A car accident lawyer makes a world of difference in settlement and compensation proceedings. Dealing with a car accident is an undeniably life-changing experience. When you need to focus on recovering, hire a car accident attorney to handle the insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve.
Depending on the unique accident situation, determining fault, filing an insurance claim, gathering documentation, etc., can become quite tedious. Thankfully, with the right personal injury attorney on your side, you won’t be alone.
You need as much support as you can get during this difficult time, as there is also an emotional trauma to deal with. The top car accident lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have the emotional intelligence to support you. This is complemented by an acute awareness and understanding of relevant legal precedents, thanks to decades of experience.
With an experienced car accident attorney on your side, you can focus on recovering from your injuries while they give you top legal representation for financial recovery.
Why a Car Accident Lawyer Is an Asset
Technically, you don’t have to retain the services of a car accident lawyer following your ordeal. It’s the value of doing so that guides such a decision.
It often depends on the details of the car crash and the type of damage and injuries incurred. A small fender-bender with no injuries can be handled without an attorney. But multi-vehicle accidents or fatal accidents definitely need an experienced attorney.
Below are some of the reasons that having an attorney after a car accident would be a great asset.
This one is a no-brainer. Building a compelling case to maximize a potential claim requires a plethora of legal knowledge and experience. Not every attorney can boast both, which explains the spectrum of performance that you may see from various legal professionals.
You want a personal injury lawyer who can appreciate the uniqueness of your ordeal while using a foundational and advanced understanding of the legal process to guide the means of seeking compensation.
The average person would not possess the required insights, which translates to the lack of effectiveness that’s synonymous with handling these kinds of things without an attorney in the mix.
There isn’t enough space here to explain how tedious the workflow of personal injury claims are. Navigating the legal process and dealing with insurance companies to get compensation while you are recovering from injuries would be undoubtedly overwhelming.
In the end, you may find yourself not even wanting to continue. The question now is, what if you didn’t have to deal with it all? What if you knew that there was someone else so knowledgeable and so motivated that a desirable outcome could be sought and potentially achieved without you needing to do much more than provide some information and documents?
That’s the kind of difference having a personal injury attorney makes in car accident cases.
In most car accident cases technically a victim could theoretically seek compensation independently. However, there would be a fundamental lack of understanding of applicable laws, which may reduce or eliminate what would otherwise be fair compensation.
For example, after you’re injured, the other driver’s insurance company may display concern and offer you a settlement immediately. The average person may see this as a victory, not understanding that insurance companies tend to offer low initial settlements to try to save themselves some money.
If you retain a car accident attorney, you can divert the communication with the insurance adjuster. Car accident attorneys have the required level of know-how and can handle such discussions, ensuring the most favorable outcome on your behalf
High motivation is to be expected from a good attorney. The genuine level of care shown for you forms a part of the equation. The other part is related to how car accident attorneys earn from personal injury cases.
Typically, a personal injury law firm uses a contingency model for payment, meaning you don’t pay unless you win your case. Therefore, car accident lawyers take a percentage of the settlement for legal fees. This adds an additional layer of interest in seeing you get the maximum compensation for your case.
If they don’t get you money, they don’t get paid!
After a car accident, you may not know where to begin. This is why we offer free consultations, to help you understand what your legal options are and where to start in building a case for compensation.
What To Do Following a Car Accident?
- First, call for emergency services. Medical treatment and safety of all drivers and passengers in all vehicles need to be addressed quickly, especially if someone has suffered injuries that are severe.
- Don’t leave the accident scene. If you leave the scene where the accident occurred, even if you are not necessarily in the wrong, it can be misconstrued as a hit and run, which can land you in some serious legal hot water.
- Exchange the relevant details, including the other driver’s license number, vehicle specifications, name, insurance company information, etc. Be sure to get information from every person involved, including the other driver, passengers, and officers. If there are any witnesses present that are willing and able to provide an eyewitness account, it may be advisable to get their contact information.
- Get out your phone and start taking pictures of everything relevant. Get visuals of the accident scene, injuries, property damage, etc.
- It is crucial to seek medical attention after an auto accident, even if there are only minor injuries or you think there are none at all. This is important because some common collision injuries, such as whiplash, take days to present themselves.
- Call a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation to obtain legal advice on making a car accident claim. Also, contact your own car insurance provider to inform them of the accident.
- One important thing to remember after a car crash is when speaking with the other driver, or anyone at the accident scene, be careful to not admit fault, as it could be used against you.
Frequently Asked Car Accident Questions
If you have concerns or want to schedule a consultation with a personal injury law firm, we implore you to do so for the most accurate insights into your unique situation. Nevertheless, there are some questions that our car accident attorneys frequently are asked.
