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Guide to road traffic crash claims

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Even with an array of advanced safety features onboard, thousands of people are swept up in car collisions every day in the U.S. Those who suffer injuries during these road traffic crashes can be entitled to compensation, but only when they are obtained through a claim.

However, pursuing these claims can be downright challenging. This is precisely why the following tips for recovering damages from a traffic crash are so significant.

Steps to take after a car crash

Move to a safe area

If you can stop your vehicle, and move to a safe area where you can examine yourself for injuries, always do so. Otherwise, stay in your vehicle until the police or the ambulance arrives.

Call the authorities

Oftentimes, the onboard tech will notify the police that you have been in a collision. However, not all trucks or SUVs can automatically respond to a crash and notify the authorities. In that case, you should contact the police on your own after moving to a safe area.

Document the scene

If you can do so, take videos and pictures of the damage caused by the accident and the surrounding environment. Be sure to get the contact information of the driver(s) involved and any witnesses as well.

Notify your insurance provider

Notify your insurance company of any bodily injuries or vehicle damage. However, do not agree to any compensation until you consult an attorney.

Contact an attorney

After notifying your insurance provider, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and interests post-incident.

Establishing liability

To recover compensation, you should be able to prove the fault of the other party involved in the collision. Every driver carries this responsibility toward other vehicle operators.

Liability is established when the other driver fails to provide a reasonable duty of care. To establish liability, you must be able to submit evidence, such as photographs of the crash scene, medical reports, police reports, witness statements, and traffic citations. This is why many drivers opt for the assistance of an attorney to determine liability.

Calculating your economic and non-economic damages

Compensation awarded in a traffic crash claim can include economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages refer to the injured person’s financial losses from the incident, such as medical bills, vehicle or property damage, and lost wages.

The noneconomic damages suffered in a car crash can be more difficult to determine. These damages, also known as “pain and suffering,” include mental anguish, disability, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Noneconomic damages can be more difficult to calculate than economic damages but are usually higher than economic damages.

Factors that influence road traffic collision claims

Negligence laws

Most states follow a comparative negligence law, and according to this law, the fault of both parties is calculated in the incident. Therefore, the compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault in the crash. However, in some cases, if the claimant is more than 50% at fault, they can be barred from obtaining any compensation.

Economic damages

You can only obtain compensation if the verifiable costs are supported by evidence. For instance, if you want to reimburse medical bills, your injuries must be verified through medical records that match up with the damages inflicted during the collision.

Extent of injuries

Your injuries play an important role in determining how much compensation you should receive. If you only suffered mild injuries, it could result in a much lower payout. However, if your injuries are severe and disabling, a higher payout is far more likely.

Insurance policy limits

Some drivers choose only to carry the minimum insurance required by their state. However, in the event of serious injuries, minimum liability insurance is not enough to cover most expenses. If the at-fault driver does not have adequate insurance or any insurance, you must file a first-party claim with your insurance provider.

How long will the claim process take?

A traffic crash claim can take a couple of weeks to several months to complete. This timeframe depends heavily on how severe your injuries are and whether the at-fault party accepts responsibility for the collision. For example, if you sustain minor injuries in a traffic crash and the other party admits their fault, the claim could be settled within a few weeks. But your claim can take longer to settle if the case is disputed, as you need to prove the other driver’s fault.

Experienced attorneys for auto accidents can guide you on how to get maximum compensation for your suffering and help expedite this process. They can also help you establish liability for the collision and calculate the damages you can recover.

While many car collision claims are often settled outside the courtroom, you can take your case to court via a lawsuit if the other party is unwilling to admit fault. In this sort of circumstance, it is probably best to call 1-800-Injured so that you can have an attorney and medical referral service on file.

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