A car accident is an unexpected event that can have lasting consequences in regard to damage and injuries. Along with medical expenses, lost time from work can take a financial toll. This is why it is important to consult with an experienced attorney in order to get the proper compensation after an accident. The following outlines the factors that must be considered in a compensation case.
There are several types of car insurance, and it is vital to know which types are involved with the accident because this will affect the amount of compensation.
• Liability for bodily injury. This insurance type will not pay if someone else was at fault for the accident.
• Personal injury. Also called “no-fault” insurance, this type allows the injured person to file a claim against their own policy and collect payment up to the limit. Even if the policy holder had some degree of fault, they are still covered for income loss and any funeral costs.
• Medical. This is the same as personal injury insurance, but it only covers medical expenses.
• Underinsured and uninsured. This will pay for medical expenses when another person is at fault and is either underinsured or has no insurance at all.
Negligence is categorized as either contributory or comparative. In a contributory situation, if someone who has been injured in an accident is even partly at fault, there will be no compensation for medical expenses.
Comparative negligence will reduce the amount of payment if the injured person is partially responsible for the accident. The amount of fault determines the compensation. If the injured person is found to be 35 percent at fault, the payment is reduced by 35 percent. The other driver will receive 65 percent.
After an accident, the insurance company must be contacted immediately to start the claims process. An attorney will also need the following information to proceed:
• Police report. This is a document that contains all the details of the accident. It is one of the most important pieces of evidence if the case goes to court.
• Insurance policy. This will help an attorney determine what level of compensation to request.
• Injury information. This will outline if the injured person had any pre-existing injuries or medical problems that were affected by the accident and how soon they sought medical attention after it occurred.
• Victim statements. Anything that was said after the accident could prove very important to the case.
• Witness statements. Those who saw the accident happen can often add details that make a difference.
• Photos. Pictures of the accident scene are crucial for both insurance and legal purposes.
• Physical evidence. Anything collected at the scene of the accident can be meaningful and should be preserved.
• Notes. Personal notes written directly after the accident can help an injured person remember more clearly later on and can be beneficial in a legal case.
• Citations. If any tickets were issued at the scene for DUI or other reasons, they should be submitted to the attorney.
• Injury information. This should provide details regarding the injuries that occurred as a direct result of the accident and the level of medical care required to treat them currently and over the long term.
An attorney may visit the scene of the accident in order to take more photos, which may reveal additional details as to why the accident happened. All of the information will be thoroughly evaluated to build the strongest possible case and get the client the compensation they deserve to move on with their life.
The costs of an auto accident can add up quickly and cause major financial destruction. Anyone who has been in accident where they are not at fault should contact an experienced attorney right away to discuss their legal options and start the process for compensation.