Getting in a car accident presents a variety of unwanted challenges that can trick those who are unfamiliar with insurance policies, legal clauses, medical terms and much more. One of the trickiest portions has to do with the money you’ve lost and deserve to get back: compensation. Thousands of individuals lose out on money and time because they do not understand how to navigate through the process of compensation. Let this blog act as the voice of a personal injury attorney answering three of the most common questions about compensation.
1. What Injuries Can I be Compensated For?
Depending on the law in each state, your compensation may vary. But in Utah, no matter what injury you sustain, if you are less than 50% at-fault, then you can receive at least partial coverage for the medical bills you receive (Utah Code Ann. §78B-5-818).
The way this works is, if you are 49% at-fault, you should receive about 50% of the coverage; if you are 10% at-fault, you’d receive close to 90% of coverage. Again, if you are found at-fault for 50% or more of the accident, you will receive zero compensation.
Determining the at-fault percentage is quite difficult. Both parties must agree on who caused the accident and who did not. Because it is percentage based, the opposing driver’s insurance is going to find anything that you might have been faulted for. As the situation gets stickier and stickier, experienced personal injury attorneys can back you up. If the situation needs legal action, then either a judge or jury will determine the outcome based on the evidence presented by the other party, you and your personal injury attorney.
2. Can I be Compensated for Lost Wages?
YES—again, depending on your personal circumstance, the outcome varies. The coverage you have with your insurance company will ultimately determine whether or not you qualify for compensation. In most cases, you should be covered either by your insurance company or the driver at-fault’s insurance. However, if your policy has a line including, “Exclusion of Work Loss,” then you will not be covered by your own insurance.
In order to show that you should receive compensation for lost wages, you will need documentation. First, your physician will need to sign something that proves that you have expenses for medical bills, prescriptions, hospital visits and physical therapy sessions—your insurance might have their own form for your physician to fill out. Second, another letter, but this one from your employer verifying how much work you’ve missed. And last of all, a copy of the police report.
Figuring out the correct amount of money you deserve from any lost wages situation is complex, especially if you do not have a salary job, but personal injury attorneys can guide you through the process. They have the experience you need to combat against insurance companies of the opposing driver.
3. Will I Receive Diminished Value Compensation?
Before answering, it is important to understand what diminished value compensation entails. Essentially, diminished value refers to the value of the vehicle after it is damaged in an accident. Furthermore, there are three types of diminished value: immediate, inherent, and repair-related—each of these distinguishes the value of the vehicle at a certain stage.
- Immediate – the value immediately after the accident; before any repairs
- Inherent – the difference between the resale value of the car before the accident and after the accident—most common claim made in diminished value cases
- Repair-Related – the value lost from incomplete or poor repair work
Ultimately, the answer is yes, you can file a first-party claim to receive compensation from your insurance company to receive a repair related diminished value, or a third-party claim to receive inherent diminished value from the at-fault driver’s insurance. Again, the process may be grueling and there are a lot of different ways of handling the situation, but a personal injury attorney will help instruct you on the steps you need to take.
Compensation can feel like a hassle to receive, but if you are the victim of an accident, you have every reason and right to get back what you deserve. To make it easier on yourself, do not wait to consult with a personal injury attorney at Robert J. DeBry. If you have any further questions or concerns to do with compensation or car accident, call us at 801-699-9999.