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What If The Insurance Company Claims You Were At Fault And Will Not Pay For Your Car Accident Injuries
Scottsdale Injury Lawyers, LLC was recently hired to help clients who were injured in a car accident. The car accident was caused when another driver failed to yield the right of way. Car accidents that involve the failure to yield or that occur at an intersection can create problems when trying to recover from the insurance company. This is because fault is often contested in these car accidents. As explained below, there are certain steps you or a loved one should take if you were involved in one of these types of car accidents.
Car accidents that involve the failure to yield or that occur at an intersection can create problems when trying to recover from the insurance company.
Details of the Car Accident Case That Scottsdale Injury Lawyers, LLC is Handling
The case that Scottsdale Injury Lawyers, LLC recently took on, involved a couple who were injured in a car accident. The car accident occurred as the couple was traveling straight down a major road. They had the right of way and were traveling with the flow of traffic when a Volkswagen from an adjacent business attempted to turn in front of them. In doing so, the Volkswagen crossed into the couple’s lane of traffic when it was unsafe to do so. By failing to yield the right of way, the Volkswagen caused the crash. The couple hit the Volkswagen head on at a high rate of speed causing significant damage to their vehicle.
The couple claimed that the driver of the Volkswagen actually attempted a left turn over a double yellow line. In other words, the couple believed that the driver was trying to cross over their lanes of travel to the other side of the road to head in the opposite direction. The driver of the Volkswagen denied this. He claimed he turned in front of the couple to head in the same direction, but that the couple’s vehicle was traveling very fast. In other words, he tried to place part of the blame on the couple by saying they were speeding.
Fault and Liability Issues in Failure to Yield Car Accident and Intersection Car Accident Cases
In car accidents that involve the failure to yield or an intersection right of way mistake, the at-fault driver often misstates what actually happened. Failure to yield and intersection car accidents give the at-fault driver this opportunity. Unlike a rear end car accident, the at-fault driver has the ability to claim that he or she was not at fault in a failure to yield or intersection car accident. Simply put, the at-fault driver can claim the he or she had the right of way or that the light was green in his or her direction.
If the at-fault driver does so, any law enforcement officer who investigates the scene and reports the car accident, may not be able to determine fault. If fault is not determined in the police report, then the insurance company for the at-fault driver will likely not pay for the injuries caused or may pay a reduced amount. If the at-fault driver claims it was not his or her fault at all, his or her insurance company could potentially breach a duty it owes to the at-fault driver by not taking his or her side.
Any amount the insurance company would normally pay is then reduced by the amount of fault the insurance company assigns to you.
Even if the at-fault driver admits to some fault, the at-fault driver or his or her insurance company may still try to place some blame on you. If that happens, any amount you would be entitled to for your injuries is reduced by the percentage of fault the at-fault driver’s insurance company claims you are responsible for. Any amount the insurance company would normally pay is then reduced by the amount of fault the insurance company assigns to you.
How Insurance Companies Reduce Payouts in Car Accident Cases Where Fault or Liability is Contested
Here is an example of how this works. Assume you or a loved one was in a car accident and suffered injuries. The medical expenses associated with the injuries totals $10,000. The reasonable amount for pain and suffering that the insurance company for the at-fault party has calculated is $20,000. The total amount you would be entitled to, if the other side was 100% at fault, is then $30,000. However, the insurance company for the other side argues that you or your loved one is 50% responsible for causing the crash. As a result, the insurance company takes the $30,000 you or your loved one would normally receive and reduces it in half to $15,000. This is all you or your loved one would then receive as a result.
Here is how the calculation in this example looks below:
Medical Expenses $10,000
Pain and Suffering $20,000
Total You Should Recover $30,000
50% Reduction Insurance Co. Applies – $15,000
Amount Insurance Pays Without an Attorney $15,000
Insurance companies regularly use this tactic in any car accident claim where they can argue that you or your loved one was partially at fault. They may do this even if they know you or your loved one were not at fault. All it takes is an inconclusive police report or a statement by the at-fault driver that he or she was not responsible. By doing this, insurance companies are able to pay less money on claims. The ultimate goal of an insurance company is to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Insurance companies save hundreds of millions of dollars per year by apportioning fault to other drivers that they do not insure.
You Should Obtain Evidence and Witness Statements at the Scene of the Car Accident
In the case of the couple that the firm represents, there was evidence that prevented the at-fault driver from placing blame on the couple. Specifically, there was an eyewitness that saw the car accident and reported it exactly as the couple did. In addition, the couple had dash cam video.
In any case where fault or liability may be disputed, it is important to secure all evidence that will prove your case. This could include eyewitness statements, dash cam video, traffic light videos, surveillance videos from adjacent businesses, home security videos from residences, etc. Reputable law firms, like Scottsdale Injury Lawyers, LLC, have private investigators that will work on securing this evidence. However, it is critical that this evidence is secured early on and as soon as possible.
In any case where fault or liability may be disputed, it is important to secure all evidence that will prove your case.
If you or a loved one is involved in a crash, you should try to secure this evidence at the scene if your injuries do not prevent you from doing so. At a minimum, if you are able to, you should try to get the contact information for all witnesses. If you are unable to secure this evidence, you should hire a personal injury attorney without delay to help obtain and preserve all evidence necessary to establish fault and prove your case. If you fail to do so, you could find yourself in a situation where the insurance company is blaming you for part of the car accident. As a result, any amount you are entitled to for your injuries may be dramatically reduced.
Hire a Scottsdale Personal Injury Attorney For Your Car Accident Case Today
If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident or suffered an injury due to the fault of someone else, contact Scottsdale Injury Lawyers, LLC today. An attorney is available now to discuss your case. A consultation is free and you will learn what you should do to ensure you recover the full amount you are entitled to.
About the author: The content on this page was written by Scottsdale personal injury attorney and civil rights lawyer Tony Piccuta. Piccuta graduated with honors from Indiana University-Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana (Ranked Top 35 US News & World Report 2018). Piccuta took and passed the State bars of Arizona, California, Illinois and Nevada (all on the first try). He actively practices throughout Arizona and California. He is a trial attorney that regularly handles serious personal injury cases and civil rights lawsuits. He has obtained six and seven figure verdicts in both state and federal court. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers for six years straight. He is a member of the Arizona Association of Justice, Maricopa County Bar Association, Scottsdale Bar Association, American Association for Justice, National Police Accountability Project and Consumer Attorneys of California, among other organizations.
Disclaimer: The information on this web site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Reading and relying upon the content on this page does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, you should contact our law firm for a free consultation and to discuss your specific case and issues