Pursuing a car accident claim involves more than just completing paperwork. The process is often difficult and time-consuming. Insurance companies are cautious, and may protect their best interests at your expense. Protecting your best interests during this time is vital for ensuring that you receive the types of compensation you deserve. If your serious injuries resulted from a car accident caused by negligence, you may want to contact a lawyer for assistance with your accident claim.
Common Types of Car Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in the United States. Approximately 100 people die every day due to a motor vehicle accident.
The sad reality is that many of these accidents are preventable. The following are just a few examples of negligent driver behavior that can result in serious consequences for others:
Driving under the influence (DUI): Alcohol and drugs impair judgment, vision, and reaction times. Despite stricter laws regarding DUIs and the rise of ride-share opportunities, drunk or drugged drivers take their chances behind the wheel.
Distracted driving: The CDC reports that there are three main forms of distraction:
- Visual: A distraction that removes your eyes from the road.
- Manual: A distraction that takes your hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive: A distraction that takes your mind off driving.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that distracted driving is among the list of growing concerns for drivers. From smartphones to programmable navigational devices, new technologies increase the risk of distraction. Other types of distraction include reaching for items, eating, or events outside the vehicle.
Aggressive driving: Speeding or purposely tailgating are just two forms of aggressive driving. This dangerous behavior can quickly escalate into road rage, resulting in objects thrown and other violent acts. A study by AAA discovered that nearly 80 percent of respondents admitted to aggressive driving or road rage within the last year.
Drowsy driving: Drifting to sleep behind the wheel is a real risk, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Drivers who sleep six or seven hours a night are twice as likely to become involved in an accident. Drivers with undiagnosed sleep disorders or who work long hours can drift into your lane without warning.
All drivers must maintain control of their vehicles and share the road. A driver’s license is a privilege and not a right. If another driver abused their driving privilege and changed your life forever, you may want to contact an attorney today.
Car Accident Claims
When you experience serious injuries in a car accident that was not your fault, you deserve justice. You may assume the insurance company representing the responsible party will compensate you for your damages. In fact, an insurance adjuster may visit you—in the hospital or at home—to offer you a settlement.
Accepting such a settlement closes your claim and provides you with some funds for your financial stress. The danger of accepting a settlement without legal representation is that you may be settling for far less than you deserve.
The initial settlement offer from the insurance company might protect itself instead of you. The amount may seem like a large sum to you and your family. The reality is that the amount offered may be the least amount possible.
A car accident lawyer familiar with how insurance companies operate can help protect your best interests. They are well-aware of the various ways insurance companies attempt to underpay or deny a claim.
The seriousness of your injuries requires your full attention. Rest is important for your recovery, as is avoiding stress. Hiring a lawyer is an option you may want to consider when the insurance company adjuster requests to meet with you.
Referring insurance companies to your lawyer affords you much-needed peace during this most stressful time. Your lawyer is on your side and can fight for the compensation you deserve instead of what the insurance company wants to give you.
Wrongful Death Car Accident Claims
A car accident that results in a fatality demands justice. If a drunk, distracted, drowsy, or otherwise reckless driver caused your loved one’s death, a wrongful death lawyer can help you.
Wrongful death law can be too challenging to handle alone. Representing yourself can result in little to no compensation for your loss. If your loved one contributed to your finances, you do not want to risk your chance at an award for damages.
Loss of income, final medical expenses, and loss of companionship are just a few examples of wrongful death damages. Hiring a lawyer with trial experience is a good idea if your case must go before a judge and jury.
A wrongful death lawyer understands the intense emotions you feel. Their approach is generally one of compassion as they strive to help you through this sad and frustrating time.
The Negotiation Process and a Possible Trial
An insurance adjuster and your attorney negotiate for a settlement that both sides can agree to. The negotiation process takes time and may prove unsuccessful. If both sides cannot reach an agreement, the case may go to trial.
Proving negligence is imperative for your case. Your attorney must prove that the other driver was negligent either by driving drunk, speeding, or by some other reckless action.
The lawyer you hire must possess the ability to convey the impact of the accident on your life. Relaying to others how the other driver’s negligence changed your life is vital to winning your case—whether during the negotiation process or at trial.
To help your case, you must provide your attorney with evidence. Important forms of evidence can include:
- Police reports
- Accident scene photos
- Witness statements
- Contact information for witnesses
You can further assist your case by not posting details about the accident on social media. Limiting the information you share and who you share it with is the best way to protect the case.
