Auto accidents require a complete assessment to show who caused the accident. An accident report is vital if a victim must file a legal claim, and the victims will need assistance from an attorney. Accident laws show the victims what steps are necessary to start a legal claim and seek compensation for medical expenses and auto repair costs. It is paramount to determine if the victim has a viable claim before they get started. An attorney can provide guidance and review the current evidence the victim has. Reviewing vital details about auto accident cases shows the victims where to get started.
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When are Drivers Required to Report the Accident?
According to state auto accident laws, drivers must report any accident in which any party becomes injured, a fatality occurs, or at least $500 in property damage happens. If the drivers do not report the accident, they could face penalties, and the victims could lose their right to compensation. Under circumstances in which a driver or passenger dies, the at-fault driver could face criminal charges for leaving the scene of a car accident.
Benefits of Reporting the Accident
When reporting the auto accident, the drivers receive an accident report. Law enforcement completes an assessment of the accident and creates an accident report. All drivers must send a copy of the auto accident report to their insurance provider. With an accident report, the victim has a full account of the auto accident according to the officers’ perception. The auto accident report identifies the driver who is responsible for the accident. These details are helpful if the victim must file a legal claim later.
Statute of Limitations for Auto Accidents
According to Missouri state laws, the auto accident victim has a statute of limitations of 5 years to start a legal claim against the accountable driver. If they do not file before the fifth anniversary of the auto accident, they lose the right to sue. When it comes to a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim’s family is limited to a three-year statute of limitations that starts on the date of the auto accident. According to state laws, all victims of auto accidents undergo an autopsy to show the exact cause of death. The basis of a wrongful death lawsuit indicates the fatality occurred because of avoidable circumstances. The autopsy must also show that the auto accident victim died because of their accident injuries and not any other cause.
Filing an Insurance Claim
Starting an auto accident claim requires the victim to have the at-fault driver’s insurance information. All victims are advised to gather these details after the accident. If the accountable driver has insurance coverage, they can start the claim immediately and provide coverage for the victim’s medical and auto repair costs. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, the victim must file a lawsuit to collect compensation from the driver that caused the accident.
If insurance coverage is available, the insurer will need invoices from the victim’s doctors for all current and ongoing medical expenses. The victim must provide several estimates for auto repair costs according to the terms of the insurance policy. A claims adjuster will contact the victim to set up an inspection of the vehicle involved in the accident, and they will take photos of the damage for the claim. Once the claim is processed, the insurer issues a check to the victim for their expenses. If the victim’s requirements exceed the maximum coverage level, they may need a legal claim to collect the additional costs.
What You Need for a Lawsuit
Lawsuits for an auto accident require the claimant to have evidentiary support for their claim. First, they must have evidence that the at-fault driver caused the accident, and the court may want the police that managed the accident to testify. Next, the victim must provide medical records that show how severe their injuries are, and they need an invoice from their doctors to show the exact cost of the medical treatment. They will need at least three estimates for their auto repair costs from reputable repair shops. The attorney reviews these details and determines if the client has a viable claim against the accountable driver.
Witnesses that Saw the Accidents
Eyewitnesses present their testimony through depositions, and the victim’s and the defendant’s attorneys can interview these witnesses. It’s important to clarify all events that led up to the accident and present a sequence of events. The attorneys determine the validity of the claim according to the eyewitness accounts of the accident. Witnesses that substantiate the victim’s claim are used as witnesses for their claim.
However, if all witnesses have contradicting accounts of the accident, the attorneys may try to get traffic camera footage to determine what happened exactly. Either party could get the footage if it is available to substantiate their claims.
Comparative Fault Rulings
Comparative fault rulings are introduced in an auto accident case if the victim committed any moving violations prior to or during the auto accident. If the claims are substantiated, the victim could lose a portion of their monetary award. The court assigns a percentage according to what moving violations are introduced. If the victim shares more than 50% of the blame for the accident, the court could dismiss the case, and the victim will not receive any compensation for their medical expenses or auto repair costs. However, the defense must present credible evidence of the moving violations.
Auto accidents increase the risk of bodily injuries and property damage. Circumstances that lead to the accident define if the victim will sustain serious injuries or die because of their injuries. In these cases, the at-fault driver could face criminal charges if they were intoxicated or under the influence of controlled substances when the accident happened. Officers can demand chemical testing if they suspect that a driver is intoxicated. According to auto accident laws, the drivers must report the accident if there is at least $500 in property damage, if anyone sustained injuries, or if a fatality occurs. Reviewing auto accident laws shows victims what to do before filing a claim.