When you have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver, you may be worried not only about your health but also how to pay your medical bills and other monthly expenses when you are off work recovering without receiving a paycheck. This added stress can make your recovery take even longer. Fortunately, you could be entitled to compensation from the driver who caused your accident. However, first you must prove his negligence in negotiations with his insurance company. One way to do this is to use any traffic citation he was issued as evidence of his fault.
How to Use Traffic Violations in Negotiating a Favorable Settlement
Insurance adjusters rarely agree to pay the compensation accident victims deserve—even when their driver's liability is clear cut. So you will need to provide them with enough evidence to persuade them that they should offer you a fair settlement. In many cases, you will not have direct evidence of the other driver’s fault—such as his statements admitting his liability. However, you may be able to use another type of powerful direct evidence—violations of Nevada’s traffic laws. Take these steps to establish a violation of a traffic law:
- Obtain a copy of the police report. As soon as possible after the accident, you want to obtain a copy of the police report. It should include the police officer’s opinion as to factors that contributed to the accident—including whether the other driver’s violation of a traffic law caused the accident and whether a ticket was issued. The police report can be persuasive evidence in settlement negotiations because the police officer would have performed a thorough investigation of the accident scene and interviewed the parties and witness before issuing a citation.
- Obtain a copy of your state’s traffic laws. You should be able to obtain a copy of your state’s traffic laws at your library or through the Department of Motor Vehicles for a small fee. Once you obtain it, you want to look up the traffic violation to determine how the other driver violated the law.
- Visit the accident scene. Within a day or two of your accident, you should also visit the accident scene if possible. The police can make mistakes or miss something. You may find other evidence of a traffic violation, such as a bent stop sign or skid marks. You can use this discovered violation to establish the other driver’s negligence.
Once you obtain this information, you may be tempted to negotiate your settlement on your own. Don’t make this mistake. Even if you convince the insurance adjuster to make a settlement offer, he will take advantage of you by most likely offering you far less than you are entitled to. Instead, you want to retain an experienced car accident attorney who understands the true value of your case and can use this information to obtain the compensation you deserve.
If you were hurt in a car crash caused by another driver, check out our case results to see how we have helped other people like you and then call our experienced car accident attorneys at 866-299-0558 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.