Insurance companies and their adjusters do not make matters easy for car accident victims. In fact, insurance companies will look for any excuse to try and deny—or at least limit—their insured’s liability for a motor vehicle crash. They may even point to the accident victim, alleging that they caused or contributed to their own accident.
You may have several legal options if an insurance company denies fault or liability in your car accident case. First, you can challenge that decision with the insurance company directly by having a lawyer submit a written appeal letter. Alternatively, you can file a lawsuit against the other driver in your accident to prove that they caused the crash. Even if your lawyer does not take the car accident matter to court, they can use the threat of a lawsuit as an incentive for the insurance company to make a reasonable settlement offer in your case.
If you recently suffered injuries in a car crash because of another driver’s negligent or reckless behavior, you may have several legal options available. A skilled car accident lawyer in Edmonton can review your accident circumstances and help you determine the best course of action to pursue and recover the monetary compensation you deserve.
Your lawyer can dispute the insurance company’s findings, introduce additional evidence supporting your claim, or, if necessary, file a lawsuit and litigate your case in the court system.
When Do Car Accident Claims Arise?
In some car accident scenarios, it can be nearly impossible to tell precisely how the accident occurred and which driver was at fault. If the insurance company denies liability in your case, your lawyer can retain an accident reconstructionist who can visit the accident scene, review police reports and witness statements, and draw a reasonable conclusion about how your accident likely occurred.
In most instances, car crashes result when other people drive negligently or recklessly. Negligent driving can take many different forms, but it usually involves violating one or more traffic laws.
Many car crashes happen when drivers exceed the speed limit, especially when traveling around sharp curves—or in inclement weather. Exceeding the speed limit may cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, causing a collision with one or more other vehicles or pedestrians.
At other times, car crashes happen when people drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition to incurring potential criminal penalties upon conviction for DUI, a drunk driver who causes an accident that leads to injuries or fatalities may have to pay monetary damages, along with their insurance company.
Drunk driving is dangerous because alcohol slows down a driver’s central nervous system, limits their concentration, and delays their reaction time on the road. A drunk driver might also experience blurred vision and other physical symptoms that prevent them from operating their vehicle carefully and safely.
Still, other car crashes happen when drivers become fatigued while behind the wheel. When drivers fail to take frequent rest stops on long trips and drive for long hours, their concentration levels may decrease—along with their reflexes. As a result, if they see an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian, they might be unable to stop in time to avoid a crash.
Another common cause of car accidents is aggressive driving and road rage. Drivers engage in road rage when they drive in an overzealous and overly aggressive manner. For example, they might fail to use their turn signals at the appropriate times, fail to yield the right-of-way, cut off other vehicles in traffic, or tailgate other vehicles, causing an abrupt rear-end collision.
If you suffered injuries in any of these accidents and the insurance company denies liability for your accident, your lawyer can help you take the necessary legal steps to address the situation. If a police report, witness statement, or camera footage shows that the other driver clearly caused the accident, your lawyer can introduce that evidence in court and work to pursue the favorable monetary damages you deserve.
Injuries in Local Car Crashes
Serious car accidents frequently result in debilitating and sometimes permanent injuries. Following a car crash, an accident victim might need follow-up care at an emergency medical facility, go to their family doctor, undergo a surgical procedure, or spend time at a physical therapist’s office.
All of his treatment can be extremely painful and inconvenient for accident victims. Moreover, if a car crash victim sustains a permanent injury in their accident, or one that is unlikely to recover over time, the accident victim may experience ongoing symptoms for as long as they live.
Since every car accident scenario is different, the injuries that one accident victim suffers may differ from those another accident victim sustains. Injuries that are most common in car crash scenarios include soft tissue contusions, such as whiplash injuries to the back or neck, bone fractures, rib fractures, concussions and other traumatic head injuries, spinal cord damage, fall and partial paralysis injuries, lacerations, bruises, internal organ injuries, and death.
As soon as possible after a car accident, you should follow up at an emergency medical facility with a doctor who can properly examine you and render an accurate medical diagnosis. Doctors use many tools, including their own knowledge—combined with diagnostic tests like X-rays and MRIs—to determine the severity of your injuries.
