Differences Between A Traffic Accident Indemnity And A Car Accident Claim 🚗
Claim and compensation for a traffic accident have a lot in common, but each concept has its own particularities. When you suffer an accident of any kind, a process begins for you in which you have to determine the responsibilities arising from what happened.
This process is not at all simple, and usually, as a victim, you do not know where to start or what to do. The situation is more complex in particularly controversial claims, when it is not easy to know how it happened and, above all, when it is difficult to determine who is responsible.
There are several players involved in this process, the main ones being the parties involved and the insurance companies. It is very important that you can inform and advise yourself, because many of the procedures can be done wrongly, or simply not done out of ignorance, which can be detrimental to you.
For this reason, and before taking any step, it is advisable that you put yourself in the hands of Miami car accident lawyers by clicking here, who will help you assess how to proceed in your case and the best way to handle it.
SOME COMMON POINTS: WHEN DO YOU HAVE TO CLAIM AND WHEN DO YOU HAVE TO BE COMPENSATED?
Claim and compensation have in common that both concepts derive, in the case of traffic accidents, from the process that must be initiated when damages are suffered.
The claim is the set of procedures that make up the process derived from the accident, while the compensation is a part of that process, that is to say, it is the ultimate purpose for which the claim is filed.
This claim can be for any of the damages you have suffered as a result of the accident: material damages, personal damages, or both, in addition to the possible pecuniary damage you may have suffered.
However, you can claim and not be compensated.
In other words, there are claims that may fail, or simply that there is no right to make them due to the specific circumstances in which the accident occurred.
You may also receive compensation without having previously claimed, at least in a reliable manner, which is quite unlikely considering that an insurer will try as far as possible to avoid paying you.
The starting point: being a victim and NOT being solely at fault
The issue of fault is a recurring one in these cases.
Liability is the starting point of the processes derived from accidents where damages, whether material or personal, have been caused.
In other words, if you are solely at fault in an accident, you are not entitled to any compensation and, therefore, you cannot make a claim.
And here comes the million-dollar question, because I am sure you are wondering what happens with all those accidents in which the fault is not clear, or the company denies it, or even the other party says that it is yours.
These cases are very common and are the ones that will usually give you problems because there are claims that can result in a refusal of the company to pay compensation.
That is to say, even if you claim, you do not get paid.
This does not mean that these doubtful or controversial cases cannot be claimed. But it does mean that it is necessary to do so with certain guarantees, and for that, you should always seek legal assistance.
THE TRAFFIC ACCIDENT CLAIM
The process derived from an accident can be called a claim, because at the end of the day what it is all about is that you ask for financial compensation for the damages you have suffered.
This claim is divided into several phases, and it cannot be made to the responsible company until the damages you have suffered can be quantified or valued economically.
If you only claim material damages, in a case where you have not suffered physical damages, the claim process is shorter and is aimed at repairing those damages or, if your vehicle is declared, that they pay you the amount of the same.
It can also happen that you only claim injuries, for example, if you are the victim of a hit and run or you have an accident traveling as an occupant of a bus.
How you can handle a claim
You decide how you want to handle your accident claim.
But it is important to keep in mind that depending on the decision you make, the results of your case will almost certainly be different.
You can choose to go through your Miami insurance company.
You can choose to claim on your own. We have already told you that this is a mistake because as an injured party, you do not know what you can claim, how to claim, or what you need to prove the damages you have sustained.
This puts you at a clear disadvantage against an insurance company.
And what is worse, at the slightest doubt you are going to find yourself with a refusal to pay you compensation.
With this option, you have a good chance that your claim will fail.
You can have your accident handled by an injury lawyer in Miami.
This is the safest option for your claim to prosper with guarantees because a specialized lawyer will defend your rights on equal terms with the insurance company in terms of knowledge and experience.
Contact an injury lawyer today by clicking here.
How a claim can be processed
No two accident claims are alike.
This is important to keep in mind because many injured parties make the mistake of comparing their case with that of a friend, acquaintance, neighbor or relative who has had an accident.
No two cases are the same and no two victims are the same.
Therefore, if someone around you has handled their claim in one way or has been paid in another, it does not mean that your claim will be handled in the same way.
Basically, a claim can be handled in two ways:
By amicable means.
This is the route that should always be chosen in the first place, to avoid the injured party having to wait longer to receive their compensation and expenses that are often not necessary.
For a friendly claim to succeed, however, it is necessary to have not only the knowledge but also the necessary negotiating skills to firmly defend the interests of the victim.
