Motor vehicle accident law is governed by the law of negligence, meaning that when motorists fail to use “reasonable care” when operating a vehicle, they should be required to pay for any damages caused. If ever you find yourself the plaintiff in a legal claim involving a motor vehicle accident, you’ll want to have a basic understanding of the law as well as some answers to the questions that may be weighing on your mind. It is also important for all motorists to protect themselves and their property with the right insurance plan. Call us for a Free consultation and a free review of your policies
Understanding the Law
Though you may feel you are entitled to compensation, the Courts are required to consider numerous factors before determining whether a driver was negligent. Negligence may include such factors as disobeying traffic signals, failing to signal while turning, driving above or below the speed limit, driving under the influence, and reckless driving. In addition to excessive speeding, reckless driving may also involve excessive lane changing and improper passing, such as passing on the shoulder of the road.
In cases of driving under the influence, the motorist who causes the accident may not be the only person liable for damages. It may be argued that the social or commercial hosts, who allowed the intoxicated individual to drive off of their premises, should also assume liability. A qualified attorney can help sort out who is responsible for compensating you in such complex matters. These are just a few ways to find someone reliable for your injuries.
Common Questions and Answers
If you think you’ve been the victim of a negligent motorist, you may be entitled to recover damages. However, you probably have many questions. Below are some common questions faced by many of today’s accident victims:
– Should I hire an attorney or trust that my insurance company will take care of it?
If you have suffered any kind of injury as a result of an automobile accident, it is important to bear in mind that any insurance company involved is going to want to keep costs to a minimum. The company will most likely promise to pay your property damage and medical costs in exchange for you signing a release form.
While this may seem like an attractive offer, accident victims should know that it is very common for medical symptoms to appear a considerable time after the initial trauma has occurred. Once you sign the insurance company’s release form, however, the matter is considered final however we can still help. If problems arising from the accident should develop, the victim will have no legal right to pursue payment from the insurer. In other words, all additional expenses relating to the accident become the burden of the victim.
An attorney is there to protect your legal rights from the beginning and to ensure that every accident victim receives fair compensation for their pain and suffering. Before signing anything, you should always consult with an attorney so that you can, at least, make an informed decision.
– Will I be able to afford the services of an attorney?
At Haddad Law Offices we do not charge a fee for an initial consultation. In personal injury cases, once you choose representation, the attorney is generally paid on a split contingency basis, which means that the fees will not be paid until a fair settlement or judgment has been obtained from the insurance company and/or any other accountable parties, However, you may choose to hire an attorney per hour to persuit your case. From there, all medical bills and other costs incurred will also be settled in full.
– How long will it take to receive my settlement?
Your attorney will always advise you not to settle your claim until your doctor is certain that your recovery is complete. This is because once you receive your settlement, you will have no recourse to further compensation for symptoms that may develop down the line. It is important to be patient and wait for your doctor’s final report on your condition before beginning negotiations on your claim.
Be Prepared With A “Just In Case” Plan of Action
Unfortunately, many drivers aren’t prepared for unforeseen circumstances like car accidents. The following tips will not only help protect your vehicle; they just may save your life.
- Always carry a cell phone.
- Keep a pen, paper, and disposable camera in the glove compartment for taking notes and pictures at the scene of an accident or use your cellphone camera.
- Have a card on hand that lists all your medical conditions and allergies in the event that you are seriously injured and are unable to communicate with medical personnel.
- When shopping for a new car, be sure to check out its crash test scores with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Remember, it’s not all about comfort and style. Safety should always be one of your main concerns
- Always make sure that your car insurance policy is up to date with payment, do not let your policy expire for non payment.