Protect Your Rights After a Car Accident
If you are injured in a car accident, you have certain rights in presenting a claim for injuries and in obtaining compensation for your losses and pain and suffering. Ensuring that your rights are protected is the job of car accident lawyers who share your interest in receiving as much compensation as you can for your injuries.
Your main right following a car accident injury case is that you are entitled to reasonable compensation if you can show that another motorist or entity contributed to your accident and injuries. All motorists have a duty to exercise reasonable care when driving, which means obeying the traffic laws, traveling at speeds dictated by the traffic and weather conditions and maintaining control of the vehicle. When a driver violates a traffic law or drives carelessly, then he or she breaches that standard of care.
Insurance companies have a legal duty to pay on claims in a timely manner and fully investigate the facts and circumstances of your accident. If they unreasonably delay or deny your claim or purposely offer a low-ball offer to force you to litigate, the insurer may be liable for acting in bad faith. There are numerous other circumstances that may constitute bad faith that your car accident lawyer can discuss with you if such circumstances exist in your case. This is a separate cause of action from your underlying injury claim.
Your car accident lawyer protects your right to full compensation by doing the following:
- Presenting your claim to your own and the defendant’s insurance company
- Supporting liability by obtaining the police accident report, interviewing witnesses, examining the accident scene and hiring reconstruction experts if necessary
- Getting documentation from the insurer explaining why an offer is unreasonably low and holding the company accountable
- Documenting with medical records and reports that your injuries were caused by the defendant
- Ensuring that your insurer is paying PIP benefits if applicable
- Making sure that your medical care is being provided and paid by the appropriate insurer and that you have full documentation of your injuries, expenses, and wage loss
- Representing you and negotiating with a medical insurer if it claims reimbursement out of your settlement
- If an uninsured motorist claim, providing supporting documentation and proof of your claim and negotiating a settlement
- Determining if the defendant’s policy is insufficient for your injuries and that you are entitled to underinsured compensation from your own insurer, if available
- If a municipality is the defendant, ensuring that your injury claim is timely presented in the required written form to the proper public agency or department–if denied, then filing it within the statute of limitations
Also, studies have consistently shown that injured claimants who retain attorneys obtain substantially more compensation than those who represent themselves, even allowing for legal fees.