What to Do if You’re at Fault for a Car Accident

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell who was responsible for a car accident. 

When vehicles hit one another during merging, or crashes happen in parking lots, it’s hard to determine who is liable. 

But what should you do if you know for certain that you’re responsible for the wreck.  What If you’re in this mess, let’s go over a few things that you can do to fix the issue. 

What to Do After the Dust Settles 

Let’s say you had a moment of relapse, and you suddenly hit a car in front of you. You pressed on the brakes, but you still hit the back of the car, causing damage to both vehicles and hurting the other driver. 

Fault is clearly on you, so what do you do now? 

First, obviously let the dust settle and exchange the information, and make sure that you let insurance know about this too. 

Car insurance will give you cove rage that align with the details that are spelled out within your policies, that’s in accordance with the laws of the state. But let’s look a little bit deeper at this. 

Fault Versus No-Fault 

Usually, when you’re in the fault state, it means that the person who was responsible for the crash, or the insurer will be responsible for the losses of those harmed during the accident, which includes bills, damages, wages that are lost, and pain and suffering 

In those “no fault” states, the insurance laws are created where the vehicle owners must have “personal injury protection” which starts after an accident to pay for bills and other losses that are suffered by the holder of the policy, regardless of who is at fault of course.  Only in some instances do at-fault drivers get sued in no-fault states. 

Vehicle Damage Liability 

No-fault insurance doesn’t apply to the damage of the vehicle, and the responsibility does come down to the insurance at this point. 

When you’re at fault, the other drive must submit claims to their own insurance, but the insurer will also look to both insurance carriers for the reimbursement.

So you’re not gonna be responsible for the repair costs of the driver, but the thing is, your premiums will go up when you have a policy renewal, especially if you have citations or moving violations connected to the crash as well. 

Liability for Crashing 

When it comes to crash injuries, in “fault” states, the person who is injured can sue you, and it’s a personal injury lawsuit that comes because of negligence during driving. 

Insurance companies will give you liability coverage to protect the drivers against these types of issues, but most don’t’ carry the amounts needed to pay the injury claims, especially if there was severe bodily harm.  If you’re sued for damages, you might want to make sure that you do take some time to ensure that you do hold enough coverage for each case. 

But do remember that fault during these kinds of cases are not as easy to understand as you think. It does depend on the type of state that you live in, who is at fault as a driver, and whether or not you’re carrying enough insurance. 

There also may be eyewitnesses called to confirm that there were no turn signals used, or even police footage to help determine this as well. 

Remember that accidents do happen, but make sure you’re ready for whatever whenever a claim is made against you, to help you understand whether or not you’re at fault for causing the accident.

The Demand Letter In A Car Accident Injury Case

The first and perhaps one of the most crucial steps in an injury claim after a car accident is a demand letter. This letter is issued by the injured claimant, and it describes the facts and circumstances related to the car accident. It also contains information about the medical treatment and lost wages as consequences of the accident.

Before drafting a demand letter

You or your car accident lawyer can start drafting a demand letter once you have opened a claim with the company providing coverage to the other driver. You will need to gather all the information required to make a forceful argument for why you qualify for a fair entitlement. For this purpose, you have to get a copy of the police report, witness statements, medical bills and records, information about lost wages, and any notes made during the recovery period.

Relating the facts

Although recounting circumstances on your demand letter may seem unnecessary, you have to do it. That way, you can describe your version of events to the opposing party and their compensation company. That will give them a glimpse of the testimony the jury would hear should the case makes it to the courtroom.

During this step, you have to recall the exact sequence of events leading to the accident. You should also explain the direction the at-fault driver was going, weather conditions, and any defensive maneuvers you took to avoid the accident. Make sure to back up your claims with the police report and statements from witnesses. You can bring strong evidence of liability to attention by highlighting the citation in the police report suggesting the fault from the other driver.

Injuries and medical treatment

Providing a detailed account of injuries and their subsequent treatment after the accident is necessary. First off, you will have to describe pain 1or symptoms felt at the accident scene. You will also have to state whether emergency services arrived on time to provide initial treatment. Provide citation to any treatment report prepared at the scene. Be sure to mention all medical treatment from the injury date until you discontinued getting active treatment for the injury. Also, mention names of physicians, and provide details about their clinics.

Medical expenses

After mentioning your medical treatment for car accident injuries, provide an itemized list of your medical bills. It should include the cost of ambulance transportation, prescription medicines, and other medical services. Be sure to attach copies of medical bills.

Lost wages

You may qualify to get compensated for any lost wages after the accident. You will have to provide information about your income and the amount of time or number of days you couldn’t work. You also have to mention if you had to use your vacation time. You can also get a copy of records from your employer to verify the number of days you missed work. Self-employed people should also provide detailed information regarding how to calculate any lost wage amount.

