your vehicle. They don’t have to match the original brand that came with the car, but they should match the tire ratings provided by the vehicle manufacturer.
- Check your tires regularly for wear and tear, especially the depth of the treads. If they become worn, replace them immediately or risk a tire blowout.
- Check your tire pressure manually every month. If your tires need air, add the amount of air found on the inside of the driver’s side door in terms of PSI. Tires that do not have enough air or too much air can burst.
My vehicle was parked when someone else hit it
One of the most frustrating situations occurs when you park your car to run some errands only to return to it damaged. You certainly didn’t see what happened or how it happened and can only hope that the perpetrator left a note on the windshield with their information. However, this isn’t always the case and you might need to scour the area for security camera footage.
If your vehicle is damaged in a parking lot, the insurance policy of the perpetrator should cover the damage. However, if the incident resulted in a hit-and-run or the driver does not have enough coverage to pay for the damages, you will need to rely on your auto insurance policy to help pay for the repairs. It’s a good idea to have uninsured motorist coverage on your own policy to protect yourself from drivers who don’t have coverage and cause accidents or leave the scene of an accident.
My car was damaged because of a storm
If your vehicle was damaged in a storm while driving or while sitting parked at your home or office, the damage will likely only be covered if you have comprehensive coverage on your auto policy. Alabama does not require drivers to have this coverage, only property damage and bodily injury liability. However, your lender might require this coverage in order to obtain financing. Since most policies will not cover storm damage to a vehicle, it’s a smart idea to add comprehensive coverage.
Were you or a loved one injured in a car accident? The experienced Huntsville auto accident attorneys at Martin & Helms can help you recover compensation for your injuries. Call us at 256-539-1990, or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation today. We have offices in Huntsville and Decatur and serve clients in Madison, Athens, and throughout the Tennessee Valley.
Choosing the right personal injury attorney is an important step in building a better future. You deserve a lawyer who works one-on-one with you, and who can develop a plan for you to move forward. When you choose Martin & Helms, you get Clay Martin and Tara Helms: experienced, compassionate counselors who put your best interests first. We invite you to read more about us.