There are so many things to do and remember after you have been in a car accident. Immediately, document anything you can remember about the accident and what toll it has taken on your everyday life and what injuries you sustained from the accident. All of this being documented will assist you greatly, when you or you and your lawyer request what you need for the pain and suffering you endured due to the car accident. The detailed notes of the accident will serve you way better than anything you may remember from that time. You also need to document anything that will assist you during your claims period and continue this until the claims process is complete. You never know when you may remember something important, so it is vitally important to have the book you are documenting information with you or close to you. There are certain things that definitely need to documented, for example, all the details of the accident. A professional calgary injury lawyer is usually experienced with these types of claims so you can always ask them for more information.
Specific documentation of your injuries is very important. On a daily basis, document the pain, distress, insomnia, or any other issues that may not be as evident or important as other problems, but which necessitates additional compensation. If you do not document it right away, you might forget exactly what needs to be a part of your request for compensation. Documenting all of these things will also assist you when you are talking with the insurance agent or agents so they will have a clear view of what pain and suffering you went through. Documenting your injuries may help your physician be able to clearly diagnose what is wrong with you. Tell them about everything, even if it does not seem important at the time. Also, the injuries you tell your physician about becomes a part of your medical chart, and will help you greatly in your request for compensation and be proof that these injuries were caused by the accident. Documenting your monetary loss is also very important to your case.As soon as you are able to, document anything you can recall about the accident. Document where you were headed at the time of the accident, who was with you, the time of the day, what the weather was like, what you saw, felt, exactly what happened to you prior to the accident, at the time of the accident and afterwords. Also document everything you remember people you were with, witnesses, and the other party or parties involved in the accident saying. Your injuries are the next important item to document.
Part of your compensation for the accident may be economic loss, family loss, loss of social time, missed school or college classes, time you had to take off of work, as well as your pain and misery. Start documenting right after the accident about everything you lost or could not take part in because of the accident: work hours, possible employment, meetings, classes, family events, social occasions, vacation, or anything else that would have helped that you did not get to be a part of due to the accident. Documenting any discussions relating to the accident or your claim are very important also.
If any discussions take place that pertain to the accident or your claim, document the time, date, who was part of the discussion, whether they take place face-to-face or over the telephone. Discussions that are worth documenting are: discussions with your insurance adjuster, anyone that saw the accident, any insurance company employee, or any medical personnel. The last and final things you may want to do are to return as soon as possible to where the accident took place and take pictures and talk to people who saw the accident as soon as possible also. If you do all that I have mentioned above, you should be fully prepared for your case to be given to the insurance company and go to court, if necessary.
Preserving evidence that is part of a car accident is very important, which is why the first couple of days following a car accident are very vital. As much evidence as possible should be retrieved and you should immediately start keeping a record of your injuries. In order to ensure that your case is strong, you should follow these steps, which the first one is going back to where the accident took place.
If the accident happened somewhere else other than where you live, go back to where it took place and find any evidence and photograph anything you feel caused the accident or been a part of what caused the accident. You could be surprised and find something that you did not find the day of the accident that but helps explain what happened before or during the accident, like a place that visibly shows where you fell or traffic light that is out of order. Also, attempt to find someone who witnessed the accident or has witnessed other accidents in the same place. Taking good pictures of the scene of the accident is very important also.
At the scene of the accident, be sure to take pictures from many different angles, especially from where you were at during the accident, to keep it vivid in your mind and to give the insurance company proof that you have properly documented everything from the accident. Be sure to take pictures at the same time of day that the accident took place, and for a car accident, the same day of the week so the right amount of traffic can be shown. There are ways to make sure that you get the right kind of pictures that you need taken.
To ensure that you get the right kind of picture, do not take Polaroid pictures. Take pictures with a regular camera so that all the details you need are present in the pictures as well as the right amount of light. As I previously mentioned, take pictures from all angles. Also, take the pictures as soon as possible after the accident so the evidence will be properly shown in the pictures. Also, have someone take pictures of you with the date on a paper so you can show what date the pictures were taken and so you have a witness to testify that they were with you when you took the pictures. Lastly,have the pictures developed right away and make sure the photo lab puts the date on the back of the pictures or at least on your receipt for the pictures. Ensuring that the physical evidence is intact is very important also.
