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The Top Misconceptions That People Have When Filing A Personal Injury Claim

In this article, you will learn:

  • Common misconceptions surrounding personal injury claims
  • What to do and how to act at the scene of the accident
  • How a ticket being issued can affect your claim

The most significant misconception is injured people often think because the other party was at fault, they assume the other party’s insurance company will pay their medical bills as they get the accident-related treatment, basically they think we have a pay as they undergo treatment, and that is not how our system in Arkansas works. So, when you’re in an accident, even if it’s through no fault of your own, the burden is going to shift to you, the injured party, to prove your damages. An injured party demonstrate his or her damages through medical treatment, the billing incurred for that treatment as well as lost wages, all of which are part of your economic damage claim. The injured party has to get the medial treatment and deal with the bills that start coming in during that time usually before a resolution through a settlement or trial. This is shocking to a lot of people that dealing with the medical bills associated with the treatment needed for their injuries, even though they were not at fault, is going to be one of the significant issues that I help guide them through.

There has been a lot of information out there for the insurance industry claiming they will help you through these situations. My injured clients are shocked to learn that the slogans they’ve seen on television and heard through the T.V. and Radio jingles are not the reality of what they are dealing with when they deal with these insurance companies representing the party that caused the accident and the injuries to them.

Why To Always Call The Police In The Aftermath Of An Accident With Injuries

Always call the police to a scene of an accident. Liability, a fancy word, for “fault” is always one of the big issues I see in any accident case. While the police report is not going to be the end-all-be-all of the evidence determining the at-fault party, it will be a critical piece of the evidence. It’s going to establish the accident took place, location of accident, time of accident, weather conditions at the time of the accident and provide other important details that can assist when I am helping an injured party that was in an auto accident. The accident report usually will get real-time with the statements from both the drivers, if they are conscious and any other third-party witnesses who may have seen the accident. The report will not any complaints from the injured party at the accident scene which may help them to get the maximum money to compensate them for their injuries. So, yes, reporting the accident is important, not that I haven’t taken cases where people haven’t reported it. I have, and I’ve had successful outcomes, but it will make their case go smoother, especially if the at fault driver decides to change their version of what happened and argues that they were not at fault.

The Impact On An Auto Accident Case If Either Party Is Ticketed For The Accident

It can be helpful if the party that we claim is at fault for the accident is ticketed. If the officer’s ticket that party, it will be another piece of evidence regarding the liability element of proving our case. If the party that is ticketed pleads guilty, then their guilt will be deemed an admission to the actions they were charged in with a ticket, whether it be speeding, careless driving, reckless driving, running a stop sign, or other negligent actions like that. I’ve also dealt with cases where my client is the injured party who received the ticket. For instance, I had an injured client, and my client did not cause the accident. But my client had a blood-alcohol level above 0.08, the legal limit so he was charged with a DWI.

It was critical that I had another attorney in my office who does criminal defense represent him in the DWI. We still recovered a substantial sum of money for that injured party because the alleged violation of the law did not have anything to do with the accident. My client’s blood alcohol content may have been above the legal level, but when you’re stopped at a stoplight or somebody rear-ends you at 50 miles an hour, the fact that you may have had alcohol in your system at that time didn’t contribute to the accident itself. So obviously, it depends on the type of ticket the injured party gets, but just because an injured party gets a ticket during an auto accident doesn’t mean they can’t still recover money from the at fault party or their insurance company.

The Safe Information To Share With The Other Party At The Scene Of An Accident

I think it’s human nature for people to check on each other when they’ve been in an accident to see if anyone is injured. Obviously, sometimes a client may be too injured at the scene to talk to anyone. But typically, people will share will be their insurance company information with each other as well as information requested by an investigating officer. Many times, just being kind to each other at the accident scene is important. It doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be a claim made for injuries down the road, but I think checking on each other making sure that everybody is getting the medical attention they need, making sure an ambulance has been called if needed or making sure someone is getting police to the scene is common and normal interaction following an accident. I wouldn’t advise anybody make any statements about how they think the accident happened. However, in over two decades of handling auto wrecks, it’s common for the at-fault party to admit that they were at fault, sometime directly to the party they injured, other witnesses or the police who arrive to investigate the auto accident.

Sometimes the statements made at the scene, do not always make it in the accident report. Still, during the initial interview with my client, I want them to do their best to remember anything they may have said or anything that was said to them. Usually, our injured clients when they tell us, this is what I was told at the scene by the party that caused the auto wreck and later if we have to get into litigation, most of the time when deposing the at fault person, and my client is sitting across the table, they will admit what they said at the scene. Putting someone under oath still has a powerful effect. I always advise injured people not to say too much with regards to how the accident happened at the wreck scene to anyone other than the investigating agency. But showing their humanity and checking on everybody involved if a person is able to makes us human and our connection to each other and making sure everyone’s needs are being met. Obviously, making sure the appropriate medical personal is on their way, as well as police to investigate the wreck scene is particularly important.

For more information on Misconceptions About Filing An Injury Claim, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you seek by calling (866) 253-2226 today.

Thurman & Flanagin Attorneys At Law

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