Do People Sometimes Think that Insurance Companies Are Evil?
Insurance companies aren’t evil, although they are always most interested in their bottom line and they won’t go out of their way to find coverage or damages for an injured person. In today’s world, where everything is computerized, making sure the right medical codes are put into a client’s record is very important. This is because that is how insurance companies evaluate claims, and they won’t dig through medical records to make sure everything was coded properly.
What Happens If The Accident Was Caused by Someone Who Was Underinsured Or Uninsured?
The wrong person to have an accident with is someone without insurance or without enough insurance to cover the cost of the accident. Most states consider a lack of insurance or underinsurance to be a violation of criminal law so that person will usually be charged with a crime. If someone had an accident with such a “wrong person”, they will have to evaluate their own coverage and hope they can make up the difference.
Whether or not a vehicle was owned by the person who was injured, or even if it was a resident relative, there is often coverage on every vehicle in a household, and that may apply to the accident and benefit recovery.
Can Someone Still Get Compensation Even If The Accident Was Not Their Fault?
“Fault” is a legal term that is decided by either the court, the adjusters, or the attorneys involved, and it often depends on how much fault we would be talking about. Maryland is a contributory negligence state, so if the victim contributed to the accident, they are completely barred from any recovery.
There are exceptions to that rule, however, so even if the injured party was at fault, someone else’s negligence may have been the superseding cause or an additional cause to the accident that might enhance or create liability for someone else.
What Should Someone Do When They Have Been In An Auto Accident?
The first thing to do in every case is to call the police because it’s imperative to have a police officer make an accident report in the event of either significant injuries to people or significant damage to the vehicle.
However, make sure the accident report was prepared by the officer, and don’t make any admissions at the scene. It is okay to explain what happened, but don’t confess to any of it being their fault. Establishing fault and causation is often a legal matter that is determined by a large number of factors, so don’t admit anything. Make sure the police report is filled out completely and they should also take pictures.
Do Pictures Really Make A Difference?
Absolutely, pictures are really important, and with today’s cellphone cameras, it’s easy to take a lot of them. Take as many as you can, if at all possible.
I handled an interesting case where a young man was a passenger in his sister’s vehicle and ended up being injured in an accident with a car that had crossed over the double yellow line. Before the accident, he had called the police to report that there was a suspicious driver under the influence, and then he started taking videos with his cellphone, in case there was an accident, which is exactly what happened. The entire accident was basically caught on video.
It’s very important to take as many pictures as possible because, if there are no skid marks or some other way to explain what happened, it helps the parties, insurance adjusters, and, eventually, jurors, get a better idea about what happened. No matter how articulate someone is, it’s difficult to describe an auto accident with words; the pictures are much better for showing the situation, especially if the pictures show possible causes, such as stop signs covered by trees, road defects, or things like that.
The sooner the pictures are taken the better, because going back to the scene later may not allow you to take pictures of the scene as it was at the time of the accident, and it may be more difficult for them to be admissible in court.
For more information on the Role of Insurance in an Auto-Accident Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step.