Millions of people suffer injuries in car accidents every year and even worse, car accidents kill 32,000 people per year in the United States. How do you know when you need to get an attorney after a car accident? Even if you’re not suing another person, you may need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer to recover the full compensation for the damages you suffered because of the accident from the insurance company. Or, third-parties that may play a role in fault or liability.
When to Get an Attorney after a Car Accident
You’ve Sustained Serious Injuries
Serious injuries include broken bones, neck and back injuries, brain trauma, and any injury requiring hospitalization. Even serious injuries can be slow to present with symptoms, which allows them time to develop into something even more serious and more difficult to treat. Often, insurance companies will attempt to contact an injured victim and try to settle for very little as quickly as they can.
It’s critical to give yourself time to fully consider the scope of your injuries and how those injuries not only affect your expenses now but also how those injuries could affect your quality of life later and future wages. You may be thinking of current or recent medical bills but you may also be eligible to recover compensation to help pay for your damages, including:
- Medical costs and future medical expenses
- Lost work wages and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional injuries
- Loss of quality / enjoyment of life.
Your Loved One Died as a Result of the Accident
A wrongful death claim can arise after situations in which a victim who would otherwise have a valid personal injury claim is killed as a result of the defendant's wrongful action. If the claim can’t be resolved, the claim can result in a lawsuit. Damages in a wrongful death claim—categories of losses for which a survivor might be able to receive compensation—include:
- the deceased person's pre-death "pain and suffering" (this is often called a "survival" claim).
- the medical treatment costs that the deceased victim incurred as a result of the injury prior to death
- funeral and burial costs
- loss of the deceased person's expected income
- loss of any inheritance as a result of the death
- value of the services that the deceased would have provided
- loss of care, guidance, and nurturing that the deceased would have provided
- loss of love and companionship, and
- loss of consortium.
The Other Driver Was Negligent or At-Fault
In some cases, such as a drunk driving accident, it can be easily established that the act of criminal negligence is what caused the accident and the person who should be held liable for the damages. There are instances, however, when the negligent acts of another are not quite as black and white, yet the responsible party still should be held accountable. Negligence can also include speeding, failing to obey traffic signals or signs, fatigued driving and distracted driving.
Other Parties Are Involved in the Accident
In some cases, third parties may also be involved in a claim, making it more complex. If you were involved in an accident involving a work vehicle (yours or the other drivers), the business owner of that work vehicle may be partially responsible. Other examples include multi-vehicle car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, or ridesharing accidents.
Low Settlement Offers from the Insurance Company
It isn’t unusual for an accident victim to be unhappy with the amount offered by an insurance company. Insurance companies are in business to maximize their profits and minimize claims. If you have been injured in an accident, in many cases, a personal injury attorney can negotiate with the insurer to get a more reasonable settlement for your injuries.
If your case falls into one of these areas, getting a car accident attorney can help increase the value of any claim substantially. An attorney can advise you on your options and will fully investigate all angles of liability around the car accident. Without an attorney, insurance companies know that they will face much higher charges the moment one of their clients hire a lawyer, so they will remain persistent and try to secure a settlement.
Brandon J. Broderick, Car Accident Attorneys
Getting an experienced car accident attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, can step in and handle everything so you can focus on healing. Our team of experienced attorneys will work with you to achieve the settlement that you deserve. We will do everything possible to defend your rights and will work with you, by your side, throughout the case. When you hire a personal injury lawyer from our team, you pay nothing upfront. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay. Contact us today.