If you were injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you must file a claim with their insurance company. Even if you have a solid case against the at-fault driver, their insurance company will do anything to deny your claim or pay you less compensation than you deserve.
You may be worried that the insurance adjuster will use prior auto crashes you have been involved in during settlement negotiations. Unfortunately, this is a valid concern.
Do You Have to Disclose a Prior Motor Vehicle Collision?
You should retain a knowledgeable car accident attorney to negotiate your settlement with the insurance adjuster. You should inform them of any prior auto crashes you were involved in so they have all the facts about you and can develop a strategy to deal with the impact a previous crash could have on the strength of your case. Anything you tell your lawyer is protected by the attorney-client privilege.
While you may not have to disclose prior collisions in settlement negotiations, you should not be surprised if the insurance company discovers them when they investigate your claim. If you must litigate the claim, you may have to disclose this information during the discovery phase of your case.
How Prior Accidents Can Affect Your Current Claim
The insurance company could raise two arguments to dispute your claim if they discover you were involved in a prior collision. They could argue that your injuries were caused by the prior crash and not the current one, or they may try to claim that you share fault for this wreck because your prior crash is proof that you are an unsafe driver. You can refute these arguments by presenting solid evidence of the other driver’s negligence in causing your accident and how the crash caused your injuries.
Your lawyer should conduct a thorough investigation into why your collision occurred and the seriousness of your injuries. They will collect evidence—such as the police report, photos taken at the crash scene, and your medical records—to prove the insurance company’s claims are wrong. In addition, they should obtain any available proof that you were not at fault in the prior accident.
Do you need to file a claim for compensation for the injuries you suffered in a car accident that was not your fault? Fill out our convenient online form or call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 to schedule your free consultation with our experienced car accident lawyers to learn about your rights, our track record of success in these areas, and how we can assist you.