5 FAQs About Car Accidents
1. What Do I Have to Prove to Win My Car Accident Case?
When you’ve been in a car accident in Atlanta that’s caused by the fault of another party, you maintain the right to bring forth a claim for damages against that party’s insurance. However, it’s important to note that the insurance company won’t be eager to pay out your claim – you’ll need to actually prove that their client (the driver who hit you) was responsible for your accident and that any damages you’re claiming (medical expenses, lost wages, property damage costs, etc.) are a direct result of that accident. While uncommon, if your case goes to court, you’ll have the burden of proving that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care, that the duty of care owed to you was breached, that the breach was the proximate cause of your harm, and that you’ve suffered actual damages as a result. You may also be responsible for proving that your own negligence did not contribute to the accident or your damages in any way. In order to prove all of this, you’ll need various sources of compelling evidence, including the police report, testimony from various excerpts (such as accident reconstruction experts), photographs, vehicle control module data, witnesses’ testimonies, and more.
2. What Happens if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Another question that we frequently hear from those who have been in a car accident is in regards to what happens if the at-fault driver is uninsured. A similar question is, “What happens if I was in a hit-and-run accident?” In both cases, the victim of a crash may feel as though they have no recourse, as the driver either a) cannot be identified or b) doesn’t have insurance to cover the cost of your injuries. When this is the case, there may be some other options available–
First, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company, particularly if you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage pays for your injuries when you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance, or doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for the harm you’ve suffered. You may also have other types of insurance coverage that apply, such as medical payments coverage.
3. The Insurance Adjuster Added Me on Social Media – Should I Accept?
After your accident, you’ll likely interact with the insurance adjuster a number of times. Chances are, they’ll be very nice and friendly – helpful. What’s more, the insurance adjuster may even go so far as to add you as a friend on a social media site, such as Facebook or Instagram. While you may think that this is perfectly innocuous, don’t be so quick to accept; the insurance adjuster may be trying to gather evidence that they can use to reduce the value of your claim. Insurance adjusters are notorious for finding any way to devalue a claim, and your social media account may provide the keys. For example, you may have pictures on your social media site showing you smiling and having a good time; or a check-in at your favorite recreation area. These can be used to tell a jury that you are being untruthful about your injuries, and that you wouldn’t be “smiling” or at a recreation point if your injuries were as truthful as you claim. It is wise to refuse any social media friend requests after an accident and to ensure that your profiles are set to private; better yet, get off social media altogether until your case is settled.
4. What Happens If I Don’t Agree with a Settlement Offer?
You will get a settlement offer at some point in the process – after the insurance company has finished its investigation and you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). You may be eager to receive the settlement, but upon reviewing it realize that it doesn’t fairly compensate you for the harm you’ve suffered. What should you do?
The best strategy for navigating an unfair settlement offer is to bring the offer to an attorney for review. From there, your attorney can work with you to negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement that more fairly compensates you.
5. What Will a Car Accident Attorney Do During My Case?
A car accident attorney is responsible for handling the logistics of your claim and advocating for you throughout the process. This involves conducting an investigation, working with experts, calculating your damages, negotiating your settlement, and more. The outcome of your case may be significantly improved with an attorney on your side.