Basic Accident Legal Information
What to do if your are in a Car Accident
Car accidents involve the unique provisions of Insurance Law. It is important to know your legal rights and contact a lawyer if you have been seriously injured in a car accident.
Your insurance company will need information to grant you your benefits, you need to immediately notify the company of a potential underinsured or uninsured motorist claim or those benefits could be lost. Additionally, often your own insurance policy may cover an accident which did not even involve your vehicle. You will need to consider and assess the coverage of several policies, including that of the Defendant.
Knowledge of insurance is of particular value to passengers who are injured in others' vehicles. A proper insurance analysis for your case will involve consideration of several policies, covering not only medical bills and lost wages, but ultimate coverage for residual damages, disability, past and future lost earnings, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of quality of life. Most often, some combination of insurance benefits is employed to best suit your case.
It is imperative that car accident victims understand that the other driver's insurance company, as well as your company may have interests that are adverse to your own. You should not speak to any representative from any insurance company without first consulting with an attorney.
Once the case has been accepted by an attorney, the lawyer will take steps which will help prove liability (who was at fault) and maximize your results. First, the lawyer moves to "freeze" and preserve the evidence which may disappear in time. This evidence may include photographs of damage to the vehicles, roadway conditions and skid marks, as well as witness statements.
As the case proceeds, lawyers will conduct discovery in order to compel information from the opposition. During this time, the lawyer should make sure that you have the best medical treatment possible and properly document your injuries and their effect on your life. Just winning the case is only half the battle. After all, a victory is more like a loss when the recovery is small. Many don't realize that in a personal injury lawsuit, you have a right to recover for damages that have taken place, as well as those which will affect you in five, ten, or even twenty years.
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