Picture this: It’s the day after your car accident. You were lucky enough to walk away from it alive, but now you don’t know where to turn. You’ve got pain, medical bills, a totaled car, and far more questions in front of you than answers.
How do you get financial help? How do you put your life back together?
A car accident lawyer with a history of representing injured victims is someone you want by your side. In fact, they can be the key to your success. Here’s how.
Car Accidents: The Aftermath
Car accidents stun victims and leave their lives in total disarray. Fortunately, with the help and expertise of a lawyer who handles car accidents, there’s hope. Victims can recover substantial compensation for the following losses:
Many car accidents result in severe injuries, but medical bills can pile up fast even with minor injuries. Consider some of these common accident injuries and the costs they bring:
Traumatic brain injury: Traumatic brain injury costs can quickly skyrocket. TBIs may result in health issues you have to manage for the rest of your life. Not only do traumatic brain injury victims frequently need immediate scans to pinpoint and treat an injury effectively, they often need long-term hospitalization in intensive care units. Victims may then need physical, psychological, and occupational therapy to help them cope and adapt. While some traumatic brain injury victims eventually recover their normal brain functioning, others may experience limitations for the rest of their lives. Ultimately, treatment and therapy for a traumatic brain injury can result in millions of dollars in medical costs.
Spinal cord injury: Every year, more than 17,000 people across the United States experience some degree of spinal cord injury. Living with spinal cord injury can be costly. Emergency medical care and hospitalization are just the start of a lengthy medical process. Spinal cord injury victims frequently need long-term physical and occupational therapy to aid recovery, manage pain, and prevent atrophy. They may need to make many modifications to their homes and vehicles to maintain their independence, such as installing wheelchair ramps and grab bars, or widening doorways to make the home more accessible for a wheelchair. All these costs can add up in the blink of an eye.
Burns: Burn injuries result from a wide variety of motor vehicle accidents, from cars catching fire in a crash to hazardous chemicals spilling from a tanker truck. Many burn victims suffer agonizing pain throughout their healing, and may live with disfiguring scars for the rest of their lives. Even talented plastic surgeons cannot always erase the evidence of burns completely.
Amputations: Victims of severe auto accidents may have limbs amputated traumatically through the force of a collision, or doctors in the emergency room may decide to amputate to save their lives. Amputation is a serious, life-changing procedure that carries significant, ongoing medical costs. Patients may need careful monitoring in the first year following the amputation, as doctors need to identify any potential problems that could require further surgical procedures. Many amputees choose to use prosthetic devices to help them regain their mobility and life function. Even basic prosthetics can cost thousands of dollars, however. More complex prosthetics – often intended for athletes or for more complicated purposes – may cost even more. Those expenses add up over the lifetime of an amputee, since the average amputee will need to replace a prosthetic every three to five years through normal wear and tear.
Broken bones: It seems like everyone breaks a bone at some point in their life. While a complete recovery is possible, the cost of broken bones can still add up. Crash victims with certain fractures may require surgical treatment to repair those broken bones and restore normal function. Some victims with broken bones may need to stay in a rehabilitation facility or undergo physical therapy to regain normal movement and function. In some cases, broken bones cause ongoing complications that will limit the victim’s activities long-term.
Victims can also endure many other painful, persistent, and expensive injuries that car accident lawyers can help with:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Broken teeth and dental injuries
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, and other joint injuries
- Scars and disfigurement
Many car accident victims cannot return to work after their accidents. Those lost wages add up fast. How long you’ll miss work after your car accident will depend on several different factors.
- How much do your injuries limit you? Even broken bones can cause enough limitations to prevent you from accomplishing your normal job responsibilities. You may also struggle to safely go back to work while on pain meds.
- What do your job duties entail? If you do manual labor or have a similar highly physical job, you may be out of work for a long time. Traumatic brain injury, on the other hand, can prevent you from accomplishing cognitive tasks required by your daily job responsibilities. How soon you can return to work—and how much money you lose from lost wages during your recovery—may depend on the particular job tasks you must complete. If you suffer a traumatic brain injury, you may have trouble focusing on your work or regulating your emotions as you readjust.
- What modifications will your job make to allow you to return to work? Disability laws typically require employers to make accommodations for injured employees so they can return to work sooner. Your employer may allow you to work from home, provide you with a modified work schedule, or let you temporarily delegate certain tasks to other team members. You deserve a smooth recovery. However, if your doctor tells you not to return to your job until you make a full recovery, you may lose more earnings. Contact a personal injury lawyer to learn more about your rights after an accident.
