With the snowy weather and icy conditions, I figured it was time to discuss some general principles in regard to handling car wrecks and personal injury claims.
First, as I have preached before, please make sure all your vehicles have at least $100,000 per person of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on any automobile insurance policies. I regularly deal with injury claims wherein the other driver had no insurance or not enough insurance to cover my client’s medical expenses much less the full value of the personal injury claim.
Second, please understand that there are no slam-dunks when it comes to personal injury law and car wrecks. Yes, generally speaking, if someone hits your vehicle in the rear-end or they were turning left in front of you, they may be at considered at fault for the wreck.
To use a legal analysis, they were negligent in causing the wreck because they breached a legal duty (e.g. following your vehicle at an unsafe distance), that breach resulted in your damages. However, the majority of injury law, until a jury reaches its final verdict, is arguments. So if you have a case wherein an insurance company has accepted all liability for a car wreck, count your blessings because they could just as easily argue that you were 10 or 20% at fault for driving too fast or because their insured cleared most of the intersection.
Third, unless you obtain a driver’s insurance company and contact information at the scene of the car wreck, we are pretty much helpless until we can obtain the police report. Without the police report, we don’t know the location of the wreck, the contact information of the at-fault driver and with which company they appear to be insured. So as a result, as a general rule, it is worth waiting for the police to investigate the car accident. Recall that buycrash.com is a great way to check for the police report and to be able to print it up on your computer. However, on a car wreck that happened this week involving several trauma victims, I have had to contact LMPD directly to obtain some additional information. In doing so, LMPD shared the following information that might also be of assistance to you:
It can normally take up to 5 business days to be completed. . . With the corrected report number, you should be able to pull it up on buycrash (once it is ready). The other two ways to get the report once it is ready is as follows:
You can mail a request along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and $5.00 cash or check to:
701 W Ormsby Ave, Suite 001
Louisville, KY 40203
You can pick up a copy at the above address. The hours of operation are Monday and Thursday 8-5, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 8-4. Reports are $5.
Lastly, get checked out by doctor, chiropractor, hospital or an immediate care center within the first couple of days after a car wreck. Not everyone wants to make a personal injury claim from a car wreck and that is okay. However, as your personal injury lawyer, the other side of the coin is that I don’t want the veracity of your injuries and pains questioned. The longer you wait to seek treatment the more an insurance company may question whether your injuries stem from the car wreck or some other incident.