By civil legal action.
We resort to it when the insurer does not comply with the request for payment that is made, or because their offer of compensation is below what they should pay you.
The judicial route is longer in time and involves a series of expenses (solicitor, medical expert, sometimes an accident reconstructor if it is a controversial case...).
However, it is also possible to reach an agreement with the company before the trial date, negotiating on the basis of the terms of the claim, for which it is important to have good negotiating skills.
There are also the processes derived from accidents with alcohol-impaired driving, that is, where the responsible party tests positive for alcohol, and is responsible for the accident.
These cases are processed through criminal proceedings, because the offender has committed a crime against traffic safety, in addition to having caused an accident.
The process is somewhat different because here the victim is recognized by the forensic doctor of the Court, who is the one who issues the report that serves as the basis for calculating the compensation.
The criminal procedure has fewer expenses because, except in very specific cases, the victim does not need to go to trial with a medical expert that he/she has to pay for.
COMPENSATION FOR TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS
We have already seen that indemnification differs from reclamation in that the latter is the objective pursued by the former.
In other words, it is very rare to have indemnity without a claim.
The law pursues the total payment of all the damages you have suffered, but we know that most of the times it does not happen that way because the companies will always try to pay you as little as possible.
What are the types of indemnities?
There are three concepts that can normally be included in a compensation for a traffic accident: material damages, personal damages, and property damage.
It includes the repair or repair of damages suffered by your car, motorcycle, bicycle, or any other means of transportation.
For its payment, it is necessary to prove these damages, and this part of the compensation usually gives fewer problems to be paid. However, there are cases that may pose an added difficulty, such as when you have damage to the front and rear of your vehicle as a result, for example, of a chain collision.
Problems can also arise when the damage is so extensive that it results in the loss of your vehicle.
In these cases, you must make sure that the company pays the market value plus the value of the damage, and that it really corresponds to the valuation of your vehicle.
The material damages of an indemnity also include any personal items that may have been damaged in the accident, for which you always need to have repair invoices or repair estimates.
Examples would be damage to sunglasses or glasses, cell phones, luggage, a cyclist's or motorcyclist's helmet, gloves, or clothing, among others.
This includes injuries and is perhaps the part most discussed by companies in an indemnity.
This is because, as we have seen, the companies will always try to value them lower than what you really have.
Naturally, insurance companies always tend to value them at minimums.
In general terms, the first part of the personal injury payment includes the healing time you have had (from the time you had the accident until the date of your medical discharge).
These days (basic or particular personal injury, which in turn is divided into three degrees) are paid with different amounts, depending on whether or not you have been in the ICU, hospitalized, on sick leave or unable to perform your basic daily tasks, or in the healing period.
To this are added the functional or aesthetic sequels that you have been left with once you have been discharged, which are valued with points, according to the Tables included in the Schedule, and taking into account the number of sequels, number of points, and your age at the date of the accident.
The compensation for personal injuries is completed with other concepts that may or may not be applied depending on each specific case, such as the payment for surgical interventions derived from the injuries you have sustained, or the moral damage due to loss of quality of life caused by the after-effects, among others.
The pecuniary loss
This part of the compensation comprises two concepts: loss of profits and consequential damages.
The loss of profit is the amount that the insurance company has to pay you for those economic losses that you have had as a consequence of the accident, or amounts that you have not received because of it.
For example, if they take away commissions or a part of your salary for being on sick leave.
The consequential damage includes the amounts that you have had to pay as a result of the accident. For example, if you have paid for pharmaceutical expenses, crutches, wheelchairs, travel expenses to hospitals or doctor's offices, and other similar expenses.
How compensation is calculated
One of the most complex parts of any traffic accident claim is the calculation of compensation.
The difficulty lies in the number of items and how they should be valued. It may be simpler when it comes to minor damages or minor injuries.
However, when the damages are greater, include several sequels, or when it is necessary to value the patrimonial damage in cases, for example, of large injured parties (third-person assistance, housing adaptation...), things get quite complicated.
The starting point is to know the regulations very well in order not to leave any concept without claiming.
And for this you will always need legal help because you do not know the Schedule nor do you know which concepts in your specific case you could claim.
The claim for your damages is the starting point.
The compensation of your damages is the final objective.
At Perez Gurri Law Firm we can help you because we have injury lawyers specialized in compensation claims for accident victims all over Miami.
If you would like to get to know us, contact us by clicking here to meet with an injury attorney and receive a free initial evaluation.