How Wrongful Death Claims WorkJune 26, 2023
How to Win a Custody Battle Without Losing Your MindJune 26, 2023
Car accidents can be a distressing experience, often leaving those affected uncertain about their rights and responsibilities. Amid the chaos, people may rely on myths and incomplete information about car accident laws, leading to mistakes that impact their claims or lawsuits.
To help navigate this complex situation with clarity, we’ve debunked some of the most common misunderstandings about accident laws. These facts will help you get the legal help you need.
1. Car insurance will cover all my expenses following an accident.
While car insurance can help, it’s important to understand that there may be limits to your coverage. For example, if you exceed your policy limits or don’t have the necessary coverage, you could be responsible for some or all of the costs involved unless you sue the other party.
2. I didn’t feel pain right away, so I must not be injured.
Injuries from car accidents might not always manifest immediately after the incident. It’s crucial to seek medical attention even if you don’t feel immediate pain, as injuries may surface days or weeks later. Not seeking timely care could also negatively impact any potential legal claims.
3. The other driver was at fault, so I don’t need a lawyer.
Even if the other driver seems obviously at fault, working with a knowledgeable attorney can improve your chances of receiving fair compensation for damages. Experienced lawyers know how to navigate through the complexities of insurance companies and legal processes.
4. I don’t need a local lawyer to manage my case (i.e, if my accident happened in NC, I don’t need a lawyer barred in NC).
You can’t just hire any old lawyer to work your case. In fact, you need a local talent who’s familiar with traffic laws and regulations in the state where you had your accident. For example, Jason E. Taylor’s law offices in Charlotte could help you navigate North Carolina jurisdictions.
5. I can only sue for medical expenses and vehicle repair costs.
While these are common damages sought in car accident lawsuits, they’re not the only types possible. You may also be able to claim non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium (companionship), emotional distress, and lost wages due to time off work.
6. If I admit partial responsibility, I won’t receive compensation.
Some jurisdictions (including North Carolina) follow what is known as comparative negligence laws. If you are partially at fault for an accident but still less liable than another party involved in the incident, you might still receive compensation from them based on their proportion of liability.
7. My insurance rate will automatically increase after an accident.
While it’s true that many insurance companies increase premiums following accidents where policyholders are found at fault, this is not always universally true. Sometimes, if you have a clean driving record or have maintained loyalty to the insurer, your rates won’t change.
8. Hit-and-run drivers can’t be held accountable for damages.
That’s only true if you don’t get caught, but it’s a bad idea to take that chance. Although tracking down hit-and-run drivers may prove challenging, law enforcement and insurance investigators often succeed in identifying them. And if you’re caught, you could be facing serious jail time.
9. I must accept the first settlement offer from insurance.
Don’t fall into the trap of blindly accepting the first offer presented by an insurance company. Remember that they’re looking out for their own profit margins and might make lowball offers initially. Always consult with a skilled attorney before accepting any deal you receive.
10. I have plenty of time to file a car accident claim.
In most jurisdictions, there is a strict statute of limitations for filing, which is usually about two years from the date of the accident. But by waiting too long, you could miss out on your opportunity to seek compensation for damages and injuries incurred during the incident.
11. I don’t need witnesses if I can reconstruct what happened.
While having witnesses who can corroborate your version of events is undoubtedly helpful in any car accident claim, don’t rely on their testimony for evidence. Employing professionals who can reconstruct what happened through visual aids can provide additional support to your case.
Understanding the truth behind accident laws is crucial to protecting your rights and ensuring fair compensation for any damages and injuries. By debunking these common misconceptions, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions during such an overwhelming ordeal.