Motor Vehicle Accidents are often very stressful and traumatic in nature, so people take time to gain back composure and act on it. While people are mostly confused about the proceeding steps in a car accident, it is wise to have a car accident lawyer by your side. Navigating the entire claims process becomes super easy when you pick the right attorney to stand for you. We know you have questions, connect with us for a detailed inquiry, and for your general queries, here’s a set of FAQs you can refer to:
I Have Had a Motor Vehicle Accident. What Should I Do First?
The single most important thing just after you have had an accident is to ensure your health and wellness. Check if you have had any injuries or not, and seek medical attention immediately. There can be several injuries, such as herniated discs or whiplash, that can take time to show up due to the initial adrenaline rush present in your body post the accident. Please do not leave the accident scene unless it is essential or your injuries are too serious. Instead, use your mobile phone to take pictures of the scene and various damages so that you can file a personal injury or motor vehicle accident claim later. Do not comment anything to the insurance department as they might use words spoken by you against you to reduce the claim amount. Instead, seek help from a professional motor vehicle accident lawyer near you.
How Much Time Do I Have to Report the Accident to My Insurance Company?
The kind of policy you opted for and the various terms and conditions of the same will decide the time you have to report the accident to them. When you sign the insurance papers, it is always emphasized that you know the terms fluently so that in such scenarios, you know exactly when you can report and claim the coverage. In case of delay in reporting post the specified period, the insurance company can deny the entire claim even if it is justified.
Do I Need to Call the Police to the Scene after a Minor Car Accident?
There are states where you can call the police if you wish to, while on the other hand, in states such as Florida, police are a must. If none of the parties involved in the accident have faced injuries or damage till a certain threshold, police don’t interfere. However, in states like Florida, the police arrive at the scene to take information about the crash from both drivers and make the report of “Drivers’ Exchange of Information.” This report is an essential weapon for you to file for a personal injury or motor vehicle accident claim in the future. If you are not in Florida, you can have a report written by the police by visiting them so that you can document the accident and use it later for claims.
Can My Statement Given to the Police Be Used against Me?
In case of such accidents, an individual’s statement to any law enforcement officer is solely to record the event and cannot be used against them as per Florida’s Accident report Privilege.
It is the facts of the case that is the major component in such police statements, and hence it in no way can be used to incriminate the person.
How to Determine Who Was at Fault in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
In case of a motor vehicle accident, it is essential to know the party “at fault.” Therefore, a detailed investigation takes place to scrutinize the incident and find out the one at fault. Careless driving often points fingers towards the driver; however, there are times when even the vehicle manufacturer can be at fault due to a mechanical fault that might have led to the accident. From the detailed inspection of the accident scene to the layout and structure of the car, everything is studied to conclude who was at fault for the accident.
Will I Get Coverage Even If I Was Partly at Fault for the Accident?
If you were partly responsible for the accident, then your coverage/claim amount is inversely proportional to the percentage of damage your fault caused. For example, if you are responsible for 30 percent of the accident, you will be paid only 70 percent of the amount. There are states with a cut-off percentage of 50-51 percent, and if the victim’s fault is at or above the fixed percentage, they are denied the entire claim. The District of Columbia and four more states have the law that if the victim is responsible even for a fraction of the accident caused, they won’t be eligible for the motor vehicle accident claim.
I Am Receiving Calls from the Adjuster of an “at Fault” Individual’s Insurance Company. What Should I Do?
Whenever you receive such calls from opposing insurance companies, transfer them to your insurance company or your motor vehicle accident attorney. The main reason why you would get a call from an adjuster is to negotiate or discuss a settlement. This is a practice often taken up just after the accident so that they can quote you a settlement amount lower than the actual damages because you haven’t yet calculated the amount. Unless you hear from your attorney or insurance company, you shouldn’t get into any conversation with them.
I Was Not Wearing a Seat Belt at the Time of the Accident. Will I Still Be Eligible For Claim?
The state law applies to such cases, and hence it solely depends on state law jurisdiction. Obviously, according to some states’ law, if you aren’t wearing a seat belt, according to some states’ law, your compensation is reduced because here, the one at fault is “You.” The best person to tell you about this would be an expert attorney who knows the law of the state and will defend your cause for maximum compensation.
Will I Need to Go to Court If I File a Personal Injury Claim After an Accident?
It depends. If the “at fault” individual’s insurance company and the lawyer agree to pay what your personal injury attorney might have claimed, then you don’t need to visit the court. However, there can be cases requiring proper trial proceedings. It is advised to hire professional car accident lawyers in such cases for better chances of getting the claim amount. Experience in handling personal injury claims would matter the most here.
Should I File a Car Accident Lawsuit or Allow My Insurance Company to Deal With It?
Mostly, lawyers from the insurance agency remain sufficient for these cases. However, every case is different from the other, due to which it is better to connect with professional car accident attorneys for expert advice and greater understanding. Having legal help with you would ensure that by no means are you getting anything less than what you deserve as your claim. You can search for lawyers at The Legal Helpers at the snap of a finger!
What Does a “No-Fault” State Mean?
