Do I Need to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, you can pursue compensation from your insurance company on your own. However, it can be difficult to effectively negotiate with a claims adjuster if you are unfamiliar with personal injury law. A car accident lawyer from Friedland & Associates can start working on your case promptly, initiating investigations, securing evidence, and building a solid foundation for your claim.
While you are legally not required to hire an attorney, doing so can significantly increase your chances of obtaining maximum compensation for all accident-related damages.
Additionally, there are certain situations where hiring an attorney will be necessary to prevent an insurance company from significantly minimizing payout or denying your claim:
- You are struggling with negotiating with your insurance company
- Your insurance company is offering a lowball settlement
- Your insurance company has denied your claim
- Your damages exceed your insurance coverage
- You suffered a severe, debilitating, injury
What Are Common Injuries Suffered in An Automobile Accident?
Auto accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, varying in severity from minor to life-threatening. The impact of an accident can lead to injuries to different parts of the body due to the force of the collision, sudden deceleration, and vehicle damage. Common injuries suffered in auto accidents can include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Chest injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal injuries
- Facial injuries
The severity of injuries can vary widely depending on factors such as the speed of the collision, the use of seat belts and airbags, the size and type of vehicles involved, and the angle of impact.
It’s important to seek medical attention promptly after an accident, even if injuries seem minor at first, as some injuries may become more apparent in the days following the accident.
What Are the Deadliest Types of Auto Accidents?
The deadliest types of car accidents are those that often result in significant loss of life and severe injuries due to their high impact and potential for causing mass casualties. These types of accidents can occur due to a combination of factors, including speed, road conditions, weather, vehicle type, and human error.
While every accident is unique, some of the deadliest types of car accidents include:
- Head-on collisions
- High-speed crashes
- Multi-vehicle pileups
- Rollover accidents
- Side-impact collisions
- Intersection collisions
- Wrong-way accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help After A Collision?
A car accident attorney’s role in investigating an automobile accident is multifaceted. However, a thorough investigation, in addition to consulting with experts, can significantly increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve for all accident-related expenses.
Here’s how an attorney can assist in investigating an auto accident:
At Friedland & Associates, our attorneys will gather vital evidence from the accident scene and obtain other types of evidence that can prove your demand for compensation.
Evidence can include:
- Police reports
- Eyewitness statements
- Photos of the accident scene, your injuries, vehicle damage, and other types of personal property damage
- Medical records
- Statements from treating physicians
- Expert testimony
- Pay stubs
- Vehicle repair estimates
This evidence helps reconstruct the accident and establish a clear picture of what happened, in addition to proving the severity of your injuries, property damage, and lost wages.
Consult With Medical Experts
Accurate assessment of injuries sustained is crucial to determine the extent of damages. Attorneys work with medical experts who can provide professional evaluations of injuries, treatment plans, and long-term effects. This helps establish a clear link between the accident and the injuries.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement
Insurance companies may attempt to settle claims quickly and for minimal amounts. An attorney on our legal team acts as a buffer between you and the insurance company, ensuring your rights are protected. They negotiate on your behalf to secure a fair settlement that covers medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Insurance adjusters often try to extract statements from accident victims that could be used against them later. An attorney advises you on what to say and what not to say to avoid unintentionally admitting fault or minimizing your injuries.
What Can I Do to Strengthen My Car Accident Claim?
After an auto accident, if you suffered severe injuries, it’s important to document your recovery, to help your attorney prove the severity of your injuries and how your injuries have impacted your life.
To strengthen your claim:
Keep a Journal
Maintain a detailed journal to document your pain and suffering, emotional distress, and how your injuries have impacted your daily life. Record the type of pain you’re experiencing, its intensity, location, and how it affects your ability to perform daily activities. Also, note any emotional or psychological effects you’re experiencing, such as anxiety, depression, or sleep disturbances.
Detail how the accident has affected your daily activities. Describe any limitations you face, whether it’s difficulty walking, lifting, or performing household tasks. This information helps demonstrate the extent of your injuries and their impact on your quality of life.
Photograph any visible injuries, such as bruises, cuts, scars, or disfigurement. Also, document property damage to your vehicle and the accident scene. These photos provide visual evidence of your injuries and the circumstances of the accident.
Follow Your Physician’s Advice Closely & Make it to Every Appointment
If you suffered severe, life-changing injuries, it’s crucial that you closely follow the treatment plan provided by your primary physician and specialists. This is especially important if your activity level is restricted, you should not lift anything over a certain weight, if you require bed rest, etc. Additionally, you must also make it to every appointment, not only to protect your health, but to also demonstrate to the insurance company the severity of your injuries.
What Type of Settlement Can I Expect?
The type of settlement you may be entitled to depends on a variety of factors. These factors include the severity of your injuries, the extent of property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the overall impact the accident has had on your quality of life. A skilled car accident attorney will evaluate all these aspects and tailor your claim to seek rightful compensation for both immediate and future losses.
Economic damages, also known as special damages, refer to the measurable financial losses directly caused by the accident. These damages are quantifiable and have a clear monetary value.
Examples of economic damages include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Property damage
Non-economic damages, also referred to as general damages, are harder to quantify in terms of monetary value. These damages pertain to the emotional and psychological toll of the accident and its aftermath.
Some examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
What is a No-Fault State?
A no-fault state is one in which drivers involved in auto accidents are required to turn to their own insurance companies to seek compensation for medical expenses and other financial losses resulting from the accident, regardless of who caused the collision.
This is in contrast to “at-fault” or “fault-based” insurance systems, where the party responsible for the accident (or their insurance) is typically liable for covering the damages of the other party.
When Can I File a Lawsuit in a No-Fault State?
Filing a lawsuit in a no-fault state after a car accident can be more complex compared to states with traditional fault-based systems. No-fault insurance systems are designed to streamline the claims process and provide compensation to drivers and passengers through their own insurance, regardless of who caused the accident. However, there are circumstances under which you might be able to file a lawsuit in a no-fault state.
You Sustained Serious Injuries
In states with no-fault systems, if you sustain severe injuries such as permanent disability, disfigurement, or significant impairment, you may be allowed to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. These injuries typically need to meet a specific legal definition established by the state’s laws.
The Economic Damages Exceed the Limits of Your Own Insurance Coverage
In some no-fault states, you might be able to file a lawsuit to recover economic damages that exceed the limits of your own insurance coverage. This could include medical expenses or lost wages that are not fully compensated by your insurance policy.
The Driver’s Actions Were Intentionally Harmful or Involved Gross Negligence
In certain situations, you might be able to file a lawsuit if the at-fault driver’s actions were intentionally harmful or involved gross negligence. This might include cases where the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or engaged in reckless behavior that directly caused the accident.
Contact Us Today!
At Friedland & Associates, our car accident lawyers have extensive experience handling complex auto accident claims and know how to negotiate with insurance companies to help you recover the compensation you deserve. If you were injured in an auto accident and your insurance company is refusing to pay you the settlement you deserve, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We can discuss your case and explain your legal rights and options, moving forward.
If you decide to hire us, we can get started right away, building a strong case that will prove the severity of your damages to ensure you receive every penny of compensation you deserve. Contact us today to learn more.