All accident victims are required by law to prove their assertions of damages resulting from a mishap when pursuing financial compensation. Even though the burden of proof is set in civil cases as a preponderance of the evidence as opposed to the reasonable doubt standard, this can still be a challenging task. And this is especially true when there is substantial damage that an insurance company is contesting. Elements of a claim can include more than physical property damage, but also include compensation for injuries that could have a lifetime impact on the claimant. Merely stating that a loss or injury has occurred as a result of an accident is not sufficient. Both the North Carolina court system and respondent insurance companies require this proof for claims to be paid, and having an experienced car accident attorney handling the case is the best method of ensuring proof for whole damage payment.
Physical Property Damage Compensation (Including vehicle damage)
One of the primary elements of an accident claim for a driver will be compensation for their damaged vehicle. This component of a claim is essential even in cases with minimal injury claims. While it is good to have a repair estimate performed as soon as possible by a reputable auto body specialist or mechanic, the respondent insurance company may also want an estimate from a particular body shop of their choice. Your personal estimate may be necessary when damage amounts are contested.
Personal Injury – Medical Expense Claims
Personal injury claims are submitted based on medical treatment reports along with a diagnosis and prognosis for how the injury will develop or be rehabilitated in the future. This documentation validates claims for special damages by providing exact dollars that can be claimed as expenses for financial recovery. Also, they can be used in support of general damage demands for pain and suffering by the plaintiff’s car accident attorney. Insurance companies often are reluctant to make a sufficient general damage offer when settling a claim when no legal representative has been retained by the claimant.
Not all injured accident claimants will be affected by the inability to work, but many will also request compensation for lost wages. While recent check stubs could suffice as evidence, the best evidence is a direct statement from a recognized employer providing rate of pay and number of hours missed due to the injury. Some claimants will actually be permanently injured and not able to return to work, so this can be a substantial percentage of any whole damage request from the court. Those who are self-employed may use tax records to prove lost wages as well, but it will often be an estimation of potential lost income. Just as with general damage claims for long-term pain and suffering, respondent insurance companies will attempt to reduce this amount as much as possible when claimants do not retain a car accident attorney.
Personal Deposition and Witness Testimony
General damages are often not well-supported by documents other than diagnosis and prognosis reports. Rehabilitation records can be used as general damage proof for ongoing issues along with treatment specialist deposition. Personal witnesses may be used to support testimony from injured victims, but this should be limited to those with direct knowledge of how the injury is affecting the claimant.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm
Documenting losses is essential in all auto accident cases when whole damages are being sought regardless of the amount of liability insurance any negligent driver may carry. Additional litigation may also be necessary against the at-fault driver when there is insufficient insurance coverage available for all of the claimant’s proven losses. This is a vital step in being properly compensated after the fact. Call our offices today and speak with a car accident attorney who can fully evaluate your claim and assemble all necessary documentation for damages claims and subsequent payment.
Additional resources relating to car accidents on North Carolina’s highways:
- What To Do If You Are Involved In A Car Accident?
- How the Contributory Negligence Law Affects Your Personal Injury Case in North Carolina
- How To Claim Compensation Following A Crash With An Uninsured Motorist In North Carolina
- Car Accidents On The Rise in North Carolina
- Determining Fault and Liability In A Car Accident Involving A Tractor-Trailer.
Always speak with an experienced car accident attorney. Protect your rights and speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Your attorney will represent your case to the insurance company and manage all of the legal aspects on your behalf. Your lawyer understands all of the details of a North Carolina accident claim and they will make sure that you receive the best possible outcome.