If you have been in a car accident before, then you know just how much of a headache they can be. What seems like a minor fender-bender can quickly turn into weeks, months, or years of talking with insurance adjusters, trying to gather evidence, and filling out piles of paperwork. Though it seems like mandatory car insurance should make things easier, insurance companies can often complicate things in trying to improve their bottom line. Contacting an experienced Matthews car accident lawyer can often be step one in making sure that your experience is as painless as possible.
Dealing with insurance companies is often one of the more stressful aspects of dealing with the aftermath of a car accident. First, it is important to remember that insurance companies are businesses and that they are trying to make as much money as possible. This means taking in as much money in premiums as possible while paying out as little as they are legally obligated to. To this end, they employ experienced claims adjusters who are skilled in getting you to say things that can damage your claim, which results in them paying out less money. In order to try to make sure that you protect your potential claim, it is important to talk to an attorney before giving any sort of statement to an insurance company.
Though car insurance is mandatory in all states but two, not all drivers have it. Getting into an accident with an uninsured driver throws a significant wrench into the proceedings, but all is not lost. First, check your own insurance policy to see what is covered. In this situation, uninsured motorist (UM) insurance can be very helpful—UM is a policy add-on that will make sure that you are protected in the event that you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. However, even if you don’t have UM coverage, it is still possible to recover for your losses, and talking to a Matthews car accident attorney can help you explore your options.
If the driver who you were in an accident with was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then the proceedings can become a bit more complicated by the addition of the state’s criminal laws. At this point, it is important to understand the difference between criminal law and civil law—criminal law deals with the violation of state or federal criminal laws, and these crimes are punished through jail time, fines, or probation. Civil law deals with the relationship between the two parties in an accident and attempting to ensure that the injured victim is made whole again. If the driver who was involved in your accident is convicted of a DUI, then this is solid evidence that would go to show that they were driving negligently in your civil case against them.
In an accident with an intoxicated driver, there is another potential third party to file a claim against—the establishment who served them the alcohol. The basic premise behind dram shop liability is that if a bartender continues a clearly intoxicated patron, and then that person goes on to cause an accident while under the influence of alcohol, the bar should share in the liability for the victim’s injuries. Dram shop liability can be difficult to establish, however, and consulting with an experienced attorney can give you a better idea of whether this is a viable option.
There is no doubt that car accident claims can become complicated for several different reasons. If you were injured in a crash, you need the right legal representation. Contact the Matthews car accident lawyers at Biazzo and Panchenko, at (704) 900-7675 or online for more information regarding your potential car accident claim.