If you or someone you know has been involved in an automobile accident involving property damage or personal injury, you will likely have many questions. Here are answers to some of the most common automobile personal injury questions.
What is my automobile accident case worth?
Based on our experience litigating and settling personal injury cases, a reasonable settlement range is generally based on your medical condition. In evaluating your case, your attorney will rely on a number of factors, including the extent and permanency of your injuries, the effect your injuries have had on your life, the amount and duration of your medical treatment, and prior jury verdicts received for similar injuries.
What if the other driver does not have any automobile insurance?
Assuming the car you are driving in is insured, your auto insurance policy will most likely have an uninsured motorist provision, which means you may have a claim for uninsured motorist benefits under your own policy. Lawyers refer to this as a UM claim. If you make an uninsured motorist claim, your own insurance carrier has the right to use all defenses that the other at-fault driver may have had against you. You may be surprised to learn that an uninsured motorist claim therefore essentially creates an adversarial relationship between you and your own insurance carrier. This adversarial relationship with your own insurance provider often creates the need for an attorney to become involved. Consequently, it may be wise to talk to an personal injury lawyer before making an uninsured motorist claim.
Do I need to contact an automobile accident attorney after a car accident?
In many cases, you will benefit by retaining the services of a qualified car accident lawyer after being involved in an auto accident. Some insurance companies are advertising how quickly they respond to claims, suggesting that they are motivated by their goal of prompt customer service. This is not necessarily true as they are in business to make money and they benefit by paying claims quickly so that the claimant will not hire an attorney and make the insurance company pay more in the long run. The unrepresented person is generally not familiar with personal injury law, has no experience negotiating the value of injuries, and therefore does not know what their car accident claim is worth. This all benefits insurance companies.
In the event you and the insurance company cannot reach an agreement, the insurance company generally is not concerned unless a lawyer becomes involved. It is almost always a good idea to at least consult a lawyer before settling your car accident claim.
How do I pay for my medical expenses after a car accident?
First, look to see if your own auto policy has auto medical payments coverage. If you have this coverage, your insurance company will pay your medical bills up to the limit in the policy and then recover the amount from the insurance company of the at fault driver.
You should also look into health care coverage. If you have health care coverage, a similar process will occur. Your health care insurer will pay your medical bills while you are treating with your doctors. At the time of settlement, your attorney will recover your medical bills that were incurred because of the accident from the insurance company of the at fault driver.
Dealing with injuries from an automobile accident can be difficult. And the expenses and possible compensation for those injuries can be quite substantial. While the answers provided above can help as a basic guide, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for advice for your specific case.