Determining who is the one at fault for the accident can also be determined by physical evidence, something you can see or touch, instead of telling what happened during the accident. Examples of these are a broken stair, a dent in a car, or a dangling tree branch. Physical evidence can also show how bad an injury was, and how badly a vehicle was harmed. If getting the actual item is not possible, take pictures of it. This will help your case when you are presenting it to the insurance company. Finding people who saw the accident is also very important to your case.
If you can find people that saw the accident, it will help your case greatly. They can support what you have told people, therefore being a big support to your case. They can also give information that you did not remember or did not know about which will show the other person is at fault. Even if they did not see the accident, they can be a witness to how much pain you are in and can tell people how hurt you are. They also may have heard something someone said that was part of the accident that tells that someone else except you was at fault for the accident. It is important to talk to them as soon as possible because their memories will go away and what they remember will fade and will not be helpful to your case. Lastly, if you wait too long, witnesses may leave the area and you will not be able to find them. Lastly, documenting your injuries is very important too.
The best method of keeping a record of your injuries is to go see a doctor or a medical personnel. While you are there or by yourself, take pictures of all your injuries to show any visible marks, cuts, bruises, swelling, including casts, splints, bandages, or any other medical equipment. If you do not have medical documentation of your injuries and pictures if possible, it will be very hard to convince the insurance company that you were hurt in just the way you say you were. Any injuries that can be seen on the outside will fade and get better over time, and the insurance company will believe that your injuries were not very serious or you were making up how badly you were hurt. If you follow the above information about to save evidence, then you will be at an advantage when it comes to meeting with the insurance company or if you have to go to court to get your compensation.
Obtaining your medical records or the records can be necessary for many reasons. Being part of a car accident is a good reason to need your medical records. They may be vitally important to your case to show that your injuries came from the accident and not from a previous accident. In a medical malpractice case, they are the core of the case. Also, patients often need their records when they are moving on to a new doctor. You have the right to get your medical records.
HIPAA (the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) gives you the right to obtain your medical records from any medical provider with just a few exceptions. HIPAA says that you have the right to get your own medical records, someone else’s records if you are their legal representative, if you are someone’s legal guardian, your children’s medical record (unless they want a surgery and state law ensures that they do not have to have their parents permission, the court authorizes the medical care for the child, or the parent agrees that the child and the medical provider have a confidential relationship). In certain cases, you can also get the records of your parents if they have passed away. If you are the personal representative of your parents, they have stated it in their will, or the court has deemed you the representative of your parents, HIPAA allows you to get their medical records. Also, if you are related to the a person that has passed on and their medical records may affect your health, HIPAA also allows you to get a copy of their medical records. There are certain records that you are allowed to get through HIPAA.
What HIPAA allows you get to is psychotherapy notes, information that they are gathering and collecting for lawsuits, and medical records that a medical provider believes could harm your life, your physical well-being, or the safety of someone else. HIPAA also allows you to get your records in a set amount of time.
HIPPA says that medical providers have thirty days to get you the medical records you have asked for. If it takes longer than that, they have to give a reason that it is taking longer than the allotted time. There are ways to make sure that you get the records you asked for in a timely manner. First, get in touch with the medical provider and see how they want you to ask for your records, put the request in writing, include your name, address, phone number, email address, date of birth, medical record number, and your social security number, if it is asked for. You also need to fill out a request form and let them know if you want the original or copies, or both. You also need to be specific with what records you want.
When you ask for your medical records, you can be detailed or non-specific. At times, people want their whole medical records. If you have been going to a doctor for a long time, and do not wish to pay for the whole file, specify specifically exactly what part of your records that you need and/or want. You can tell them you only need records for certain dates, certain medical procedures, billing, treatment notes, shot records, and whatever else you may think you will need. You may also need records from third-party providers.
After you get your records from your medical provider, you may also need records from third-party providers such as specialists or radiologists. If you need information from them, put in a separate request for the information. Lastly, you may have to pay for the records.
