While there is no specific guideline or deadline as to when you have to hire an accident injury attorney, especially after a car accident injury, it is very important to engage the services of a accident injury lawyer shortly after the accident. You do not want to go without counsel during any part of the process and you can usually hire a lawyer on a contingency basis. Chances are strong that there are going to be have to be conversations with your lawyer regarding your medical bills and your property damage. Your accident injury lawyer and accident injury law firm will make sure that the medical bills are paid and that the property damage claim to your vehicle is paid in a timely fashion so you can get your car back on the road. The time to start that process is right after you leave the emergency room or are released by the accident investigation team that arrives to set up the driver information exchange for your accident. If you have a medical malpractice claim, time is of the essence. There are state statutes that require you to put the doctor on notice within a specific period of time. If you believe that you are a victim of medical malpractice, you should engage counsel as soon as you can.
Medical malpractice claims take time and also require a lot of work on the lawyer’s behalf. The more time that you give them to work your case, the better off you will be. In some cases, accident injury law firm may also have medical personnel on staff that can evaluate your claim and tell you what type of personal injury claim you have and also interpret the medical records that they receive from your physicians and serve as a buffer between you and the physicians. They will also be able to make sure that you are receiving the best personal care for your injuries and best serve your personal injury case by being thorough and professional. Accident injury lawyers often have investigative staff at their disposal that can help with your personal injury claim. They can help recreate the accident and use the information at trial, or in negotiations with the carrier to get you the best possible settlement or verdict. Private investigators are just as important as the personal injury attorneys as they arm the personal injury lawyer with the information necessary to pursue your claim.
Insurance Claims After an Accident
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you’ll want to file a police report and an insurance accident claim with either your insurer or the insurer of the responsible party as soon as possible (but after seeking medical attention). The claim is the first step toward being compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, or other damages resulting from the accident.
First Party Claims vs. Third Party Claims
There are two types of insurance claims: first party claims and third party claims. While a first party claim is one you file with your own insurance company, a third party claim is one you file with the insurance provider of another person or business. Most insurance holders have coverage for third parties who are injured as a result of their actions. The type of claim you file will depend on who was at fault in the accident, the type of accident that occurred, and the extent of your insurance coverage. For example, if you caused an auto accident while driving in your car, you should probably file a first party claim with your auto insurance provider. On the other hand, if you were hit by a car while crossing the street or were involved in an accident while a passenger in a car, you should file a third party claim with the driver’s auto insurance provider. Alternatively, if you were injured while shopping in a store or eating at a restaurant, you can file a third party personal injury claim with the business’ insurance company. These claims apply to bodily damage as well as property damage.
Insurance Claims Process
Whether you were injured in an automobile accident, at a home or building, or while visiting a business, you typically must report the incident to the insurance company within 24 hours of the incident. If you weren’t at fault for the accident, you should contact the insurance provider of the business, building owner, or at-fault driver. You’ll probably be required to provide information about the cause of the accident and the extent of your injuries. The insurance company will then open an investigation of your claim. You may be asked to provide photos of the accident scene, the names of any witnesses, or a more detailed account of the incident. In addition, you will probably have to submit to an independent medical examination by a doctor of the insurer’s choice. If the injury was caused by a building condition, the claims adjuster may make an inspection of the property. After calculating the value of your claim, the insurance company will then issue a settlement check. If your claim is denied or if you believe the amount of the settlement is inadequate, you can appeal to the insurance company. An appeal may require you to submit to additional examinations or provide further information and evidence about the accident.
Denial of Claims and the Appeals Process
There are a number of reasons why your claim may be denied. For example, you may have waited too long after an accident to file your claim or failed to submit to an independent medical examination. Alternatively, the type of car accident you were involved in may not be covered under your insurance plan. Whatever the case may be, you’ll receive notification from the insurance company if your claim is denied. It is then up to you to appeal the denial of the claim. Appeals procedures can differ from company to company, so you should take a look at the policy in question to learn about the appropriate next steps. If you have questions about the appeals process or if your appeal is denied, it’s probably in your best interests to consult with an insurance attorney. While medical expenses and lost wages are usually pretty cut and dried, it’s difficult to place a dollar amount on the pain and suffering a person experiences after being injured. Insurance companies have developed damages formulas to calculate how much to pay the injured for these types of non-monetary losses. The insurance claims analyst first adds up all of your medical expenses. If the injuries aren’t too serious, this total is typically multiplied by 1.5 or 2 to determine the amount of your “special damages.” However, if the injuries are severe, the total may be multiplied by 5 or even 10 if the injuries are extremely debilitating. Once the special damages amount is determined, the analyst adds your lost wages to determine the amount of your settlement. You can then often negotiate with the insurance company to obtain a higher settlement.
