Were you aware that three in four motorists have already been in at least one vehicle accident? Or that, on average, each driver can get into about three to four car accidents over their lifespan?
As such, it’s no wonder that motor vehicle collisions in the US cost the nation billions of dollars each year. In fact, just one car crash that causes a disabling injury can result in an economic burden of $96,200 per person.
So, if you’ve been in a crash yourself, it’s best to consider hiring a car accident attorney. Otherwise, you may end up shouldering all the losses the accident may result in. That includes car repairs, medical bills, and lost wages.
However, some situations already warrant the immediate assistance of a personal injury lawyer. Read on to discover what these are and why you should hire a car accident attorney right away.
Your Health Is in Such a Bad Shape
As many as 800,000 motor vehicle crashes in the US result in neck injuries. Whiplash injuries are among the most common examples of such trauma. Unfortunately, such injuries can be quite severe that they cause painful body-wide disabilities.
For starters, extreme whiplash injuries can cause severe sprains, strains, dizziness, and fatigue. It may also cause tingling or numbness in the arms and back. A study even found one in four whiplash patients to have developed visual problems.
If your accident leads to such health problems, you need as much rest and recovery as you can. That leaves you unable to start processing your claim, much less handle negotiations. In this case, it would be in your best interest to hire a car accident lawyer.
Your lawyer will carry out most of the legwork associated with filing a car accident claim. They’ll gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and speak with insurers. Most importantly, they’ll fight for a fair settlement amount on your behalf.
Other Driver’s Insurer Doesn’t Want to Settle
A common belief is that 95% of personal injury claims settle before trial. However, some researchers believe this to be “unrealistic” for most other legal cases. Even if that 95% estimate is spot on, it still means that 5% doesn’t conclude with a settlement.
One way that this can occur is when an insurer avoids paying out or settling a claim. Instead, they may counter the allegations of the injured third-party claimant. They may even make claims that the injured contributed to the accident.
If that happens in a state with a contributory negligence law, you may not receive any settlement at all. Such states include Alabama, Maryland, and North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, DC. In these states, even just a 1% contribution to the accident bars a person from making a claim.
In those states, a defendant’s insurer may make claims about a plaintiff’s contribution. They can do this in the hopes of not having to make payments to third-party claimants.
Your best chance to fight such allegations is with the help of a car accident lawyer. One of the duties of this lawyer is to gather evidence that can disprove the other party’s biased claims. Instead, the personal injury attorney will prove that you weren’t at fault in any way.
You Received an Unfair Settlement Offer
Many insurers can make offers that are much lower than what the plaintiff deserves. Insurers may do this by taking advantage of the comparative negligence law.
Let’s use California’s “apportionment of responsibility” (pure comparative negligence) as an example.
In the Golden State, motorists involved in accidents get apportioned with fault. Suppose you get into a crash, and you’re confident you’re free of fault. Ideally, you should receive 100% of the amount you can recover.
However, the other party may claim that you were 45% at fault for the accident. If the court sides with them, you’d end up recovering only 55% of the damages. So, if your losses amount to $20,000, you’d only receive $11,000.
This is why proving fault is fundamental in car accident cases. Otherwise, you might have to make do with an unfair, even low-ball settlement offer. The settlement amount may not even be enough to cover your medical expenses!
You can prevent these from happening by hiring the best car accident attorney for your case.
Keep in mind that reputable car accident lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means you’d only pay for their time and services if they win your case. This is why they have a strong incentive to do everything to achieve a successful outcome.
You’d Like to Sue for Pain and Suffering
At-fault and no-fault states allow plaintiffs to sue for punitive damages. Also known as “exemplary damages,” these are damages aimed to punish wrongdoing. They’re still monetary, but they’re much harder to quantify than compensatory damages.
An example of punitive damage is pain and suffering. As you can see, it’s difficult to assign such experiences with a monetary value. For this reason, states implement descriptive or monetary thresholds for exemplary damages.
Either way, you must meet these thresholds before you can sue for punitive damages. The idea is that the more severe the injuries, the greater the “pain and suffering.”
Your health has already taken a toll, so trying to prove this can affect your well-being further. In this case, it’s best you delegate your case to a car accident lawyer. This way, you can have almost every aspect of your case handled by a legal professional.
You, in turn, can focus on healing and recovery.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney as Soon as You Can
Ideally, anyone who gets into a motor vehicle crash should hire a car accident attorney. However, this is even more important for motorists who are certain they’re free of fault. A car accident lawyer can prove that they indeed had no contribution to the incident.
Besides, car accident claims and lawsuits take a lot of knowledge and resources. That should be enough reason for you to hire a seasoned lawyer as soon as you can following an accident.
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