A personal injury can come about from an accident at work or a car wreck. Who is at-fault for the accident determines whose insurance pays for those harmed or injured. Submitting a claim with another person’s insurance company can be a tedious, strenuous option, so it helps to fully understand what you’re getting into before you begin, as a personal injury lawyer, can explain. These are the top questions surrounding personal injury claims that can help you make an educated decision about proceeding with your own.
1. What Should You Do After the Accident?
There are a few key things to do immediately after an accident has occurred. First, check that you and everyone else is unharmed. If they are, seek medical attention immediately. Call the police. After the excitement has calmed down, collect evidence that you can use to prove the events of the accident later. This includes taking pictures of the accident, getting the other person’s contact and insurance information, requesting a copy of the police report, jotting down personal notes of the accident and taking any witness statements.
2. What If I Am Partially At-Fault?
This depends heavily on what state you live in. State laws can be broken down into the following categories:
- No-fault: you can only submit a claim to your own insurance
- Contributory: if you were partially at-fault, you may not be able to get any compensation from the other negligent party’s insurance
- Comparative: you will receive a payment that reflects the percentage at which you were responsible for the accident
- Modified comparative: a mix of contributory and comparative where you may receive payment only when you are less than 50% responsible for the accident
Knowing your state’s laws can be helpful in understanding the scope of fault as it relates to your case.
3. What Is the Average Settlement Amount?
Predicting an exact amount for your case is incredibly difficult. There is no one set amount for each case. The amount will likely be close to what you’ve paid for medical bills, damages and other costs that resulted from the accident. The average amount ranges from $3,000 to $75,000.
4. Should You Hire an Attorney?
Your case may be simple enough that you do not need a lawyer’s assistance in filing a claim. Other cases that are more complex, involve more money or run into difficulties with proving fault can all benefit from a lawyer’s services. If you aren’t sure your case applies, try reaching out to one anyway to see where it goes.