Common Complications in Car Accident Claims

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A damage-causing event often not only causes loss but also lead to serious injuries that require compensation. Examples include situations where X’s contract of service is terminated without the necessary notice, but a sympathetic member of his or her family donates salary, or where Y’s vehicle is damaged through the negligence of another but receives payment from the insurer.

What role, if any, does the receipt of these benefits play in calculating damages to which X and Y are entitled? The question of whether such benefits from a third party may be taken into account in reducing a claim is one of the most complex problems of determining car accident settlement amounts.

Here are a few common complications in car accident claims:

Double Compensation: Is It Actually Possible?

Car indemnity insurance concerns instances where a person has insured him or herself against the risk of damage by agreeing to pay a premium. A common principle in law is that an insurer who has indemnified the insured may take the place of the insured, and on behalf of the insured, claim damages from the wrongdoer.

What this means is that the law strives to prevent a scenario known as double compensation, which is one of the reasons why you cannot lodge a claim against the wrongdoer after you’ve received a payout from an insurer. You, by operation of law, cede your rights against the wrongdoer automatically.

Then of course there’s the “once and for all rule,” which is a supplement to the rules against double compensation. According to this rule, you have one opportunity to claim all that is claimable from the insured. This means that you should be thorough in your assessment of damages, as you cannot then move against the wrongdoer simply because your insurer’s payout wasn’t sufficient.

Work-Related Accidents

For people employed as drivers, car accident claims can get a little tricky. An example of how this happens in practice is when an employee is involved in a car accident while on personal business. An employer is said to be vicariously liable for damage that is caused by anyone in their employ for as long as they’re carrying out company business.

So in the above example, the complication that would often arise is that an insurer cannot automatically file a claim against the employer as the accident occurred outside the work relationship. So don’t be surprised of you are summoned to appear before a civil court to answer to a claim from your boss’s insurer.

Contributory Negligence

If you contributed to the car accident, there’s a high likelihood that damages will have to be apportioned according to the degree of fault. Perhaps you provoked a fellow road user, and in their rage, the accident occurred.

Contributing to an accident may be the result of negligence on your part, like not having functioning tail lights. A court charged with hearing your case will consider all relevant factors in assessing the amount of damages claimable, so make sure you work with a good attorney, such as those at the Detroit car accident firm Christensen Law.

Resources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contributory_negligence

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/collateral-source-rule.asp