Your Rights After A No-Fault Car Accident
Being hit by another vehicle is just the start of a multitude of headaches that include medical treatment, repairs, loss of wages, and insurance, not to mention the inconvenience and hassle of filing documents and chasing claims. There is more than one option available to you if you are hit by another vehicle, although those options change depending on your and the other party’s insurance coverage.
As a person who has been injured or whose property has been damaged by the act of another, you have legal rights for fair compensation. To protect your rights, you should follow these three steps:
- Talk to witnesses.
- Document the scene by taking photos and noting details regarding the accident: time, date, place, details on the other party and his/her vehicle.
- Call the police.
Whomever you talk to, you must be careful not to provide any information that would make it appear that you are the guilty party, or even hint at guilt in the accident at all. You were hit, plain and simple. You must prove, however, that the other driver was irresponsible. This is the standard of proof required in any car accident.
There are three types of claims that can be made with vehicular accidents: personal injury, property damage, and wrongful death. The most common basis for filing under fair compensation is the presence of negligence.
To prove negligence, as the injured party, you have to show that you were diligent and took reasonable care not to get involved in any accident or crash. This means you were driving within the speed limit, following traffic regulations, your vehicle is in good running condition, you were not swerving or driving recklessly, and you were not intoxicated, tipsy, or too tired to be behind the wheel.
The law also requires that you prove that the other party was not careful and was violating the “duty of care” and, because of this, the accident occurred and caused your injuries. In short, your injuries happened because of the accident and not before the accident. If, for instance, you are nursing and treating back pain, but the accident made the pain reappear and get worse, you may have a struggle proving that the accident caused it. But, with the right car accident lawyer, it can be done.
You will also have to prove that you suffered losses and the monetary compensation should include medical treatment, therapy, lost wages, pain and suffering, and damage to your vehicle and other property. If there were no injuries or property damage, there is no case.
Although every state has its specific vehicle laws on road behavior, in many states if your car registration papers and insurance coverage are not updated, there is the presumption of negligence. This will hurt your case. Thus, make sure that the documents are always updated and in order. There are cases when the other party may be asked to pay only for a partial amount of that being asked. This happens when the injured party is proven to be liable in one way or another.