Auto Accident Lawsuit FAQs
Learn more about your car accident lawsuit claim from the car accident lawsuit advance experts at Uplift.
Is there a benefit to hiring a lawyer to handle my car accident lawsuit?
Firstly, hiring an experienced accident attorney gives you access to legal funding such as Uplift’s car accident loans. This is mostly because your attorney will control the proceeds from your car accident settlement, in a trust.
An attorney offers skill and experience that adds value to your claim. They increase the value by offering all medical and legal evidence to the other insurance company, defense attorney or jury. Also, lawyers help file all necessary paperwork within necessary deadlines, negotiate appear in court if your case gets there.
How much time do I have to file a car accident lawsuit?
Start right after the accident occurs. This helps insurance companies prepare for negotiating your claim. Regardless, the typical time restriction is to file a claim within 2 years of the date of the accident. If you do not file within this time (known as the Statute of Limitations), you lose your right to recover damages from a personal injury claim. Be sure to check with your state, as this time frame may vary. Note that if you are filing against a government entity, you must file within six months of the injury.
How do you determine who was at fault for the car accident?
In order to have a valid car accident lawsuit, you need proof of negligence. All drivers have a responsibility to engage in safe driving practices. Note that the accident has to have been foreseeable by the guilty party. You can prove negligence by obtaining witness reports, taking photos / video at the scene and via a police report.
How To Get a California Highway Patrol Accident Report
The driver, passenger or family member of someone in the accident can request a California Highway Patrol (CHP) Report. All you need to obtain a report is the following:
- Date, time and location of the accident
- List the names of those involved
- State your interest as driver, passenger, owner, parent or heir
- Provide your address
- Sign the request for the report
- Pay applicable fees
- Attach a copy of your California Driver’s License or Identification card
You can request a report by visiting any CHP Office or by mailing in your documents.
What do I do if the at fault party does not have auto insurance?
Unfortunately, if the guilty party does not have an abundance of personal assets, you may not be able to acquire any damages. In this instance, under-insured/ uninsured motorist coverage is crucial to have. This coverage protects your right to demand compensation for damages from the uninsured motorist. Many policies also offer relatives you reside with and passengers protection. It is best to carry at least $100,000 of this coverage.
What am I able to recover for personal damages from a car accident?
The various types of car accident lawsuit damages include:
- Pain and Suffering: As the most valuable component of your claim, this covers compensation for past, present and future physical pain and mental anguish experienced as a result of your auto accident. The amount of this component varies case by case depending on the severity of your injury and suffering.
- Medical Expenses: You are entitled to past, present and future medical expenses for injuries sustained in your car accident
- Lost Wages: Lost wages are covered. This includes your future earning capacity. Keep in mind that your employer will need to confirm your inability to work. You will also need to prove how much money you lost or will lose as a result of your injury.
- Disfigurement: Any scarring or other marks as a result of your injury entitle you to compensation.
- Damage to the Marital Relationship: Serious injuries may result in damage to your marital relationship, such as loss of affection, loss or impairments of sexual relationship, etc.
- Punitive Damages: An accident due to criminal negligence entitles you to punitive damages.
- Death: Wrongful death damages are available to the spouse and family members of the deceased. This includes compensation for economic loss, pain and suffering, etc.
Will my case go to trial?
Most car accident cases settle with the insurance company before going to court. In some cases, claims are even settled before a lawsuit is filed. Keep in mind, however, that every case is different.
Whenever accident liability or damages are contested. With clear liability, and conservative treatment, it is likely your case will not see the court room.
Auto Accident Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
This injury coverage protects you in the event you are involved in an accident and you cause physical injury to others.
Auto Accident Property Damage Liability Coverage
This auto accident coverage protects you in the event you are involved in an accident and you cause damage to someone else’s property.
Car Accident Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
This car accident coverage provides you with funds to repair your vehicle in the event you are in an accident with an uninsured driver. If the other driver hits you and is uninsured, your own policy covers your vehicle repair.
Car Accident Uninsured Motorists Bodily Injury Coverage
This accident coverage protects you and your passengers in the event you are injured after getting hit by an uninsured motorist.
Medical Payments Coverage
This insurance coverage covers medical expenses from an accident for either yourself or your passengers, no matter who is at fault. If you were at fault, you can use this coverage to pay for medical costs for you or any other passengers in your vehicle up to your insurance limit. Medical costs include treatment such as acupuncture, massage or chiropractic manipulations if such options are not available through your health insurance.
This coverage pays for damages to your vehicle due to something other than a collision. Examples include vandalism, theft and damage due to animals, fire or flood. You choose the deductible based off of what you feel comfortable paying out of pocket.
This coverage pays for damages to your vehicle, regardless of fault, when you hit another car or object. This coverage pays to fix your vehicle less the deductible you choose. The deductible you select should be what you feel comfortable paying out of pocket. Remember, if you have a car loan, your lender will require that you have this coverage.
Why does the insurance company repair some cars but pay the replacement value for other cars?
This comes down to cost efficiency. If the vehicle is a total loss and economically impractical to repair (the cost of repair equals or exceeds its actual value on the date of the accident), your insurance company will choose to replace your car or pay you for its actual cash value.
Will my insurance company cover towing and storage bills?
In most cases, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will pay for towing and storage costs of your car. However, it is your job to mitigate these damages. Failing to do so could subject you to storage fees.
If my car is being repaired, who pays for a rental car?
The at-fault driver must use their insurance to provide a rental car. In some cases, you must pay the rental car bill first and the insurance company will reimburse you later. If your own coverage provides a rental car, you may get the rental car faster. In this instance, your insurance company would then seek reimbursement from the other party’s insurance company.
I am still making payments to the bank on my car but it was declared a total loss. Who will get the money from the insurance company, me or the bank?
In this instance, the insurance company will pay off the car loan first and then the remainder goes to the registered owner
Sometimes an auto loan balance is more than the current value of a car. The vehicle owner can end up still owing on a loan for a car they can no longer drive! If you are at risk, consider “gap insurance” in order to cover this difference.
Tailgating accidents occur when a vehicle follows another too closely. Tailgating increases the risk of rear-ending the car in front of you if it stops too suddenly. Always be sure to keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Typically, a police officer will cite a party for “following too closely” or “at an unsafe distance”.
What common injuries come from car accidents?
Thankfully, cars have many safety measures that limit injuries to soft tissue injuries only. Here’s a list of some other injuries common in auto accidents:
- Soft tissue
- Spine and back
- Bone fracture & muscle tears
- Traumatic brain (TBI)
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Burn injuries
- Knee injuries
- Amputation injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
What are the most frequent types of auto accidents?
Here’s a list of the most common types of car accidents. Click on your type of accident to learn more.
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Parking lot accident loans
- Intersection accidents
- Speeding accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Drowsy driving car accidents
- Hit and run accidents
- Dangerous highway conditions accident
- Brake failure accident loans
- Defective tire accidents
What car accident cases does Uplift Legal Funding provide funding on?
About 60% – 70% of cases Uplift funds are car accidents. Here’s a list of the types of car accident cases Uplift funds.
- Pedestrian accidents
- Semi truck / tractor trailer accidents
- Bike accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bus accidents
- Uber, Lyft and Taxi
- RV accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
Uplift Legal Funding
Uplift Legal Funding provides low-cost pre-settlement funding on most personal injury claims. If you’re unfamiliar with legal funding, you can learn more about how it works with our pre-settlement funding guide. You can also apply online or give us a call directly at (800) 385-3660 for a free consultation.