Night driving is more dangerous than traveling at any time of the day. This is because drivers have compromised vision when driving in the evenings. In fact, 50% of fatalities were from car accidents at night.
If you are involved in a nighttime car accident, these four steps will help you prove the driver liable for the accident and receive compensation.
Why Do Car Accidents Happen at more often Night?
Night driving is deemed to be dangerous because vision during this time of the day reduces to around 500 feet. This makes it challenging for drivers to react to unexpected situations, especially when traveling at high speeds.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nighttime car crashes are three times more likely to happen than accidents in the daytime. The following are the reasons why there are more risks when driving at nighttime:
- compromised or low visibility,
- fatigue driving,
- rush hour from 4 to 7 p.m., when drivers in heavy traffic are eager to reach their homes, and
- driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
When driving at nighttime, it is recommended that you take extra precautions and refrain from disregarding traffic laws to avoid car accidents.
Can I File a Claim for a Car Accident at Night?
If another driver hits you during nighttime, you may file a claim against them. However, you must remember that you should have the necessary evidence to prove that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused your nighttime car accident.
Essentially, you will need to justify the other party’s negligence by proving the following elements:
- The driver was responsible for ensuring everyone’s safety on the road.
- They neglected this duty.
- The breach caused your nighttime car accident.
- The crash resulted in damages or injuries.
You must know that it is crucial to collect evidence at the accident scene to build your case, such as the other driver’s information and photos of the accident.
Can I Receive Compensation If the Driver Flees the Nighttime Accident Scene?
You may still receive compensation for the accident damages if the driver leaves the scene without notifying you or the authorities. In most cases, police officers will investigate the accident scene and gather evidence to help locate the driver.
However, there are unfortunate cases where authorities fail to find the at-fault driver. When this happens, a personal injury lawyer can work with investigators to collect evidence and assist in locating the driver.
If the at-fault driver is still unable to search, your attorney will check your insurance policy. An uninsured motorist coverage will be most beneficial in such circumstances. This type of insurance can pay for your:
- medical bills,
- vehicle repair or replacement costs, and
- lost wages.
How to Prove a Nighttime Car Accident
Proving a nighttime car accident is plausible if you have sufficient proof of the crash. However, other steps can help you win your case. Read the following tip to handle your claim successfully:
Step 1: Gather Evidence at the Night time Car Accident Scene
Your nighttime car accident claim will only be valid if you have evidence to identify the culprit of the collision. At the accident scene, you should collect as much evidence as possible. You may do this by:
Taking photos of the crash.
From the photos of the damages, your lawyer will understand how the accident happened and what caused the collision. Aside from this, you must also document any debris or vehicle marks at the location of the accident.
Noting the driver’s contact information.
You should exchange details with the driver involved in the nighttime car accident. This includes:
- the driver’s name and home address,
- their license number,
- their vehicle’s plate number, and
- their insurance provider.
Taking witnesses’ information.
You must collect their contact details if there are witnesses to your car accident at night. Your attorney will use this information to gather their statements as you pursue your claim.
Identify the exact location, time, and weather conditions of the nighttime car accident.
Police officers will require you to have the necessary information about the crash, such as the accident location, the time the collision happened, and the weather conditions that may affect the nature of the impact.
This evidence will help your accident lawyer in California make sense of the incident and determine if you are entitled to pursue a case.
Step 2: Ask for the Police Report
The police report is vital evidence that will help determine who is responsible for the car accident at night. Law enforcers who responded at the accident scene will log the details of the crash, such as:
- the drivers’ contact information,
- statements from the parties involved,
- statements from witnesses,
- time, date, and location of the collision,
- weather and road conditions of the accident scene,
- a diagram or drawing demonstrating the nighttime car accident,
- violations of the drivers, if there are any
- the officer’s opinion of how the accident happened and what caused it.
In most cases, insurance providers will ask for the initial accident report. This will help them know if their client is responsible for the crash. However, they can also use the document to refute your claim if there are loopholes in the report.
This is why you must request for a copy of the police report and let your car accident lawyer in California understand and utilize the file to your advantage. Ask for the following details to help you obtain a copy of the accident report:
- the law enforcement officer’s name and badge number
- The time, date, and location of the nighttime car accident, and
- the incident report number, if available.
