General Car Insurance Law Information Lawyers

Here’s a great article from Zooomr, a new car leasing tech startup,  that is also innovating the sale of New Delhi used cars. The laws of car insurance vary by state, but most require that you have at least minimal coverage in the event that you are in an accident. You need to be able to show proof that you have car insurance if you are ever pulled over or involved in an accident. If you don’t have insurance, then it’s best to consult with an attorney as you could face fines, points on your license or insurance or even a ticket that you would need to fight in court.

Liability insurance is the basic coverage that will provide financial assistance to another person if you are responsible for an accident. The policy will cover repairs to the vehicle along with any medical treatments that are needed. Your policy could also cover a car rental for the person who is the victim if the car is damaged too much to drive until it’s repaired.

Many state laws require that an insurance policy includes medical coverage. This is so that the person who is inured in the accident can seek medical treatment as soon as the accident occurs. It could range from being transported to the hospital via ambulance or going to the doctor to get treatments related to the accident, such as therapy or x-rays. The policy holder’s coverage will generally cover payments for pain and suffering as well along with payments for lost wages if the person has to stay out of work as a result of injuries that are sustained in the accident.

Property damage is also included in most car insurance policies. It will cover the damage that occurs to a vehicle while you or someone else is driving. The coverage is to get the other driver’s car fixed and possibly cover your own vehicle if you have collision coverage added to the policy. This type of coverage will also pay for damage to poles, fences, posts and other things that might get damaged in the accident even if there isn’t another car involved. As stated, collision covers your own vehicle if you are in an accident. If the other person doesn’t have insurance, then the collisions is a benefit because it will offer a way for you to get your car fixed and get any medical treatment that is needed. The coverage will also pay for damage that is caused by potholes in the road in most states as this is a situation that needs to be maintained by state repair crews.

If your car is broken into or damaged by natural events or when you come into contact with an animal, comprehensive coverage will pay for the damages that are sustained. It also covers natural disasters, that include floods and hailstorms along with fires and vandalism. You can also add under-insured or uninsured coverage to your policy. This gives a cushion in the event that someone drives your car who doesn’t have a policy or if someone who hits you doesn’t have a policy.

Collision and comprehensive insurance usually aren’t required unless you are making payments on a car. You have a financial responsibility while you are driving on the road as does every other driver. If you cannot afford this responsibility, then there will be fees that you have to pay. When you get your tag renewed, there could be additional fees that you have to pay if you have a lapse in insurance coverage. If you don’t have insurance coverage and are in an accident, then you might be required to pay for damages and medical treatments out of your pocket. Some states will charge you with a crime if you don’t have insurance coverage and are in an accident. There are a few states that don’t require you to have insurance at all in order to drive. If you live in a state like this, then you need to be prepared to offer proof that you have the money set aside to cover damages and injuries if you are in an accident. A surety bond is an option if you need to have proof that you are financially responsible enough to operate a vehicle.

When you talk to an attorney about a lack of insurance coverage, you need to be prepared to explain why you didn’t have a policy while on the road. The attorney will contact the insurance company that you had coverage with to see how long it has been since it lapsed and to see if there were any other incidents that happened while you had coverage. If you’re in a no-fault state, then you can’t be named as a defendant even if you are responsible for causing an accident. A tort state is where the victim can sue you for the damages that are caused in the accident, which is why it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

How Do I Decide Whether to Sue or Settle?

There is no doubt that your have sustained a personal injury due to the negligence or actions of another party. What remains to be decided is whether you are willing to settle with that responsible party or pursue the matter in court. While you do have the option of making a decision on your own, seeking advise from a personal injury lawyer is your best bet. Here are some of the points that need to be considered carefully before making a decision.

Is Settling Even an Option?

It’s true that settling a personal injury suit is not unusual. Responsible parties are often open to this solution because they want to avoid the expense of going to court. Their desire to settle is not based just on wanting to avoid court costs and more legal fees. There is also the possibility that the court will find in favor of the plaintiff and the verdict will be a significantly larger award.

Others may feel they have a better chance of winning if they take the matter to court. When the responsible party believes it is possible to refute the claims of the injured party, they are highly unlikely to enter into settlement negotiations. In this scenario, settling is not even an option.

Being Open to Receiving a Settlement

Assuming the responsible party is willing to enter settlement negotiations, it never hurts to find out what they are offering. At this juncture, the injured party would do well to have an attorney on hand. That’s because what appears to be an excellent offer may not be so great after all.

