Car Accident Lawyer – A Brief Guide
Car accidents are common, but that doesn’t make them any less terrifying. Often what follows the crash is a long physical, emotional, and financial recovery process that can be taxing. Most of us are only aware of the basics when it comes to dealing with insurance companies, which can leave us vulnerable to low offers of settlement. During those uncertain days, you should consult with a car accident lawyer in order to understand the law and get the compensation to which you are legally entitled. Car accident attoney are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies and know when to refuse a settlement offer because it is too low.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accident injuries can range from minor to severe. The following list outlines some of the most common or recurring injuries suffered by car accident victims:
Traumatic Brain Injuries: Car accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury in the U.S. Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, results when the brain is damaged by an injury to the head. The injury can result from a blunt blow or a sharp, piercing wound.
Injury to the spinal cord or neck: The forceful impact of an accident can cause severe damage to the spinal cord and neck. One common neck-related injury, known as whiplash, occurs when the head moves back and forth in a quick, jerking fashion. Damage to the spinal cord can range from minor to severe, with some injuries resulting in partial or total paralysis.
Burns: The body can be burned in many ways during or immediately following an accident. If your skin comes into contact with hot fluids, surfaces, or chemicals, you may suffer burns. If the car catches on fire during the accident, you may incur severe burns that require surgery or skin grafts.
Fractures and Broken Bones: It is no surprise that broken bones and fractures are common in car accidents. Broken legs, ribs, arms, ankles, and risks occur due to forceful impacts and can range in severity from fracture to total break. Some broken bones will require surgery to be reset and heal properly.
Facial Injuries: Broken glass and impact with the steering wheel can cause cuts and other injuries on the face. If severe, surgical correction may be required.
Soft Tissue Injuries: It is easy to think of soft tissue injuries as less severe, but this is not necessarily true. Soft tissue injuries may not become noticeable or apparent until days after the accident. Damage to organs may not be evident to the naked eye and can cause serious, life-threatening injuries.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Not every injury resulting from a car accident is physical. Many people suffer from mental and emotional trauma after an accident. Post-traumatic stress disorder can be diagnosed by a trained psychiatrist. Symptoms typically include feeling worried or anxious about activities that used to feel normal to you, nightmares, and memories of the traumatic event.
What You Should Do After a Car Accident
In the minutes and hours following a car accident, you may likely be injured, disoriented, or unsure as to what steps you need to take. Your safety and the safety of others involved in the accident are paramount. This list should help guide you in how to respond after you have been involved in an accident.
Call 911 and immediately seek medical treatment. If you or anyone else has been injured, do not try to move them, but rather wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive.
Go to the hospital and have your injuries examined and documented. You will need these records for your insurance settlement.
If you are able, get the names and contact information of anyone involved in the accident or any witnesses. Take photos of the accident and the scene. If you are injured, leave this step up to the police, who respond.
Do not admit fault at the scene or at the hospital
Contact car accident lawyer , to discuss the details of your case. Our attorneys will offer a no-obligation consultation of your case.
The earlier you retain a car accident lawyer, the sooner you will be on your way to receiving the settlement offer you deserve after an accident.
When Should I Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
If possible, you should talk with a car accident lawyer before you talk with the insurance company. Injured parties who obtain representation receive higher settlement offers than those who do not. It is rare that the everyday person would have the legal know-how to handle dealing with the insurance company after an accident. This is especially true if you have severe injuries, extensive damages and are looking for a hefty settlement offer to cover your losses. Any good lawyer will offer you a pro-bono consultation of your case, so you have nothing to lose if you don’t choose to retain their services.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help you better estimate your current and future losses related to the accident. Furthermore, an attorney is unlikely to accept the first offer made by an insurance company. Your attorney is not afraid to reject lowball offers and take the insurance company to court if needed.
Remember, when you file a car accident claim, you oppose the at-fault driver’s insurance company, not the driver. The insurance company has extensive resources at its disposal and handles car insurance claims every day. It isn’t always the case that the insurance company is intentionally trying to lowball an offer to you, but their end goal is to settle for the least amount of money possible. Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer helps to “level the playing field,” so to speak. Like the insurer, your attorney handles cases like yours daily and understands the negotiation and settlement process better than you.
These are the primary reasons you want an experienced attorney to handle your case. The CEO Lawyer is not afraid to stand up to insurance companies and take them to court when they want to settle for less than you are owed. Furthermore, after you have been injured, it is best for you to focus on recovery, not fighting with the insurance company.
What Does an Auto Accident Attorney Do?
As mentioned above, an experienced car accident lawyer handles personal injury claims daily and knows how to work with insurance companies to get you the best settlement offer possible. However, you may still be wondering what steps an auto accident attorney will take once you have retained them as your representation. While every accident has a different set of circumstances, there are common procedures and litigation benchmarks that you can expect of the attorney working on your case.
Collecting the Evidence: After you have retained your attorney, they will begin collecting all of the evidence of your case. This includes your statement of the details of the accident, your medical records and bills, the police report, and witness statements. If the other party in the accident has also retained legal representation, your attorney will establish communication with their attorney. Your attorney may also revisit the scene of the accident and take photos of the location for evidence. In some cases, your attorney may contact experts who can provide further insight into your case.
Send the Demand Letter: Once your car accident lawyer has compiled all of the evidence, they will draft and send a demand letter to the insurance company or the at-fault party’s attorney. A demand letter is a professional document that outlines the facts of the case, as well as damages. First, your attorney will outline the economic damages you suffered due to the accident. Economic damages refer to current and future medical costs, damage to your property, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. Non-economic damages refer to pain and suffering and mental anguish. Both are an important part of the settlement negotiation. The demand letter will conclude with the settlement amount your attorney is requesting on your behalf. The insurance company may agree to the settlement, negotiate for a lower settlement amount, or reject the offer.
Filing a Lawsuit: If your attorney and the insurance company are unable to agree on a settlement, your lawyer will begin filing the necessary paperwork to take your case to trial.
Discovery: After a lawsuit has been filed, both parties will enter into a period called discovery. During discovery, attorneys from both sides will share all of the documentation related to the accident they have gathered in order to look for evidence that supports their claim.
The Trial: If your case is not settled during any of the above litigation steps, your attorney will go to trial, and your settlement amount will be determined by a judge or jury. The phases of a trial are the same for each case. First, attorneys will select a jury unless your case is to be decided by a judge. Once a jury has been established, each attorney will deliver an opening statement, followed by witness testimony, cross-examinations, and finally, closing arguments. Then, the judge will give instructions to the jury regarding applicable laws and how they should determine a verdict. Finally, the jury will deliberate and return with a verdict.
Most car accident cases are settled outside of court, but that doesn’t mean that you should accept a lower settlement offer than you originally asked for. This is why you want an experienced car accident lawyer to represent you.
The CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm – The Car Accident Law Firm You Need
Many people think they can handle negotiating with the insurance company on their own and don’t want to spend money hiring an attorney to represent their interests. While you may be able to handle your own car accident case if you weren’t injured too badly, you should know that individuals who are represented by experienced attorneys get bigger auto accident settlements than those who don’t.