There are two common reasons why car accident claims are disputed in court: the other party claims they’re not at fault (and you are), or the other party disputes your injuries.
It’s quite common for the insurance companies or other driver to dispute a claim you file against them. Many issues and discrepancies can be settled during the discovery period and through negotiations prior to going to court. If matters cannot be resolved amicably, the car insurance claim dispute may have to go to trial for a judge to determine the outcome.
When Fault is Argued
Fault is often arguable in car accidents. Traffic violations, distracted driving, and right-of-way are common points of contention in claims. To further complicate matters, sometimes both parties are at fault, or a third party, e.g., faulty tire manufacturer, may be partly to blame.
If your car accident was serious or looks like it’s going to be disputed, you’ll want to consult an attorney to help you compile the evidence to support your case. Some types of evidence that can prove who was a fault for the accident are listed below.
- The police report (If the other party was cited for a traffic violation, it will be listed on the report. The officer’s report might provide a play by play of the accident, as well as her opinion on the causes of the crash, which can help prove your innocence.)
- Photos of the accident scene and car damage
- Traffic cam footage, if available
- Eyewitness testimonies (If anyone saw the accident, retain their contact information).
When Your Injuries are Disputed
Some car accident victims have severe or complex injuries that are difficult to prove. Brain injuries, soft tissue injuries, and psychological injuries are hard to substantiate, and get questioned in a car insurance claim dispute.
If the insurance company can show your injuries aren’t as serious or impactful as you’re claiming, you’ll get a much lower settlement that you need and deserve.
For instance, if you suffered a level III back sprain that has put you out of your manual labor job for several months, the insurance company should have to pay for your lost wages and medical bills. If the insurer says you’re exaggerating your injuries, your claim might have to go to court.
In such a car insurance claim dispute, you and your attorney can collect ample evidence to help support your injuries. This can include the following.
- Medical records
- Proof of your medical appointments and treatment plans
- Doctors’ notes and prognoses
- Testimonies from medical experts
- Injury journal
Getting Help to Prepare for Court
If you’re involved in a car insurance claim dispute, you should be prepared for court. Court can be extremely stressful to handle solo, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the legal process and preoccupied with your injuries. Consider hiring a professional rather than going pro se.
It’s highly advisable to hire an attorney to help negotiate with the other party, protect your best interests and, if necessary, prepare an excellent case in court on your behalf.