What to Do When Your Auto Accident Results in a Personal Property Damage Lawsuit

Finding yourself at the receiving end of a personal property damage claim can be frustrating and time-consuming. If you don’t have the money to pay for an accident that may or may not have been caused by your negligence, you may need to turn to an experienced auto accidents lawyer to make sure that you aren’t ordered to pay a huge sum of money for something that wasn’t your fault – or worse, end up with a conviction on your record. Your auto accidents attorney will help you minimize the damage, and may even be able to help you win the case altogether.

Negligence Claims

In most cases, someone who files a personal property damage lawsuit in small claims court will file a negligence claim. Negligence claims operate on the theory that you knew there was a problem with your vehicle and did nothing about it. For example, if you smashed into your neighbor’s fence while driving because your brakes suddenly stopped working and you knew they needed repair, it would be a case of negligence. You will need to prove that you didn’t know there was a problem with your brakes, or that there shouldn’t have been a problem with your brakes (if you just had the brake pads changed, for example), in order to win the case.

Intentional Damage Claims

Intentional damage cases are rarer than negligence claims, and are fortunately easier to defend in many circumstances. Using the earlier example, your neighbor could claim that you destroyed his fence on purpose because of a long-standing rivalry between your families. In this case, you will simply need to prove an extenuating circumstance that caused you to run into his fence – for example, the road was slick from the rain that day and you slid out in the middle of a turn. Even if he could prove negligence at this point, perhaps by saying that you knew you needed new tires or you were driving too fast, he would have to file a separate negligence claim instead to benefit from the accident.

What You Can Do

Immediately after an accident that involves personal property damage, the best way to start building a strong defense is to stay on the scene until the police arrive so you can give a statement. This will show the courts that you were willing to cooperate from the beginning in case a claim is ever filed. Take pictures of anything and everything that might help your case, and keep every piece of insurance paperwork you file and repair estimates you collect.

Hiring an Auto Accidents Lawyer

As soon as you find out that you are begin sued for property damage, consult an accidents attorney to find out what steps you need to take next. You should have a little time to prepare, but having an attorney on your side can help you take the most advantage of that time. With a good accidents lawyer on your side, you will be able to build the strongest defense possible and hopefully avoid paying anything out-of-pocket to the plaintiff.

Accidents Attorney Tips: How to Act if You Have Been Charged with a DUI

Have you been arrested on a DUI or DWI charge? There are many steps to take in this case, but the first and the most important involves hiring a competent auto accidents attorney. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can represent yourself. There are a few things to keep in mind, read on to find out how it is best to go about such a charge.

Will you be arraigned for a DUI?

As your accidents attorney will explain, this does a formal arraignment procedure in court. At your arraignment, you will be asked to plead to the charge, either guilty or not guilty. Having an attorney represent you at arraignment is more than necessary. At this stage, you are only entering a plea, and you can plead not guilty. In most states you can also insist on a jury trial. If you’re charged with having prior under-the-influence convictions, you should deny these convictions so that you or your attorney can challenge their validity later.

What happens after you make bail?

There are many alternatives here but the most common include simply pleading guilty as charged, trying to plea bargain down to a reduced charge like reckless driving , asking for a trial before a judge. Generally, the more likely a jury is to find you guilty of driving under the influence (DUI), the more you will want to plea bargain or negotiate a settlement with the prosecutor. One of the most important factors is your blood alcohol level. If higher than .12 %, chances of winning in trial are actually low. All an attorney can do is attempt to shed doubt on the validity of the test results so that the jury either entirely disbelieves them or thinks that, after adjusting for possible errors in your favor, your blood alcohol level might have been lower.

You have more chances of winning if your blood alcohol level is under .11%. Your chances will depend largely on the type of testimony your lawyer can elicit from anyone who was with you either before or while you were driving.

A well seasoned accidents attorney should be able to cross-examine the prosecutor’s expert witnesses to show that the likelihood of one’s driving ability being affected at a blood alcohol level of less than 0.08% is small. Naturally, the farther below 0.08% your blood alcohol was, the better your chances are of being acquitted are.

Should you go for a plea bargain?

This is a process where the defendant and the prosecutor reach a compromise. Plea bargains in DUI situations, however, are no longer as common.

Whether you’d prefer to plea bargain or take your case to trial, think about getting an attorney to represent you. If you cannot afford to pay for a specialized attorney’s full services, you can choose the option of hiring legal help for the limited purpose of fully explaining your options to you or working out a plea bargain with the prosecutor.

Auto Accidents Involving Mopeds: A Few Useful Tips

If you or someone in your family has been involved in an auto accident involving a moped or scooter, there are some things to keep in mind. The below accidents attorney tips will help.

How do moped accidents happen?

It is true, a scooter or moped may be a very simple, cost- effective and rather efficient way of getting around, many families in urban areas use them. However, on the road, mopeds can be very difficult to see, especially under difficult weather conditions or where the driver is distracted. Another thing that doesn’t really help is that mopeds, unlike motorcycles, are very quiet and will not be heard coming. If a driver is completely unaware that a scooter or moped is occupying the space they wish to be in, it could result in a serious auto incident. Also, it is safe to assume the person suffering most injuries will be the moped driver.

So, to sum this up, a few common causes for scooter incidents include:

1-      Failure of drivers to see the moped on the road

2-      Distance or speed have been misjudged

3-      Bad weather

4-      Distracted drivers on the road

5-      Excessive speeding

A lot of moped accidents tend to be serious due to the unprotected and exposed nature of the rider. Even if the scooter or moped rider follows the letter of the law to the tee, wears a helmet, signals appropriately and adorns their moped or scooter with the appropriate lights and reflectors, it still doesn’t guarantee they won’t be involved in a scooter accident or moped accident.