You may have to pay “reasonable fees” that comes with getting copies of your medical records. The states usually put a cap on these fees though. Usually, though, the medical providers charge less than what they can or nothing at all. Be sure and find out from them what the charges will be, if any. They can require you to pay the fees before you get the medical records, but cannot charge you any medical bills you have not up till that time though. There is also a procedure to follow if they will not give you your medical records or part of the records are missing.
If something is missing from your medical records, it is usually an error or an oversight and all you need to do is contact the medical provider again and they will give you the records they missed giving you the first time. Usually, you possibly are denied them if it is a medical malpractice suit and that is rare. After you get your medical records, you can contact a personal injury lawyer if you feel the need to and they can help you progress with your case further.
If you are hurt in a car accident, it is absolutely necessary to let anyone who may be responsible know. You do not have to be sure they are responsible, you just have to think that they are. You do not have to let anyone at first know that there was an accident or how you were hurt during the accident. All that you have to do is let them know that there was an accident, when and where it happened, that you were hurt, and that you plan to file a personal injury claim. The next step is to find out exactly who is responsible for the accident.
Before you inform people of the accident, you must decide who you need to tell. This is usually based on what kind of accident you were part of. If it is a car accident, you have to contact all people who were part of the accident, the people who own the cars involved, the employers of the people involved if it was a company vehicle, your insurance company, and possibly other people. One way to contact people is send out written documentation.
Once you know who could be responsible for your accident, the next step is to write letters notifying all of the involved parties that an accident took place and that you are hurt. It is possible that you may need to send out more than one letter if you fell in at a business and to the person who the property belongs to. Contact the people involved even if they said they will contact their insurance companies. Only give simple, not detailed information in the letter, and ask for a reply. Do not mention who is at fault, how bad you are hurt, those things will be discussed later. Lastly, do not put off giving the possible involved parties notice.
It is necessary to notify the people that may be involved notice and let them know your claim in a timely manner. You do not have to notify them within a certain amount of days, but it is recommended that you do so within a couple of weeks after the accident. Notifying the person does not require you to file a claim against them, but it does give them notice so they will not be taken by surprise later. This is the procedure you should take when notifying possible responsible parties in an accident or responsible parties involved in an accident.
There are procedures in place to determine who is at fault in a car, bicycle, or motorcycle accident. It is necessary who was negligent or at fault for the accident. Usually, common sense will tell you who is responsible for the accident. It is possible that you will not know what laws or rules that the other person involved have broken. To prove your case to the insurance company, you must have some concrete proof to back up your belief that the person or people you think are responsible are responsible for the accident. There are certain places you can look for evidence to back up your belief. The first place is the police report.
If the police came to your accident, especially if they knew someone was hurt, they made a written accident report. Notify the traffic division of your local police department and they will assist you in getting a copy of the police report. At times, all the police report says is someone broke a certain traffic law and if that caused the accident. Other times, it just states mention careless actions without telling whether or not what they did was the cause of the accident. No matter how precise the report is, any mention of breaking a traffic law or reckless driving, can back your claim that they are responsible for the accident. State traffic laws are important to back up your claim that the other party is responsible for the accident.
The state laws in your state regarding driving and traffic may help prove your case that the other driver was responsible for the accident. They are located in the states statutes and are known as the “Vehicle code.” They are otherwise known as “the rules of the road.” You can find them at your local department of motor vehicles office. It can also be found at any local library or law library. Once you obtain this book, look for information that has to do with your accident. You can find information on topics like speed limits, right of way, and roadway markings, plus a lot more information. If you visit a law library, do not be afraid to ask the librarian. They can help you find exactly what you are looking for. If you find what you are looking for, get a copy of it or write it down, so you can have the exact information you need for your case when you meet with your insurance company. If you are part of certain types of accidents, the other driver is responsible ninety-nine percent of the time, and insurance companies often do not dispute it. Rear-end collisions are accidents that are usually not disputed by an insurance company.
If a person hits your vehicle from behind, it is usually not your fault, no matter why you stopped. A basic rule of the road is that a vehicle must be able to stop safely if vehicles are stopped in front of it. If they cannot stop safely, then they are not driving as cautiously as the person in front of them. Another way to see who is responsible for a rear-end-collision is how the accident happened.
