If you sustained injuries in a recent motor vehicle crash, you should first obtain medical care and treatment at a local urgent care center or hospital emergency room. Immediately following that initial medical visit, reach out to an experienced car accident lawyer to represent you in your case.
If you wait too long to seek legal representation, you might inadvertently jeopardize your right to recover monetary compensation for your physical injuries and other accident-related losses. In general, the longer a personal injury claim languishes, the more its overall value decreases.
As soon as you retain a car crash attorney to represent you, that attorney can begin working on your behalf and advocating for your legal interests. Specifically, they may begin investigating the circumstances leading up to your accident and may file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for you. They can then handle all settlement negotiations with the insurance company, file a lawsuit in your case (if that step becomes necessary), and litigate your case to an efficient resolution. Reach out to a car accident lawyer.
Finally, if your case must proceed to a binding arbitration proceeding or civil jury trial for resolution, your lawyer will aggressively advocate for your legal rights and fight for the monetary recovery you deserve at those proceedings.
How Car Crashes Often Occur
Many car accidents happen suddenly – and when a driver or passenger least expects them. As a result, the driver or passenger may not have sufficient time to adequately brace themselves for the accident, such as by clutching the steering wheel or something else in the vehicle.
Some car crashes involve rear-end collisions, where a vehicle receives a hit from behind. Other accidents are head-on collisions, where the fronts of two vehicles in opposing travel lanes collide with one another. These accidents are the most likely to cause fatal injuries, especially if the vehicles are traveling at high speeds.
Other common accidents include T-bone crashes – or broadside collisions – where the side of a vehicle receives a significant blow. Finally, sideswipe accidents happen when the sides of two vehicles strike one another while traveling in the same direction, such as on a multi-lane highway.
In many instances, these accidents result from some form of driver negligence. A negligent driver is usually one who violates a traffic law, such as by failing to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle, speeding in busy highway traffic, or failing to use a turn signal.
In addition to traffic law violations, some car accidents happen when drivers fail to pay adequate attention to the road while driving. Instead of watching the road in front of them and using their rearview and side view mirrors appropriately, they might be looking at a cellular device, programming a GPS navigation system, or roughhousing with vehicle passengers. Any of these activities may cause the driver to look down or turn their head away from the road, leading to a severe crash.
Finally, some car accidents occur when drivers are legally intoxicated. A driver is per se intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or higher in most cases. When a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they may be unable to give sufficient attention to the road or be aware of what is going on around them. In addition, they may inadvertently engage in aggressive driving maneuvers, such as zealously weaving in and out of highway traffic or tailgating other drivers.
If you suffered injuries in a car crash that resulted from another driver’s negligence, the sooner you contact experienced legal counsel to represent you in your case, the better off you will likely be. A skilled car accident attorney in your area can go over all of your legal options with you and help you decide upon the best course of action, given the facts and circumstances of your case.
Injuries in Car Crashes
Injuries that car accident victims suffer are often extremely debilitating and may require ongoing medical treatment, medical procedures, and physical therapy. When a car crash victim sustains injuries in an accident, they may be eligible to recover monetary damages via a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
The injuries that accident victims suffer frequently depend upon the circumstances surrounding the accident itself, as well as how their body moves in their vehicle during a crash.
Common car accident injuries include:
- Neck and spinal cord damage
- Full or partial paralysis
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries
- Bone fractures
- Rib fractures
- Traumatic brain and head injuries
- Open lacerations
- Soft tissue contusions
- Internal organ injuries
- Internal bleeding
By seeking prompt medical treatment after a car crash and sticking with your treatment plan, you increase your chances of recovering favorable monetary compensation for your injuries. While you are treating and recovering from your accident-related injuries, an attorney in your area can begin gathering the necessary documentation to prove your case.
Once your medical treatment ends, your lawyer can then start negotiating with insurance company representatives and pursuing the full value for your car accident claim.
Negotiating With Insurance Company Adjusters
When it comes time to negotiate a settlement offer in your car accident claim, a car crash attorney in your area can be an invaluable help. Your lawyer can handle all written and oral communications with insurance company adjusters and help you pursue a fair settlement offer in your case.