Formulating a demand letter can be hectic, but it remains crucial. You can work with a car accident lawyer to tilt the balance in your favor.

When To Hire A Lawyer After A Car Accident

You will have a host of questions after an automobile accident. Whose fault was that? Who will pay for damage to your car? Who will pay for your medical bills? How much should you get for pain and suffering? Can you ask a compensation company to reimburse you for lost wages? To find answers to these questions, you can hire an experienced car accident lawyer.

Since most personal injury attorneys work for a contingent fee, it is best to hire an attorney if you want to win your case. This fee method binds you to pay your attorney only when you get the case concluded in your favor.

Knowledge of law

Hiring a personal injury attorney means you will have to professional dealing with your case. A car accident lawyer is highly knowledgeable about procedural rules and laws related to your case.

First off, your attorney will tell you about any limitations that may prevent you from filing a lawsuit against the driver at fault. For instance, most states have a rule that permits you to file a lawsuit only within a couple of years after the accident. After that duration is over, you will not be able to file a lawsuit. Your car accident lawyer may help know exceptions to such limitations.

Your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf. He or she is well-aware of any possible defenses put forward by the other side. If you fail to get your case settled outside the court, your car accident lawyer will help you prepare a case for the trial.

Remember, having a skillful car accident lawyer by your side helps you even the playing field. You will be able to get a fair settlement against a company with vast resources and experience.

Car accident lawyers do the legwork

Negotiating a settlement and trying a personal injury lawsuit could involve a lot of work. After a car accident, you may not be mentally ready to deal with the immense amount of work that goes into the legal procedure to formulate a personal injury claim. The good thing is that your car accident lawyer will take care of everything.

Remember, it may be the first time you are dealing with the ins and outs or a personal injury claim, but your car accident lawyer has dealt with such cases for years. He or she knows well how to deal with defendants and companies offering compensation for car accident injuries. They also help you gather valuable evidence from the accident scene to make your claim strong.

If you are unable to get a settlement outside the court, your car accident lawyer will file the necessary paperwork to start the court case. Having a knowledgeable person by your side takes the burden of handling a personal injury case off your shoulders, particularly when you are injured and trying to recover.

Advocating for you

Your car accident lawyer will become your advocate when handling your car accident claim. That means he or she will act on your behalf even in the courtroom if a lawsuit becomes inevitable. He will make sure that you get fair compensation for your injuries and financial losses due to the accident.

Determining Pain And Suffering In A Car Accident Case

While making a car injury claim, you may wonder how much your case is worth. Companies that compensate for car injuries use several methods to calculate the worth of a personal injury claim. This calculation or evaluation usually involves reimbursement of lost income and medical bills, along with compensation for pain and suffering. Here, we will discuss the “multiplier” and “per diem” methods to calculate the value of a personal injury claim by a car accident lawyer.

The “Multiplier” Method

The most common method used for evaluating pain and suffering damages is to multiply the sum of medical bills and lost wages by a particular number. Car accident lawyers have long been multiplying their clients’ damages by three to get a reasonable damage compensation amount. That means if the sum of your medical bills and lost wages made $6000, you would get $18,000 as compensation using the multiplier method.

Companies have become more reluctant to automatically multiply the sum of damages by three in recent years, though.

Today, companies get the sum of damage and multiply it with a figure determined by complex software programs. The result may often undervalue the victim’s claim. The system used to derive the multiplying figure usually considers the seriousness of the injury, aggravating circumstances, and the length of the recovery. That means the impact of a broken femur and the need to undergo several surgeries will result in a pretty bad experience for a victim as compared to the impact of a minor fender bender.

So, in case of a more serious accident, the multiplier can be three or four. However, the multiplier may be one or two in the case of a fender bender. The multiplier may be even higher if the at-fault driver was intoxicated. On the other hand, the system will generate a lower multiplier to evaluate your compensable pain and suffering if you were partly at fault during the accident.

The type of medical treatment also contributes to the evaluation of a reasonable multiplier. However, companies also check if the claimant asks for the compensation money required for chiropractic treatment of three to four months while there is only a minor soft tissue injury.

The daily rate method

Companies and car accident lawyers calculate compensation of pain and suffering using a daily rate method. This method refers to the calculation of the amount of money you need each you suffer the effects of a car accident.

The most viable method to calculate the daily rate or per diem is to look at the amount of income you earn on a given day.

The most efficient method to calculate the worth of your claim is to use both the multiplier and per diem method to get a reasonable figure. You will have to set your expectations based on a few factors, including the severity of your injuries, the injuries to other people during the accident, and lost workdays.