Another way to make sure who is responsible for a rear-end-collision is how the accident happened. If one of the vehicles front end is damaged and the other vehicles rear end is, there is not much argument about who hit whose vehicle. Of course, the driver of the vehicle that hit you may have a claim against a person who made you have to stop right away, or against a third car that pushed his car into yours, but that does not change the fact that they are responsible for injuries to you and your vehicle. You can not forget that even if you have been rear ended, in a few occurrences, if you were careless, that may lower the amount of compensation you get under the rule of “comparative negligence.” An regular example of this is if one or both of your brake lights were out, especially if the accident took place in the evening. Also, if you have car trouble and you do not get off the road. In left-turn accidents, the car making the left turn is usually at fault for the accident.
If a vehicle making a left-turn, is usually responsible for an accident with a vehicle coming straight in the other direction. Deviations from this near-automatic guideline are uncommon and hard to prove, but can happen if: the car going straight was driving way over the speed limit, the car going straight went through a red light, the left-turning started to turn when it was safe but something it did not plan made it slow down or stop, or This is a very hard deviation to use due to the fact that a basic rule of the road states that a car making a left turn has to wait until it can safely finish the turn before moving in front of oncoming traffic. Also, just like a rear-end collision, the location of the damage on the vehicles at times makes it hard for the driver to argue took place in some other way than when they were making a left turn. These are good ways to prove who is at fault in a vehicle accident.
There are also ways to determine who is at fault in an accident. The “duty of care” is the question of whether there is a “duty of care” to keep someone safe from accidents for when the person does not plan on being at the location of the accident when the accident takes place. An example of this is “Sameer wanted to ask a question of the produce manager at his local grocery store. He knocked on the door to the produce back room, but no one answered. Even though the sign on the door said “Employees Only”, Sameer went in. While he was trying to locate an employee, he leaned on a stack of crates. The crates fell on him, and he got hurt. He does not have a good liability claim, because he ignored the “Employees Only” sign and the result of that, was him getting hurt. “Reasonable care” must be used to avoid accidents.
In the basic negligence guideline, everyone has to take “reasonable care” to prevent injury to other people, reasonable care may differ with time and place with the relationship between people, so that the same behavior may be thought of as negligent, in one case but not another. Examples of these are: someone gets accidentally hit with a ball that came off the playing field, a person gets mad and throws a bat and hurts someone watching a baseball game, or people are playing ball in a parking lot and the ball hits a passerby. There are very obvious ways to tell if someone was at fault for an accident.
No matter how your accident took place, getting proper compensation for your injuries involves the use of a small number of fundamental ideals:
-If it is possible for you to show that you were cautious and the other party was not, they usually have to pay for the cost of your injuries.
-If a careless person is the cause of an accident while they are working for someone else, the people they are working for are also legally at fault.
-If an accident is caused on dangerous property or by a faulty item, the person that owns the property or the person that has their name or company name on the item is responsible no matter if they caused the danger or made the faulty item.
-If you were also not careful, the amount of compensation you may receive is lowered due to the level of your recklessness was responsible for the accident-your comparative negligence.
– You do not have to “prove” anything only to make a sensible defense that the other party was negligent, even if there is a reasonable argument that the other person was careful.
If you use these simple guidelines with your accident, you will be able to negotiate a fair settlement of injury claim no matter what the clearly defined facts or different circumstances are part of your accident.
I had to leave out articles six and seven rewrites because they no longer exist on the NOLO site.
There are also guidelines that determine how much a personal injury case is worth. If you are injured in a car accident, there are certain factors that determine how much compensation you will receive. How much your medical costs were is a big part of how much you will receive when you are compensated for your injuries. If you lose income due to the accident, in the past and will in the present, you are entitled to compensation for your lost wages. If you lost any belongings, such as clothing, a vehicle, or any other objects, you will be given the funds it cost you to fix or repurchase these items. You may also get money for the pain and suffering you had during the car accident and right after. If you are part of a serious accident, you may get compensated for emotional distress for any psychological problems you had after an accident like being afraid, anxiety, and insomnia. Also, if you can not take part in hobbies and activities you enjoy because of the accident, you may receive funds due to “loss of enjoyment” damages. If the accident causes you not to be romantic with your partner or spouse or when you can not have a close relationship with your child because of the accident, your partner or spouse and your child may get “loss of consortium” damages. You can also get punitive damages as result of an accident.
