Do You Have a Car Accident Personal Injury Claim? 5 Factors That Determine You Do
In the aftermath of a car accident, you have a lot to take care of. You may need to repair or replace your vehicle, find alternate transportation for work and daily errands, and file a claim with your insurance company. If you have injuries, your duties become even more complex because you must also seek and pay for medical care.
During this period, people in your life may suggest that you submit a personal injury claim. However, not every car accident warrants a personal injury claim under the law.
So how do you know if you should talk to a lawyer about filing a personal injury claim after your accident? In this blog, we list five characteristics of a car accident personal injury claim.
1. You Sustained Injuries
Car collisions can cause many types of damage, including property damage and injury. Under the law, these damages only qualify as personal injury if they damaged your body, mind, or emotional state.
For example, a spinal injury or PTSD would qualify as a personal injury, but a bent vehicle frame would,generally not.
If you sustained injuries in the accident, be sure to seek medical care and keep a record of the treatment and diagnoses you receive.
2. You Have Recoverable Damages
The purpose of a personal injury claim is to seek recoverable damages after a personal injury. Recoverable damages can be monetary, such as hospital bills, or non-economic, such as reduced quality of life.
However, in order for a damage to be "recoverable," it should be a damage that can be remedied or alleviated by a monetary settlement.
In some cases, a settlement cannot fully compensate for damages incurred, such as in cases of permanent injury. But you can consider physical pain, medical bills, and lost wages or earnings as potential recoverable damages.
3. You Were Injured By a Second Party
Personal injury claims are based on a key fact, which is, namely, that your injury was the result of the wrongful actions of a second party. In auto accident cases, the second party is almost always a driver.
Often, personal injury claims have more validity when the second party was impaired or distracted.
4. The Injury Resulted From Negligence of the Second Party
In some situations, you accept a certain risk of injury. In personal injury claims, however, part of your assertion is that the second party had a responsibility to prevent the injury that occurred but recklessly or negligently failed to do so.
Common personal injury situations include the following:
- The driver allowed a distraction, such as a phone conversation, to affect his or her driving
- The driver failed to perform basic driving functions, such as checking his or her blind spot when merging
- The driver was impaired due to drugs or alcohol
- The driver willfully broke the law by speeding, running a red light, or performing another dangerous maneuver
This negligent or wrongful action is part of what entitles you to compensation and must, therefore, be proven in your claim.
5. You Have Not Received Adequate Compensation
The second party's insurance should compensate you for your recoverable damages, including property damage. However, in some cases, the insurer fails to pay out an adequate amount based on the injuries you received.
If you have not received compensation or the settlement did not adequately cover your injuries, this may factor into your claim.
If your situation has some or all of these characteristics, seek an attorney's help in filing a personal injury claim.
Learn more about car accident personal injury claims and how the attorneys at Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC can help on our auto accidents