If you have been involved in a car accident, you need to take certain steps to ensure your claim is filed correctly. You may hear your insurance company and others use many words that may be unfamiliar. It is important you acquaint yourself with these words so that you can better understand the process. The more you know, the more in control of the situation you can be.
Common terms present in car accident cases are:
- Actual Cash Value – Another way to say “market value,” the actual cash value refers to how much the car was worth before the accident and damages occurred. The problem usually arises when the insurance company deems the car a “total loss.” Rather than pay for repairs, they will issue the actual cash value of the car.
- Adjuster – An adjuster works on behalf of the insurance company. They assess the crash and report back to the insurers. Multiple adjusters can be involved in a case.
- Damages – This can refer to the actual damage a car endured or pain that a person experienced. It also means the money awarded to a party to compensate for their injuries and losses.
- Liability – Liability refers to the responsibility of the accident. In most cases, the drivers involved will each be assigned a percentage of responsibility and must pay the resulting damages.
- Negligence – Negligence in car accident cases refers to a driver’s unintentional failure to exhibit care and caution a normal driver would display. If this results in damages, the driver will be held responsible.
- Negligence Per Se – If a driver breaks a traffic law, they are automatically deemed negligent. The plaintiff does not need to prove that another person would have acted differently in the situation.
- Settlement – A settlement is an agreement that both parties agree to outside of the formal legal process. Usually one party offers monetary payments. Both parties can agree to settle any time once an action has been filed.
- Total Loss – If the damages a car sustains during an accident make it irreparable, or the cost of repair exceeds the actual market value of the car, it is referred to as a total loss. In this case, an insurance company will usually give the driver the actual cash value.
At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., we understand what a trying time this can be for you. That is why our car accident attorneys work hard on your behalf. We will investigate your claim and handle all aspects of the litigation process. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.