Filing a claim for damages and injuries after a car accident can be incredibly easy or spectacularly complicated. Many factors play into how much you receive in a claim, who you make a claim with and who was at fault for the accident. Understanding the basics of these questions and how they may affect you personally is the best way to get on the path toward successful compensation. Here are some questions you might want the answers to during your claims process.
Can Your Bills Get Paid If You Were Partially at Fault?
If you were partially at fault for the accident, don’t worry just yet. If you live in a state that has a form of comparative negligence, you can still get compensated for some of your damages. One version of this form of negligence allows you to get compensated based on the percent you are responsible for causing the accident. The other dictates that you must be less than 50% responsible for the accident to make a claim. Check your state laws to see what applies.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
Every state has a different statute of limitations for claims, but you have on average two years to file a claim. You should never wait to file a claim until the last minute, as complications could arise that you’ll want time to deal with before the deadline. The clock starts from the moment the accident happens, and if you miss the deadline, you might not be able to make a claim at all.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
The decision to hire a car accident lawyer, comes down to personal discretion. If you feel overwhelmed or confused by the legalities of your claim, contacting one might be in your best interest. If you feel that your claim is straightforward and you don’t run into any obstacles along the way, then you’re probably fine without a lawyer’s aid. The good news is that lawyers are paid by a contingency fee, which they don’t receive unless they successfully get you compensation.
What Evidence Should You Collect?
After checking if anyone needs emergency aid, get the contact and insurance information from the other driver involved in the crash. Give them your information, too. Take photos of the accident and give your statement to police (but do not admit guilt, just relay the facts as you remember them). Get contact information from witnesses if possible. All of this evidence can help prove who was at fault for the accident, which may determine how much money you receive.