If I was in an accident that wasn’t my fault, how can I make sure I get what I’m entitled to?

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If I was in an accident that wasn’t my fault, how can I make sure I get what I’m entitled to?

I was involved in an accident in which I was rear ended. I sustained back, shoulder, and neck injuries. The damage to my car has not been assessed. Who is responsible for paying for my car to be fixed and the medical bills. My car was 5 months from being payed off. If it is found to be totalled what am I entitled to? Am I able to get a rental car while looking for another one or while my car is being fixed? What do I need to know to get the best value for my car? I was also on my way to work required orientation in which I was being paid for. Do I need to fail a workman’s compensation claim? What are my rights? Should I speak with a personal injury attorney? In Howard County, AR.

Asked on February 26, 2011 under Personal Injury, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Definitely speak to a personal injury attorney; as will be discussed below, there a number of claims you can assert, and you want to make sure you get what's coming to you.

2) If you have collision insurance, that will pay for the damage to your car. If you have PIP (personal injury protection or "no fault") that will pay for your medical costs. (All insurance, btw, only pays up to the policy limits.) If you don't have insurance or for costs/damages the insurance doesn't pay for, you sue the other driver who--IF he was at fault and you can prove it, which may well or likely be the case if he rear-ended you--should have to pay. (His insurance company may elect to settle with you before trial, if you have a good case.)

Everthing below assumes that either the other driver was at fault or you have your own relevant insurance.

3) If you car can be repaired, you can get repair costs. If it's totalled, you can get it's then-current value. The fact that it was close to being paid off doesn't affect things. Look up the "blue book" value online for its make, model, year, and mileage to see what it would be worth.

4) You may be able to get the out-of-pocket cost of a rental.

5) You can get your medical bills.

6) If you lost wages due to the accident, you may be able to get those.

7) With serious enough, long-lasting, or permanent injuries or disability, you may be able to get more money for pain and suffering.

8) If you were on the way to something which your employer required you to go to, you may be eligible for worker's comp; discuss this with your lawyer.

4) You can get


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