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Involved in a Car Accident? Here’s How You Know If You Have a Claim

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If you were involved in a car accident that incurred financial costs to you, either in the form of medical bills, property damage or lost earnings, that wasn’t your fault, you are legally entitled to compensation.

This is the backbone of any legal claim following an accident. However, when it comes to proving who was at fault, the waters can become muddied. This is where an experienced lawyer can help. If you, or a loved one, was involved in an accident with a semi-truck that wasn’t your fault, contact a semi truck accident lawyer to protect your legal right to compensation.

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Determining Fault

The crux of most legal claims following an accident will be determining who was at fault. This occurs in one of two ways, depending on the state in which you live.

If you live in a “fault” state, you will have to provide evidence that the other driver was at fault to secure compensation from their insurance provider. If you live in a “no fault” state, this works slightly differently. Your insurance provider will be expected to pay for the damages, even if it was the other party’s fault. Legal cases in these “no fault” states can only be brought against the other party when the accident meets the threshold of a “serious injury” or the monetary value of the damages exceeds a fixed sum.

Gathering Evidence

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Assuming you live in a “fault” state and the accident wasn’t your fault, you now have to prove that the other driver behaved in a negative way that caused the accident.

You can do this by proving:

  • They had a legal duty to other road users.
  •  They failed to honor that duty.
  •  You and your property were harmed as a result of this failure.

To illustrate how their actions constituted a breach of their legal duties and harmed you and your property, claimants use a variety of techniques.

Documentation 

To prove fault, you need documentary evidence. This can come in a variety of forms, including police reports, witness testimony or photographs. To protect your legal rights, ensure you collect contact details from any potential witnesses, call the police immediately, and take photographs of the accident scene and any injuries suffered as a result of the accident.

Medical Records

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If you believe you have sustained injuries as the result of an accident, seek medical attention immediately. The longer you wait, the more you will harm your case. As soon as you notice an injury, get it checked out and keep any medical reports and bills to document the out of pocket expenses incurred.

If you receive medical advice and treatment, follow it to the letter. Do not undertake any activities that you have been explicitly advised to avoid. These could negate your claims and undermine your rights to compensation.

Repair Estimates

Repair estimates provide an idea of the extent of the damage done to your vehicle. Insurance adjusters often ask for independent estimates. As a general rule, three separate estimates are a good start to give an independent observer an insight into the extent and nature of the damage.

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