If you are not sure how to evaluate the compensation for your injuries, you can discuss your case with a car accident lawyer. That individual will help you win the case.

 

Evidence Needed In A Car Accident Case

After a car accident, you would want to build your best case for the injury lawsuit. That makes it crucial for you to gather as much evidence as possible about the crash. Look into the reasons for the crash and how it affected you. The more documentation you have to support your claim for your losses and injuries, the more likely you are going to get a fair settlement. In this article, we will discuss why evidence is crucial in a car accident case. We will also discuss the types of evidence you have to gather.

Evidence and the burden of proof

Coverage companies know that it is pretty rare for an injury claim to turn into a civil lawsuit. The person seeking damages bears the burden of proof. That means the injured party will have to collect every shred of evidence to prove that another driver was at fault during the car accident and that the plaintiff suffered damage and injuries. This burden of proof impacts the entire process of the car injury claim.

That means the injured person has to gather evidence that affirms:

  • His or her version of the story
  • Claims of injury
  • Claim for missed workdays and lost wages

There are many forms of evidence, including medical bills and records, witness statements, and photographs.

Evidence from the accident scene

Even an apparently minor car accident can have a devastating impact on an individual. After the accident, you first have to check on the well-being of every passenger and driver and call for medical help if there are any obvious injuries.

Regardless of the severity of injuries or the accident, it is crucial to call the police and wait for the preparation of the initial report. A timely created police report will help ascertain which driver was at fault.

Meanwhile, you have to take your time to gather all evidence at the accident scene. Information you have to gather may include the name, address, driver’s license number, insurance information, and vehicle plate number from the other driver involved in the accident. You also have to check whether the driver was driving for their employer when the accident occurred. In that case, you will have to get the employer’s name and contact information.

Additionally, make sure to get the names and contact numbers of any witnesses of the accident. You can use your mobile phone camera to take photographs of the accident scene.

Evidence of damage

A significant portion of the damage recovery is usually related to vehicle damage. That is why you have to gather all details of the vehicle repairs. It should also include information about any car repairs shortly before the accident. For instance, if your car was totaled in the accident, you can get higher compensation if you have proof that you recently changed all four tires of the car.

Additional evidence

In case you have filed a personal injury lawsuit, you can gather information from the driver responsible for the accident by using the car accident interrogatories. It is a set of written questions that the other party must answer within a certain time window. With the help of interrogatories, you can get information about the defendant’s conduct.

 

How To Preserve Your Rights After A Car Accident

If you were injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, the legal system allows you to follow a procedure to get compensated for all your injuries and damage. The compensation comes out in the form of a settlement between you and the at-fault driver.

To protect these rights, you have to make sure to document everything related to the accident. Then, you will have to be persistent with the procedure and wait patiently for a positive outcome. It can be hard to settle a car crash claim without resorting to formal litigation. However, you can negotiate for a satisfactory resolution to your case if you have the appropriate support on your side.

Documenting the scene of the accident

A car crash can result in chaos. Your top priority should be to get immediate medical attention. However, if your injuries are not severe, you can take some time to document the scene and collecting evidence in your favor to strengthen your case. Remember, good evidence can help you win the case.

First off, get as much information as you can. For this purpose, speak to witnesses. Ask them for their contact information. Ask them if they are willing to make any written or verbal statements. Ask them everything regarding what happened in the accident.

You will want to add some levels of documentation to your claims. Speaking to the police is one of the steps to follow in this regard. A report by the police will help you significantly when making an injury claim. In many cases, the party responsible for the crash will do everything to keep the police out of the case. You can leverage this situation to your advantage.

Get a camera or phone to take photos of the accident scene. That will help you put forward a solid reference to the situation when the time comes.

Seeking medical attention

Be quick to get the medical attention if you are injured in a car crash. That way, you will have all treatment records, medical bills, and doctor notes. You can use these documents as evidence of your injuries. These documents will help you prove your point in front of the parties involved in the accident.

When you have filed your claim, be sure to adhere to your doctor’s instructions. You have to avoid any physical exertion to avoid getting caught in a situation that might weaken your claim. Remember, the perception of your condition plays a key role in you getting paid or not. If the adjuster thinks that you are malingering, he or she will deny your claim.

Getting repair estimates for property damage

After documenting everything and getting medical attention, get started with the estimation of the costs of repairs to your vehicle. Be sure to have enough evidence to prove your point.

Getting a car accident lawyer

Finally, getting a car accident lawyer is the best thing you can do to win the case. Although you will have to pay a fee at the case conclusion in your favor, it is not a bad bargain. A car accident lawyer will have the knowledge and skill to help you win the case comfortably.

 

How To Get The Best Injury Settlement

As soon as the personal injury settlement negotiation begins, you have to make sure to have an effective strategy in place. Here are some settlement tips to help you formulate a strategy.

