Guest article by Kevin Landry
Car accidents happen all the time and there are always three sides to the story: your version of events, the other driver’s version of events and what actually happened. But the sad reality is people still believe these seven car accident myths:
1. Every state has the same auto injury laws
Some states require you to buy liability insurance while others have at-fault laws. Insurance rates vary from one state to another because they are regulated by state run agencies. No fault law simply means if you get into an accident, regardless of whose fault it was, you will still receive compensation. At fault law is a complete opposite of the no fault law. The state will consider who was responsible for the accident and to what extent. They will then use this information to determine who pays what.
2. The police will determine whose fault it was
We always recommend you call the police as soon as possible following an accident so they can draft a report. But you shouldn’t rely on the police to decide who is to blame for the accident. Your lawyer, insurance companies and the courts will battle it out in the courtroom to determine who was responsible for the accident. While the police report will go a long way into helping your case, it’s better to bring along your own notes, photos and any other evidence that you have in order to make your case stronger.
3. If your injuries are not apparent immediately, you can’t sure for injuries later
Some injuries take a while before you notice them. Something like a whiplash won’t be noticeable immediately. But the good news is you can file an injury claim any time you wish as long as you do so within the state’s statute of limitations. However, to be on the safe side, you should seek medical attention immediately if you have been involved in an accident, even if it is a minor one and you don’t have any noticeable injuries.
4. Any personal injury lawyer can handle a car accident case
You can’t just hire any lawyer who claims to be a personal injury lawyer to handle your car accident case. First of all, car accident law is constantly changing so there’s a lot of uncertainty for general practice lawyers who want to understand what makes a good car accident injury claim.
Secondly, a lawyer who doesn’t specialize in car accident cases most likely doesn’t have any experience with these types of cases. Besides, they are not aware how future litigation might be affected by the latest judgments. They don’t even know how to properly handle car insurance companies and their dirty tricks.
5. If your injuries are severe, you will get a huge settlement amount
It’s not unusual to hear a car accident victim’s case was thrown out and they received zero compensation even though they suffered life altering injuries. The law can be interpreted in so many different ways and insurance companies are using all sorts of tactics to challenge injuries. Besides, the current economy isn’t doing insurance companies any good; they are not making profits. More importantly, having a great lawyer doesn’t guarantee you will receive a huge settlement amount.
6. You can work it out with the other driver
When most drivers get into an accident, the biggest mistake they make is admitting fault. Sometimes it happens by mistake and sometimes they do it consciously especially if they are negotiating their own with the other driver. If you have been involved in a fender bender, you only need to exchange insurance information but if you have been in a serious accident, you need to hire a car accident lawyer to help you out.
7. Your insurance company will handle everything
Don’t be shocked if your insurance company isn’t so eager to pay out what is covered in your policy. Insurance companies are great but you should scrutinize any offer they make you. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t accept any offers or talk to the other driver’s insurance company or attorney in the absence of your own lawyer.
This is why it is important to get expert legal advice if you have been involved in a car accident. Your lawyer will answer any questions you have. Avoid getting your case thrown out simply because you believed these seven car accident myths.