A Fayetteville car accident lawyer knows that in most cases a crash is not 100% the fault of one driver. Everyone can get distracted, drowsy or hurry to get to work. Sometimes drivers fail to yield or change lanes without signaling. So, when it comes to recovering damages, it is a matter of which party was more at fault. It is important to know that you can limit liability after a car accident by following several steps and guidelines.
In most of the cases, car drivers who have the right to file an insurance claim see their damages reduced drastically by insurance companies. This is the result of some mistakes they made after the crash, which allow insurance adjuster to assign to them a higher percentage of fault. As your Fayetteville car accident lawyer will explain to you, sometimes the things you say and do after the crash can hurt your case as much as what you did prior to the accident.
How Georgia Comparative Fault Principle Affects Accident Claims
Now, you may ask: why would an insurance company will try to increase your percentage of responsibility for the accident? It all revolves around the modified comparative fault principle applicable to all personal injury cases in Georgia.
What does this principle state? In order to be eligible to file an accident claim, you must be less than 50% at fault for the accident. Moreover, even when you are eligible to file a claim, the amount of money you can recover shall be your total damages less your percentage of fault. Therefore, a car driver whose damages amount to $50,000 and is 25% at fault, will actually recover $37,500. Had the driver been only 10% at fault, they could have recovered $45,000.
This difference in payout motivates insurers to try to increase your percentage of fault. And this is also the reason why you must try and limit liability after a car accident.
The Key Steps to Take to Limit Liability after a Car Accident
An experienced Fayetteville car accident lawyer knows that there are many ways in which accident victims can make their situation worse when it comes to filing a claim.
Here are the most important things to do in order to limit liability after a car accident, starting with the first moments after the crash:
1. Do Not Move the Car until the Police Investigated the Crash
Unless your car is in the way of the incoming traffic, you should not move it from the position it has immediately after the crash until the law enforcement team arrives to investigate the accident scene. The position of the vehicles after an impact can give important clues as to the circumstances of the crash.
As your Fayetteville car accident lawyer will tell you, the police sketch indicating the position of the vehicles can also help accident reconstruction specialists recreate the accident using 3D graphic software and other specialized tools.
2. Accept Medical Attention at the Accident Scene
You can limit liability after a car crash and improve your chances of proving your injury case if you accept to receive emergency medical care at the crash scene. Even if you do not believe you are severely injured, you will need to be able to prove that you suffered injuries as a direct consequence of the crash, and not in an unrelated accident.
If you fail to seek medical care for days, an insurance adjuster will be able to argue that you got hurt in a different place and now you try to defraud them by filing a false accident claim.
3. Do Not Argue with the Other Driver
Many people hurt their cases because they let their temper get the better of them. Yes, it is frustrating to be involved in a car crash. But fighting with the other driver will only make you look as the bad guy in the story. Staying calm is one of the key elements that allow you to limit liability after a car accident.
At the same time, do not try to get to an informal agreement with the other driver concerning damages. Do not accept any money or payment for your ambulance ride and initial treatment. Your Fayetteville car accident lawyer will be able to recover your economic damages during settlement negotiations for your accident claim.
4. Do Not Forget to Collect Your Own Evidence from the Accident Scene
Without solid evidence, insurance claim negotiations can turn into a “he said, she said” debate. And it may go down to who reported the accident first and gave their side of the story to the insurance company.
Photos and videos of your injuries, of the position of the vehicles, of skid marks and of damages to your car can help you limit liability after a car accident and prove the other driver’s fault. One single detail captured in a photo can refute the other driver’s entire story of how the accident happened.
5. Stay Away From the Social Media
In many cases, a social media post can ruin your entire credibility as an accident victim. A Fayetteville car accident lawyer knows that insurance company can find your photos and videos posted on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. And they have the legal right to use them in order to prove that you are exaggerating your injuries and damages.
If you want to limit liability after a car crash and get the maximum compensatory amount you deserve, you should refrain from posting anything related to your crash on the social media. Also, ask your friends and family members to do the same. Even a simple update saying “John is doing better after his car crash” can hurt your case.
Let a Fayetteville Car Accident Lawyer with Extensive Experience Win Your Case!
At Wade Law, we have a combined trial experience of over 70 years. We know how opposing counsels try to undermine your credibility and how insurance adjusters try to heap up more responsibility for the crash onto you.
This is why we advise you to schedule a free case review with us as soon as possible after your crash. If your case has merits, we will teach you how to limit liability after a car accident and fight to win the maximum compensation you deserve. Don’t wait any longer, get professional legal representation from am experienced Fayetteville car accident lawyer now: 770-282-1188!