Car accidents aren’t uncommon in Augusta, Georgia. Georgia’s Department of Transportation Crash Data Portal estimates that the number of car accidents in Augusta between 2019 and 2020 was 18,029.
If you have sustained injuries in a car accident and suffered losses, feel free to consult an Augusta car accident lawyer for advice on whether or not you are entitled to a claim and what steps you should take.
Should you pursue a personal injury claim? Here are critical determinant factors to always remember and how to proceed with the claim.
Time Limit for Making a Claim
When you make your insurance claim or file, a lawsuit plays a significant part in determining the validity of your claim. Many car accidents involve claiming an insurance company, which may be to the defendant’s insurer or your own.
In many states, insurance companies require accident victims to file claims within a “reasonable” time. Some insurers have a strict time frame within which you must file a claim. To avoid invalidating your claim, act quickly and don’t wait too long to file your claim with the insurance company.
On the other hand, it is pertinent that you know the personal injury statutory limitations in your jurisdiction if you are filing a car accident lawsuit. Filing outside of the statute of limitations will have dire consequences, as the court will consider your claim time-barred. In many states, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 1-2 years.
Elements of Negligence
For a favorable outcome in your claim, you must satisfy all the elements of negligence. You must demonstrate that the defendant owed you a duty of care and breached the duty of care. Also, you must prove that the defendant’s negligence led to your injuries. Without satisfying all these elements, you will likely not receive compensation.
It’s common for the at-fault party in a car accident to raise the defense of contributory or comparative negligence. If the defendant shows that you didn’t act reasonably and suffered injuries, they may hold you partially liable.
You would not receive any damages if the accident happened in a state that upholds contributory negligence laws. However, if the accident occurred in a state that supports comparative negligence laws, how much you receive as compensation will depend on your share of liability.
The strength of your personal injury claim hinges mainly on the evidence you can present to the court to prove negligence. A lack of sufficient evidence is just cause for the court to dismiss your claim.
To improve your chances of getting compensation, ensure you provide the relevant documentation to support your claim.
The first of these documents is the car accident police report which the insurance company will find helpful when reviewing your claim and conducting their independent investigations.
Secondly, get witness statements. The testimony of people who witnessed the accident will only strengthen your claim.
Lastly, gather all the medical reports to confirm your injuries, which will also contain information on your history. Additionally, keep the receipts for medical tests, medication, and any other charges related to the treatment of your injuries.
The insurance adjuster may try to dispute your injuries, but this may be a big challenge when you have supporting medical reports. For example, if the insurance adjuster claims you have a pre-existing condition, the reports will show your medical history and most recent health status. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your lawyer may use an expert witness to corroborate the details in your medical reports.
Having learned that you are entitled to an injury claim and what to expect, you want to have the right people in your corner. So, do some research and hire professionals to help you get the claim.