Common Questions about Car Accidents
The Most Frequenting Asked Questions People have about Car Accidents
I rear-ended a car, am I at fault?
Typically, if you are rear ended it is not your fault if the car behind you hits you. Regardless of what made you stop. If you rear end someone there are sometimes mitigating factors that need to be considered and you should consult a lawyer before admitting fault for the accident.
I was in a car wreck, and I was injured but I wasn’t wearing my seat belt, is there any way I can still win my claim?
Not wearing your seat belt can affect your ability to recover for your injuries, however state laws vary from state to state so you will only know the effects on your case if you consult with a lawyer with experience in traffic accident cases. In some cases, not wearing your seat belt can prohibit you from winning a claim and in some cases, it will reduce the amount you can recover.
I do I know if I’m legally at fault after a car wreck?
So many times, an accident is the result of many contributing factors, so it is hard to know who is liable and for what damages. In addition, traffic laws and rules vary from state to state so only a trained lawyer will be able to really evaluate your case and give you an idea of what liability, if any, you have for the accident. Sometimes it’s easy to know, the person runs a red light and traffic camera catches it on video and other times witnesses and the people involved in the accident have conflicting stories about what happened.
If you are involved in an accident you should immediately call the police and make sure you explain to them what happened from your perspective.
I was in a car wreck, what should I do?
You should immediately call the police, make a police report, and gather contact information for everyone involved in the accident, including witnesses. Write down everyone’s names, addresses, phone numbers, license plates, and insurance information. Take picture of your car, the other cars involved, and the surrounding area. You want to try and document the scene of the accident in pictures. Ask for a copy of the police report. Sometimes you can get a copy right there at the scene and other times you will have to get a copy a few days after.
As soon as you can sit down and write down every detail of the wreck you can remember. As time goes by you will forget little details so you want to do this when it is fresh in your mind.
Also document how you are feeling and your injuries every day starting on the day of the accident. Many times, you will feel worse two days or more after the accident so keeping notes will help you remember later how you felt afterwards. Keep a log of any time you have to take off work or activities you can’t participate in because of your injuries. If you have any questions about the compensation you are entitled to as a result of the accident contact an attorney who is knowledgeably about accident cases and schedule a consultation.
Should I file a claim after a car accident for personal injuries?
This is a very fact dependent question. Factors that will determine whether a personal injury case makes sense for you include your insurance coverage, the other drivers involved insurance coverage, the assets of any of the at-fault drivers, and the states laws that govern liability and auto accidents in your state. If you have questions about whether you should pursue a personal injury claim you should contact a professional accident attorney in your area.
I really do not think I’m injured; do I still need to see a doctor?
Yes, this is the hardest thing to explain to people but yes you should see a doctor immediately after being involved in any sort of motorized vehicle accident. So many injuries are not visible to the victim and some injuries can take days or even weeks to manifest. Because so many states have laws that limit victims if they do not timely seek medical attention. It is also important to never settle your claim with an insurance company before you know the full extent of your potential injuries.
I was injured in an accident involving a truck, what do I do next?
After being involved in a truck accident it is important to set up a consultation with an attorney who is experienced in handling truck accident cases. Truck accident cases are generally more complicated than car accident cases because multiple insurance policies may have to be evaluated and most likely there are multiple parties involved. Additionally, the injuries after a truck accident are usually more serious and usually take longer to heal from.
Also, many times with truck accidents the parties have to consider whether a faulty truck part or manufacturer’s defect contributed to the accident. When looking for a lawyer to handle your truck accident you should specifically ask them about their experience with truck accidents.
Most lawyers who handle truck accident cases will do a free consultation to discuss your case, so you have nothing to lose by scheduling a consultation with an experienced attorney today.
Is the accident automatically my fault because I was turning left?
Generally, if you were turning left and there wasn’t a left turn green arrow there is a decent chance that you will be sited for the accident. However, there are some exception based on the state you live in. You should never admit to fault while still being truthful in questioned by the police. Because you could potential have to deal with excess judgments in excess of your policy limits it is very important that you speak to an experienced accident lawyer before discussing the case with anyone other than the police officer who came to the scene of the accident.
Proving that one of the legally available exceptions to the rule may be difficulty and your lawyer may need to gather evidence beyond what was initially available at the scene. For instance, your lawyer may be able to talk to one of the witnesses who saw the other car run a red light when you were turning left. An experienced lawyer will know and understand the law and will also know the best way to find any evidence that will potentially negate any liability you may face.
Is there ever a time I should admit the accident was my fault?
In the moment many people will be overcome with emotion and may feel the accident was there fault even when it wasn’t. However, those admission can be used against you even after you realize that the accident wasn’t your fault. It is never a good idea to admit fault in the heat of the moment. You really need to sit down and have a consultation with a qualified accident lawyer and let him or her go over the case with you before you make any judgements about who’s at fault. Many times, there are many contributing factors to an accident and it is better to get all the facts before making any admissions that could potentially mint your ability to recover your damages.
I ran into a car with my bike, who’s to blame?
Most of the states in the United States consider a bicycle a vehicle that has to follow all the same rules and laws as a motorized vehicle. That means someone on a bike doesn’t have any special right of way, but it also means other drivers should treat them as a car and they don’t. If you have been hit by a car while you were riding your bike you should contact an attorney who has experience with bicycle personal injury cases. Who is at fact will largely depend on the specific facts or your case. Did the other driver fail to yield or run a light they are most likely liable? If the person on the bike failed to stop at a stop sign or red light they are most likely liable. In many bike cases several contributing factors could have resulted in the accident.
Does it take a long to settle a claim after a car accident?
This will largely depend on the extent of the injuries, damages, and how many parties and insurance companies are involved. Also, if the cause of the accident is undisputed it is usually easier and quicker to get the case settled but this very much fact specific so speaking to a qualified lawyer will be the best way to analyze the settlement potential of your claim.
I was in a minor car accident; do we have to call the police?
The police should be called to the scene of any car accident where there is property damage, personal injury and especially death. Police are responsible for writing a traffic report and ensuring that all parties involved receive proper medical care.
I was drinking before the car accident, how serious is a DUI?
DUI are serious offenses and, in some states, can land a person in jail for many years. If there is any allegation that you were DUI and were involved in an accident you need to contact an experienced DUI accident attorney immediately. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first offense or not, DUIs are nothing to try and handle yourself. A professional DUI accident lawyer will be able to meet with you and discuss the particulars of your case. D
In convicted of a DUI an offender could receive probation, fines, mandatory DUI classes, having their license suspended or revoked, and in some states, they could even face significant jail time.
Is it illegal to have an open container of alcohol in my car even if I wasn’t drunk?
State laws vary so it is imperative that you speak to a qualified DUI attorney in your state if you were driving with an open container. Some states treat passengers with open containers totally different that drivers with an open container. Because state laws are all differently and there are potential criminal consequences for an open container it is best to speak to a lawyer in your area immediately after an accident involving an open container.