Can you file an insurance claim if you are partially at fault for an accident?

accident

Certainly, no one expects to have to paypay for another driver’s mistakes. But, all automobile accidents are traumatic, regardless of who is at fault. 

In 2018, around 40,000 people died in car crashes, and millions more faced injuries. What comes after a car collision is not easy to navigate, alone. 

When a Car Accident Happens

The aftermath of a vehicle wreck is chaotic. The immediate thoughts are not about compensation, much less about needing an attorney at all.

When a vehicle collision happens, specific steps are imperative, regardless of who is at fault or the severity of injuries.

Call 911. It is not only to request an officer to take a report, but it is when you request an ambulance.  It is best to seek a medical transport, even if injuries are only suspect. Often, the rush of adrenaline will mask serious injuries. Medical attention is a priority when involved in an automobile collision.

It is best to exchange insurance information before a law enforcement officer arrives. But, it is crucial not to speak to other drivers outside of documentation.

If possible, it is important to take pictures of the accident and talk to any witnesses or bystanders. 

The safest way to approach the aftermath of a car accident is to contact an attorney immediately after regardless of who is at fault. 

Every step plays a part in the long-term outcome after an accident. 

The Days, Weeks, and Months After

Most vehicle accidents are not over after the initial crash. Medical bills, car repairs, and other expenses will pile up quickly. It is also when having an attorney is not only helpful but imperative.

The task of keeping up with documents such as bills and estimates can seem overwhelming.  What makes it even more stressful is dealing with your insurance company. Cooperate with them, but know there is no obligation to accept any offer they may make. It is ideal to refer to any and all insurance companies to an attorney.

The strain of medical bills is a heavy one. It can be tempting not to go to every doctor’s appointment or skip a prescribed medication. Resist the urge. It is important to follow all doctors’ orders and pass along every receipt and statement to an attorney.

Sharing Fault

Determining fault after an accident is not always a cut and dry situation. It is because not every wreck is the same, including those that involve more than two cars.  Multi-vehicle accidents happen, from fender benders to pile-ups.

Every situation is different, and so is every state’s stance on the subject. Alabama is one of four states that follow the Pure Contributory Negligence Law. It means that a victim of a vehicle collision in Alabama may not qualify for compensation if they bear any blame for the accident. 

However, most other states follow another set of rules for multi-car accidents. A judge or insurance company assigns a percentage of the responsibility of the responsibility. As long as the person filing the lawsuit or claim bears less than 50 percent of the fault, compensation is possible. 

Alabama does have exemptions to its strict interpretation of Pure Contributory Negligence Law. Children that are seven years or younger have the presumption of not negligent, while those between seven and fourteen might bear negligence but are not contributorily negligent. 

People with subjective or mental disabilities are assumed not to be careless. However, evidence can be brought to the judge to argue or refute all presumptions.

Fighting Fault

In Alabama, someone only has to prove that the other person involved in the car accident has one percent of the blame. The defendant’s lawyer and the insurance company will likely argue that you have legal responsibility in the automobile accident.

Having an attorney protects helps to protect against the argument of responsibility. It is their job to present strong evidence of liability and protect people against facing an adverse outcome in court. You have rights, and one of them is the freedom to recover the damages afforded to a victim.

An experienced lawyer advocates for crash victims, and seek fairness. It is that much more critical when it comes to multi-car wrecks.

Attorneys use the abundance of skills in their toolbox in determining fault after an accident. Your legal team performs its own investigation into the collision. It includes gathering eyewitness testimony, request and receive police reports and documents, and finding the best expert witnesses to back up the victim.

The most important part of a lawyer’s role in a claim is their understanding of state laws, the insurance claim process, and how to navigate the court system.

Whether involved in a single-car accident or a multi-car collision, never take on filing an insurance claim regarding injuries, alone. Everyone has rights, and everyone deserves someone to protect them.

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