Q I was hit by a family member in a car. How should I proceed with my injury claim?
Sadly, a Fayetteville car accident recently involved a wife hitting her husband unintentionally--and killing him. Although unintentional, the crash has posed the question for those who survive accidents caused by a family member: How to make a claim?
Regardless of how you are related to the negligent party, you may be entitled to compensation if you were hurt by no fault of your own. When you are hit by a family member, you are not only recovering from your accident injuries, but you're trying to understand how you should move forward with an injury claim.
It is possible a relative may assure an accident victim they will take care of all the medical costs and damage expenses to the vehicle (if the victim was in a car at the time of the accident), but there is no way to predict how these accident injuries may affect a victim's life for years to come. There are injuries that manifest themselves over time, like brain injuries. What may not be apparent immediately following an accident could cause serious life changes later on. Will your family member be prepared to cover long-term costs associated with an injury like that? Pain management? Home modifications? Lost wages? It is not likely.
Make a claim. It is important to pursue an injury claim through an insurance company right away. What's more important than an insurance claim? Getting medical treatment as soon as possible and advising your healthcare provider how your injuries were caused.
Get a police report. Sometimes individuals think they don't need a police report for car accidents involving family members since they know and trust their relatives. This does not offer any benefits. A police report is an official document that outlines the events that took place, the location of the accident scene, and includes all parties' available contact and insurance information. Insurance companies will use this as part of a claim, and should the case ever go to trial, it will be one of the many pieces of evidence an injury lawyer will reference.
Retain an injury lawyer. You need an injury lawyer that does not work at the same firm as one your family member is retaining. There would be a conflict of interest otherwise, and most law firms would decline from representing opposing parties.
If you were hit by a relative, our car accident injury lawyers in Raleigh would need to learn:
- If the relative owned the vehicle they were driving when they hit you.
- Whether the driver was intoxicated, impaired, or acting in another negligent manner, like texting-while-driving.
- If the driver, owner of the vehicle, or yourself have insurance policies. Car accident victims commonly don't realize they can receive insurance coverage from multiple sources. For example, a victim may claim on their own auto insurance policy even if their vehicle wasn't involved in the accident.)
- Whether a third party was responsible or contributed to the accident. Faulty car manufacturing? Was the vehicle recalled?
The details to the items above can help build a clear picture of negligence and will collect important resources that could help maximize your car accident injury claim. Getting hit by anyone is an unpleasant and stressful experience. Getting hit by a family member makes the experience all the more personal. It's a challenge to put your personal feelings aside, but if you are not at fault you need to accept what the law provides. Brent Adams & Associates injury lawyers in Raleigh hope to win compensation to the full extent that the law allows.