When pursuing a tort claim under the auspices of pain and suffering against the driver who was the cause of your accident, there are some criteria you must keep in mind. As defined by legislation covering automobiles, injuries sustained in a crash must equal or exceed permanent disfigurement or serious impairment of a critical function. Tort claims may also be pursued on behalf of family member whose relation died in a crash.
It is also important to keep in mind that any money received as a result of a tort claim will include a deductible in the amount of 30k; however, this requirement is eliminated for awards over that same amount.
Other legal routes to pursue in such situations that are not beholden to the injury criteria or the deductible requirement include suits for loss of income (present or to come), damage to your wage-earning abilities, damage to any advantage you held competitively at work, and expenses and financial losses related to your business.
Once your decision has been made to pursue any of the above claims, you will need to follow certain protocols to ensure that your right to pursue litigation against the driver involved is protected.1. You will need to submit a formal notice of intent to the driver at-fault and the driver’s insurance company. Submission of this notice should occur within 120 days after the incident.2. If your issue is an injury, you will need to submit a complete and correct application for accident benefits.3. The at-fault driver’s insurance should receive a full medical and financial disclosure from you with documents clarifying your situation. In some scenarios, you will need to submit a sworn statement, as well, pertaining to the related financial and medical issues. This should be submitted for review to your attorney.
4. Loss of income before trial is reimbursed at 20% less than loss of income after trial. For this reason, it is crucial to move forward on your litigation as soon as possible.5. Be careful not to let the statute of limitations run out on your action. It’s best to move within a 2 year period after the accident, so as not to risk losing your right to act.6. Early settlement can be achieved by forcing the insurer of the driver at-fault to enter into mediation before going to trial.
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