Insurance companies may try to use information against you to avoid paying your claim. Use caution and only discuss your legal action with your car accident lawyer.
The Lasting Impact of Serious Injuries
A serious injury can lead to a lifetime need for medical and personal care. When it comes to a serious car accident involving liability, there is more to the auto accident claim process than paperwork.
Insurance companies realize that your medical costs will most likely surpass the amount of their initial settlement offer. As for-profit businesses, their goal may be to pay you as little as possible.
The car accident claim you file is crucial for your future financial needs. The following examples of car accident injuries provide a small look into the expensive world of medical and personal care:
Spinal cord injury: The spinal cord performs an important function in communicating with the brain. Messages regarding sensation and movement become disrupted when there is a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury.
Reduced or no sensation below the point of injury can cause paralysis, resulting in the need for major life changes.
Among these changes are:
- A power chair for mobility, along with replacement of the chair over time.
- Home modifications to accommodate the chair.
- Accessible transportation for the chair, such as a van.
According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the costs associated with a spinal cord injury can easily reach millions of dollars. These costs accumulate throughout the patient’s lifetime. If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury due to a reckless driver, these costs should not come from your own pocket.
Traumatic brain injury: A bump, blow or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury disrupts normal brain function. A traumatic brain injury disrupts your life. Many patients need to relearn basic skills, and for some victims, recovery is not possible.
A loved one may require more care than you can provide. Placing your loved one in a skilled nursing facility is emotionally difficult, but may be necessary when they require 24-hour care.
The costs associated with such care can be astronomical, and far exceeds most family budgets. The average cost of a skilled facility is approximately $245 per day. When the brain injury is due to a negligent driver, they should bear the responsibility of payment.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You With Your Claim
A car accident claim is more than just a form—it is a critical fight for the compensation you need. Your injuries might make returning to work impossible, and that is not fair.
Car accident lawyers represent clients who experience harm due to no fault of their own. They investigate all responsible parties, then pursue action in the form of a car accident claim and lawsuit.
If negotiations involving your claim fail, filing your car accident lawsuit within the statute of limitations is vital to your case. The statute of limitations refers to strict state laws that impose deadlines for how long you can wait to pursue legal action.
A lawyer can ensure that your case meets all court requirements. You should not have to deal with details such as the date for filing your case when you are trying to physically recover from your injuries.
Insurance companies are often reluctant to pay, yet aggressive in their approach. By securing legal representation, you can take the burden of their repeated calls off your shoulders. Refer them to your lawyer and focus on your health and recovery.
You Can Afford Legal Representation
Your growing medical expenses, along with your inability to work, can cause you concern about possible legal costs. Most car accident lawyers do not charge a fee until they secure compensation for you. Speak with a lawyer for more information about their payment structure.
You can contact a lawyer for a free case evaluation, and they can help you with how to proceed moving forward. Putting off a call to an attorney is easy to do. But that call can be one of the most important steps toward protecting your future.
The dangerous driver responsible for your harm may face criminal charges. If this is the case, their criminal proceedings’ outcome has no bearing on your civil case.
Do not let your financial fears prevent you from contacting a car accident lawyer. The legal representation a lawyer provides can be critical when it comes to aggressive and uncooperative insurance companies.
Consider Help for Your Car Accident Claim
A car accident claim is often a complex process. If you feel frustrated or overwhelmed by the claim process, consider hiring an attorney. Legal representation is often invaluable as you recover from your serious injuries.
The clock starts ticking the moment you suffer your injuries. A lawyer can work on filing your case on time, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and completing other tasks pertinent to your case. If you suffered serious injuries in a car accident or you lost a loved one, give careful thought to contacting an attorney today.
It is easy to lose track of time when you suffer a shocking injury or loss. As the days blend, important details like the statute of limitations can pass you by. Hiring a lawyer to represent you can prevent you from missing the opportunity for a car accident lawsuit.
The car accident claim process is often bumpy and full of changes. An attorney can keep you informed as your case makes its way through the negotiation and—if necessary—trial process.
A dangerous driver whose risk-taking changed your life must face accountability. You must contact an attorney without delay if you choose to pursue civil action.
Gather your evidence and consider making a call today. A lawyer can file your claim and start building your case for fair and necessary compensation. A car accident claim is a process that requires careful legal consideration—something a lawyer can provide on your behalf during this challenging time.