Having a specific settlement amount in mind

It is necessary to figure out your claim worth when putting together a personal injury settlement demand letter. Be sure to have a minimum settlement figure in mind before speaking to an adjuster. You do not need to reveal this figure to the adjuster.

However, you do not have to cling to that specific figure. The adjuster may bring forward some points you hadn’t considered before, but they might make your claim weaker. In such a scenario, you will have to agree to a lower minimum settlement. The adjuster can suggest a settlement close to the minimum figure you have in mind. At that time, you may find some points that make your claim stronger for an increased settlement.

Reacting to the first offer

The adjuster will offer a very low amount as a part of the negotiation process. by doing so, he or she will try to figure out what your claim is worth. If the amount is reasonable, you can make a counteroffer that is just a bit lower than the amount mentioned in your demand letter. This way, the adjuster will know that you are a reasonable person and that you are willing to negotiate. You will not have to bargain much to get to a final settlement amount that you both consider fair.

Getting the adjuster to justify a low offer

During the first conversation, the adjuster will make an offer so low that it seems a negotiating tactic to see if your claim is genuine. That is why it is unwise to lower the amount you put in the demand letter immediately. Instead, you can ask the adjuster to give reasons for the low offer. Depending on the reasons, you can lower your claim slightly. However, it is best to see whether the adjuster can negotiate a bit further.

Injured hand writing injury claim procedure on screen

Emphasizing the emotional points

During the discussion, mention any emotional points going in your favor. For instance, you can refer to a photo of the smashed car or a severe injury sent to your adjuster. You can also refer to the possibility of alcohol consumption if there was a bottle of beer found in the driver’s car. Remind the adjuster if similar accidents had occurred at that location in the past. Also, mention your inability to take care of your child as a result of the injury. Mentioning all these factors can help you get fair compensation for your loss.

Waiting for the response

Ensure not to reduce your demand more than once until your adjuster puts forward some solid reasons to do so. Do not reduce your demand twice because that’s a way to lose in the bargain.

Evaluate every reason your adjuster puts forward to encourage you to lower your demand. After going through every factor, you will either get a reasonable offer, or you will find that no reasonable offer is coming. At that point, you can try some legal options to put additional pressure on the coverage company.

 

Car Accidents That Involve Pedestrians – Lawsuits

Getting hit by a car can be traumatic. The aftermath of an accident can be so chaotic that you might even forget about the lawsuit. However, you may want to keep your legal options open if the accident occurred because of someone else’s negligence and you have received a lot of injuries. In this article, we will give an overview of lawsuits brought by pedestrians against car drivers.

Fault for pedestrian accidents

Before filing a lawsuit, a pedestrian should see who is to blame for the accident. Just because you were not driving a vehicle doesn’t mean you can’t be at fault.

Did the driver keep the car running when there was a red light? Was the driver over-speeding? Was the driver drunk? Did the pedestrian walk into the middle of the road while texting? Could either of two people have avoided the happening?

In many cases, a pedestrian can recover in a lawsuit when the driver was partially at fault. If the pedestrian wandered out on the road, and there was nothing much the driver could do to avoid the accident, the pedestrian would not be successful in the lawsuit.

There is also the possibility of more than one person causing the accident. Imagine a driver ran a red light. Another driver who had the green light had to apply breaks to avoid the accident. But, the sudden swerve caused that driver to lose control and hit a pedestrian on the sidewalk.

In such a scenario, the person at fault is the first driver. The pedestrian can file a lawsuit against that driver even though he was not the person actually hitting the pedestrian. Although the second driver was partly responsible because he wasn’t able to control the vehicle, it is the first driver who would pay for most of the damages.

Damages in a pedestrian accident case

A personal injury lawsuit demands the parties at fault to pay for all damages the victim had to suffer. Although it is hard to equate money with injuries, that’s how the legal system works.

Damages in this scenario fall into the following categories.

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of enjoyment

Medical expenses and injuries are the simpler categories. The medical expenses paid by the victim can be reimbursed. If the pedestrian misses workdays, the driver has to compensate for all those lost wages.

It will be challenging to work on the other two categories. How can you calculate the value of pain and suffering? Well, that is all up to the jury to decide. Some injuries do not result in long-term impacts. Some injuries, however, can initiate some lifelong health problems.

The second hard-to-evaluate category is the loss of enjoyment. It refers to the negative impact of the injury on the victim’s life. Some injuries result in permanent or long-term paralysis of the lower body. Inability to walk and run is severe damage to the quality of life.

If you have been a victim of a car accident in any way, be sure to discuss your case with a car accident lawyer. It is crucial not to discuss anything with coverage companies and the opposing person in your lawsuit.