A car accident lawyer can help you get a fair settlement and compensation for damages to your property and injuries after a crash. The right attorney will explain the legal process to make sure you’re on the same page throughout the claim filing and negotiation processes. Understanding the basics of settlements and compensation can help you maximize the compensation you get from your claim. Here are some common FAQs about car accident settlements and compensation:
Who Pays Car Accident Settlements?
The payer is dependent on which state the accident happened in. Some are at-fault states, and others are no-fault states. In at-fault states, the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays car accident settlements. Your lawyer will file a claim and negotiate with the other party’s insurer. If you’re in a no-fault state, you must file a claim with your own insurer. No-fault states require each driver’s insurance company to cover damages and injuries regardless of who is responsible for the accident. Research the type of model your state follows before filing a claim with either insurance company.
Can I Receive Compensation From Parties Other Than Insurance Companies?
In some cases, the at-fault party may be required to compensate you personally. This may happen if you’ve filed a claim with their insurer but haven’t received a fair settlement. Your lawyer can file a negligence lawsuit against the driver to help you secure adequate compensation. If your accident results from faulty equipment, you can receive compensation from your vehicle’s manufacturer. This requires a thorough investigation to prove a defective vehicle component led to the accident. If you’re a victim of drunk driving, you can receive compensation from the establishment responsible for over-serving alcohol to the at-fault driver. This is only an option in states with dram shop laws. Find a reliable car accident lawyer to help navigate your state’s laws to receive fair compensation.
What Happens if I Am Partially at Fault in a Car Accident?
You may be held partially responsible for a rear-end collision if your brake lights are out and the driver behind you hits your car. In such cases, compensation depends on your state’s negligence doctrines. Some states adopt contributory negligence, and others follow pure or modified comparative negligence. Under contributory negligence, a plaintiff may be denied compensation if found to be partially responsible for their accident. In pure comparative negligence states, you can receive full compensation, regardless of fault. Under modified comparative negligence, you can receive compensation, but your share will be reduced according to your share of negligence.
What Does a Car Accident Settlement Cover?
A car accident settlement can cover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages represent verifiable monetary losses like vehicle damages, medical bills, and lost wages resulting from an accident. Non-economic damages cover subjective non-monetary losses like mental and emotional distress, loss of relationships, and loss of enjoyment of life. In some cases, compensation can include punitive damages.
Lawyers don’t typically include punitive damages in car accident claims because they can only be awarded in court. These damages are awarded to punish the wrongdoer for their behavior. A court can only grant them if there’s proof of gross negligence, an intentional disregard for others’ safety, or malice. The definition of gross negligence is subjective from state to state, so there’s a need for a lawyer with an in-depth understanding of your local laws. Your lawyer will need to prove the at-fault driver’s actions exceed standard negligence, as defined by your state’s laws.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident lawyer can help make the recovery process more manageable by fighting for fair compensation. You can focus on your recovery as your attorney files your claim, negotiates with the relevant insurance company, and, if necessary, files a lawsuit. Find an attorney willing to explain the settlement and compensation process so you can understand what to expect. Contact a car accident attorney today to learn more about how they can help you receive compensation after an accident.