Step 3: Keep Your Medical Records
Your medical records entail specific advantages when narrating the severity of the nighttime car accident. It has legal purposes, including:
- provides the doctor’s diagnosis, which will establish the probable cause and severity of the injury.
- note the necessary treatments and prescriptions for your injury.
- shows the medical costs for the damages.
- logs future medical care if needed.
Usually, the driver’s insurance provider will ask for a copy of your medical records to check and identify how much they will be willing to pay for the settlement. In such cases, follow the tips below to ensure that they will not use the health document against you:
- Don’t share any pre-existing condition that is unrelated to the accident.
- Never sign a blanket release from the other driver’s insurance company.
- Refrain from handing in your medical records until you comply with all your treatments.
- Seek the assistance of your car accident lawyer in California when asked for medical records.
Step 4: Hire A Car Accident Lawyer in California
One hurdle you will face in a nighttime car accident claim is how the other driver’s insurance company will try to refute your case and refuse to pay for the restitution. In most cases, personal injury attorneys will defend your claim and negotiate on your behalf.
A car accident lawyer in California is always the best legal option if you want to win your claim. They have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to handle and win nighttime car accidents.
What Types of Damages Can I Include in My Compensation?
Most car accidents at night result in catastrophic damages. This is because most nighttime car accidents entail speeding and failure to react on time, causing a significant impact on a collision.
If you have significant injuries from a crash, it is possible to consider several types of damages when calculating your compensation, such as:
|Economic Damages (financial losses)||Non-Economic Damages (non-monetary losses)|
| || |
Most victims miss out on non-economic damages because these may seem challenging to quantify and prove. A personal injury lawyer can investigate your case, examine the losses, and compute the total settlement value by adding special damages, such as emotional distress.
Your accident attorney may also determine if you are entitled to punitive damages. This is a monetary reward given to victims if the at-fault party’s behavior is deemed adverse or deliberate.
Challenges When Proving A Car Accident At Night
Insurance companies are advertised as our financial support if we are caught in a car accident. However, they will try to reduce your compensation or avoid paying for any damages from the crash.
They can deduce several arguments if you have loopholes in your case, such as:
Lack of Evidence
Gathering evidence is more challenging in a car accident at night. This is because the surroundings have possibly fewer lights and witnesses, which should help prove the nature of the accident.
There are also instances where the driver at fault for the crash decides to flee the scene of the nighttime car accident if there are no authorities or witnesses within the area.
Difficulty in Proving the Liable Party
If you have limited evidence, proving the driver is responsible for the crash will be difficult. If you fail to justify liability, you will not be entitled to compensation for the nighttime car accident.
Insurance companies typically argue that you were partially at fault for the car accident at night. This will help them reduce the settlement value or completely dismiss the claim.
For instance, you weren’t wearing your seatbelt when a drunk driver hit you. In such cases, the insurance provider may argue that you are at least 10% liable for the accident to reduce the compensation amount. As a result, you will receive 90% of restitution.
How Can I Personal Injury Lawyer Help Prove My Nighttime Car Accident Claim?
As mentioned above, there are possible challenges you may encounter when filing for a car accident claim. Sometimes, these can reduce your compensation or completely dismiss your case.
For example, you were driving at night when a drunk driver hit you. Since they were under the influence of alcohol, they decided to flee the scene without notifying you or the authorities. How will you pursue a case if you don’t have the other driver’s information?
A personal injury lawyer can investigate the facts of your accident and work with investigators to locate the driver. Additionally, they will determine other legal options suitable for your situation and needs.
They will also assist in several tasks necessary to prove your claim, such as:
- gathering evidence,
- identifying the driver liable for the car accident at night,
- examining the facts of the incident,
- meeting legal deadlines,
- calculating a fair settlement amount, and
- defending your legal rights.
When these circumstances happen, your attorney will try to counter these arguments and negotiate for maximum compensation. The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker has car accident lawyers in California who can listen to your concerns, understand your car accident situation, and provide legal options that suit your needs. Call us at 800-333-0000 to schedule a free legal consultation today!