Keep in mind that the responsible party and the insurance provider that ultimately pays the settlement has a vested interest in keeping the amount as low as possible. While the initial offer will be presented as being a generous one, it pays to step back and consider it from a more objective angle. That’s where the support of an attorney will serve you well.

Considering the Initial Settlement Offer

Your attorney is in a position to compare that offer with the direct and indirect expenses you’ve incurred as the result of the injury. How much income did you lose due to the inability to work? Will you need ongoing treatment? What will it do in terms of covering the money you’ve paid out of pocket for medical treatments not covered by your insurance? Will there be enough money to repay your insurance provider if a settlement is extended? This is important, because your insurance provider could place a lien on the settlement in an effort to recoup their losses.

With the aid of legal counsel, it’s possible to step away from the settlement offer for a moment and look closely at what the injury is costing you. In some cases, you may find that the offer is sufficient to cover all of your expenses, including the entire medical cost up to this point. Even so, it will not provide any help with future expenses related to further treatment or therapy. If that’s the case, your attorney will counter with an offer to settle that does take into account those future expenses.

Taking the Matter to Court

One of two things will happen as the settlement negotiations continue. The two parties will come to an arrangement that both find reasonable or the attempt to reach a settlement will come to an end. When the latter outcome occurs, that means it’s time to prepare for court.

Understand that you and your attorney will invest a great deal of time in preparing for the actual court case. Depending on the circumstances, it is possible for the injured party to drag out the case for anywhere from a few weeks to several years. While the odds of receiving a larger award by taking the matter to court are quite good, can you afford to wait several years before the money is in your hands? Are you prepared mentally and physically to put in the effort needed to pursue what you hope will be a reasonable judgment in your favor?

Remember there will be expenses along the way. Even if your attorney is working on a contingency basis, there is the need to render payment once you win the suit. After the attorney and your insurance company are paid, will the remaining about be enough to cover your out of pocket medical expenses? Will it also replace the income that you lost because of the accident?

These are questions you must answer for yourself before proceeding with a court case. Think about them carefully and don’t make a decision in haste. Remember it’s not just about the money. Ultimately, it’s about doing what’s best for you emotionally as well as financially.

The bottom line is that the decision of whether to sue or settle is up to you. What works best in your situation may be completely different from that of another person. Since the process of negotiating a settlement or even understanding whether the offer on the table is a good one is not always easy, you need legal counsel by your side. Discuss all your options with an attorney before deciding how to proceed. In the long run, you have a better chance of receiving what you need to recover from the injury and get on with the rest of your life.

How soon do I need to notify people about my intention to file a claim for my accident injuries?

After a car accident, there are time limits for when you should complete parts of the process. For example, immediately after an accident with injuries, you’ll want to visit a doctor or have an ambulance take you to the hospital. You don’t want to delay because that will hurt your chances at recovery. If you delay other parts of the process, it’ll impact whether you receive damages for your injuries.

Document the Incident
These steps are valid in the case of any accident where there have been injuries. You’ll want to write down as much as you can remember about what led to the accident. If there are witnesses, try to ensure that you have their names and a statement about the accident especially when someone else was at fault.

Lost Wages and Medical Bills
After the accident with injuries, you’ll need to document how much time you missed from work and keep meticulous notes about the medical portion of your claim. Any evidence, pictures and notices should be in a file.

Notifying the Insurance Company
While you don’t have to know whether you intend to sue or not after a car accident, you do have to notify your insurance company of the accident immediately. You’ll contact your insurance company as well as the other person’s company to inform them of the accident.

Notification of Intent to Sue
After an accident, you don’t have to sue immediately, but you can let the other party know that you intend to sue them. This is a step in the process that you can take or not. It’s not required unless the entity you’re suing is the city, county or state, which had a part in the accident itself.

Hiring a Lawyer
At some point in the process, it makes sense to hire a lawyer. It should actually be done as soon as possible when you’ve decided to sue the other party. The attorney can provide sound, practical advice about the steps you need to take in the process. He or she will be able to do much of this work since it can be incredibly confusing when you’re still reeling from the accident and dealing with your injuries.

When you meet with a lawyer for the first time, it should be as soon as possible after the accident, so he or she can give you quality legal advice. Every situation is a bit different, but they all will follow the same laws and rules, which the lawyer can help with as soon as you make contact.

