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Common Factors in Auto Accident Cases

When you have been a victim in an automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The value of your case often depends on a few important factors.  If you have been injured in a car accident, make sure you pay close attention to the following factors to help you get a fair settlement.

1. A Police Report

After an accident, the police officer on the scene is required to fill out a police report.  The information he collects from the scene will be used to fill out the accident report. If you do not talk to the officer, your information will be left off the report. Clients often are surprised to get an accident report where the facts of the accident are different then what really happened. If you are injured in an accident, you and any witnesses must give a statement to the officer.  If you are taken to the hospital by ambulance, you should immediately get in contact with the officer after getting released form the hospital. It is not uncommon for a police officer to fail to talk to drivers or victims taken by ambulance to the hospital. If there is no police report, or your information is not included in the report, expect the other party’s insurance company to deny your claim.

 

2. Liability

Liability plays a major role in determining if you will be compensated in your case.  If you are to recover for injuries in your case, you must prove the other party negligently caused the accident. Without witnesses, it will be hard for you to prove the other party was negligent. If you fail to prove liability, you will not be compensated in your case.

 

3. Medical Treatment

The most frequently asked question to me by my personal injury clients is “How much are my injuries worth?” Many people after an auto accident go home and do not get treatment. If you are injured in an auto accident, and you want to be compensated, you must go to the hospital as soon as possible. Nothing ruins your case more than failing to get the proper medical treatment following an accident, or getting treatment from an unreputable physician or chiropractor. You should immediately get treatment after an accident. Further, you should complete all medical treatment recommended by your doctor. The insurance adjuster is only going to pay what he or she believes is the reasonable and necessary costs of treatment for similar injuries. Make sure to keep a diary of all of your medical treatment.  Save all medical bills, prescriptions and wage loss information.  Your attorney will request copies of your medical records, but keeping any bills you received will make it easier for your attorney to handle your case. Also keep any information you receive from your health insurance company.

 

4. Photographs

You should take pictures of your car, the accident scene and any injuries you sustained after an accident. After the accident, the vehicles will be moved and all of the evidence destroyed. Any cuts, bruises or injuries should be photographed immediately. Photographs and videos of the damaged vehicles and your injuries are important pieces of evidence. Without this evidence, it is hard to show what damages you have suffered in your case.

 

5. Where the Accident Happened

Some cities and counties are better for accident victims. Where you had your accident can have a big impact on what you receive in compensation. The bigger the jury verdicts in your county, the better the settlement offers for out of court settlements. Further, the state you are injured in can make a big difference in whether you can recover underinsured damages in your case. Many drivers carry minimum insurance coverage that could limit your recovery. In some states you cannot recover underinsured coverage if the at fault party has the same limits as you have on your policy. This can cause you to get way less compensation than you would in another state.

 

Many different variables go into determining the value of your auto accident case. Although every case is different, the above factors can either help increase or decrease the value of our case. Make sure to know the factors that can affect your case, and talk to experienced auto accident attorneys in Huntsville AL if you have been injured.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Ferguson & Ferguson for their insight into common factors of auto accidents.

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Steve Harrelson
Steve Harrelson
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