- Can you return to your normal job at all? Some injuries can prevent you from ever returning to your career. If you work in customer service, for example, a traumatic brain injury’s emotional regulation problems could hinder customer interactions and result in distress. If you suffered a spinal cord injury in your car accident, chronic pain or paralysis can prevent you from doing any physical labor. If you cannot return to your former job, then you may have the right to seek compensation for your lost earning potential. Talk to an experienced car accident injury lawyer to learn more.
Pain and Suffering
In addition to the financial toll of serious auto accident injuries, victims suffer severe emotional turmoil and trauma. These feelings are valid, and these negative consequences deserve compensation just as much as the financial costs. Victims may suffer from difficulties such as:
- Physical pain: Many injuries result in agonizing physical pain, especially in the case of burns or broken bones. Pain may persist for weeks, months, or even years, in the case of some injuries.
- Loss of independence: Many victims require significant assistance or even in-home care as they go about their daily tasks. Those victims may struggle with the loss of independence and inability to take care for themselves.
- Loss of social interaction and loss of consortium: The sad truth is many injuries and disabilities result in social isolation. Victims may spend less time with friends and loved ones in the aftermath of an accident. Often, accident victims feel alone and struggle to maintain their relationships. Victims with traumatic brain injury may even struggle with personality changes that can ruin friendships.
- Emotional distress: Severe accidents can cause trauma that lead to severe emotional distress and PTSD.
- Missed events, opportunities, or activities: Many victims find themselves unable to do the activities they once loved. They may also be unable to participate in highly anticipated events and milestones. Though it’s hard to put a price tag on things like these, these real losses deserve real compensation.
How an Attorney Who Handles Car Accidents Can Help
Legal help and advice is invaluable in your time of need. It can make all the difference between devastation and celebration. Hiring a lawyer who handles car accidents provides you with these advantages in the aftermath of a crash:
- Evaluating the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Many people do not understand the full compensation they deserve for the injuries that result from an accident. They’re so overwhelmed by the pressing problems right in front of them, they may not see the big picture. An attorney who works with car accident victims knows how to investigate, evaluate, and explain exactly how much compensation you deserve. They know how the accident will change the course of the rest of your life, because they’ve seen it time and time again. A lawyer can help you obtain compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering from the accident. This knowledge helps to determine when to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company and when to keep fighting for further compensation.
- Negotiating on your behalf. You have more than enough stress to deal with following your accident. You should focus on your recovery and take care of yourself. An attorney who handles car accidents has the knowledge and experience to take the stress of negotiation off your plate. They’ll go toe-to-toe with defense lawyers and insurance companies to get you the maximum amount of money you deserve for your injuries.
- Collecting important evidence to prove your legal claims. To get the maximum compensation you deserve, an attorney needs evidence to prove who has a liability to you, and how much money the law requires them to pay. Lawyers who handle car accidents know what evidence is most useful, where to find it, and how to get it. Other lawyers—the kind who do not often take cases for car accident victims—may struggle to obtain that same evidence, so don’t take any chances. Hire a lawyer who has a proven record of successful motor vehicle accident cases.
- Identifying the parties with liability who have the ability to pay. To get the money you deserve, you also need to know who owes it to you. Experienced attorneys who handle car crash cases understand that in any given accident, multiple parties could have a legal liability for monetary damages. Attorneys who handle car accidents can determine this liability, then evaluate whether a party with liability has insurance coverage or other assets available to pay for your damages.
- Guiding injured clients through a stressful, complicated process. You may never have faced a personal injury claim before. As a result, you may have no idea of what to expect. How long will it take to file a claim? What factors affect how long it takes? What decisions do I need to make along the way? We can’t answer those questions here, but a lawyer who handles car accidents can speak with you about the unique details of your case and help you make informed decisions about your settlement.
Did you suffer injuries in a car accident? Do you need an attorney who handles car accidents to help you seek the compensation you deserve?
A dedicated lawyer will never back down or let you walk away with less than you rightfully deserve.
A personal injury attorney who routinely handles car accident cases can answer all your questions. They’ll help you decide if you have a case, estimate your losses, and negotiate with insurance companies for your compensation. Contact us today to take the first steps toward recovery.
Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.