Understanding Car Accident Claims

Don't Lessen Your Compensation

by Lois Gibson

If you've suffered injuries as the result of another driver you are entitled to compensation. The amount can vary and a great deal depends on things like the severity of your injuries and the skills of your personal injury attorney. There are also a few issues that might lessen your compensation that can be directly traced to your actions during or after the accident. Getting everything you deserve is vital when you are facing medical bills, a wrecked car and time missed from work. Read on and find out more about the ways in which you can affect how much you get in money damages.

Who is Liable for the Damages?

There is no such thing as a "no-fault" accident and the driver that caused the wreck is responsible for paying the damages. Accidents, however, are not always simple and the fault can sometimes be attributed to more than one driver's actions.

Take this example: You are making a right turn at an intersection where the light is green. You are hit by a driver who has ignored their red light so the fault for the wreck is primarily with the other driver. You, however, failed to observe the yield sign thinking that the green light would allow safe turning. Both of you are at fault though it is mostly the fault of the red-light-runner. The courts might decide that the other driver is 85% at fault and you are 15% at fault for the accident. This is known as comparative damages and can affect your total compensation amount.

Contributory Negligence

Taking the above example, there are a handful of states that follow a slightly different rule of law in that regard. If you are shown to have contributed to the accident in any way, even if only 5%, you have no right to seek damages. In these states, you will need legal help to ensure that you can seek damages when the other side claims that your actions contributed to the wreck.

Did You Seek Medical Treatment?

Not only is it important to get yourself checked out by a doctor after an accident, failure to do so could place your claim in jeopardy. If you fail to seek medical help and your injury is made worse by your failure to act then you may be barred from seeking damages or have the compensation reduced considerably. Even minor accidents can produce unexpectedly severe damage and it might be hidden from you but not from a medical doctor. See a doctor and don't hesitate to seek help even if it's been a day or so after the wreck. You might be saving your health and your chances for compensation.

Speak to an experienced injury lawyer to learn more.