Are You at Fault if Someone Pulls out in Front of You?Auto Accidents
Car accidents are devastating events that leave property damage, injuries, and sometimes death in their aftermath. Car accidents also leave questions in the minds of drivers. After a car accident, you may wonder who caused the accident and who will pay your medical bills? You must know who is at fault after a car accident due to someone pulling out in front of you.
An experienced car accident attorney can assist you in finding out who is at fault. If you have suffered harm in a car accident, contact an accident lawyer to discuss your rights as soon as possible.
Continue reading to learn more about your rights after you are in a car accident when someone pulls out in front of you.
How Do You Determine Fault in a Car Accident Case?
After you are in a car accident, call 911. A police officer will respond to the scene. If you, your passengers, or the other driver or their passengers do not have to be immediately transported to the hospital, the responding officer will speak to everyone involved in the crash.
The officer will ask you questions. Questions that you may hear include where you were going at the time of the accident, if you ingested drugs or alcohol, what speed you were going, or if you remember seeing the other car involved before the accident. The officer will ask your passengers some questions about what they saw. The officer will have similar conversations with the other driver and their passengers.
The officer will also observe the accident scene. They might take pictures. The officer will look for vehicle damage, tire marks on the road, damage to vegetation, and street signs or streetlights. The officer will also look at your injuries and your passenger’s injuries. They will check the other driver and their passengers for injuries as well.
After the officer gets all the information, they will complete their accident report. The report will include both drivers’ and each passenger’s narratives of what happened. The report will also include the officer’s summary of their findings. The police report will include the officer’s initial determination of fault, and perhaps what caused the crash.
Although the officer will decide who they think is at fault, the responding officer’s report is not the final word on fault. Each driver must report the crash to their insurance company, and the insurance company will decide fault.
Insurance Company Investigation
Each driver must report the accident to their insurance company. The insurance company will conduct an independent investigation. During the investigation, the other driver’s insurance company might contact you. Hire legal counsel before speaking with an opposing party’s insurance company.
Contact a car accident lawyer if you start to get letters or phone calls from another driver’s insurance company. After the investigation is complete, the insurance company will decide who is at fault.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
#1. Call 911
If you suffer injuries in an accident, seek medical attention immediately. Many injuries are visible immediately after the accident, but some are not apparent until you see a doctor.
Even if your injuries seem minor, you should seek medical attention after an accident. Even if you are not bleeding, you may have bumped your head against the side of the car door or violently hit it, and that injury must get treatment. You may have suffered a concussion or another soft tissue injury that emerges following the impact. After a car accident, do not undervalue your injuries.
Work with your medical team. Make sure you don’t skip X-rays, procedures, follow-up appointments, or medications prescribed to you. They will help you recover faster. Damage mitigation is an important concept.
Damage mitigation is the process of reducing the damages caused by an accident. When calculating damages in a car accident case, defense lawyers consider the failure to mitigate damages. The best way to maximize your payout is to dismantle the defense argument before it arises.
#2. File an Accident Report
The police will respond to the scene of the accident. If the drivers and passengers are willing to talk with the officer, the officer will ask what happened. The police might reach out later to speak with you about what happened if you needed an ambulance ride to the hospital. Meanwhile, officers will speak to pedestrians and other witnesses.
It is also necessary to file a claim with each driver’s insurance company, and you should do this with help from a car accident attorney. An insurance company will investigate the incident to determine liability. If you fail to report an accident and cooperate with the subsequent investigation, your insurance premiums may increase, or your insurer might deny coverage or cancel your policy.
After a car accident, it can be natural to apologize – however, you should not apologize at any point after the accident. Others might interpret this as admitting fault. Insurance companies will use this as an excuse not to pay out a settlement or an adequate settlement.
A car accident lawyer can help you understand how important it is to remain neutral when the accident is your fault. In depositions, mediations, or at trial, your car accident lawyer can assist you in answering questions.
#3. Collect Evidence
Gather evidence as soon as possible. After an impact, evidence deteriorates rapidly. Obtain the following information from the scene:
- Photograph and video the accident scene, your injuries, and your property damage.
- Speak with the other driver and his passengers. Even if they are not required to speak with you, you should still attempt to get a statement from the other driver’s passengers.
- Get their names and contact information.
- Obtain the license and insurance information of the other driver.
