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How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Recover Compensation After an Accident

Published April 15, 2024 by Harker Injury Law

How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help You Collect Compensation After An Accident.

An accident can cause serious injuries and financial hardships for victims and their families. If you have suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence, you likely want to receive compensation for your injuries as quickly as possible.

The money you receive by means of the insurance claim represents your ability to cover your medical expenses, pay your bills after being unable to work, and move forward with your life.

The best way for you to maximize the value of your claim after an accident is to hire a personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will make sure you are treated fairly in the aftermath of your accident. This article will discuss some of the many benefits of having a lawyer on your side after sustaining a personal injury.

Personal Injury Lawyers Help Clients Recover Compensation for Many Types of Accident Cases

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 40 million visits to the emergency room for injuries in the U.S. each year (including those for adverse effects of medical treatment and for poisoning).

Personal injury law exists to protect us from these dangers by holding everyone accountable to a reasonable standard of care. Thus, personal injury lawyers uphold the legal rights of those who have been harmed by another person’s negligence.

Some of the various types of accident cases personal injury attorneys handle include:

Seeking Compensation After a Car Accident

One of the main types of cases that personal injury attorneys handle is car accidents. If you have been involved in a serious collision, you may be wondering if you should hire a car accident lawyer or file a claim with the insurance company on your own.

While you are not required to hire a lawyer when you file a claim, there are many benefits to having a legal representative on your side. Many victims of car accidents try to pursue compensation on their own but end up settling for far less than their claim is truly worth.

A car accident lawyer can protect your legal rights and work towards a settlement that will cover your damages.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Will Investigate Your Case and Gather Evidence After a Car Accident

Typically, in a car accident case, your legal team will conduct their own investigation of your accident. They will look for evidence of liability that can be used to support your claim.

Steps that your lawyer may take to gather evidence include:

  • Requesting documents: Your car accident lawyer will likely request copies of police reports from the accident scene. Your lawyer may also obtain copies of other important documents and examine medical records that show the extent of the injuries you sustained in the collision.
  • Obtaining eyewitness testimony: Statements from people who were eyewitnesses to the crash can provide invaluable evidence in accident cases. Your attorney will try to locate any people who saw your accident firsthand and conduct interviews with them.
  • Compiling visual evidence: Dash cam, traffic cameras, and video surveillance footage from surrounding businesses can provide irrefutable evidence of how an auto accident occurred. Photos taken at the accident scene of property damage, injuries, road conditions, and traffic hazards can also help to build your case.
  • Consulting experts: While preparing your case, your attorney may use the law firm’s resources to hire experts who can provide testimony to support your claim. This could include accident reconstructionists, engineers, medical professionals, economists, and others.

It is important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a motor vehicle accident. Important evidence can be lost or destroyed over time. Plus, the sooner you hire a lawyer after your accident, the faster he or she can begin working on your personal injury claim.

A Car Accident Attorney Can Identify Liable Parties

After investigating your car accident case and reviewing all available evidence, your lawyer can identify who was liable for your collision. Establishing liability is an essential step in pursuing financial compensation.

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, various parties may be liable for your injuries and losses:

  • Negligent drivers: If another driver’s reckless or negligent actions caused your car accident, he or she could be liable for damages. Common causes of car accidents include distracted driving, speeding, failure to stop or yield, and driving under the influence.
  • Vehicle manufacturers: Some car accidents are caused by a vehicle part malfunctioning. In this situation, the manufacturer or distributor of the defective car part could be held responsible for the accident.
  • Employers: If your car accident was caused by a commercial driver, the employer could be responsible for damages. This is especially true if the company failed to perform proper background checks or train their drivers.
  • Government agencies: There are some scenarios where government entities may be held accountable for car accidents. Examples include poor road maintenance, inadequate signage, malfunctioning traffic lights, construction zone negligence, and poor road design.

Car Accident Attorneys Can Handle Communications With the Insurance Company

Dealing with insurance companies after an auto accident can be a daunting task. From navigating complex insurance policies to facing relentless negotiations, it is easy for victims to feel overwhelmed. However, enlisting the help of a car accident lawyer can make all the difference in achieving a just and fair settlement.

