Every day people experience accidents they didn’t anticipate. Once an accident does happen to them, they are forced to deal with it. An accident victim may not realize why the insurance company they’ve faithfully paid premiums to will try to offer as little as possible for their claim. They may not understand why an insurance company wants them to sign documents giving up individual rights in an accident. It’s usually a time when people want to focus on recovering from their injuries and try to put their life back together the way it was before the accident. It’s also a time when accident victims would experience quite a few benefits from having a personal injury attorney work to protect their interests.
It’s possible for an individual not to know or understand the value of their case. They may not ultimately realize what can be paid to them as a cause of their accident. It’s more than knowing a dollar amount for property damage and medical bills. A person also needs to know what a disaster has cost them regarding lost wages as well as mentally and emotionally.
Most of the damages an individual can be paid for are considered compensatory. They are designed to compensate an injured person for what they lost as a result of the accident. It is a way to try and make a plaintiff whole monetarily. There are compensatory damages that are easy to assign a dollar amount. This includes medical bills as well as property damage. It will take a trained attorney to know how to put a dollar amount on pain and suffering correctly. An accident could also result in the loss of future earnings and require medical care far into the future.
The cause of a person’s accident may be gregarious or utterly careless, and a jury may award a plaintiff punitive damages. The goal of this type of award is to punish a defendant for their negligent behavior. It is designed to have an impact on a defendant’s finances. Punitive damages are intended to act as a deterrent to others who may behave the same way as the respondent. Most states do have a cap on some punitive damages that can be awarded. This type of award will be given to a plaintiff in addition to any compensatory award. An experienced attorney will know the kind of situation where it would be appropriate to seek punitive damages.
There are many laws that cover comparative negligence in an accident. This makes it possible for individuals who have been injured in an accident to recover compensation even if they are partly at fault for the crash. Depending on the degree of misconduct, it could impact a person’s ability to recover for all damages. In some cases, they may not be able to obtain any compensation at all. It is possible in many situations for a plaintiff to recover for damages if they were less negligent than the defendant.
Correctly Handling An Accident
MOVE TO SAFETY
After an accident occurs, it is important for a person to feel safe as soon as possible. If it is a car crash, a person needs to move to the shoulder of the road and get away from traffic. If it’s another type of accident, and a person is not severely injured, they need to make their way to a safe location.
CHECK ON OTHERS
If there are others involved in the accident, and a person can check on them, this needs to be done. When anyone is injured, first aid needs to be administered. It’s time to call 911 and get help as soon as possible. Even minor symptoms experienced after an accident (such as dizziness) need to be checked by a medical professional.
NOTIFY LAW ENFORCEMENT
When police officers show up at an accident, the accident report they provide is essential when dealing with a car insurance company. A person should cooperate with law enforcement. They should never admit to fault or blame another person at the scene of an accident. It is best to let the police gather evidence and objectively record the accident scene. Law enforcement may provide their opinion on who was at fault for the crash. Police reports have been wrong and may be able to be corrected.
After a vehicle accident, it is essential to obtain as much information as possible. Getting the names of the driver and passengers involved in the accident is important. License plate numbers are also significant for the crash file. Ask for insurance information. Try to record the make and model of vehicles that were involved in the accident. Mark the location of the accident and get contact information for all eyewitnesses.
It’s important for accident victims to obtain any incident or accident reports provided by law enforcement. It’s also important to get any reports filed by other drivers to help with a claim. This will be a good time to speak with an experienced attorney. They will know what to do when it comes to handling an insurance company.
It is important to document as many things as possible about the accident. An individual needs to write down every detail they can remember regarding the crash. The names of any insurance investigator as well as law enforcement officers examining the accident need to be recorded. Keep records of the dates, times and names of individuals spoken to at an insurance company. Record a short description of any type of conversation that takes place. Maintain a record of any expenses involving an accident such as parking, repair, transportation and more.
Unless someone is experienced with insurance law, they may find dealing directly with an insurance company a bit confusing. This is a situation where an accident victim needs someone on their side who knows the law. A legal professional who understands the process and can help guide them toward the fair settlement they deserve. Law Offices of Vastola & Associates. can help you throughout the entire process.