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Automobile Accidents

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General Automobile Accident Information

The most common type of personal injury case brought into the American court system today is undoubtedly automobile accidents. Although some states have passed no-fault laws eliminating culpability from all parties, automobile accidents are usually governed under the laws of negligence. Automobile drivers are expected to operate their vehicles while exercising “reasonable care under the circumstances.” Whenever a person fails to exercise such care, they are considered responsible for the accident and in many cases required to pay damages. These damages are most commonly in the form of vehicle repair and medical fees. In order to be paid, the plaintiff (the injured party) must prove that the defendant’s operated their vehicle without exercising “reasonable care under the circumstances” and were thereby acting negligently. All those involved with automobile accidents are advised to seek legal guidance from a personal injury attorney in their area so that you are sure to receive compensation for injuries and damage to your vehicle.


Who is at Fault?

When involved in an automobile accident it is often easy for drivers to instinctively determine who acted negligently and who should be held responsible for the accident. However, matters fault and negligence are also often very complex and it can be difficult to prove what that person technically did wrong. An experienced personal injury attorney’s assistance is essential in sifting through police reports, traffic laws, and witnesses to determine exactly what happened, who should be held at fault, and what damages the culpable party should be expected to pay.

It is important to consult a personal injury attorney before taking any action involving your personal injury claim. Lawyers are experienced in dealing with court proceedings and insurance companies and know how to protect your best interests. In order to receive maximum compensation for the party at fault, it is also important not to speak with their insurance company. Although they may appear to be trying to help, their job is to minimize their payments to you. They are looking for any information that will allow them to lower the damages paid to you and should not be spoken to without consulting an attorney.


Insurance Companies – Looking Out For Their Own Best Interests

In order to maximize their company’s profits, a representative from an insurance company will begin to investigate your accident immediately. They seek to limit what the injured person or party will receive and do so through specific and complex procedures. The insurance company will begin by taking recorded statements from individuals involved in the automobile accident and inspect the vehicles involved. They will take pictures and acquire police reports and medical documents to determine the extent of the injuries sustained by those involved. Insurance companies will generally be able to complete this initial investigation within a week of the accident.

The majority of insurance companies will seek to settle an insurance claim as quickly as possible. While this practice may seem advantageous to the injured party, companies are once again trying to minimize their losses when finalizing an insurance settlement quickly. By settling quickly they can often avoid paying for future medical costs, lost wages, and other damages that may develop later on. It is important to realize that it often takes several months to completely assess injuries sustained in an accident. Medical fees that arise later on may include surgery or rehabilitation. The period of time during which a claim can be made, also known as the statute of limitation, is currently set at two years. Those who settle with the insurance company soon after an accident often regret doing so, as new injuries are discovered months, or even a year later.

There are also many other issues that may arise throughout an insurance claim for which the assistance of an attorney is very important. If you are injured, it is possible that your insurance company will pay medical bills and other bills that need to be paid off immediately. Once the case has been settled, they will often seek reimbursement for their expenses from the money obtained by you in your settlement. There are many strict state laws that prevent and restrict the ways in which they can do this. For this reason, it is important you have an experienced firm, such as ours, that is well-versed in these regulations and can utilize them in order to ensure that you receive and keep as much money as possible. The same is true of workers compensation cases. The insurance companies used by your employer will often seek reimbursement for their expenses and for the money paid to you due do lost wages. Again, it is important to employ the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer to make sure that you are not taken advantage of.

In our state, everyone must carry liability insurance for their vehicles. The state minimum requires $15,000 per person bodily injury liability insurance coverage per person and $30,000 per accident. However, in severe accidents, the damages incurred by drivers may exceed these figures. In these cases, other insurance may be used in addition to that mandated by the state. The insurance policies of family members, employers, rental car companies, etc. may be able to assist the culpable driver in these instances. In some instances, the insurance companies of entities not directly involved in the accident may have to pay. If a government agency was at fault, because roads were not properly maintained, or because a traffic light did not operate correctly, their insurance would most likely contribute to the injured party’s bill payments.

There are complicated issues that factor into the value appropriated to an insurance claim. The nature and extent of the injuries sustained, the monetary losses involved, the relevant liability issues, the trial’s location, and prior injuries are all factors that have to be considered before a value can be placed on an insurance claim. The insurance company makes its money by becoming well-versed in the laws surrounding these issues, and applying them in order to pay you as little money as possible. For this reason, it is important that you find an attorney who has as much, or more, experience with personal injury law and dealing with insurance companies.

Determining the appropriate value of a claim for personal injury can be very complicated. It involves evaluating numerous variables such as the nature and extent of the injury, the economic losses that are recoverable, and the liability issues related to the accident. The trial's location and any prior injuries suffered by the injured party are issues that are also factored into any evaluation of a personal injury claim. Since insurance companies have vast experience in evaluating personal injury claims and will seek to obtain the lowest settlement possible. In order to have the same advantage that comes with experience, it is important to have a person with considerable experience dealing with the insurance company on your behalf.

Please remember that it is essential to act swiftly after an accident in order to preserve evidence. Also, remember that it is imperative that you speak to an attorney before speaking with insurance companies. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.