In a car accident, it can be difficult to know who hit who. Even if you were entangled in the accident, it may not be clear which vehicle was at fault. There are many factors that go into determining liability and sometimes insurance companies will need to investigate further before they decide as to who is responsible for damages in a car accident.
This post explores some of those factors and offers tips on how you can better understand responsibility in an accident.
Unfortunately, we cannot give an exact time frame on how long your case is going to take. Some cases can resolve within 6 months, while others may take years. Every case is different and is dependent on the severity of your injuries, your treatment, the available insurance coverage, and of how willing the insurance carriers are to negotiate. Once you’ve concluded treatment and we have prepared a demand on your behalf, we will be able to a gage a better time frame. Generally, car crash cases are usually resolved within a year. Fall cases and premises liability cases usually take over a year to resolve.
Typically, the property damage claim (repairs to the vehicle, rental car, etc.) is handled by the client and the insurance carrier. However, we are more than happy to help assist you with making the process smoother. If your vehicle has been taken to a tow yard, it is important to mitigate your own damages and get the vehicle removed to another location, such as your residence, so that it is not incurring daily fees. If you have collision coverage on your own insurance policy, you have the option of paying your deductible and getting your repairs handled through them. If you choose to go through your own insurance carrier for the repairs, once the body shop has repaired your vehicle, your insurance carrier will pay the body shop and then subrogate the total amount, including your deductible, from the third-party insurance carrier. If you choose not to go through your own insurance carrier for repairs or you do not have collision coverage, you will have to wait until the third-party finalizes their liability investigation for them to handle the property damage. They have 30 days from the time of the crash to conduct their own investigation and accept/deny/determine liability. Once concluded and they have decided as to who is liable, they will be in contact with you to resolve your property damage claim. As always, we are here to answer any questions and to help guide you in this process.
What happens if I lose my job as a result of my injuries?
In addition to your bodily injuries and property damage, we can also submit a claim for lost wages on your behalf. For us to properly submit this claim, we strongly advise you keep close documentation of any and all days missed and provide us with any related termination or wage loss documents. Please be advised that wage loss damages are taxable damages (medical bills and pain and suffering are not taxable damages).
Typically, the auto insurance companies base their offer on the current market value of your vehicle. Often time, they will research to see the last 4 vehicles sold in your county that are the same/similar in make/model/mileage and then take the average of them. If the amount they are offering, minus tow yard expenses, is within the Kelly Blue Book value of your vehicle, then the offer is typically fair. Should you have any questions regarding the value of your vehicle, we will be more than happy to look at their offer amount and provide our opinion.