Consequences of a Hit and Run Accident
Generally speaking, a hit and run is defined as being involved in a car accident (either with a pedestrian, another car, or a fixed object) and then leaving the scene without stopping to identify yourself or render aid to anyone who might need assistance. In most states it doesn’t matter whether you caused the accident or not. The act is committed simply by leaving the scene. If you must leave the scene of an accident to access emergency assistance by going to a nearby hilltop to get a cell phone signal, for example — most states do not consider that to be a hit and run, as long as you return immediately to the accident scene. Most states do not require that the hit and run occur on a highway or public road. Many states extend hit and run laws to cover parking lot collisions. For example, if you back into an unoccupied car in a parking lot and fail to leave a note with your contact information on the windshield, the laws of many states treat this as a hit and run.
Criminal Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident
The criminal penalties for a hit and run vary from state to state. Many states classify the criminal penalties for a hit and run as either felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the circumstances. Felony hit and run is defined by most states as leaving the scene of an accident where there is any type of injury to a person, whether the injured person is a pedestrian or an occupant of a vehicle. The penalties for felony hit and run can be quite severe. Most states impose fines of between $5,000 and $20,000. And there is very real potential for incarceration as punishment for a felony hit and run. Depending on the nature of the accident and the injuries that resulted, in some states a felony hit and run is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Remember, a hit and run might be classified as a misdemeanor instead of a felony. While the term “misdemeanor” sounds relatively minor to some people, in most states misdemeanors are punishable by a significant fine of up to $5,000 and also by up to one year in jail. In addition to the criminal penalties for hit and run, almost every state imposes administrative penalties related to your driver’s license. These penalties are often imposed through the individual state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Any conviction for hit and run regardless of whether it’s for a felony or misdemeanor, typically results in an automatic suspension or revocation of your driver’s license for a period of six months or so. In some states the revocation can be as long as three years. Depending on the state, in which you live, and the nature and circumstances of the car accident in which you were involved, the penalty for hit and run may include a lifetime revocation of your driver’s license. These administrative penalties are in addition to any criminal punishment that might be imposed for hit and run.
Civil Penalties for Hit and Run
If you have caused the accident, it is possible that another person involved in the crash may sue you in court for the damages they suffered. Such a lawsuit may ask for monetary compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Of course, this kind of lawsuit is likely to happen anyway even if you did not commit a hit and run at the scene of the accident, if you are deemed at fault for the car accident. But if you are liable for hit and run on top of having caused the accident, the damages that a court orders you to pay will almost surely be increased. Many states will impose “treble damages” on you. What this means is that any damages awarded to the plaintiff are automatically tripled, mainly to punish the defendant’s bad behavior. For example, if the jury in a civil suit awards the plaintiff $10,000 in damages, the judge will automatically triple that amount to $30,000 because the hit and run amounts to particularly reckless and egregious conduct. In most instances, treble damages of that nature are not covered by your car insurance policy. In other words, you will have to pay that amount out of your own pocket.
How Long Do You Have To File A Claim After An Accident?
The laws in your state dictate how long you have to report a car accident to your insurance provider. You typically do not have a specific deadline for filing an automobile insurance claim with the other party’s insurance company. However, in no-fault states, you are filing your claim with your insurance agent so that you may have a deadline. You need to review your insurance policy and contact an attorney if you have concerns or questions. Filing an insurance claim is different from filing a lawsuit. Each state has a statute of limitations that restricts the time you have to file a lawsuit for a car accident. Some states have very short deadlines for filing lawsuits. You lose the right to recover compensation for your claim by failing to pursue litigation remedies before the deadline in the statute of limitations expires. Therefore, the best way to protect your right to receive money for an injury claim is to contact an accident Injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney monitors these deadlines so that you do not lose your right to hold the negligent party responsible for the crash liable for your damages.
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It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506