Car Accident Legal AdviceBy Stewart J. Guss on April 20th, 2020
When you get hurt in a car accident, the aftermath of the wreck can be overwhelming. It can be tough to admit, but you need help. You need money for the flood of expenses coming your way. You need expert legal advice.
Never try to handle a car accident claim on your own. That’s asking for trouble… and a mountain of stress. Instead, partner with an experienced auto accident attorney right away.
Many people hesitate to reach out to a lawyer because common misconceptions have left them afraid of fees or complications. The truth is, a dedicated lawyer can simplify every step of the claims process for you. Better yet, many personal injury lawyers work on contingency and do not collect any upfront fees. You pay them nothing at all unless they’ve helped you get paid first.
You Have Questions? Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, Has Answers.
After a serious car accident, you’ll have a wide range of questions about the legal process, the compensation you deserve for your injuries, and how to handle filing a personal injury claim. Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, can help provide those answers. Our firm has made a commitment to provide guidance and legal counsel to those who need it most.
How much compensation do I deserve for my injuries?
You have medical bills. You missed time at work. Your injuries are causing serious inconveniences in your life.
You know you deserve compensation, but how much should you expect?
A car accident lawyer can be an invaluable resource. They can evaluate your unique situation, answer your questions, and provide you with the comprehensive legal advice you need to understand your options after your car accident. This includes:
Helping you compile bills and evaluate your medical expenses. Medical bills may come in droves after a serious auto accident. A traumatic brain injury, for example, can cost millions of dollars over the rest of your life. Spinal cord injuries can leave you with long-term medical costs, especially if you suffer paralysis as a result of your injuries.
Your personal injury claim includes all of the expenses associated with your accident, including:
- The cost of emergency medical care. The cost of that ambulance ride to the hospital alone leaves many accident victims with a financial burden—and that’s before you even receive treatment in the emergency room. You may need immediate scans, X-rays, or other imaging to help evaluate your injuries. Many accident victims get rushed into emergency surgery. All those costs add up quickly.
- The cost of hospitalization. A single day in the hospital can cost thousands of dollars, depending on the procedures and treatment you need. Need to stay in ICU? Your costs could increase even more. Many of the severe injuries that result from serious car accidents may require a long stay in the hospital, which can raise your medical costs with every passing day.
- The cost of durable medical equipment. Depending on the type of injury you’ve suffered, you may need durable medical equipment and mobility aids to help you get around after the accident. These include prosthetic devices, a wheelchair, or crutches, for example. The quality of that durable medical equipment can have a huge influence on your overall quality of life after an accident, but its cost can also burn through your savings.
- Therapy. Physical therapy. Psychological therapy. Occupational therapy. You may need one or more of these, depending on the injuries you suffer. Therapists can help restore your quality of life and assist you as you learn to cope with the limitations stemming from your accident. This is not a step you should ever skip, but the cost of therapy can add up over time.
- The cost of modifying your home to cope with your injuries. Do you need to widen your doors to allow wheelchair access? Install new grab bars and a specialized tub in your bathroom? Those modifications carry a hefty price tag, and you may struggle to pay without compensation for your injuries. However, these renovations are consequences of your auto accident, and the careless driver who hurt you should be responsible for them.
Establishing lost wages and lost earning potential. The more time you miss at work for your injuries, the harder it becomes to get your life – and your finances – back on track. Most victims of severe car accidents know they will miss time at work immediately after the accident. Severe injuries, however, can keep you at home longer. Even when you return to work, you may end up stuck with a modified schedule due to ongoing pain or complications from your injuries. Some victims even lose the ability to work in their former professions. This is why your car accident lawyer will consider including lost earning potential as part of your claim.
Quantifying the pain and suffering associated with your accident. You know that you faced plenty of physical pain and suffering as a result of your accident, but what about the emotional trauma? Did you miss out on activities you planned before your accident? Did your personal relationships suffer? Your physical and emotional suffering after the accident can have a substantial impact on the compensation you receive. An experienced personal injury attorney takes you and your feelings seriously. They listen, they know how to quantify your pain and suffering, and they know how to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Examining the insurance policy that covers the liable party. Who caused your accident? What type of insurance do they carry? The limits of an auto insurance policy can determine how much compensation you can receive after an auto accident, especially if the other driver bears full legal liability for the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can go over that policy’s “fine print” and help you maximize your compensation.
Teaming up with a lawyer will help you in more ways than you can imagine. Don’t settle for less than what you are owed – hire an attorney who knows your rights, and knows how to protect them.
Who has to pay my bills after a car accident?