The state of New York has rules about car accidents. If you plan to sue an individual, you’re living in a no-fault state, which means that you’ll have to collect from your own insurance company for your injuries before you can sue the other party unless you have serious injuries. There’s a threshold of injuries covered by the no-fault claim.

From the time of the accident, you have 3 years to approach the court and file a lawsuit against the person responsible for your injuries or the accident itself. This is called a statute of limitations.

When you pass the statute of limitations in the state, you are unable to file a claim. The court system will refuse to hear any part of your case because the law is in place, and you’ll have to follow it.

The rules are different for the government. You might be planning on suing the city or state because of the circumstances surrounding the accident. For example, you might want to file a suit against the driver of a city bus who caused your accident. In this case, you’ll have 90 days to file a complaint against the city. The complaint differs from the actual lawsuit. You’ll have up to one year to file a lawsuit against the city in the same case. You’ll have 90 days to file a complaint against a county or the state itself too.

This might not seem like a lot of time since medical treatment can still be ongoing at the 90-day mark. You don’t have to know the final outcome of your treatment or the final numbers to file an intent to make a claim.

Letter of Notification
While you might have called your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company to inform them of your intent to sue, you should send a notification letter too. There can be no mistake when you’ve sent the letter to the other party in writing. The driver responsible for the accident and your injuries might even talk to their insurance company about settling the case in a timely manner, which can only help your case.

There are always statute of limitations when it comes to filing a lawsuit against someone else in the event of an accident. You can always file an intent to sue letter with the other party long before you’re ready to file the lawsuit itself. If you plan on suing a government agency or the city, county or state for the accident, you have less time than you might have expected. It’s always a good idea to speak with an attorney about the specifics of your case before time runs out for the claim itself.

How do depositions work?

There are many aspects to cover when a lawyer is preparing a case for trial. From the beginning, the lawyer will develop a theme or strategy for her case. The lawyer will utilize the theme as a foundation of the case. Everything done in preparation for the trial should be done with this theme in mind. From evidence that will be utilized at trial, what motions to file, what witnesses to interview, and who should be deposed, the theme of the trial should remain in the forefront of trial preparation.

Deposing someone is known as conducting a deposition. The person being deposed is known as the deponent. Depositions are conducted in order to gather testimony from someone involved with a case. They are a discovery tool which helps to assemble testimony and documentary evidence before trial. Depositions involve testimony gathered outside the courtroom that will possibly be utilized later in the courtroom.

Typically, the testimony given during a deposition is conducted orally with a lawyer posing the questions and the person being deposed answering the questions. A court reporter will transcribe the testimony which is taken under oath. The court reporter, usually a Notary Public, can lead the deponent through a verbal oath so that affidavits can be signed stating that the testimony is complete and accurate.

Prior to conducting a deposition, information regarding time and place must be provided to the deponent in a timely manner, usually 5 to 10 days. Persons who are not a party in either side of a lawsuit can be deposed as well. In addition to providing the time and place, a subpoena to appear and give testimony must be provided in these cases.

If there are documents, photographs, or any other types of evidence referred to during the deposition, these are marked and numbered as appropriate. The court reporter will attach these additional exhibits to the complete deposition transcript.

As the deposition begins, the attorney can ask the deponent any number of questions of a wide variety. There are questions that may or may not be allowed in the courtroom. Some examples of these are questions may lack relevance or be considered hearsay. However, all questions are allowed during a deposition. The answers to these types of questions may uncover evidence and admissible statements that can be used in the courtroom.

Since it is taken with lawyers present and under oath, the deposition becomes a significant piece of evidence. When the case goes to trial, the attorney can utilize the deposition to impeach a witness when their testimony on the witness stand differs from what is documented in their deposition.

As technology has evolved, so has the technology behind depositions. It is becoming more common to see depositions taken via affordable video recordings. However, there are some specifics that must be taken care of. Both parties must agree to the recording. This is done through an agreement signed by both sides and is known as a stipulation.

There are many advantages to taking a deposition in the form of a videotaped recording. This type of deposition offers more than that of a transcribed deposition. With video, there are many additional types of information that are captured. While written and audio recorded depositions save the spoken word, videos save facial expressions, posture, and specific body movements of the deponent. This can in part help with questionable and ambiguous statements. Also, any bodily injuries can be indicated as well. For witnesses that are unable to testify during a trial, the videotaped deposition can resolve this issue. If a specific videotaped deposition is utilized as evidence at a trial, juries can be affected to a greater degree by a visual recording than with only a videotaped deposition.