A state where there is no need to prove “fault” in order to receive Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is known as the “No-fault state.” A driver’s Personal Injury Protection coverage is responsible for paying for the medical and rehabilitation costs regardless of who was at fault for the accident. If you are in a state where the no-fault system isn’t used, it would be known as a tort state. In such states, you are made to pay for the financial losses that the other driver might have incurred due to the accident, which occurred because you were “at fault.”
Is It Mandatory to Take My Car to an “Insurance Approved” Repair Shop?
Not at all! You can choose the repair center of your trust and hand over your car to them with all the details of the claim and the adjuster. The rest will be taken care of by them!
What Happens If the “at-Fault Driver” Doesn’t Have an Insurance Policy and Escapes the Scene of the Accident Right Away?
This is a legit issue and is faced often by numerous people involved in motor vehicle accidents. This is why it is important to purchase insurance that offers Uninsured Motorist coverage. In such a situation where the driver at fault has got no insurance, you can file for a claim under UM coverage with your insurance company. The request will be processed similarly to normal claims, but this would be from your UM coverage rather than from the at-fault driver’s end. The same applies to hit and run cases where you may find the at-fault driver escaping the scene right away after the accident.
The “at-Fault” Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Insurance Coverage to Fulfill My Damages. What to Do?
Your claim amount may be larger than the coverage amount of the “at-fault” driver. But that doesn’t mean you would not get the legit amount of claim! In such instances, you file the claim for the remaining amount with your insurance company under Uninsured Motorist Coverage. This coverage is meant to safeguard you from such situations where the at-fault driver might not be able to clear your entire claim.
My Airbags Didn’t Deploy during the Accident. Can I File a Lawsuit against the Manufacturer?
This is extremely situational as there are numerous reasons why the airbag might not have deployed itself. It would be best if you discuss this with your car accident lawyer, and along with an expert engineer, would analyze the situation and the air bad device of your car to see whether it was the fault of the device or not. If it is found that the accident and the situation were exactly meant for the airbags to deploy, but they didn’t, you can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
How to recover quickly after a motor vehicle accident?
Many times, the injuries from a motor vehicle accident are not visible the moment after the accident. It can take some time to show the graveness of any injury, which is why you should rush to a doctor immediately. Follow the prescription given by the doctor while taking adequate rest and eating healthy food to ensure a speedy recovery. In case of serious injuries, the recovery process can be long; please be patient!
How much does injury recovery really cost?
The cost of injury recovery depends on the seriousness of the accident. The longer a patient is supposed to stay at the hospital for recovery, the higher the cost is going to be. As per data, per day average cost for a hip fracture would be $716, and for burns, it would be around $991. Based on the insurance claim amount, you can choose a hospital and get your treatment done.
What are the various kinds of injuries and traumas associated majorly with motor vehicle accidents?
Car accidents and the injuries caused by them might take some time to heal and show up. Not every accident leaves an immediate impact, but a deeper long-term trauma can also be expected. Here is a list of physical pains that you might be feeling or can experience in the long run due to a motor vehicle accident-
- Soft Tissue injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal Cord injury
- Mental Health degradation
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
The age of the person involved in the accident and pre-existing medical conditions can act as a catalyst when it comes to the injuries and their impact.
What Are the Various Kinds of Damages That Car Accident Settlements Cover?
Generally, two kinds of damages are paid in car accident settlements, namely- Economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover the victim’s medical and healthcare bills, property/asset damage, and other significant financial losses due to the accident. On the other hand, non-economic damages include the victim’s pain and suffering, mental trauma, and various other subjective harms in life due to the accident.
What Is the Time Taken for a Car Accident Settlement Claim Process to Finish?
Some of the deciding factors on the time needed for the claim process are-
- The nature of the crash and extent of damage incurred
- Injuries of the victim
- Quality of proof
If you have suffered heavy injuries and all your documentation regarding the crash is apt, the process can be prompt. On the other hand, the process might become lengthy if the insurer suspects that you are fabricating the proof or are at fault. If you feel that the insurance company intentionally delays the payment, you can file for a bad-faith claim against the insurance provider.
My Insurance Company Is Offering an Unfairly Low Settlement Amount. Do I Have to Accept It?
No, you are not bound to accept any unfairly low settlement amount by the insurance company. Though the adjuster and various agents from the insurance company would connect with you to lower the claim amount and settle for the amount offered, if it looks unfair, you do not accept it. You can hire an attorney and file a lawsuit in such cases to get your deserved claim amount.
Is a Lawyer Really Needed for Car Accident Cases?
If yours is a simple case where you have suffered major damage, and you have all the proof, then you probably do not need a lawyer. However, if you feel there are chances that the insurance company or the “at-fault” driver would contest your claim, you should definitely hire a lawyer. A lawyer would offer you an impression of the various challenges that might crop up during your claim process. From collecting evidence to dealing with the insurance company, an attorney will look after all of these while you can focus on healing faster and better.
How Do I Find the Best Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer for Me?
To find the best motor vehicle lawyer, you need to make sure that you choose the one with whom you can communicate clearly and has experience of such trials and claims. A strong lawyer fighting for your claim would never back off from taking the proceedings to court to win the legit claim amount for you. So fill in the form alongside, and we will help you find the best motorcycle accident lawyer near your geographical proximity and who will get you the deserved compensation.