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auto accident

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benny

Guest
my wife was in a accident about 8 months ago. when is the latest she has to agree to settle? I heard that if she settled, and if she needes midical treatment,later in the future for her injuries. the case is considered close. so could she take payments instead of a lump sum. and keep the case open for future medical? concern S.A.
 


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lawrat

Guest
I am a law school graduate. What I offer is mere information, not to be construed as forming an attorney client relationship.

You have one year from the date of accident to file a claim. Also, what you are entitled to are both present medical expenses and future medicals you can prove. The court will determine based on what you show how much of what you actually seek will be awarded to you. They discount this "future amount" to present value. They do this because you get the lump sum now, and assuming you invest at x percentage rate, it should equal the same amount in the future.
Below is what I cut and pasted from the AUTO section under Accident Law at the freeadvice.com home page.

Insurance company - Most auto insurance companies require their policyholders to promptly report every auto accident. The insurance company will want to gather all of the basic information concerning the accident for its records. Sometimes the insurance company will want your authorization to make a recorded statement concerning the accident. We suggest that if you or your passengers were injured in the accident, or believe the insurance company will try to claim "you're not covered" or you have any concerns about the adequacy of your coverage, you should contact an attorney before you go much further, and certainly before you give the insurance company permission to record your conversation. However, bear in mind that failure to provide information to your insurance company on a timely basis -- your policy will set out how quickly you must notify the company (and it can be a VERY short time frame). Failure to comply could result in loss of coverage for the accident, without it constituting bad faith by the insurer.


WHAT COMPENSATION MAY BE NEEDED AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT?
Millions of auto accident occur each year, injuring people and damaging property. Where a matter is very minor, many people file the needed reports with the police or DMV, tell their insurance companies, and go on with their lives, paying the losses out of pocket. But all too often the matter is not minor, and can cost you significant amounts of money and significant personal sacrifice or pain.

As you know, if you suffer a personal injury you'll likely require medical attention and may need rehabilitation, both of which cost money. You may lose income (and/or have to use up "sick time") because of the injury, and while treatment and recovery takes place. You may have sustained property damage to your car and other property. As you can't drive your vehicle while it is being repaired, you may have to rent one, and car repairs and rentals can cost money.You may lose the ability to perform various activities of normal daily living, for a while or long term. You may endure pain and suffering.

The law permits you to seek recovery after an accident to "make you whole again." The central concept is that you should be compensated in a manner that, as best as the law can arrange, places you back in the same position as you were before the accident.

In addition to normal compensatory damages designed to make someone whole, in extreme cases "punitive damages" may be available if the injury was the result of someone else's reckless or irresponsible behavior, or if the cause of the accident or the extent of the injury was caused by something about the car that is dangerous -- a defective product -- that the manufacturer should have corrected.



WHAT SOURCES OF COMPENSATION CAN BE PURSUED AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT?
The answer to this question depends on your own financial resources and the circumstances surrounding the accident. Typical sources of compensation for damages sustained in an auto accident include:

"Out-of Pocket" - When the damages sustained are minor and cause no real financial setback, paying for the loss "out-of-pocket" should be considered. There is no third party getting involved when you pay for your loss yourself, no continuing investigation, no actual change in your insurance, and generally less "hassle" overall. When your losses exceed what you can comfortably handle from your current resources, other sources of compensation must be explored.
Your Auto Insurance Company - Whether your insurance will compensate you for your loss depends on your contract with your insurance company. In many insurance contracts, there is both first party (you and your auto) and third party (passengers, other motorists and their property) considerations. Some contracts have medical coverage for personal injury of the insured (you) and your passengers in the vehicle. Your insurance contract may provide for collision damage repair and possibly for a car rental while yours is being fixed. Before making a claim (which is different than providing a report) with an insurance company, many people consider whether it will be less expensive for them to pay for the loss "out-of-pocket" before relying on the insurance since the actual loss under the insurance contract could result in an increase in your insurance premium in the future. The potential of an increase in your insurance premium must be balanced against your ability to pay "out-of-pocket", (including any deductible under the insurance contract). The smaller the damages, the more likely you will pay out-of -pocket; the larger the loss, the more likely you are to seek recovery from your insurance company.
Your Health Insurance Provider or HMO - You may have private health insurance or belong to a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). In the event of a personal injury sustained in an auto accident, you could ask your own health insurer to pay for medical treatment. Sometimes, private health insurance plans or HMOs require you to seek recovery from your auto insurance company (as a primary carrier of the risk) before it will pay/provide for your medical treatment.
Other People Involved In the Accident - In addition the three sources above, you may be able to seek recovery from the other people who were involved in the accident. Your ability to recover from a third party, such as another driver, may be limited by the laws of the state in which the accident occurred. States can either have a "no-fault" law, which leaves those involved in an accident to provide for their own compensation, or a "fault" law, where the law generally makes the party who is "at fault" or "caused" the accident to occur to pay for all the damages incurred. If you are "at-fault" for an accident that occurred in a "fault" state, contact your insurance company (if you are sued, you will tender the defense and possible settlement of the lawsuit to your insurance company).
 

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