When to Get an Attorney for a Car AccidentBy Stewart J. Guss on January 6th, 2020
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you probably feel distressed, disoriented, and hurt. You may be dealing with injuries, trauma, and doctor’s bills piling up. You may have suffered the loss or damage to a car that you depend on to get to work and earn money.
You might also think that coping with this is a simple matter of getting compensation from an insurance company, right? IT’S NOT! In most cases, people in a car accident would be better off getting an attorney to help them understand their options for seeking compensation.
When should you get an attorney for a car accident? When any of the following scenarios discussed below have occurred to you, you should contact a car accident attorney.
If you’re hurt in a car accident caused by another driver, an experienced car accident attorney can help you receive justice AND compensation for your injuries. While simple property damages are sometimes able to be resolved without an attorney, any time there is any chance of injury – it is CRITICAL that you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer right away, as injury cases can be very complicated.
All drivers on the road need to follow the driving and traffic laws of the state as well as sensible driving practices. This may sound like common sense., which may sound like common sense.. It is common sense, but it is ALSO part of what the law calls exercising a duty of care. Drivers owe a duty of care to the public that they will not drive unsafely. An example of duty of care is to not run a red light or cut a yellow light so close that they’re in another car’s right of way at an intersection of they will also not drive 50 mph on a 30-mph street. Simple rules, but when broken – all to often people are injured as a result.
However, duty of care isn’t confined just to driving. Every driver’s duty of care extends to the care and maintenance of their vehicles as well. Drivers should make sure that their cars are safe to drive and have appropriate safety equipment. Say a driver is careless enough not to replace a broken windshield wiper, for instance, and then can’t see out of the windshield when a torrential rain suddenly comes up. The driver VIOLATED the duty of care by not paying enough attention to the condition of the and 30-second wiper replacement turn into a CAR ACCIDENT instead.
Drivers who break traffic laws or who drive in an unsafe way can be said to have breached the duty of care as well. As a result, a court can find them negligent. Negligence is what makes drivers legally liable for injuries caused by their behavior.
If drivers have acted negligently and caused injury, you can bring a personal injury suit against them in court to receive compensation for your injuries. Legally, there are several ways you can suffer losses in a car accident, which are referred to as damages. While you may not think of a broken leg as damages, the law does. The reason being is because it likely caused you both physical and emotional pain. More importantly, if your injury WASN’T YOUR FAULT, you shouldn’t have to suffer or pay medical bills for someone else’s bad decisions.
Common types of damages that you could receive compensation for include:
- Medical bills you already owe, including the bills for ambulances, emergency departments, doctor’s appointments, surgery, hospitalization, rehabilitative care, and more
- Future medical bills you are expected to receive as a result of the injuries
- Wages lost from work due to the injury
- Future expected wages lost from work, if you must either reduce your hours or stop working due to the injuries
- Pain and suffering
An attorney can work with an investigative team to determine the full amount of damages you may already be owed or might owe in the future. If the causes of the car accident are disputed (and they almost certainly will be), an attorney’s investigative team can also get to the bottom of it. More than one party can be liable for a car accident, and the real causes of an accident aren’t always obvious on the surface.
What if a car suddenly veered into your freeway lane without signaling, for example? The other driver may seem to be clearly at fault to you, but what if that driver tells the police he did signal, but no signal actually happened? Cases like these come down to the evidence, and sometimes to a “swearing match” between the parties. Ultimately, a skilled attorney on your side will give you the edge in proving your case.
Victims of a car accident may assume that negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company adjuster is a relatively simple task. You might think that since your leg was broken and you sent in a doctor’s bill for your broken leg, that the insurance will automatically compensate you if you weren’t at fault.
Well, think again. NEVER, EVER believe that insurance companies will simply do the right thing. No matter how friendly and sympathetic the adjuster seems, or how prompt they are returning your calls, they are in business to make money. They take a simple approach: the claim that pays out the least is the best one.
It’s not simple to negotiate with an insurance company. You have to remember that you are just one person, and may have only had experience with one or two claims in your life, but that the insurance company has been doing this for decades.Their business model is devoted to minimizing your claim and they have all the moves and tricks to do so. Insurance companies are skilled, and they teach their adjusters what actions to take to minimize compensation for injured individuals.
It’s not uncommon for people shaken up in a car accident to blurt something like “I’m so sorry!” in the first minutes after a crash. In your mind, you were just being polite, but in the minds of the other involved parties you’ve just indicated responsibility for the accident. Such words may be interpreted as taking responsibility for the accident; otherwise, why would you feel sorry?
And that’s only one insurance company tactic. They can hire their own investigators, who will try to prove that you were responsible for the accident.
Insurance companies will often start with a very low offer—nowhere near what your injuries are worth—hoping that you will need the money or just want to put the accident behind you. It’s a technique called lowballing. They might also delay payment on the claim. Unfortunately, if you get behind in paying your bills, especially if you aren’t working because of the accident, they are not above using the delay as a tactic to get you to accept their lowball offer.
A skilled attorney can take the pressure off you in several ways. First, they may be able to help get you the treatment you need under a lien or “letter of protection” so you can get the medical care you need without having to pay your bills until the case is settled. Also, we negotiate with the company, and we know their tricks. We will negotiate to get you the highest offer possible, not the lowest that they are willing to give you initially.
Second, we investigate to make sure we all understand the full value of your claim. Treatment for a broken leg can exceed thousands of dollars, especially if you have experienced any complications. Third, we can investigate the accident, so that we know when the defendants’ statements about who and what caused the accident are wrong or outright deceitful. To learn more why you should call an attorney before an insurance company give us a call today.
If a Loved One Has Died
When a loved one has died in a car accident, your first emotions, of course, are likely going to be grief and despair. The person who may have walked out the door whistling one morning will suddenly never be coming back. It’s a tragedy for you and your family.
The law, though, recognizes that an injury or harm that causes a death has both economic and emotional consequences. In result, survivors are allowed to seek compensation for both economic and emotional damages in a lawsuit. The legal claim is known as a wrongful death action. In some ways, these claims are similar to personal injury cases in that the injured plaintiff must prove that the responsible party was negligent and thus liable for the death or the injuries that caused the death.
The law on wrongful death has its own complexities, however. There are specific rules on who can bring a wrongful death suit and what types of damage a survivor can receive. Each state’s law varies slightly on these issues’ examples Luckily, we are a national firm can help you, or work with affiliated law firms in most states. Feel free to give us a call to see if you have a case no matter what state you are in.
Why You NEED a Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by an irresponsible driver, you DESERVE aggressive and tireless representation. Your injuries, caused by the negligence of other drivers on the road, should not leave a lasting negative impact on your life. That’s just one reason that seeking compensation is vital to your healing process: JUSTICE (and a little help paying for medical expenses) is essential to make sure you are made whole, and RECKLESS drivers who pollute our roads are held accountable.
It’s not easy to hold these parties accountable. You’ll need a seasoned professional to stand by your side, FIGHT for you and your family, and make sure every penny of your losses is accounted for. Your attorney will be able to guide you through the legal process from start to finish. Many car accident victims underestimate just how extensive this process can be. Before they know it, they’re stuck struggling to stay on top of dates and deadlines, fighting with doctors over what qualifies as a severe injury, and getting the runaround from big insurance companies obsessing over their bottom line.
A quality car accident attorney will ALWAYS PUT YOUR INTERESTS FIRST. As we’ve discussed above, there is practically no scenario where an attorney can’t improve your chances of collecting the compensation you deserve and ensuring justice is done following a car accident.
If you need further assistance in the aftermath of a car accident, contact a licensed attorney to ensure you receive the justice you deserve.