Depositions can also be taken by telephone. These are allowed under federal rules and in many states. The rules for a deposition taken via telephone are the same as the regular deposition. The attorney asking questions will want to stipulate at the beginning that the deposition is being recorded. A telephone deposition can be conducted in a conference call situation with each party at separate locations.

Video conferencing is another type of technology that can be utilized to take depositions of parties. Video conferencing combines the audio portion of a deposition with a video recording. Video conferencing can help to clear up any confusion with unclear spoken words and make viewing exhibits easier.

Depositions are a necessary tool utilized by attorneys in preparation for a trial. There is little difference between information captured within a deposition and that of testimony given in a trial. The major difference is how the recorded information is utilized. Information in a deposition and testimony at a trial are both given under oath. However, the judge makes the decision as to what parts of a deposition are admissible at trial.

Do I still have a claim if the accident is partially my fault?

Many people think they do not have a claim for personal injuries following an auto accident when the mishap is their fault, but this is not always the case. While an injured claimant can be denied coverage for personal injuries in some instances when the accident is an intentional act, states like New York have implemented pure comparative negligence law along with a “no fault” insurance law that allows most injured parties in an accident to receive some form of financial recovery based on the material facts of the case. Denial of any insurance claims usually stems from incidents that are the result of intentional acts. Insurance companies in New York are generally focused on determining if a claim is fraudulent when they issue a denial, as accident insurance fraud is a very serious problem in the state and especially in New York City. Even though the purpose of the Article 51 no-fault law is to begin coverage of medical bills and replacement of lost wages in an expedited manner, there can still be potential legal complications when the insurance company is suspicious of an auto accident injury claim. This potential alone is a significant reason that it is vital to retain an experienced Long Island accident attorney to represent your injury case.

Understanding No Fault Insurance

Fault and negligence are not considered following an accident in a “no fault” state in many cases. Medical bill and lost wage claims are submitted to the personal insurance company of the injured party first, with the case then being evaluated for further damages against negligent parties. In exchange for the quick beginning of coverage for injured parties, there are also restrictions on when a lawsuit can be filed following an accident. Injuries must be very severe, including fatalities, permanent disabling injury or dismemberment, and the court determines if the case qualifies for additional damage litigation. This can be a real problem for the novice injured party who is attempting to handle the claim personally. No fault insurance is not as simple as it sounds, and it is easy to be denied full compensation without an aggressive accident attorney who will investigate an accident for all potential avenues of compensation.

Understanding Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is the legal doctrine that all accidents are not obvious in terms of fault, as many times accidents involving two or more vehicles are the fault of multiple drivers or external causes. Many accidents actually happen as a result of automotive equipment failure, such as an air bag engaging without impact or a faulty brake system. In addition, truck accidents are often caused by failing equipment, especially when the driver has been lax in safety inspection aor truck maintenance. Each driver in an accident is evaluated for comparative negligence, normally by the respondent insurance companies first. If an accident case goes to court for a full trial, the jury will then be charged with the duty of determining an official comparative fault percentage for each driver. The comparative fault percentage is then used to determine the amount of damages that insurance companies must pay each injured driver. This is by no means a scientific process, and insurance companies try to control this component of the settlement from the very beginning, including the injured party’s own insurance company. Just because the insurance agent acts friendly in the beginning does not mean the company claims adjuster will not intensely investigate the accident looking for a reason to limit a total payout. The percentage is used to discount the amount of damages they are required to pay, and overstating a claimant’s contribution to the crash can lessen the value of the claim. This is the area of a claim where personal injury attorneys work most diligently in protecting the client’s right to full compensation for injuries.

Never let your insurance company deny you full financial compensation using any one of the several negotiation tactics that trained professional insurance claims adjusters use to reduce the value of a settlement. Just because they know they will be required to pay benefits does not mean they will not try to discourage retaining an attorney while embellishing your personal contribution to the cause of the accident. Even apparently simple cases can get complicated, especially when the injured party carries significantly higher amounts of coverage on their personal auto policy. Always get an attorney who is familiar with the local court system and understands how to craft a strong case on your behalf that will result in a maximum settlement or potentially being made financially whole following an accident claim. If a claim goes to trial, the fact that the claimant is partially at fault for the wreck does not stop the financial damage recovery process and many times gross negligence can still be a factor for one or more of the other motorists.