More than 5 million car accidents occur annually, according to National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates. Car accidents injure more than 2.2 million people and kill more than 38,000 each year, says the NHTSA. National Safety Council estimates are higher. NSC includes non-reported accidents and estimates that all accidents total more than 11 million annually. The NSC says that 4.8 million people consult a medical professional for injuries from car accidents yearly. Many of these injuries are life-changing.
Motor vehicle accidents can have other life-changing consequences. Personal injuries are not only painful, but they often result in expensive medical bills. You also may have lost wages because you miss time from work. Even a minor fender bender can require you to spend time dealing with car repairs and making phone calls to your insurance company. All those losses often become more frustrating if the other driver caused the accident.
When you are involved in an auto accident, you should consult a car accident attorney. An auto accident attorney can benefit you in several important ways.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Deal with the Insurance Company
After calling the police and seeking medical attention, your next step is usually filing a motor vehicle accident insurance claim. Yet, the insurance car accident claim process can be complex.
Also, the insurance company doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Many personal injuries, such as those to your back or soft tissues, require medical records to prove. Even then, insurance companies try to dispute the seriousness of these injuries or claim that they are not the result of the accident. Indeed, insurance companies want to pay the bare minimum to resolve your case.
A car accident lawyer has experience dealing with the insurance claim process. They know the tricks these insurance companies use and how to get around them. They understand state insurance laws and can interpret the language in your insurance policy regarding deductibles and exclusions. An experienced lawyer levels the playing field and helps ensure your insurance company and the at-fault driver’s insurance company provide fair compensation.
A Car Accident Attorney Helps Determine if You Have a Case
Sometimes, you’ll need to file a lawsuit to receive a fair settlement. Not every car accident represents a good case, however. A successful legal case depends on many factors. Two critical factors are proving liability and the statute of limitations.
You must prove that the other party is liable to collect a good settlement in personal injury cases. Even if witness statements show that the other party was at fault, you may still have to prove they were negligent. The standard of proof varies depending on the state. In general, however, the legal process requires proof that
- The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care.
- The driver breached their duty of care.
- Your personal injury resulted from their breach of duty.
- You incurred losses due to the accident; for example, pain and suffering, medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages.
Most personal injury lawyers provide a free consultation to discuss your legal options. An experienced accident lawyer will examine the police report, accident scene, the circumstances surrounding the accident, witness statements, and medical records to determine whether your legal claim has merit. You don’t want to spend time pursuing a claim that will not succeed.
Statute of Limitations
Each state establishes a time frame for filing your personal injury lawsuit. The law that sets the deadline for claims is known as the statute of limitations. If you fail to meet the deadline, your personal injury claim will not move forward, no matter how serious your injuries are. The deadline varies between one year and six years, depending on your state. A reputable car accident law firm will know the statute of limitations and, if you have a case, will help you file your claim on time.
Car Accident Lawyers Can Help Prove Your Personal Injuries
Being in a car accident and sustaining a physical injury isn’t enough to gain compensation. You have to prove that you were injured in the accident. A personal injury lawyer will visit the accident scene and gather evidence. They’ll check for video cameras that might provide footage of the accident. The car accident lawyer also will examine documentation from your medical provider and present that evidence on your behalf.
An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Determine the Value of Your Claim
Personal injury law is complicated. The value of personal injury claims varies based on several factors. The seriousness of the injury is one factor. The dollar amount of your losses is another. Finally, the liability of the at-fault driver also helps determine the potential value of your claim. A layperson typically lacks the experience to accurately determine the value of a personal injury claim. However, a car accident lawyer has the legal knowledge and experience to evaluate the claim’s value.
Personal Injury Lawyers Know How to Negotiate a Settlement
Most lawsuits settle out of court. Without legal representation, a car accident victim is unlikely to negotiate a fair settlement against the other party’s insurance company. An experienced injury attorney is a professional who will argue for a fair settlement. The car accident lawyer will also explain settlement offers and advise whether accepting a proposed settlement is in your best interest.
An Experienced Attorney Can Represent You in a Trial
If the parties involved in a car accident case are unable to reach a fair settlement, the case usually goes to trial, usually before a jury. First, you’ll have to file the lawsuit properly. Then, you’ll have to prove your case. Without legal counsel, you’re unlikely to succeed at either task.
However, a car accident lawyer can protect your legal rights. A car accident attorney knows how to prepare the case for filing and where to file the claim. An experienced lawyer will support your case with evidence and help you achieve more compensation than you could gain on your own.
A Car Accident Attorney Can Prevent Costly Mistakes
Car accident victims must avoid damaging their cases by making improper statements or failing to take specific actions. For example, the insurance company may ask you to provide a written or recorded statement. If you write or say the wrong thing, you could jeopardize your case.
You can also damage your case if you fail to seek medical treatment right away or if you fail to follow your doctor’s suggested treatment plan. A car accident lawyer can advise you on the actions to take and avoid in proving your case.
Why You Should Call 1-800Ask-Gary
1-800Ask-Gary is a free accident hotline service that refers you to medical professionals and experienced car accident lawyers. Each car accident lawyer and doctor in the referral network has significant experience. 1-800-Ask-Gary simplifies the process after your car accident because you only have to call one number to learn how to hire a car accident attorney and find a medical professional.
1-800Ask-Gary provides compassionate service to car accident victims 24 hours a day in Minnesota, Florida, and New Mexico.