Getting in a car accident is a scary situation.
When you are the victim of a car accident you will likely be able to file a claim to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you are at-fault in an accident, even partially, you can still sustain injuries. You may know you are at fault if you receive a citation for something you did wrong to cause the car accident.
Since you got a citation, you may be thinking that you aren’t eligible to seek compensation for any of your medical bill, etc.
This may not always be the case.
So Can I Still File a Claim Even If I Received a Ticket in a Car Accident?
The short answer is yes.
If you received a traffic citation after you’ve been in an accident, you are still able to file a claim.
Depending on what your citation is for, the citation may impact the type and strength of the claim that you would be able to file.
Liability in automobile accidents are based on negligence – or who is the party at fault for the damage or injury being caused due to the failure to exercise a reasonable standard of care – in this case, following the laws of the road would be the standard of care to base the negligence claim.
If the traffic citation you received is evidence that you were at fault, this will impact your claim.
Insurance companies will use the ticket to increase your level of fault and to lower the settlement amount.
Most states, including Iowa and Illinois, have “comparative fault” laws which will prohibit you from receiving damages if you are at fault for 50% or more of the accident.
There are many different types of traffic tickets that you may receive if you are involved in an accident.
The list of the following are some common types of tickets you may receive if you have some fault involved in an accident:
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Failure to use your seat belt
- Failure to obey traffic signs
State Comparative Fault Laws and the Effect on Your Potential Claim
Many states, including Iowa and Illinois, have adopted comparative fault laws as it relates to many claims of negligence.
A car accident often occurs due to the negligence of one or more people involved in the accident.
Under comparative fault laws, a person may be entitled to damages but the amount is reduced by the proportionate level of fault of that person.
In Iowa, Illinois and several other the states, a person cannot be at fault for half of the accident or more, or else the person is not entitled to recover any damages.
For example, let’s say Person A was 65% at fault because they were driving too fast and slammed into the car being driven by Person B, who was 35% at fault because the tail light in Person B’s car was not working.
Person A suffered $5,000.00 in damages and person B suffered $10,000.00 in damages. Under Illinois, Iowa, and the law of many other states, Person A would not be able to recover any damages because they were more than 50% at fault in the accident.
Person B would be entitled to recover $6,500.00 in damages because their $10,000.00 amount of damages would be reduced by 35% because that was the amount of fault that they had due to the tail light in the car not working.
What Information Do I Need to Prove My Claim?
The accident report is one of many items that can be used to determine and establish fault for an auto accident.
The accident report is typically created by the police officer responding to the scene of the accident. You are entitled to a copy of the accident report and should request a copy of the accident report if the officer does not provide one to you.
The accident report typically includes the following items:
- Time, date, and location of the accident
- Weather conditions on the day of the accident
- Any eye witnesses who saw the accident take place and their account of the accident
- The position of the vehicles involved in the accident
- Driver sobriety reports
In addition to the accident report, photographs of the damaged vehicles and injuries to the people involved in the accident, medical records, and witness testimony are helpful to prove who is at fault in the accident.
Everything mentioned above will be considered by the insurance companies and if it goes to trial, the jury, in determining who was at fault in an accident.
An experienced injury attorney can help someone injured in a car accident gather the appropriate records and evidence to support a case.
What Are the Different Types of Insurance Coverage?
In Iowa and Illinois, as in most states, driver’s are required to have minimum levels of insurance coverage to ensure that when people are injured in an accident they are made whole.
However, most of these minimums do not provide enough coverage for someone seriously injured in an accident.
If these minimums are insufficient to cover someone’s damage, the person who was injured may have underinsured insurance coverage through their own auto insurance coverage.
This allows you to avoid paying out of pocket for damages that were a result of someone other than yourself.
If a driver who hits someone does not have insurance, most policies have a policy that covers uninsured motorists. This will protect you in the event someone who hits you does not have insurance coverage as required by law.
The different types of insurance coverage can be quite complex and is often why contacting an experienced injury attorney can be beneficial to someone who has been in a serious car accident.
How Does a Claim Typically Get Resolved?
When an accident occurs, the insurance information should be exchanged among everyone involved in the accident.
The insurance companies will often contact their insured and the injured parties in the accident.
Contacting a quality attorney during this process can ensure that you have someone looking out for your best interests.
A quality attorney can assist you in filing a claim and ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve.
The first step in any accident is ensuring you are getting the treatment and care that you deserve for any injuries that occurred. Often times the insurance company will attempt to settle the case by paying a certain amount of damages to someone injured in an accident.
That is why the next step is to find an attorney you can trust to assist you with the process.
An attorney can assist in determining whether the amount offered is a fair value of your case. If a settlement cannot be reached, the injured person may need to file a lawsuit to ensure they are fairly compensated.
Contact VanDerGinst Law Today
In conclusion, car accidents are often complex and complicated and only attorneys with experience in these type of accidents should handle these types of cases.
Don’t deal with your injuries and the insurance companies on your own.
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The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.