One of the most involved aspects of getting in a car accident is settling who is legally responsible for paying certain damages. After the accident, your lawyer, your insurance company, the other driver's lawyer, and the other driver's insurance company will sort this all out. It helps, however, if you know a little bit about this process and how legal proceedings following a car accident typically go. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions in this field.
1. Your insurance company will argue on your behalf -- you don't need a lawyer.
While this may be true some of the time, your insurance company will only do so much. They will try to get out of paying for your injuries by insisting the other driver's insurance company pay. If the other driver has a good lawyer, that lawyer will try to shift the responsibility to your insurance company. So, the best way to defend yourself and ensure the responsible party pays is to play ball -- and also hire your own lawyer.
2. If you were rear-ended, it is always the other driver's fault.
Some people get blind-sided and blamed for an accident because they fall prey to this myth. Usually, the driver who does the rear-ending is at fault for the crash, but this is not always true. If your brake lights were not working or you slammed on your brakes in an unexpected way, you may be partially at fault for a rear-end collision. So, always be ready to explain yourself to your lawyer and insurance, even after you're rear ended.
3. If the other driver's insurance does not pay, yours has to.
Sadly, there are limits on all insurance policies. If the other driver's insurance company does not cover a certain cost, your own insurance company might step up -- but only to a certain extent. If the costs are really high, you may end up having to sue the other driver or their insurance company to get full compensation. Your lawyer will help you navigate this process.
4. Car accident cases take forever to settle.
Some people steer away from pursuing a car accident case because they fear they'll be in and out of court for years. However, many cases do not actually make it to court. They're instead settled out of court, which may only take a few weeks. Do not avoid pursuing a case because of the time it may take -- you could be leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
Speak with local law services to learn more.