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How to Determine if Your Car Accident Injury Claim is Strong Enough

How to Determine if Your Car Accident Injury Claim is Strong Enough

Closeup midsection of a man with broken arm in cast

How to Determine if Your Car Accident Injury Claim is Strong Enough

 

No one expects their loved ones to get into a car accident, but the unexpected happens on the streets every day. Car accident injuries range from minor to fatal. Regardless of the type of injury, many auto accident victims find themselves unable to return to work and go about their daily lives. Once involved in an accident, the next question that arises is “Do I have a case, and how strong is it?”

 

There are three main factors in a personal injury (PI) case; liability, damages, and coverage. If a person’s vehicle is rear-ended, then it becomes a clear liability issue for a PI case. If the accident occurs at an open intersection, the liability factor for the case might not be clear. One of the other factors to consider for a strong case is damages. Many factors have to be considered- like how bad is the person hurt, how much are the medical spends, have any wages been lost or is the injury permanent.

 

The third factor to help determine a strong liability personal injury case is coverage. Normally this involves insurance coverage. How much insurance does the offending person have?

 

Liability in Personal Injury Case

The best way to help your insurance company determine who is at fault or liability is to present your claims with a clear and detailed explanation of the incident. A reasonable argument can be provided with supporting details if you are not at fault.

Any careless behavior that can contribute to a car accident is called negligence. Negligence on your part can reduce your chances of compensation.

 

Contributory Negligence

Under contributory negligence, even if you are partly at fault for the accident, you will not receive payment for a personal injury claim.

 

Comparative Negligence

Under comparative negligence, your compensation can be reduced if you are partly at fault.

  • Pure comparative negligence: You get compensation in proportion to the amount of the accident that was not your fault.
  • Modified comparative fault: You get compensation directly in proportion to the amount of the auto accident that was not your fault, but only if you are found responsible for less than 50% of the accident.

 

Damages in Personal Injury Cases

 

The “damages” in a personal injury case are the cost of your injuries.

 

There are two categories that insurance companies use to determine how much to award a claimant who has sustained an injury related to an auto accident: special damages and general damages.

 

  • Special or Compensatory damages: This refers to the specific valued amounts related to accident-related injuries or loss. They include:
    • Cost of medical care and related expenses
    • Lost wages.
    • Loss of earning capacity.
    • Property loss

 

 

  • General damages: These damages are caused by the emotional and physical stress the victim had to endure. They include:
    • Emotional distress
    • Loss of an extremity
    • Pain and suffering
    • Loss of consortium, if the accident has caused a strain on your relationship
    • Inability to have children as a result of accident-related injuries

 

If the defendant was found especially careless when causing the accident, you may also receive punitive damages, which are intended to hurt the defendant and are imposed by the court.

 

Insurance Coverage for a Personal Injury

Before you seek compensation, you should understand the different types of car insurance that cover personal injury. Whichever one you use will depend on both your policy and the nature of your car accident.

  • The negligent driver’s bodily injury liability coverage applies when the accident was the other driver’s fault.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP), also referred to as “no-fault insurance.” Unlike a liability, PIP insurance will compensate your medical costs, up to the policy’s limits, even if you are found to be at fault.
  • Medical payments coverage, which pays for medical expenses regardless of fault.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which pays your bodily injury expenses if you’ve been: The victim of a hit and run accident or hit by a driver who possesses no insurance or limits that don’t meet your expenses.

 

Be sure to get medical treatment if you are involved in an accident. You’ve either got to get your medical condition resolved or get to the point where the medical treatment you have had is the best improvement you can have or to the point where you reasonably expect a better outcome in the future. A thorough evaluation of all these factors paired with an auto accident attorney’s expertise can help to determine if you have a strong personal injury case. Call The Law Offices of Craig A. Altman at 215-569-4488 to find out how we can help make a strong case for your car accident.

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