Insurance companies are looking for what they refer to as the mechanism of injury. They are looking to see whether or not the wreck was bad enough or that there was enough damage to the vehicle to substantiate or justify the injuries that are being asserted or claimed. Obviously, medical testimony is very important, which is the medical statement from your doctor. Also, whether the injury you have suffered was, most probably, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, caused by the wreck is crucial. However, insurance companies look to property damage, unfortunately, as whether or not the wreck is most probably the cause of the injury. If there is very little or no damage to the vehicle, insurance companies will argue that it is unlikely anyone inside that vehicle suffered any type of injury.
Documenting Injuries After a Car Accident
It is a prospective argument to assert that in the event of a very low impact wreck, it is not likely that someone got hurt, but if you have been hurt, it is important to make sure that it gets documented properly by medical professionals so the argument can be supported to overcome the insurance company’s unjust assertions.
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What if a Claimant Was Partially to Blame?
The other factors they look at are whether or not you contributed. They look at aggravating factors such as whether there was any alcohol involved, distracted driving, excessive speed are other considerations that affect the value of a claim. If the at-fault party was reckless, they were texting while driving or they had been drinking, then that increases the amount that a jury would more likely give in a particular car wreck case. Therefore, an early investigation into why the accident occurred, what the other driver was doing at the time of the wreck is very important. That is why it is advised to call an attorney sooner. An attorney can get much of that information and do their investigation. If these factors are involved, then it certainly adds value to someone’s claim because it would make punitive damages available to the client. Punitive damages are in addition to the actual damages and are designed to punish reckless behavior. Punitive damages can be substantial.
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What Happens If Alcohol or Reckless Driving Was the Cause of the Accident?
Not all cases involving reckless behavior result in criminal cases. If it does, you do not have to wait for the criminal matters to be resolved. Evidence of recklessness is something that can be determined prior to the actual trial. If the other party pleads guilty to an offense that is criminal and that offense contributed to the wreck itself, then that is fully admissible. If they pled not guilty and the trial is pending, sometimes it may be better if you are unable to get a fair and reasonable offer from an insurance company to either file suit or allow the criminal case to take its course. However, as far as the criminal matter, if the other driver was arrested for not having a driver’s license or having a license under suspension that by itself did not necessarily contribute to the facts of the accident then it may have little or no impact on case value.
Similarly, if they are caught with marijuana inside the vehicle, but they were not under the influence of the marijuana at the time, then the marijuana itself did not contribute to the car accident, so it has very little or no bearing on the value of the case. It certainly could be admissible in a courtroom, which could have a jury angry at the fault party and result in a better verdict. However, you do not have to wait, but there are some circumstances where it might be better to wait until the criminal case has been resolved.