Top Disputes That May Arise During the Settlement for Your Car Accident Claim
Car accidents are a leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries in the United States. Statistics from the CDC indicate that every year, over three million people are non-fatally injured in car-related accidents. Unfortunately, not everyone who gets hurt after a car crash gets full compensation for their injuries. During settlement, several disputes may arise, which can cause a claim to be denied or adjusted downwards.
For you to receive full compensation for your injuries, you should prepare for disputes so you can adequately counter them. With this in mind, here are the four common disputes that arise during settlement hearings and how you can handle them.
Liability for the Car Accident
The insurance company may try to pin responsibility for the accident on you. If you are found at fault or significantly responsible for the accident, your claim may be denied. Thus, before walking into the settlement hearing, you need to have evidence that will clear any liability doubts. This includes the following:
- Photos of the accident scene, preferably from all angles, including skid marks and any on-site evidence proving your innocence
- Witness statements from persons who were present during the accident
- A detailed police report from the scene of the accident
- A confession from the at-fault driver
If you were partially at-fault for the accident, you need proof that your actions resulted from the fault of the other driver. For example, you could have swerved from the road into a ditch to avoid collision with a reckless drunk driver.
Coverage of the Claim
The liable insurance party could try to argue that your claim is not covered in their policy. This may result in the following circumstances:
- The driver was uninsured at the time of the crash
- The policy doesn't have the right coverage
- The coverage limit is already exhausted
- The at-fault driver is not covered in the insurance policy
While the insurer's claims are valid, this doesn't mean that your hands are tied. With the help of a car accident attorney, you can sue the uninsured driver for driving a car without coverage and causing an accident. You can also sue the holder of the policy for allowing an excluded party to use their vehicle. Your attorney can help you build a case against the right party and get compensation for your injuries.
The Extent of Your Injuries
The amount of compensation you receive primarily lies in the extent of your injuries. Thus, the liable party may try to lower the settlement by disputing your injuries. They may even argue for the presence of pre-existing conditions. Luckily, you can counter this by providing a detailed medical report outlining your injuries and medications.
In the case of pre-existing conditions, your primary care physician can provide a medical history to dispute the presence of any conditions that could have worsened your injuries. However, if such conditions are present, your attorney can seek damages for their aggravation.
The Recovery Period for Your Injuries
The longer it takes to recover from a car accident injury, the higher your compensation could be. Therefore, the insurance firm may try to downplay your injuries to lower the settlement. Before you walk into the settlement meeting, get a medical report indicating the severity of your injuries and how long it will take to recover.
Emotional and psychological injuries, such as trauma and anxiety, may take longer to heal. If you're experiencing PTSD, consult with a medical professional and make sure your issues are documented and mentioned in your case.
Car accident claims can get complicated when insurance firms and adjusters try to dispute the injuries. However, with the necessary evidence and proper legal representation, you can shoot down these disputes and get a fair settlement.
To learn more, talk to a car accident lawyer about your case.