People tend to have a lot of misconceptions about car accident claims. Here are 5 big ones:
Myth 1: If I am involved in an accident I am entitled to compensation.
Unfortunately, there are many people who believe that simply being involved in an accident entitles them to compensation. Under our legal system, a person is entitled to be compensated only if the accident was caused by the negligence of someone else, such as the other driver, or the driver of the you are riding in as a passenger. In addition, the law requires that you suffer injury or damage as a result of the accident. Simply being involved in an accident does not entitle you to anything.
Myth 2: If you are injured in an accident, you deserve compensation.
As discussed above, unless the accident was caused by the negligence of someone else, a person is not automatically entitled to be compensated for injuries suffered in an accident.
Myth 3: The responsible party will pay for your medical and out of pocket expenses as you incur them.
Although the responsible party may ultimately be responsible for paying your medical and out of pocket expenses, they will not pay those bills as they are incurred. Instead, they will want to consider your claim as a whole once all treatment has been completed. If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another, it is imperative that you submit your medical bills and expenses to any and all medical insurance coverages that are available so that you can avoid unnecessary credit issues. This may include health insurance, auto medical payments coverage and/or auto no fault insurance coverage.
Myth 4: You have to have your car repaired wherever it happens to be towed after the accident.
You have the right to have your car repaired wherever you want to and are not required to have the work performed at the place where your vehicle is towed after an accident. Although insurance companies may have arrangements with certain body shops they cannot require you to use a specific shop.
Myth 5: If your car is "totaled," the responsible party's insurance company has to pay off your car loan, even if you owe more than the car is worth.
The law requires that the responsible party pay the fair market value of your car at the time of the accident. Fair market value means the amount of money a reasonable buyer would be willing to pay and a reasonable seller would be willing to accept. Unfortunately, this means that an appropriate settlement of your auto claim may not provide you enough money to pay off your car loan. The fair market value of a vehicle may be researched by using various on line auto appraisal tools such as those found at Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book and NADA. You should also look at local auto listings to see what people and dealers are asking for used vehicles.