You can seek compensation for your bills after a car accident. Determining the liable party in your auto accident will let you know who to file a claim against.
But placing the blame for a car accident isn’t as simple as pointing at the person who hit you.
While the other driver may bear substantial fault in the accident, you may also want to look into other parties who may have contributed to your injuries.
These might include:
- The driver’s employer. A driver on the clock often shares liability for an accident with their employer. Did the employer fail to adhere to federal driving regulations, especially those that govern how much time a truck driver can spend on the road each day? Did the employer force the driver to drive in unsafe conditions or brush off their concerns? An experienced attorney can help go over all the details associated with the accident and determine how much liability the driver’s employer bears for the accident. When the driver’s employer shares liability, it can greatly increase the compensation you can receive for your injuries, since an employer often carries much higher insurance coverage than the average driver. A commercial driver may also have an insurance policy with higher limits for bodily injury coverage, which can increase your overall compensation.
- The vehicle manufacturer. Vehicle manufacturers must produce vehicles that adhere to certain safety standards. Ideally, they should protect the drivers of those vehicles and others who share the road with them. When vehicles malfunction, however, they can lead to accidents that cause severe injuries. If the vehicle manufacturer created a vehicle or auto part that malfunctions unexpectedly, the manufacturer may share liability for your accident.
- A mechanic who recently worked on the vehicle. When a mechanic works on a vehicle, he must take care to fully repair it and not cause further damage to the vehicle, especially damage that renders the vehicle no longer safe to operate. If a mechanic certifies a vehicle as roadworthy when it isn’t, that mechanic may share liability for the accident.
Should I accept the insurance company’s offer?
Insurance companies are not always honest, and their first offers do not fully reflect what you deserve for your hardship. If you accept a settlement offer too soon, you not only lose the money that is owed to you, you remove the insurance company from future financial liability.
When an insurance company issues a settlement offer, either early after your accident or after you have filed your personal injury claim, a lawyer’s advice can help you decide how to proceed. Many insurance companies seek to limit their financial liability as much as possible after an accident, especially an accident with significant property damage or severe injuries.
Never accept a settlement offer until you have discussed it with an experienced personal injury attorney. Do yourself a favor: do all you can to increase the odds of getting full compensation you deserve for your injuries. Why wouldn’t you?
How Can Legal Advice After a Car Accident Help Me?
After a car accident, many survivors think they can handle things by themselves. They fear that attorney fees will simply cut into the funds they could receive from their settlement. They may struggle with the thought of paying an attorney on top of all the other expenses they’re faced with, especially as money gets tighter.
In reality, however, the advice and hard work of an experienced personal injury attorney can net you an exponentially higher settlement. An attorney can:
- Help maximize your compensation. While not even the best attorney can guarantee the compensation you will receive after a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney will often increase the compensation you receive, even after you pay your legal fees. In fact, many insurance companies will issue a better settlement offer just because they know you have a personal injury attorney working with you.
- Prevent you from making errors that could reduce your compensation. Did you know that what you post on social media about your accident matters? Have you considered how the activities you engage in could impact the compensation you receive? Do you know the tricks and traps insurance adjusters will use on you? Not only can an experienced attorney prevent you from making errors, they can provide valuable legal advice about how to handle questions from the other driver’s insurance company. This includes how to avoid accepting liability for the accident.
- Provide you with a road map of what to expect as you file your claim. Filing a personal injury claim can seem daunting. While an attorney cannot tell you exactly how the process will go, they can provide you with an idea of what to expect as you file your claim and negotiate for the compensation you deserve. An attorney will walk you through each step of the process, from putting together a demand letter that includes all your financial losses related to the accident to the negotiation phase and what will happen if you cannot reach an agreement through negotiation. If your claim requires mediation or needs to go to court, an experienced personal injury attorney is prepared to help you through that process, too.
- Take care of negotiations for you. You have enough to deal with as you handle your recovery. An experienced personal injury attorney can streamline the negotiation process, keeping your stress levels down when you already have more than enough responsibilities to juggle. An attorney will handle calls from the insurance company or liable party and represent your best interests every step of the way.
- Answer questions and provide reassurance as you file your claim. You’re more than just a case number. You’re a survivor deserving of respect and compassion. Our personal injury law firm values the time and trust of each and every person who comes to us for help. We’re here to support you and reassure you throughout this difficult process. Your victory is our victory.
If you suffered injuries in an auto accident, don’t try to handle a claim on your own. You need car accident legal advice… so it only makes sense to call a car accident lawyer for help! We’re standing by 24/7 to listen to your story and evaluate your case, at no cost to you.