Despite taking care, accidents and injuries often occur. When you incur damage or serious injury due to somebody else’s fault then it should be dealt with professionally. If you decide to file a car accident claim against the one responsible for the damage or injuries that you have incurred, you need to know how to go about it legally.
The amount of compensation for a car accident claim varies from one situation to another depending on different factors involved. The important factors that decide the amount of compensation are the nature of injury sustained due to the accident, the extent of insurance coverage, whether the injury is permanent, the amount of medical expenses incurred, lost wages, injury related travel expenses, and pain and suffering.
You need in inform the insurance company of the other car involved that you a filing a car accident claims. If you have a good coverage your insurance company will pay you for your damage and then they will go after that company to get that money back. The company might call you and ask for the whole incident narration. You need to calculate the exact estimate of the damage by yourself or with the help of your insurance company. But be careful as they might end up paying you less than what you actually deserve. After the repairmen test drive your car and check all its accessories along with it.
It is always advisable to appoint the car accident lawyer as soon as possible. This helps the lawyer to gather evidences for filing car accident claim before they are wiped out. An experienced lawyer makes use of investigator who goes down to the accident site and gathers evidences. Every detail is recorded during preservation of evidences which includes carefully photographing the scene of the accident, collecting and photographing physical evidence such as skid marks and crash debris, securing police accident documents to include photos and videos, securing the commercial vehicle's black box, talking to witnesses and the investigating officer and recording their statements. Evidences should also be collected from the trucking company such as Driver qualification files and proper documentation, Hours of service regulations, Drug and alcohol testing the company has performed on the driver etc. It is very vital that none of the vehicle involved is repaired before gathering evidence. After collection of the evidence the lawyer should be able to conclude who is responsible and thus continue the case.
All car accident claims abide by the statute of limitations, a period during which compensation can be pursued legally. Once this time period expires the claim is barred and cannot be legally brought forward. If you wish to file a car accident claim then it should be done prior to statute of limitation which varies depending on the injury and damage.
Car accident claims can be resolved in any of the three ways. It can be settled by negotiation without filing any lawsuit and settling outside the court, through formal arbitration or by a jury trial. The choice of the above three ways depends on the amount of damage and the jurisdiction.
Keith Morrisroe is the author of this article on Car accident claim.