Many times, insurance companies and their adjusters are unfair. After all, they are not in the business of adequately compensating car crash victims for their injuries. Rather, they want to save themselves as much time, work, and money as possible. Negotiating with insurance company adjusters on your own can be a serious mistake since most adjusters will try and significantly undervalue your claim.
On the other hand, an experienced car crash attorney in your area can aggressively fight for your legal interests by highlighting the strengths of your case, downplaying weaknesses, and pursuing a favorable monetary award. Moreover, if the adjuster adamantly refuses to increase their settlement offer significantly, your lawyer can threaten the insurance company with courtroom litigation and, if necessary, actually file a lawsuit and pursue your case in court.
At all times, your attorney will inform you about your case’s progress and help you make informed and intelligent legal decisions throughout your case.
Satisfying the Legal Burden in a Car Accident Case
To obtain monetary recovery in a car accident claim or lawsuit, the accident victim has legal responsibility for meeting their burden of proof. Specifically, the accident victim must establish that another driver violated their legal duty of care, usually by violating one or more traffic laws. In addition, they must show that, as a direct result, their accident occurred, which led to their personal injuries and other losses.
A car accident lawyer can help you satisfy your legal burden of proof by introducing evidence in your case, including police reports, photographs, medical reports from qualified healthcare providers, and other documents. Moreover, if your case goes to trial, your lawyer can present additional evidence on your behalf, including witness testimony, to support your version of events.
Your attorney will do everything they can to help you satisfy your legal burden of proof, making you eligible for monetary compensation and damages.
Taking a Car Accident Case to Trial
In most situations, car crash cases go to trial when an insurance company refuses to adequately compensate the accident victim for their injuries and other losses. Although no settlement offer is perfect, it should reasonably compensate the accident victim for all of their medical expenses, lost earnings, pain, suffering, and other damages.
A skilled car accident attorney can help you determine whether an insurance company adjuster’s offer is reasonable, given the circumstances, and help you decide whether litigation is appropriate in your case.
If your case goes to trial, a judge or jury will decide the case outcome, depending upon the amount of money in dispute. During a trial, your lawyer can introduce evidence on your behalf, make an opening statement and closing argument, and help you prove the legal elements of your claim. A jury will then be left to determine what monetary damages to award you for your injuries.
As an alternative to trial, the parties may consider alternative dispute resolution proceedings, like mediation or binding arbitration. For example, in a binding arbitration proceeding, an arbitrator (who is usually a retired judge or an attorney) hears all of the oral evidence and reviews all written evidence in the case. They then render an opinion awarding the accident victim a certain amount of monetary damages.
Every car accident case is unique. Your car accident attorney can help you determine whether you should take your case to trial or pursue alternative dispute resolution outside of court.
Recovering Monetary Damages for Car Accident Losses
Injured car accident victims are often eligible to recover various types of monetary compensation and damages. The total damage award that they may receive through settlement or litigation will depend upon various factors, including the specific factual circumstances surrounding the accident, the injuries that they suffered in the crash, the type of medical treatment that they underwent, the cost of their medical treatment, and whether or not they missed time from work as a result of their injuries.
First, accident victims may receive economic damages to compensate them for their related out-of-pocket losses, including lost earnings and medical expenses.
They may also recover compensation for their intangible losses, including:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Loss of spousal companionship related to the accident
- Loss of use of a body part (such as from a spinal cord injury)
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Humiliation (such as from permanent scarring)
- Permanent disfigurement
Your lawyer can help you maximize your total monetary compensation by thoroughly reviewing your accident circumstances with you and developing a comprehensive litigation plan.
Contact an Experienced Car Crash Attorney Right Away
If you recently suffered injuries in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, time is of the essence. As soon as possible after your car crash, you should retain the services of a knowledgeable car accident attorney in your area. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.
When deciding on the best attorney for your individual case, you should consider a prospective lawyer’s years of experience, as well as their rate of success in settling and litigating car accident claims. You should also ask a prospective attorney any questions you may have prior to retaining them.
Once a lawyer enters an appearance on your behalf, they may start taking legal action by filing a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Moreover, if your case ultimately goes to litigation, your lawyer can represent you in all legal proceedings and help you secure the best possible result in your car crash case.