Car accidents that result from others’ negligence are an unfortunate fact of life. In fact, according to recent statistics, the United States sees more than 6 million car crashes yearly. After a car accident, consult an experienced car accident lawyer near you as soon as possible after your accident. You will find one that will offer you a free consultation and claim evaluation.
An experienced and compassionate car accident attorney can fully handle all of the legal aspects of your case while you focus on making a steady and full recovery from your accident-related injuries.
For example, your St Louis car accident lawyer can gather important documents for your case and retain one or more experts, such as a car accident re-constructionist and/or a medical expert. Your attorney can file your claim with the appropriate insurance company and negotiate with the adjuster handling your case.
Finally, if the insurance company refuses to offer you the full monetary damages you deserve to recover in your accident case, your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit in court on your behalf, and if necessary, resolve your car accident case at a civil jury trial, mediation session, or binding arbitration hearing.
Your lawyer will aggressively advocate for your legal interests from the beginning of your case to the end and work to maximize the monetary damage award you ultimately recover.
Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can lead to highly debilitating injuries that incapacitate someone for a long time – and sometimes permanently. The injuries that an auto accident victim will suffer depend primarily upon the type of collision, the crash's force, and other accident-specific circumstances.
If the accident victim's body hits something in the vehicle, like the window, steering wheel, or headrest, they may suffer a bone fracture, traumatic head injury, or other serious complications.
In addition, accident victims may suffer:
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Open cuts and lacerations
- Rib fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Complete and incomplete paralysis injuries
- Eye injuries
- Mouth and teeth injuries
If you suffered injuries in a recent car accident, you must consult a medical provider and complete your entire treatment regimen. Failing to do so may prevent you from achieving a full recovery from your injuries. Additionally, you might have difficulty obtaining a fair settlement offer from the insurance company adjuster handling your claim.
To maximize your chances of recovery and obtain a favorable settlement award, you should follow all of your medical provider's treatment recommendations, undergo recommended procedures, and refrain from discharging yourself from medical care.
While you complete your medical treatment, your car accident attorney will be busy advocating for your legal rights and interests. For example, your attorney can gather essential documents on your behalf and begin assembling those documents into a settlement demand package.
Reasons Why Car Accidents Frequently Happen
Car accidents come in all shapes and sizes.
Some of the most common types of car accidents include:
- Rear-end accidents, where one driver negligently causes the front of their vehicle to hit the back of another vehicle
- T-bone or broadside accidents, where the front of one car hits the side of an intersecting vehicle
- Head-on collisions, where the fronts of two vehicles hit one another, often at high rates of speed
- Sideswipe crashes, where the side of one vehicle strikes the side of another nearby vehicle
In many instances, these accidents are a direct result of another driver's unreasonable, reckless, or careless conduct.
Some of the most common causes of motor vehicle crashes in the area include:
- Failing to use mirrors and advanced vehicle technology, including backup cameras and lane-change warning devices
- Excessive speeding, especially in busy highway traffic
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles, usually at traffic intersections
- Failing to use turn signals when changing lanes or turning onto another road
- Road rage, where someone drives in a reckless manner, such as by aggressively weaving in and out of traffic, cutting other cars off in traffic, or tailgating other vehicles
- DUI and drunk driving, where a driver illegally drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving, where a driver does not pay sufficient attention to the road, negligently bringing about a collision
If you suffered injuries in an accident that another driver caused, you have legal rights and options that you should consider. A skilled car accident lawyer in your area can let you know what those options are and take the necessary steps to pursue the monetary recovery you need for your injuries.
Proving the Legal Elements of a Car Accident Claim
To collect monetary compensation in a motor vehicle accident claim or lawsuit, the accident victim must first satisfy their legal burden of proof.
Specifically, they must demonstrate that the other driver violated their duty of care by driving their vehicle unreasonably under the circumstances. For example, the other driver might have been tailgating, speeding, under the influence of alcohol, or driving recklessly.
In addition, the injured accident victim must demonstrate that as a direct result of the other driver's negligence, both the subject car accident and the accident victim's injuries occurred.
