On a different post, we’ve mentioned steps you can take in filing for a car accident claim. But in addition to knowing what guidelines to follow during the process, it is vital that you understand legal terms frequently used in claim-filing.
From your Kansas City car accident attorney to you, below are terminology you will encounter as you file for, investigate, evaluate, and submit your car accident claim.
Car Accident Claim-Filing Terms And Definitions-
1. Burden Of Proof:
“Burden of proof” is the term used to describe the actual task and act of proving yourself innocent in an accident claim. And proving damages wrought and injuries incurred which you believe (and calculate) worthy of the value you specify in your claim.
You, being the plaintiff (the person who is stepping forward to present the claim) have the burden of proof as you “prove” to the courts or the party of the defendant your right to said claim.
“Liability” refers to one’s “debt” or “responsibility”, in coming up with recompense for the car accident and for causing the car accident in the first place. The party that is liable for the car accident claim is also called the “defendant”, “accused”, “appellant”, and “respondent”. Other categories of crime use the term “suspect” as well.
Besides pointing out who the liable persons are in a car accident, this can be established and legally determined through pieces of evidence in the accident scene, police reports and related documentation, vehicular damages, injuries, statements from bystanders and witnesses, traffic violations (via recorded evidence), etc.
A legal claim is a request a person can make for court review, wherein you state evidence-supported reasons at the outset, for why the claim is being presented. Technically speaking, a claim falls outside the bounds of a “legal case”, and will transition into it only if the claim is denied and/or a settlement is not concluded.
In law, a settlement is a conclusion, the coming-to-terms, or the agreement of litigants regarding the particulars mentioned in your claim. Reaching a settlement means that the defendant is amenable to it and is willing to provide compensation for the car accident, with the exact value specified in the same claim.
When a settlement is reached, you will not have to escalate the claim into a court case. Also, reaching a settlement should be the goal of your claim-submission.
5. Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UIM):
Some states in the U.S., Missouri included, require that drivers sign up for UIM or an Uninsured Motorist Coverage. A UIM is a kind of insurance that protects drivers in the event that the perpetrator of the accident does not have any insurance coverage.
Losses, or portions of it, can be covered by the UIM. The amount in a UIM will depend on your policy’s terms and limits.
6. Actual Cash Value:
This is a phrase used to define what the damaged automobile’s market value is. Think of it as what the value or “price” your car would have borne right before the accident took place.