Can I be compensated even if the accident was my fault?
Compensation if the accident was your fault depends on the laws of your state. In some states, who was at fault in the accident is not considered with regard to compensation. In those states, part or all of your economic damages may be paid by your no-fault insurance policy. In other states, which driver is responsible for the accident is vitally important. You may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries even if the accident was partially your fault. In that case, you will have to show that the other driver was more responsible than you were in causing the collision. Additionally, damages caused by your negligence are not recoverable.
Who has to pay compensation for my injuries?
In some cases, a person who was injured in an accident may be able to sue other people than just the responsible driver. For example, if the responsible driver did not own the car he or she was driving, you may be able to sue the car's owner. If the responsible driver was drunk, you may be able to sue the person who served him or her alcohol, if that person served the driver even though he or she was obviously drunk. In other cases, you might be able to sue a person who wasn't involved in the accident, such as an automobile manufacturing company or a construction company, if there was a defect in the vehicle or the road that caused the accident. If the accident involved a semi-truck and the driver violated rules and regulations, you may be able to sue their employer.
How much compensation can I get?
The amount of compensation in each case varies widely. Compensation can depend on many variables and the amount can't be determined without analysis of the injury, medical costs, loss of wages, and the permanency of the injury. There is no set rule for compensation and each case is unique.
Will I have to go to court?
Many motor vehicle accident cases do not result in a jury trial. Most lawsuits are settled without a trial. Settlements avoid the cost and the huge time commitment of a trial and may result in a greater amount of compensation than a trial. However, if the case can't be settled in a way that is acceptable to both sides, then it may be necessary to try the case to a jury verdict.
Where will the money to pay for my injuries come from?
The responsible driver's insurance company pays your compensation in many states. If you are in a no-fault insurance system state, your own insurance company may pay some of your compensation. If the responsible party doesn't have enough insurance cover to compensate you for all of your injuries, your own underinsured motorist coverage insurance policy may have coverage for the remainder of your compensation.
When will I get my money?
What do I do if I can't afford a lawyer?
Many law firms will take your personal injury case on a contingency fee basis. This means that your lawyer will get a percentage of the amount that the lawyer collects for you. If a lawyer is not able to obtain a recovery, many lawyers will still hold the client Responsible for the costs they incurred in pursuing the case. At Brodd law firm, LLC, if we are unable to obtain a recovery on your behalf, you don't pay anything.
Do I have to go to the doctor?
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should go to a doctor, both for your peace of mind and to document your injuries to support your case. Often, a car accident injury isn't apparent right away. Go to your family doctor, an emergency room, or another trained medical professional as soon as any symptoms appear.
How soon must I file my claim?
What if the responsible driver or his or her insurance company offers me a check?
If you accept a check from the responsible driver or his or her insurance company, you may be barred from getting any additional compensation from the driver or the insurer. You shouldn't accept a check or sign a release until you have spoken with a lawyer. Generally, your lawyer will advise you to wait until you have finished the treatment for your injury and have been released by you doctor, so that you know that you have enough compensation for all of your medical expenses and injuries. An insurance representative may want you to settle your case for the lowest amount of compensation possible and may encourage you not to speak with a lawyer. You should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before accepting any payment, signing any release, or settling your claim so that you can make sure that you are receiving fair and full compensation.