Several different types of experts can help prove the required elements of your case. For instance, an accident reconstructionist can formulate an opinion about how your accident occurred, after looking at police reports, speaking with witnesses, and visiting the accident scene for themselves.
Similarly, a medical expert can causally relate your claimed injury or injuries to the subject auto accident. Medical experts are especially helpful when insurance companies allege that the car accident did not cause the accident victim's injuries.
Your car accident lawyer can retain the necessary experts to prove your claim and recover monetary compensation and damages.
Essential Steps to Take Following Your Motor Vehicle Accident
After a motor vehicle accident, remain at the accident scene and remain calm. In fact, leaving the scene of an accident can get you in serious trouble. Write down anything you can recall about the accident after it happens, including the relative speeds of the involved vehicles, the directions of the cars, and the other vehicle’s characteristics (including the size, model, and color of the other vehicle). If you have a cellular phone or tablet with you,
Take photographs of the accident scene – and of the involved vehicles (and their license plates) – if you can. These photographs can later substantiate your personal injury claim or lawsuit.
If a police officer comes to the accident scene, they are there to help you. If the officer asks you how the accident happened, tell them what you remember. However, never admit fault for the accident. Insist upon receiving a copy of the police report once the officer prepares it.
Next, contact your insurance company, especially if you suffered an injury in the accident or if the accident caused property damage to your vehicle.
Finally, consult an experienced car crash lawyer as soon as possible about the accident and your injuries.
From that point forward, your attorney can handle all communications with insurance companies and file a personal injury claim or lawsuit in a timely manner. After filing your claim, your lawyer can engage in settlement negotiations with insurance company adjusters and pursue the monetary recovery you deserve for your losses.
Negotiating with the Insurance Company after Your Car Accident
Following an investigation of your car accident circumstances, your lawyer can submit a settlement demand package to the insurance company.
A demand package will typically include documents that are pertinent to your case, including expert reports and evaluations. Other documents may include police reports, photographs of your injuries, pictures of the accident scene, property damage photographs, lost income documents, and all related medical records and bills to date.
Once the insurance company adjuster evaluates these documents, they might make you an offer to resolve your claim through settlement. However, initial offers will not compensate you fairly or adequately for your injuries.
Your car accident lawyer can aggressively negotiate with insurance company representatives in pursuit of a higher settlement offer. For example, your lawyer may point to favorable expert reports, medical records, and other documentation that emphasizes the seriousness of your accident and resulting injuries.
If the insurance company still does not make you a fair settlement offer, your lawyer may sue the insurance company.
Your attorney can advise whether to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company or litigate your case to a final resolution at a civil jury trial or binding arbitration hearing.
Car Accident Damages
When experts produce favorable reports and testimony, it can greatly increase the types and amounts of monetary compensation that you may be eligible to recover for your injuries.
The total monetary damages you receive will depend primarily on the strength of your case, your overall accident circumstances, your medical treatment, your injuries, and the total cost of your medical care.
First, injured car accident victims can recover compensation for their related medical expenses, as well as for their lost income and loss of earning capacity.
In addition to receiving monetary damages for out-of-pocket losses, an injured accident victim can recover compensation for intangible losses, like their mental distress, pain and suffering, inconvenience, loss of spousal support, loss of life enjoyment, permanent disability or disfigurement, lifetime care costs, and loss of use of a body part (such as from a paralysis injury).
Your attorney can help maximize your overall monetary damage award by pointing to favorable expert testimony, as well as your medical records and bills. Your lawyer can also inform you about the likely settlement or verdict value of your case.
Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today
One of the best ways to increase your chances of a favorable settlement or litigation result is to retain an experienced car accident lawyer to represent you in your case as quickly as possible.
Your attorney can immediately begin investigating your accident circumstances and retaining experts who can offer favorable testimony in your case.
Your lawyer can handle every step of the claims filing, negotiation, and litigation processes. Your attorney will recover the maximum amount of compensation available in your car accident claim.