If you’re at our website because you were injured in an auto accident, then you have come to the right place. You probably have a lot of questions and are confused about what to do. Please look through our website for information on how to proceed. The best advice that I can give is for you to contact our office. We offer a free consultation and won’t pressure you for further services. We are experts who deal with this every day and can give you advice about your specific situation. Each case is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
One thing that has become clear throughout our experience is that the auto insurance company is not your friend. They are a business whose goal is to limit how much they pay out. In the same light, our law firm is a business whose goal is to maximize how much the insurance company pays out. Looking at it this way, it makes sense to work with an attorney.
Who’s fault is the auto accident?
The issue of fault (legal liability) is often pretty clear, but can also get pretty complex depending on the facts. Cases that are most obvious are when one party is blatantly violating the rules of the road: running a red light, failing to yield in an intersection, unsafe lane change, etc. Factors that make fault even more clear are those such as speeding, texting while driving, talking on a cell phone, driving while intoxicated or on too many prescription pain killers.
A warning here is that the courts are bound to the facts that can be proven in a court of law. If you can’t prove the facts, then you can be found liable or at fault. This is regardless of what you remember happened. An unfortunately too common experience is two drivers in an auto accident who have very different memories of the auto accident.
If the other drive is at fault, what can I recover?
There are several remedies available to you if the other driver is found to be at fault for the auto accident. First, you can recover medical costs that were caused as a direct result of the auto accident. Second, you can recover for any wage loss caused by the auto accident. Finally, you can recover for pain and suffering. This recovery is for the real impact that the auto accident had on your life. You may have had extreme pain and had it affect every area of your life from your ability to sleep to your ability to mow the lawn and continue with your hobbies.
An attorney cannot give you an estimate of your case’s value from the initial meeting or a brief conversation. To properly value a case, all of the facts need to be known including a thorough review of the medical records, police reports, witness statements, etc. Be patient with your lawyer, who, as a trained professional should evaluate the case as soon as is reasonable.
What are common injuries from an auto accident?
The most common injuries from an auto accident are whiplash symptoms. These include back, neck, &/or shoulder strain/sprain. Additionally, cuts and bruising are not uncommon. More serious injuries include a spinal injury such as a bulging or burst disc, concussion or brain damage, broken bones, severed limbs and internal organ damage. Hips, knees, and feet can also be seriously injured in an auto accident.
What does the legal process for an auto accident look like?
The first step is to notify the interested insurance companies of the auto accident and open a claim. At this point, the property damage can be dealt with. If there is PIP coverage, then this can be used for medical costs rather than health insurance. Before the lawsuit itself is filed or pursued, it is necessary to gather evidence and take some time to see how the injuries will resolve themselves. In order to recover for medical expenses, it must be shown that they are related to the auto accident on a more probable than not basis. To do this, the parties need to wait and see how the injuries progress. This can be a slow process, but it is necessary. Once the claim is settled, that is it. NO further recovery is possible.
Once the extent of the injuries caused from the auto accident becomes clear, the attorney may choose to negotiate with the insurance company in an attempt to settle the claim. The attorney may simply file the lawsuit at that point instead if it puts the client at a greater advantage. Once the case is filed, the discovery process begins and ultimately leads to trial. Many cases settle with insurance companies prior to trial, but some do not. With a trained attorney, you can be assured that you will get the best results possible under the law.