You may be driving below the speed limit. You are obeying the traffic signals. Another driver ploughs into your car. In each instance, it does not necessarily mean that the other driver’s insurance company should pay your medical and car repair bills.
The small details of the accident matter. Rules vary from one state to another. There must be proof of negligence for the other driver to be liable.
Attorney Benjamin Zimmerman is a partner with Sugarman & Sugarman, a firm of attorneys in Boston. He claims that if negligence cannot be proved, then you cannot win the case and if you cannot win the case, insurance companies know that and therefore will not pay.
An important aspect of a successful claim is to prove the other driver is at fault.
In states with no-fault auto insurance systems, your own insurance generally pays for your medical bills. This is regardless of who was at fault.
In New Jersey it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle without liability insurance coverage. In some jurisdictions. liability coverage is available either as a combined single limit policy, or as a split limit policy. Virginia does not require that the other driver carry car insurance.
There are instances when the other driver’s insurance company may refuse to pay out, even if you think it should pay out.
A sudden incapacitating medical event is a defence. It is more common than people might think. The other driver may have a heart attack or stroke. The person may not be liable if he loses control of the vehicle. If this person was aware of his medical condition, he should not have been driving a car. He is therefore liable.
Another example is that of a pregnant woman who hit a car. The attorney managed to establish that the pregnant woman had enough time to pull to the side of the road safely. This could have happened before she was feeling flushed and fainted. Her insurance company then had to pay his client’s claim.
A collision from a fire truck racing to an emergency: The standard for proving that an emergency vehicle driver was liable is much higher than the standard for other drivers. Local and state jurisdictions have varying rules and timelines for filing claims against them.
Most emergency vehicles enjoy immunity from liability for negligence.
If the other driver hits you because of an accident with a hit and run driver, you may be able to claim under your own uninsured motorist coverage. A driver is a criminal in all states in the USA if he fails to stop. The police must stop to provide immediate assistance.
However, when a thief takes a car, there is no permission or consent. Therefore, the car owner’s insurance will not pay. If the thief was caught and he had a policy. Hence his insurer would also not pay because insurance does not apply to criminal acts. You could sue the thief, but the chances of recovering any money damages are minimal. The car owner may be found partially liable if he did something negligent, which led to the theft.
There are instances when an accident occurs which is nobody’s fault. A deer may jump out in front of a vehicle causing it to hit someone else. A driver could be partially liable if he was exceeding the speed limit.
Certain states have comparative negligence laws when liability is calculated on a percentage basis. One party may be 30 per cent liable and the other party 70 per cent liable.
Comparative negligence laws dictate how the responsibility for an accident will be shared between the parties directly involved in an accident, where bodily injury or property damage was suffered.
The insurance company will make the injured party an offer based on what it believes to be the amount of negligence of its insured. The insurance company may interview the involved parties, including witnesses, and may also review the accident report in order to determine the amount of the offer.
An insurance company may believe that its insured was not more than 50% or more at fault. They may not offer to pay any damages for the loss. The other driver may negotiate with the insurance company until a settlement is reached or until the two parties reach an impasse.