No, your past driving record should not affect a car accident injury claim. While past accidents can impact insurance rates, they should not bar you from filing an insurance claim after you’ve suffered an injury.
Knowing where to file the claim comes down to which driver was at fault in the accident, which means proving negligence. If you’re facing challenges obtaining compensation for your car accident injury claim or you want to ensure you do things correctly from the start, you should hire an Indiana car accident attorney.
An attorney knows the tricks that car insurance companies use to intimidate accident victims or deny claims. Ultimately, the insurance company is focused on limiting its financial liability, which means if you don’t present evidence, the insurance company isn’t going to go looking for it or ask you to submit it.
So if you’re driving record doesn’t impact a car accident injury claim, what can? Here’s what you need to know.
Indiana’s Comparative Negligence Laws
A major factor in Indiana car accident claims can be comparative negligence. Under this law, your final compensation for your injuries will be reduced by the percent you were at fault for the accident.
For example, if a driver pulls out in front of you to turn left when the light is red, that driver is likely at fault for the accident. But if you were speeding at the time of the accident, that reduces your ability to react to the other driver’s mistake, making the car accident worse than it would have been if you were going the speed limit.
In this case, the courts might find that you were 25 percent at fault for the resulting vehicle damage and physical injuries. If you would have received $10,000 to offset your expenses for the accident, you’ll now get $7,500 due to the part you played in the accident.
Car Accident Claim Evidence
How much evidence you have of the other driver’s negligence will impact how willing the insurance company is to settle the claim outside of court. That’s because the amount of evidence will tell the insurance adjuster how likely you’ll be to win a court case if you were to file a lawsuit.
The more compelling the evidence, the more likely the insurance company is to work with you. This is another reason why it’s important to hire an attorney to defend your case. An attorney will work to gather evidence and present it to compel the insurance company to settle your claim fairly.
Some examples of types of evidence in a car accident case include:
- Photos and videos from the accident scene
- Security camera footage from nearby businesses
- Witness accounts
- Vehicle damage
- Medical evaluations and doctor’s notes
- Medical bills
- Statements from your employer about missed work
- Police report
When You Got Evaluated Medically
Waiting too long to see a doctor could impact your case. The longer you wait to get checked out, the more doubt you cast that your injuries are related to the car accident.
When you call an attorney to discuss a car accident case, one of their first questions is whether you’ve seen a doctor. While you’re likely experiencing pain, you can’t prove that without a medical diagnosis.
You should seek medical treatment or even just a checkup with your family physician as soon as possible after a car accident. This will document any injuries and ensure there is evidence for your case if you choose to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Stewart & Stewart offers a team of car accident experts ready to help you ensure you get the compensation you deserve no matter the details surrounding your car accident case. Contact us now for a free consultation.