How are damages calculated?

If you or a loved one has been injured in a scooter or moped accident involving another vehicle, they may be entitled to recovery for damages and injuries. To see if you have a good case in a scooter accident, contact an experienced auto accident lawyer who is familiar with scooter accidents and injuries.

What are the steps you need to take if you have been involve in a moped incident?

As any expert accidents attorney will tell you, the first step is seek medical attention for your or the other person’s injuries. Don’t let any time lapse between the accident and the medical treatment, as that is very important for legal purposes.

Make sure not to disclose any information to the insurance company other than to mention that there has been an accident. Do not mention any circumstances or don’t even think of making assumption as to who is at fault.

Contact a qualified lawyer ASAP. Preferably someone with experience in dealing with auto accidents.  They will help you handle the confusion and overwhelming amount of legwork involved in a scooter accident case, and if there is compensation available to you, they should be able to spot it and obtain it for you.

Paying for Car Repairs after an Auto Accident

When a vehicle is damaged in an auto accident, depending on the state where the incident took place, who was at fault, and the extent of property damage, an insurance policy may cover part or the full cost of a car repair. Indemnity policies strictly define auto liability. Terms and conditions to an auto insurance policy usually outline the following stipulations to contract:

Jurisdictional Issues
The designation of liability in some states may vary according to statutory incorporation of the negligence rule. According to U.S. federal tort law, legal elements to the negligence rule are the basis to court decisions about liability. In no-fault states, it must be proven that a driver was negligent to sustain liability, and obtain compensatory remedy from an insurer for damages incurred in an accident.

If a court concedes that the negligence rule applies, it is likely what is called the negligence calculus has been applied. Requisite to the negligence rule is forewarning. In cases where it has been determined that a driver did not fulfill obligation to forewarning of danger, where that driver had knowledge, liability rests with a single party.

Policy Limits

The responsible insurer in an auto accident cast will generally only pay for vehicle damage up to an insured’s policy limit. If you are a plaintiff in an auto accident proceeding, limits on policy coverage may affect your ability to pay for the entire cost of vehicle repair. If repair costs exceed the value of an auto that has been involved in an accident, the claim amount should still reflect the actual cash value of the vehicle at the time of the accident for record.


Using your own collision coverage offers the extra assurance that reimbursement of total cost of repair for damage caused by another driver without adequate insurance is met. Comprehensive auto coverage policies can also be applied to repair of vehicle damages, if the car was parked at the time of the accident. If you are the culpable party to the accident, and it is estimated that repair of damages to a vehicle will increase the premium on an insurance policy, a claim is not recommended.

Insurance Covered Repairs

Processing the paperwork with an insurer is the first step to paying for repair costs after an auto accident. Regardless of which insurance company is responsible for covering the cost of repair, a claim must be filed to document reporting of the accident.

In order for an insurer to pay out on a policy for repairs, an auto inspection must be on record. If the vehicle is still in working order, insurers will usually request that the owner bring the car into a designated inspection location. Inspectors only come on site if an auto has sustained extensive damage.

Once an estimate of the damages is assessed, a claimant can proceed with repairs. Some insurers restrict repair resources to a limited network of licensed service providers. Disagree about repair costs? An experienced auto accident attorney can protect you from further financial loss.


Injury Types that Make Hiring an Accidents Attorney a Necessity

Many people tend to believe that hiring an accidents attorney may be unnecessary and this can only end up costing them more money. The opposite may be actually true. In most cases the skills of a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer and the very presence of such an experienced lawyer may pose a real threat to insurers and adjusters. Also, a lawyer will win you a personal injury case without too much trouble. But why would you need a lawyer, anyway, when the fault was not yours? This is a question many people would pose, hoping they can represent themselves. Sadly, they soon find out how complex the legal rules involved in their own claim are. Also, compensation on your injuries may vary greatly if you choose to represent yourself and if you choose to hire a lawyer.

Below are a few types of accidents and injuries that require assistance from a specialized accidents attorney.

Disabling injuries that are long term and have debilitating effects

Many accidents may result in physical damage that can greatly hurt your appearance or your overall physical capabilities. Some of these injuries’ effects may last for months, others may be forever. It is actually difficult to figure out how much such a disabling injury is worth in compensation amount, and only an experienced accidents attorney can help you get the most of your claim. Keep in mind that the severity of injuries needs to be well documented and medical bills have to be provided as evidence.

Disabling conditions as a result of medical malpractice

If you have suffered damage, have been injured or became more severely ill due to unprofessional conduct from the medical staff treating you, there is definitely a malpractice case in the works there. Medical staff may include hospital or lab assistants, clinic doctors or nurses or other certified medical providers. A specialized attorney will be able to help with putting together a proof solid case in this respect.

Injuries resulting from exposure to toxic substances

Cases of people becoming ill because of exposure to contaminants in the environment or in their food are sadly increasing. Most of the chemical companies, however, are doing their best to protect themselves from any legal exposure. An experienced lawyer will be able to get through that wall of protection and find evidence that is hard to come by. There is no way around it here, if you want to win, you need a specialized attorney.

Add to the above the financial damage you can suffer, when insurance agencies or governmental organizations refuse to pay or to come to a fair settlement with you over your injuries. Fighting this can be exceptionally difficult without an attorney by your side.