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Common Questions About Car Accidents and Lawsuits

If I file a lawsuit, will I have to testify in court?

Many times people have to file a lawsuit in a case, simply to get the attention of an insurance company. Just because you file the lawsuit, doesn’t mean you ultimately have to testify, although that may very well happen. Remember many times filing a lawsuit is just the beginning of a process. That process may end, at some point short of actually sitting in courtroom and going through a trial.

What happens if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance?

If you’re involved in an automobile accident and the other party doesn’t either have insurance, or doesn’t have enough insurance, then you look back at your own insurance policy or the insurance policy of the car your riding in, or possibly the insurance policy of any other family member living in your household. And what we’re looking for is what’s called, un-insured motorist coverage or under insured motorist coverage. In this case, your insurance coverage steps in the shoes of the other party. And remember just as a caution, your insurance company then becomes the adverse insurance company; just as if they insured the other driver. Very important, remember that.

Does the fact that I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt effect my case?

If you’re not wearing a seat-belt and your involved in an accident, that evidence is not admissible against you in the case. So, looking just at the law and going just by the law, not wearing a seat-belt has nothing to do with your case. However, insurance companies will try to hold that fact against you. Juries may even hold that against you because perhaps they know that you wouldn’t have hit the dashboard if you had your seat-belt on. We always encourage people to wear their seat-belts, it is the number onebest thing you can do for the safety of you and your family. Does it affect
or ruin your case, no, not from a strict legal point of view.

If I have a lawyer, should I still talk to the insurance company?

If you have a lawyer involved in your case, one of the things a lawyer will tell you is that they will handle all communication with the insurance company from that point forward. So, if you have a lawyer involved in your case, what you should do is very politely and very professionally tell the insurance company that calls you that you have a lawyer, give them the contact information and have no more communication with the insurance company. The lawyer will handle all that for you, and actually that’s one of the benefits of having legal representation, is you don’t have to deal with that.

How much does it cost to hire a car accident attorney?

We get asked a lot how much does it cost to hire and injury attorney. Most car accident attorneys will see you for free, there’s no money that ever comes out of your pocket, and the attorney works on a contingency fee, which is the percentage of the recovery. That percentage can vary depending on the type of case, but the important thing is that nothing ever comes out of your pocket. And the contingency fee system is great, because it’s a way that makes it so everybody can afford and attorney if they’ve got a meritorious claim to pursue.

I would like to take time to thank the staff at Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. To Megan Youngblood for helping me get my disability started; thank you so much for everything!

Olivia Winston