A car accident attorney can assist you in negotiating with the insurance company by:

  • Understanding the policy coverage: Car accident attorneys are well-versed in reading and understanding insurance policies. They will carefully examine your auto insurance policy. They can also review the policy of the at-fault party to determine the extent of coverage available for your claim.
  • Calculating damages: Determining the value of your car accident claim requires a thorough understanding of the various types of damages available. Car accident lawyers carefully calculate both economic and non-economic damages you are due to receive.
  • Negotiating skillfully: Most personal injury attorneys are skilled negotiators. They know how to communicate effectively with the insurance company and advocate for their client’s best interests.
  • Handling denials and disputes: An insurance company may deny a car accident claim in an attempt to minimize the amount it has to pay. Car accident lawyers are prepared to challenge these denials. They do this through formal appeals, mediation, or even litigation if necessary.
  • Protecting your rights: Insurance adjusters may take advantage of the stressful time following a car accident to try to pressure you into accepting a low settlement offer. A car accident lawyer, though, can protect you from the insurance company’s unfair tactics and uphold your legal rights.

A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Most car accident claims are settled through negotiating with the insurance company. However, in some situations, both parties are unable to reach a fair settlement agreement. Your lawyer may suggest filing a car accident lawsuit to pursue compensation.

Consider some of the steps an attorney takes to file a car accident lawsuit on behalf of his or her client.

The drafting of a formal complaint

A personal injury accident lawsuit starts with a summons and complaint. The formal complaint filed by you (the plaintiff, or injured party) contains allegations against the at-fault party (the defendant).

Your car accident lawyer will file a copy of the formal complaint with the court. Your lawyer will also have a copy served to the defendant.

The contents of a complaint letter will include:

  • The allegations against the defendant
  • The damages being pursued
  • Any laws or evidence supporting the claim

The at-fault party will then have a specific deadline to respond to the complaint. In California, defendants usually have 30 days to respond.

The discovery process

After the lawsuit has been filed, both parties enter into the discovery phase. During this stage, information and evidence related to the car accident case is exchanged.

Tools used to exchange information and evidence may include:

  • Document requests
  • Interrogatories
  • Depositions of witnesses and experts
  • Subpoenas
  • Requests for admissions

The discovery stage is the longest process of a personal injury lawsuit. It is the time that both parties work to build a strong case for their clients. The discovery process helps both parties to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their cases.

Even as the car accident claim progresses toward trial, settlement negotiations may continue. One of the parties may decide that it is best to settle rather than spend more time and money going to court.

The trial

If settlement negotiations continue to fail, your lawyer will prepare for trial.

Trial preparation may include:

  • Preparing witnesses to testify
  • Preparing exhibits
  • Devising persuasive legal arguments to present to the court

At trial, both parties will present their evidence and arguments before a judge or jury. The jury will then deliberate before rendering a verdict. If your car accident case is successful, the defendant will be ordered to compensate you for your damages.

Types of Damages Recoverable After a Car Accident

In California, accident victims can pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic losses.

Economic damages

Non-economic damages provide victims of car accidents with compensation for their direct, out-of-pocket losses.

Examples of calculable losses you could recover include:

  • Medical expenses: These types of damages cover all medical bills incurred as a direct result of the accident, perhaps including ambulance rides, diagnostic tests, x-rays, surgeries, prescription medications, rehabilitation therapy, and more.
  • Property damage: This covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle. It can also count the value of any other property that was damaged in the car accident, such as a laptop, mailbox, or fence.
  • Lost wages: If you are unable to work while recovering from your injuries, you can pursue compensation for your loss of income. This may include salary, hourly wages, bonuses, and other forms of income.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages refer to compensation for subjective, non-monetary losses.

The following are examples of non-economic damages:

  • Pain and suffering: These types of damages are awarded to compensate you for any physical or mental pain you have endured from your accident injuries.
  • Emotional distress: Besides pain and suffering damages, emotional distress damages may be awarded for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), nightmares, depression, and other psychological trauma.
  • Loss of enjoyment: Serious injuries may prevent you from doing activities you enjoyed before the car accident. Compensation may be awarded for this loss.
  • Disfigurement or scarring: These damages are to compensate a person for disfigurement or permanent scarring that resulted from the accident.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Accident Lawyers Today

Hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you after an accident can mean the difference between receiving fair compensation for your injuries or paying for your losses out-of-pocket.

At Harker Injury Law, our lawyers have the experience, skills, and resources needed for you to recover maximum compensation for the losses you have suffered. Let us help you hold the at-fault party liable for their negligence.

Our law firm does not charge anything upfront. We only get paid if we win a settlement for you.

To learn more about your rights and legal options, contact us as soon as you canA representative will reach out to you shortly to schedule your free consultation.

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