If the defendant in your case is deemed to be very careless, you may receive punitive damages to go along with compensatory damages. Punitive damages are given to the plaintiff, but the actual idea behind this compensation is to punish the defendant and hope they will not do the action that caused the accident again. Since juries can award millions of dollars in punitive damages, most states put a limit on what can be given for punitive damages. A plaintiffs actions or inactivity can affect how much they receive back for compensation.
In certain cases, the plaintiff has a role in the accident which caused them to get hurt or they did not do something that could have avoided an accident. If they are even partly to blame for the accident that caused them to get hurt, the amount of compensation they receive can be lowered. In the states that allow “contributory negligence” payments, if the plaintiff is found at all responsible for the accident, they may not receive these payments. Also, if the plaintiff does not do all they can to lower or lessen the amount of the financial costs of the accident (for example, not getting medical treatment after the accident and making their injuries worse), their damage rewards could be lowered some. That is why it is very important for a plaintiff to take care of themselves properly after a accident. There is also a clear definition of what pain and suffering is when it comes to an accident.
The pain and suffering a person can receive after an accident are:
-physical pain and suffering- the plaintiffs actual physical injuries. It involves injuries they received in the past as a result of the accident and what they may experience in the future as result of the accident.
mental pain and suffering- involves anger, depression, no desire to eat, no energy, no happiness, embarrassment, anxiety, and shock. Some serious cases involves Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Like physical injuries, it includes past injuries and what may happen in the future. There are examples of these kinds of suffering too.
Examples of physical pain are: many broken bones, severe concussions, back strains, etc. Examples of mental pain and suffering are: sadness, being mad, having insomnia, and no desire to eat. Therefore, they go to a counselor and psychologist for help The plaintiff can receive funds for the physical and mental problems they have as a result of the accident. Last, but not least, there is a method to determine what compensation is given for pain and suffering.
The factors that determine what pain and suffering the plaintiff will get is:
-if they will make a good witness
-if they are like able
-if they will be believed
-if their stories stay the same
-if they make their injuries out to be more than what they actually are
-if the doctors back up their claims of pain and suffering
-if the jury feels the plaintiff is totally honest
-whether their diagnosis, injuries, and claim are understood by the jury
-and whether they have a criminal record
That is how pain and suffering is determined in an accident.
Last, but not least, a defense in a personal injury case is very important. One important factor is how much the plaintiff is a part of the cause of the accident and whether or not they got medical care right away after the accident. If they are partly to blame for the accident, any compensation they receive will be lowered and if they mediate and discuss a settlement with the defendant, it could prevent a long and drawn out court case. There are many defenses that are part of an accident case like comparative negligence.
Comparative negligence is determining compensation based on how much each party is at fault in the accident. For example, if you are twenty-five percent responsible for the accident, then you will get twenty-five percent less of the amount of compensation you would have normally received. The next defense method is contributory negligence.
Contributory negligence is very different than comparative negligence. In some states, if a plaintiff is at fault at all in an accident, they get no contributory negligence rewards. Only a few states have these laws and they are: Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia. Assumption of risk is another defense.
Assumption of risk is that the harm that took place is that normally part of the activity you are taking part in. For example, being elbowed during a basketball game you are playing in. However, if the backboard broke and fell on you, then the owner of the court or gym is responsible for your injuries. The plaintiff’s lawsuit must also clearly state a claim.
The plaintiff must clearly show in their documentation with proof that the defendant caused their accident. There is usually a statute of limitations, which is the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a case against the defendant. It is often a year after the accident happens. Lastly, if the plaintiff does not mitigate damages, to lower the cost of their injuries (for example going to a doctor or emergency room right away after an accident, so the injury does not get worse), then are not attempting to mitigate damages. The result of that can be the court not giving them any compensation for their injuries. That is how a defense is determined in most personal injury cases.
Information referenced from:
Personal Injury Lawyer Calgary Inc
421 7 Avenue Southwest #4900
Calgary, AB T2P 4K9