The aftermath of an auto accident involving two or more vehicles can be quite messy. There will be plenty of blame to go around, and investigators must make sense of the wreck to determine who was truly responsible. The stakes are even higher should there be any fatalities.
Hence, it is best to be prepared to deal with such circumstances should they arise. In states such as Utah, which consist of numerous highways across rough terrain, auto accidents can happen quite regularly.
If you find yourself party to a vehicular accident, it is always helpful to know the process of resolving the situation and to know an auto accident lawyer. Here is a brief overview of the procedures that take place following an auto accident and how the legal system gets involved:
Auto accident law of personal injury law that mixes with traffic law. It refers to the legal rules and regulations that determine who is responsible for the damage caused by vehicular traffic accidents or collisions. Unlike other forms of negligence and personal injury law, auto accident law is governed by state law. Auto accident attorneys thus represent any party that was involved in the accident.
The Insurance Claim
After the accident, police officers arrive on the scene to begin the investigation. They photograph the area, gather witness testimony, and analyze the whole scene to piece together what happened. Based on their findings, they will make the official accident report.
The parties involved typically file claims with their auto insurance companies. These insurance companies typically use the official police report as their basis for reviewing claims of those involved in an accident. Depending on the auto insurance laws of the state and the circumstances surrounding the accident, the insurance company may offer reimbursement for the costs of repairing a damaged vehicle.
If one party has suffered severe damage to the vehicle — or even his person — as a result of the accident, that party may file a lawsuit against others; they believe to be at fault. This is where auto accident lawyers begin to play a major role. Auto accident attorneys may find themselves either on the side of the plaintiff (the one who files the lawsuit) or the defendant (the one against whom the lawsuit is filed).
Auto accident lawyers who represent the defendant are usually contracted by auto insurance companies to do so. Here, the job of auto accident lawyers is to defend those insured by the insurance company against any lawsuits that may be filed against them. This line of work is typically called “insurance defense.”
On the other hand, plaintiffs who wish to file a lawsuit must also hire their own auto accident attorneys. These lawyers will then help the plaintiff build his or her case by reviewing the circumstances surrounding the accident and gathering evidence. For a plaintiff to receive compensation from the defendant as a result of the damages caused to him or her, the plaintiff must prove four basic elements: duty, breach, causation, and harm. The plaintiff must show that the defendant had breached his or her duty to obey motor vehicle laws, thereby causing the accident and harming the plaintiff.
Whether one is the responsible party or the victim of the accident, it is important to consult an auto accident lawyer after the event to determine the best way going forward. Without such consultation, you may be left vulnerable to exploitation by the other party, their insurance company, or their own auto accident attorney.