- Find out what happened. Take note of what the other driver or passenger says if they are not speaking directly to you or your passengers. You may need to remember their demeanor in the future.
- Keep your medical records and bills on hand.
#4. Notify Your Insurance Company
You may need to report an accident to your insurer, and it is best if you did not speak with anyone from the at-fault insurer. Most insurance policies require their insureds to notify them of accidents, even if they are not at fault. Insurers often require notification and cooperation during investigations. Your insurance policy may be canceled, or your premiums might increase if you fail to notify your insurance company of the accident.
It is final if you accept a settlement offer from an insurance company. Insurance companies defend thousands and thousands of accident claims every year, so making a decent settlement offer to an accident victim or their family is not a priority.
Companies make money by making lowball settlement offers to accident victims. Insurance adjusters and lawyers often take advantage of the victim’s ignorance of the recovery process and their rights after an accident to protect the insurance company’s bottom line.
An injury lawyer can help you. It is their ethical duty to act in your best interest. The insurer will offer you a settlement, and you can decide whether to accept it or not with advice from your attorney. Their experience in the field will guide you. Your lawyer will tell you if the offer is good enough for settlement or if you should counteroffer the insurance company. They will work for you and fight the insurance company for you.
#5. Get Legal Advice
A qualified accident lawyer can help you fully recover from a car accident. Contact an attorney immediately so that your rights are protected. A lawyer will know the laws and procedural rules preventing you from losing your claim before submitting it.
Your lawyer will also know when the statute of limitations runs and what to file to avoid missing the deadline, among other things. Your attorney will know what to include in your complaint to avoid missing out on the recovery. Your attorney will know what motions to file on your behalf. In depositions and mediations, they will know how to get the best outcome for you.
In addition to navigating procedural issues, your lawyer will help you understand a reasonable settlement offer. Before deciding whether to accept an offer or counteroffer, they will consider your medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, loss of companionship, pain, suffering, and other factors. In an injury case, your lawyer is on your side and will help you understand all the aspects for a successful outcome.
After a car accident, victims can take back control of their lives with the help of an auto accident lawyer. If you are involved in an accident, an accident lawyer can assist you in negotiating with large insurance companies. Insurance companies may seem to be on your side, but they aren’t. It is the job of an insurance adjuster or lawyer to obtain the best result for the insurance company. The accident lawyer you hire is on your side and works to make sure you get the best result.
You are vulnerable and unprotected from the schemes of defense lawyers and insurance companies if you do not have an accident lawyer on your side. Insurance companies have been defending accident claims for decades. They have a great deal of knowledge about the subject.
They may intimidate you into accepting a settlement that is less than what you deserve. If you settle too early or for a small amount after a car accident, you may not receive the benefits you need.
An accident lawyer can help you recover damages after an accident. An accident lawyer can build a team that fights as hard for you as the insurance company’s team does. Hire a good lawyer to protect you.
How Can an Accident Attorney Help Me?
Attorneys for accident victims protect their rights. If you need assistance with contacting an insurance company, naming a defendant in a lawsuit, or completing other requirements of the legal procedure, a lawyer can help you.
When an accident victim negotiates with an insurance company alone, the insurance company may take advantage of the victim’s naïveté. An attorney removes the possibility of being railroaded by an insurance company.
There is no blame-shifting on the part of the insurance company when you have an accident attorney representing you. Accident victims’ attorneys can obtain compensation for the victims’ damages from the responsible party.
Litigation and insurance claims require thorough investigations. An accident lawyer can assist with the entire process, including completing the paperwork correctly, negotiating a settlement, and getting the most out of payment.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today
Car accidents can bring about a lot of tough times. Even finding out who is at fault after an accident can be difficult on your own. If you suffered injuries in an accident caused by another driver pulling out in front of you, call an accident attorney today.
Car accident attorneys have the knowledge required to get the best outcomes for their clients. Getting the compensation that you deserve after an accident can be intimidating. Don’t go at it alone. Contact an accident attorney today and get your life back.
Nathan Hughey, an attorney and fourth-generation South Carolinian, founded Hughey Law Firm in 2007. Before that, he spent five years defending nursing homes and insurance companies. Leveraging his experience, he now advocates for those injured or wronged by such entities, securing over $220 million in verdicts and settlements.