1. Car accident injuries not always apparent
Some injuries sustained in car accidents have immediate, obvious symptoms. This is common with broken bones, lacerations, bruises, and severe head injuries.
But what about the injuries that don’t produce immediate symptoms? Many delayed onset injuries can take several hours or days to notice. For example, you could sustain whiplash in a rear-end collision. You may feel perfectly fine afterward, but days later, experience neck stiffness, headaches, and tingling in the limbs.
Other delayed onset injuries can include soft tissue damage, internal bleeding, and concussions. You might not feel these injuries due to shock and adrenaline that mask the pain. That’s why it’s important to seek medical attention immediately after a crash, even if you feel fine.
2. A car accident lawyer has legal knowledge
Car accident attorneys have in-depth knowledge of various traffic laws and regulations. These include:
- Speeding regulations
- Right-of-way rules
- Traffic signal laws
- DUI/DWI laws
- Distracted driving regulations
- Lane usage and passing rules
- Vehicle maintenance and equipment regulations
They are familiar with the duty of care owed by drivers. This is the legal responsibility to exercise reasonable care and caution. Drivers must consider the safety and well-being of other road users.
Lawyers also have extensive knowledge of insurance policies, coverage limits, and settlement processes. In cases where both parties may share responsibility, they are well-versed in comparative fault. This principle allows for the allocation of liability based on the proportion of fault each party bears.
3. A lawyer can maximize your compensation
It's crucial to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your damages after sustaining an injury in a car accident. When determining the value of your claim, your attorney may include:
- Medical expenses: Evaluating medical expenses is essential to accurately quantifying the financial impact of a crash. This includes your hospital bills, medication costs, physical therapy, and any future medical costs.
- Lost wages: A car accident lawyer will calculate the income you have lost due to your injury. This includes missed workdays, reduced working capacity, and potential career limitations.
- Property damage: Property damage includes the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. Plus, it accounts for any personal belongings damaged in the crash.
- Pain and suffering: Quantifying pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life can be a complex process. These damages can have a significant impact on your overall well-being. It's important to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your suffering.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages go beyond compensating for injuries and damages. They aim to punish the at-fault party for their reckless behavior. Your attorney may pursue them if the at-fault driver's actions were intentional, malicious, or grossly negligent.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident and the applicable laws, your attorney may be able to seek other types of damages as well. Only a lawyer with experience handling personal injury claims in your state can tell you what your case may be worth.
4. An attorney will investigate your crash
A skilled car accident lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation into your crash. They will employ various strategies to gather evidence and build a strong case. This includes:
- Gathering crash scene evidence: Your lawyer will collect all relevant information from the crash scene. This includes police reports, witness statements, and any available photographs or videos.
- Accident reconstruction: Your lawyer may work with accident reconstruction experts to recreate the crash scene. This may help determine factors such as vehicle positions, speeds, and potential causes.
- Reviewing medical records: Understanding the extent of your injuries is crucial for calculating potential compensation. A lawyer will review your medical records and consult with medical experts to assess the full impact of your injuries.
- Interviewing witnesses: A lawyer will interview witnesses as part of the investigation. This will help them gather additional information and perspectives about the accident.
- Obtaining expert opinions: A lawyer may consult with various experts. These include accident reconstruction specialists, civil engineers, or forensic experts. They can provide professional opinions and insights that can strengthen your case.
- Reviewing insurance policies: A lawyer will examine the insurance policies of all parties involved. This will help them determine coverage limits and potential sources of compensation.
5. Car accident attorneys offer legal protection and advocacy
Insurance companies often take advantage of injured motorists who don't know their rights. They may talk you into accepting a lowball settlement or try to deny your claim altogether. By having a car accident attorney by your side, you can focus on your recovery and well-being.
A car accident lawyer will initiate contact with the at-fault driver's insurance company and notify them that you have legal representation. This establishes that all future communications should be conducted through your lawyer. Additionally, your attorney will handle all negotiations with the insurance company to seek fair and maximum compensation.
If a settlement can’t be reached, your attorney will be prepared to advocate for you in the courtroom. They will use arguments and present evidence before a judge and jury to help you receive a fair verdict.