Commonly Asked Car Accident Questions & Answers
1. Do I need to see a doctor if I don’t feel that I was hurt in the car accident?
It would be highly advisable for you and other occupants in the car to see a doctor following an accident. Not all injuries are readily apparent. When you have a complete physical check-up, a doctor may detect injuries that are not immediately apparent to you. Some of these injuries may be serious. These medical costs are usually covered by insurance. Remember, a number of injuries (back injuries, internal injuries, whiplash and neck injuries) usually do not fully present until days after the crash.
2. What is a personal injury claim?
When a person suffers injuries and/or property damage as well as other types of damage in a car accident caused by a third party, he or she might file a civil lawsuit that seeks to recover monetary compensation. That is what is known as a personal injury claim. These claims are filed through the party that is at fault or through the at-fault party’s insurance company. In either case, if you are injured in an auto accident, it is in your best interest to file a personal injury claim. It is though such claims that victims manage to have their rights upheld and are made “whole” by obtaining financial compensation that will help them to deal with the losses associated with the accident.
3. Do I need an attorney after being injured in an auto accident?
The answer can be either yes or no. It will all depend on the circumstances of your accident. In most cases, however, car accident victims will benefit greatly if they can at least consult with an attorney. At Bernard Law Group, we often talk to car accident victims who end up not needing the representation of a lawyer. Unfortunately, many of those who do not reach out to consult with an attorney end up being those who could really benefit from their expertise.
Due to the intricate issues regarding insurance coverage, how bills are paid, and how severe an injury can be, many victims will have to deal with a series of legal problems that are not easy to solve. In those cases, contacting a qualified firm is the best way to find out if you actually need an attorney.
If you contact a firm that will give you a free consultation, you will be able to have your questions answered quickly. This will give you the peace of mind you need. If you end up needing an attorney but do not get one, you might not obtain proper compensation.
4. Can I recover damages even if I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time of my accident?
In some states, not wearing a seatbelt can reduce or even negate any potential compensation for damages. This is based on the idea that people suffer more severe injuries when they don’t wear a seatbelt. In such cases, it is best to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney who will advise you about the law in your state and who will fight for your legal rights.
5. Will a car accident raise my insurance premiums?
Maybe. It depends on whether you are at fault.
In Washington state, insurance companies cannot raise your rates if you were not at fault in any way. But if the accident is your fault, the crash might affect your premiums. In any case, insurance companies have different policies so rate changes can also vary depending on the firm in question.
6. Will my personal injury claim always go to court?
A majority of injury claim cases do not go to court. They are usually settled out of court with an insurance company. However, if you are not satisfied with the settlement offered, and if you believe your claim is worth more, then your case will go to trial. Your injury claim could go to court for these two reasons. If you aren’t satisfied with the settlement you will go to court. If you believe your injury claim is worth more than the offer then your case will go to trial. An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to advise you on the best strategies in your case.
7. What types of damages can be recovered in a car accident claim in Washington state?
In Washington state, victims of car accidents can file personal injury claims to recover losses that might include costly medical treatment, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
A claim can be settled between the involved parties or might have to proceed to trial, where a jury will determine the value of these damages based on the facts of the case.
Damages include any losses the victim has incurred sue to the accident. They include:
- Medical bills: any medical treatment associated with the injuries caused by the accident will require payment. The money the victim has, is, or will be spending on these treatments can be recovered in a personal injury settlement.
- Property damage: if your vehicle or other personal items were damaged as a result of the accident, you can also obtain compensation.
- Lost wages: after dealing with personal injury and loss of property, victims of car accident in Seattle or surrounding region may be forced to miss time from work. If this is your case, you can be compensated for the time you missed.
- Loss of essential services: if an injury caused by the accident keeps you from performing your daily activities, you can also recover damages.
- Additional expenses: if you have to pay out-of-pocket for certain tasks after the accident, you might also be entitled to compensation.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, there are many types of damage that might be recoverable. You might benefit from consulting with an attorney if you were injured in a Seattle car accident.
8. What information should I release to another driver’s insurance adjuster?
You should not release any information to another driver’s insurance adjuster, especially sensitive medical records. In fact, you would be well-advised not to talk to an insurance adjuster, sign any papers, or enter into settlements prematurely without talking to your own attorney. If you allow medical and other information to get into the insurance adjuster’s hands, your case could be in serious jeopardy.
9. Should I admit fault if I believe I was to blame for the accident?
Never admit fault under any circumstances, even if you may believe that you are to blame. You are not in the best position to evaluate the cause of the accident. Many factors play a part in an accident such as defective automobiles, dangerous roadways, another driver’s impairment, distraction or negligence, and even malfunctioning traffic lights. Admitting blame is dangerous because your statements may be used against you in court. Find an accident attorney near you before you say anything!
10. How do I know if I have a case against the automaker?
In some cases, serious injuries may occur as a result of defective automobile manufacturing. These instances may include, but are not limited to, tire defects, airbag failure, seat back failure or even seatbelt malfunction. It is best to consult an experienced legal firm with adequate resources and access to experts to determine the validity of your case. Your vehicle must be preserved intact so an expert can thoroughly examine it for any evidence of product defects or malfunctions.