See the brief compilation of some of these below and their associated responses.
Do I Have To Hire A Lawyer After A Car Accident?
There is no legal requirement for you to retain a car accident attorney to handle your claim. You can choose to represent yourself, and you can even choose to wrap up the process quickly by accepting the initial settlements that the negligent party’s insurance company may present.
However, choosing not to lean on the legal know-how limits your compensation potential and often makes the process more difficult, and can lead to costly mistakes. Representing yourself against other insurance companies means you bear certain responsibilities that the lawyer would be responsible for without the knowledge of the legal process around car accident settlements.
If you are unsure if you need an attorney for your personal injury claim, you have no risk in calling as most car accident lawyers offer a free consultation.
How Much Must I Pay Upfront For An Attorney?
Payment is made on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you don’t need to worry about paying for the support and services provided unless your case is wrapped up successfully. When this happens, your attorney retains a percentage of the settlement you are awarded.
Additionally, the initial consultation to get things started is free. Therefore, whether upfront or otherwise, you never really have to worry about affordability.
Since the initial consultation is free, you have no risk in calling!
What Are Common Causes Of Car Accidents?
Car accidents can happen to anyone at any time. It is critical to always keep your eyes and attention on the road at all times. Sometimes even if you are a focused, cautious driver, you can cause an accident. This often happens in times of dangerous weather conditions.
Most often car accidents are caused by the negligence of a driver.
Common examples of negligent driving are:
- Drunk Driving
- Distracted Driving
- Aggressive Driving
- Erratic Driving
- Driver Fatigue
- and more
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries. Top personal injury lawyers can help victims from minor injuries to wrongful death cases caused by car accidents. Even a minor car accident can cause injuries, such as whiplash, as whiplash can occur in slow-moving accidents.
The most common car accident injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Broken Bones
- Neck and Back Injuries
- and more.
These are some examples of a physical injury a car accident victim can endure, but there is also often emotional trauma that is associated with car accidents. An experienced car accident attorney understands this and can get the insurance company to pay compensation for both physical and emotional injuries.
Should I Expect To Have A Trial?
Car accident lawyers do not always have to take the insurance company to trial to get fair compensation for your injuries.
The easier the process can be, the better. Therefore, the objective is to make sure the insurance company pays you the compensation you deserve as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Accident Attorneys can usually get the insurance company to comply without needing to go to trial. However, sometimes a settlement agreement can not be met through negotiations, meaning the case has to be taken to trial to ensure you get a fair settlement.
This is why it is crucial to choose an experienced attorney who is willing to fight the insurance company in court if needed to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
How Much Is My Car Accident Case Worth?
Every auto accident case is worth a different amount, based on the circumstances surrounding the claim. Depending on your the details the typical amount of car accident compensation is between $4,000-$80,000.
Obviously, this is a large range and can go beyond this especially if it involves a semi-truck, or is a fatal accident. Call an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about your case and decide if you need legal counsel. With a free consultation, you have no risk in learning more about the financial recovery you can get with an experienced accident lawyer.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Car Accident Settlement?
The length of time it takes for car accident settlements greatly depends on the factors of your case. Your car accident attorney needs time to gather all the evidence and information necessary to make the best case for your compensation. This takes time, which is why it takes a minimum of a couple of months to settle even a simple car accident claim.
Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to try to settle the case outside of court, as quickly as possible for you. If the details of your auto accident are more complicated, or the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, the attorney may need to take the case to court.
Car accident settlements can sometimes take years to complete. If there are serious injuries that have many ongoing medical expenses it will cause the settlement to take longer to ensure you get compensation for all your expenses. Insurance companies will always try to get you to accept the minimum, so sometimes it takes your attorney longer to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Information Would My Car Accident Lawyer Need?
Depending on the situation, not all these may apply. Even so, your attorney requires some vital information to properly put a solid case together for your car accident claim. These are covered below.
Compensation is usually paid by insurance companies, which tend to conduct their own investigations into the circumstances surrounding a car accident. Your attorney will need the information on your own insurance provider, as well as the at-fault driver’s insurance information.
If you don’t have a copy of your policy, with your permission, your lawyer can obtain it from your insurer. Evidence showing that your premiums have been paid helps since it confirms that you were driving with an active insurance policy.
Additionally, if you give your insurance company a formal statement, you are entitled to a copy of it, which you should also provide your attorney with.
Evidence and Witnesses
After an accident occurs, it is advised to collect as much information from the scene as possible, as this is the most compelling evidence of your accident.
Your lawyer needs all the data and critical evidence you collected, including insurance information of the other driver, the contact information of potential witnesses or passengers involved in the accident, pictures that you may have taken, any recordings you may have, etc.
