Individuals involved in a car accident deserve compensation for their injuries and damages. However, they may not know how this compensation amount is determined. Certain factors play a role in the amount received, including those outlined below.
Every person on the road should have car insurance in place to protect themselves and other drivers. A person might assume this means they are protected if they are involved in a car accident. However, any claims filed as a result of an accident will only be paid up to the limits of the policy. If the policy does not cover the full amount, the responsible party then becomes liable for any difference.
For this reason, understanding your policy limits is crucial. In addition, a person should review these policy limits regularly. This ensures they won’t find themselves liable for any injuries a person sustains if they are in an accident. With adequate coverage, the individual should find they are protected and the victim’s bills are covered.
Who is at Fault?
When one person is solely responsible for an accident, any victims should be able to recover the cost of all damages associated with the incident. However, certain states allow for both parties to share blame in an accident. For example, Georgia law states that any individual responsible for over 49 percent of a collision may not seek compensation.
If a person is not responsible for 50 percent of the crash or more, they may seek compensation. However, the amount of compensation they will receive decreases by their liability in the incident. How does this work?
A person is found to be 25 percent responsible for an accident. Their damages totaled $40,000. The individual could seek compensation from the responsible parties, but this compensation would decrease by 25 percent. Therefore, the victim could only receive 75 percent of the damages or $30,000.
Prompt Medical Care
Insurance companies strive to pay the least amount possible for an accident claim and use a variety of techniques to achieve this goal. For example, if a person does not visit the doctor immediately following the car accident, the insurance company will try to attribute any injuries the individual sustained to another cause.
By visiting a doctor immediately following the accident, the victim shows what was caused by the accident. The doctor who sees the victim can determine whether the injuries were recent. In addition, the medical records document the care received and show the patient’s recovery process. The medical records become part of the case file, which allows the other parties to review them and see the care received following the incident.
Statements Made to Others
Insurance companies look at all statements made by a victim to find any discrepancies. They then use these discrepancies to show the victim isn’t injured to the extent they claim. For instance, if an insurance company representative calls the victim of a car accident, they may ask how the victim is. When the victim responds with the standard answer of good, the insurance company then uses this to say the injuries aren’t bad.
If the person is good, they cannot be seriously harmed, according to the insurance company. Simple statements can do significant damage to a claim. For this reason, the victim should retain an attorney and let the attorney handle all communications with other parties.
Speak to an attorney to protect your interests following a car accident. Individuals who do so find it easier to obtain the compensation they deserve. Make this call today, as most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. Victims have nothing to lose when this is the case.