Failing to seek proper medical treatment after a car accident can sometimes have devastating consequences. This is because injuries that go on untreated for a significant period of time may become much worse. After seeking emergency medical attention and beginning your medical treatment regimen, you should talk with a car accident lawyer in your area right away.
Generally speaking, the sooner you involve a personal injury lawyer in your case, the higher your chances of recovering monetary compensation for your injuries. Your lawyer can begin investigating the circumstances of your accident right away and determining your likelihood of recovering monetary damages in a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Proving the Legal Elements of a Car Accident Claim
To recover a favorable monetary settlement or jury verdict in your car accident case, you must demonstrate all of your claim’s legal elements. Those elements include duty, breach, causation, and damages.
First, you must show that the other driver, in your case, owed you a duty of care. This element is typically easy to prove since drivers owe all other drivers on the road, as well as pedestrians, a duty to drive safely and carefully.
Next, you must demonstrate that the other driver violated their duty of care to you in some way. For example, the driver might have cut you off in traffic, engaged in distracted driving, or operated their vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Next, you must show that the other driver’s negligence was both the actual and foreseeable cause of your accident.
Finally, you must establish that you sustained one or more physical injuries in your accident and that your injuries directly resulted from the accident. In other words, your car crash must have been at least one cause of the physical injury or injuries you suffered.
If the insurance company denies fault for your accident, you can introduce several pieces of evidence to prove negligence on the other driver’s part.
That potential evidence includes:
- Statements from individuals who witnessed the accident and who were present at the scene
- Police report where a police officer detailed how the accident occurred and who likely caused it
- Body camera footage from the responding police officer, which the officer may authenticate in live court
- Security camera footage from a nearby business showed the accident in progress
- Traffic camera footage at an intersection where the accident occurred
- The accident victim’s own testimony and the testimony of other eyewitnesses in live court
Your lawyer will do everything they can to help you satisfy the legal elements of your car crash claim so that you may successfully recover monetary damages for your injuries and other accident-related losses.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the At-fault Driver Directly
If the insurance company still refuses to accept fault for your accident, you can file a lawsuit in the court system against the other driver directly. You will then have the opportunity to litigate your case at trial and introduce evidence in support of your claim. Moreover, at trial, your lawyer can cross-examine the other driver, as well as other witnesses who may testify for the defence.
Finally, your lawyer can make a compelling closing argument at trial in support of your version of events. If the jury decides in your favor at trial, you may receive various types of monetary compensation.
When it comes to car accident lawsuits, it is essential to keep in mind that Alberta utilizes a two-year statute of limitations. This means that you must file suit within two years of your accident date, or the court will prevent you from recovering any monetary damages for your injuries.
A skilled car accident lawyer in your area can help you file a timely lawsuit in your case and litigate your case at a civil jury trial.
Threatening a Lawsuit and Negotiating a Fair and Reasonable Settlement
In some disputed liability cases, it is not necessary for the accident victim or their lawyer to actually file a lawsuit in the court system. Sometimes, the mere threat of a lawsuit will entice the insurance company and their adjuster to sit up and take notice.
Many insurance companies want to avoid timely and costly litigation in the courts. Therefore, if your lawyer threatens them with personal injury litigation, the insurance company may be willing to compromise and offer you a financial settlement to resolve your case in full.
Your lawyer can discuss your accident and determine your likelihood of receiving a financial settlement in your case, given the circumstances.
Talk With a Car Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today
If the insurance company is disputing fault in your accident case, you should speak with knowledgeable legal counsel about the matter right away. A personal injury lawyer in Edmonton can discuss all of your legal options with you, evaluate those options, and help you select the best choice for your case. If your case needs to go to trial, your lawyer will be present with you in court, advocating for your legal interests and helping you secure the best possible result in your case.
Remember, never try to negotiate with the insurance company on your own. They will make every effort to undermine your case to deny you the compensation you deserve.
Your lawyer can help you pursue various types of monetary damages, including compensation for your lost wages, past and future pain, and suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, lost quality of life, loss of earning capacity, loss of use of a body part, and loss of spousal companionship, depending on your accident and the extent of your injuries.
Hiring a car accident lawyer is the best step you can take in the legal process, and you should not wait to seek an advocate for your case.