Police Accident Report
Reporting your auto accident to the police is crucial. In most cases, the police are called in and complete an accident report on the scene. This document provides details on property damage, vehicle position, theories on how the accident may have occurred, assumed at-fault driver, etc.
Again, your attorney can get this from the police department if you don’t already have a copy. You may also want to ensure that your lawyer gets a copy of any traffic citation that you may have received from the accident.
As indicated before, not all medical needs occur immediately. However, as your case is being built, the chances are that you have already received some level of medical attention for your injuries. Getting prompt medical treatment is crucial in your car accident claim.
Therefore, you should provide your attorney with complete documentation that details the extent of treatment and all the medical bills that you may have incurred.
Your medical bills go beyond the physical element, as psychological care should be included too. Providing contact information for your medical providers may also be an asset.
Proof of Earnings
This element becomes important for those who may be trying to recoup lost earnings. Here, proof must be provided of what you were earning both before and after the accident.
What Can I Be Compenated For?
The settlement you receive is proportionately related to the impact that the car accident has had on you. This establishes the scope of damages that your attorney can attempt to recover on your behalf.
Of course, there is a burden of proof here. However, that’s not the kind of thing you need to be primarily concerned with, as that responsibility is with your lawyer. There are two types of damages in car accident cases, economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are damages that can be quantified, such as property damage, medical bills, car repair bills, and lost wages to name a few. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify and have to be generalized such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc.
Check out a brief explanation of a couple of the common damage types below.
Loss of Income
This one is self-explanatory. Did your injuries from the motor vehicle accident stop you from earning? Is it going to continue to stop you from earning?
You never know where you are going to end up or what kind of situation you’re going to be in following a car accident. Maybe it’s being laid up in a hospital bed. Alternatively, you may have been ordered to stay at home and rest with your legs elevated.
Does this mean missing days, weeks, or months of work? What if the injury permanently causes you to be out of work because of the kind of industry you are in?
These are a couple of the considerations that your car accident lawyer makes when calculating your lost wages included in your settlement.
Pain and Suffering
There is no blueprint to what constitutes pain and suffering. Pain and suffering include physical pain, such as pain from a broken bone, as well as emotional effects of the accident, such as mental distress and anxiety.
Even minor car accidents can leave victims with pain and suffering. Physical pain, such as whiplash can happen at slow speeds. And all types of car accidents at any speed can leave victims dealing with emotional anguish.
Quantifying pain and suffering can pose a challenge, but thankfully, an experienced auto accident attorney is up to the task. Every victim of a car accident deserves compensation for pain and suffering.
One of the most prominent expenses car accident victims must deal with following a car accident falls under the medical category. Medical expenses can include medication, ambulance fees, hospital bills, disfigurement, physiotherapy, etc.
A car accident can be a harrowing experience, which is why you need an advocate to take on the burden of filing your claim, negotiating the cost of your medical expenses (an area of expertise that is often overlooked when one is considering hiring a car accident attorney), and securing a significant settlement.
Additionally, not all medical expenses are immediately obvious. Some conditions require long-term review and occurrences before they even show up.
Gaining compensation for all current and future expenses is crucial, which is why an experienced car accident lawyer calls on experience to locate the required documentation and other forms of proof required to build a strong case.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of Consortium is for the loved one of a car accident victim. If the car accident is fatal or leaves the victim unable to fulfill marital obligations, the spouse can be compensated for the loss of consortium.
If death or injury caused your spouse to suffer this fate, then your attorney can assess the situation to see if a claim for consortium loss may be applicable or feasible.
How Is Fault Determined After A Car Accident?
There are crucial steps to building a motor vehicle accident case to get you the maximum compensation that you deserve. Insurance companies will try to pay the minimum amount possible, which is why an experienced lawyer will need to build a strong case. Next, we will discuss how they build a case to make the insurance company pay.
The First thing your car accident lawyer must establish is that you are not the at-fault driver beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Typically, the at-fault party will be considered negligent and can be held responsible.
Some of the elements that your attorney may use to establish fault include traffic law violations, the extent of vehicular damage, the type of collision, the police report, and accident reconstruction experts.
You need to do your best to ensure that your car accident attorney has all the necessary details to provide compelling evidence that you are not the negligent driver.
Get a Free Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer
Car Accidents can be traumatizing. It can leave you with many issues to handle, but you are not alone. Reaching out to our experienced car accident lawyers is the first step in getting your life back.
Certainly, if another party’s negligence has led to your situation, you deserve to be compensated. With decades of trial experience, the legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is well-equipped to be your guiding light in this time.
With Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, car accident victims will get lawyers with decades of experience navigating the liability law to ensure exceptional compensation settlements for their clients.
Schedule a free consultation today to have your case reviewed by an experienced car accident lawyer.