If you suffered injuries in a car accident, immediately seek legal help. A car accident lawyer in your area can investigate your car accident and file a claim or lawsuit against the responsible driver.
Many accident victims wonder how much a good car accident lawyer costs. In short, most car accident lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer does not receive compensation unless and until they achieve a favorable result for their client via a favorable settlement offer from the insurance company or a favorable litigation result at a binding arbitration or civil jury trial. If the accident victim receives compensation for their injuries, the lawyer takes a predetermined percentage as their fee.
The lawyer’s fee will also depend upon the nature and circumstances of the accident, the complexity of the case, and whether the case goes to litigation. Generally, if a case proceeds to a jury trial or binding arbitration, the lawyer will charge a higher percentage based on the written agreement that their client signed before filing the claim or lawsuit.
In addition to charging a contingency fee, many personal injury lawyers will reimburse litigation expenses from the accident victim’s total monetary award. Those expenses may include the costs of obtaining medical records and lost income documents from the accident victim’s employer.
Before signing a lawyer’s contingency fee agreement, you should raise any questions that you may have. This is because if you sign the agreement, your lawyer will assume that you understood it. Once you sign a contingency fee agreement, your lawyer can enter an appearance in your case and begin advocating on your behalf.
Recoverable Car Accident Damages
The total monetary award that a car accident victim receives will depend upon various circumstances, including the nature and extent of the car crash and the injuries they suffered due to the accident.
The extent of their medical treatment may also affect the monetary compensation they receive. Another important factor is whether or not the accident victim suffered a permanent injury in their accident and whether or not they can work following their accident.
To recover monetary damages as part of a personal injury claim or a lawsuit, a car accident victim must successfully establish all the elements of their case. If they can do so, they may recover various monetary damages.
First, if an accident victim must miss time from work after their car accident, they may be eligible to pursue compensation for their lost earnings. Similarly, if their injuries prevent them from working at their current job and they must switch jobs, they may bring a claim for loss of earning capacity, especially if they must take a lower-paying job due to their injuries.
In addition to recovering economic damages, car crash victims may be eligible to receive monetary compensation for their intangible losses. These losses compensate car accident victims for all of their pain and suffering, mental distress, inconvenience, permanent disfigurement or disability, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of spousal companionship and consortium, and loss of the ability to use one or more body parts, such as from a spinal cord injury and resulting paralysis.
Your car accident lawyer can determine which damages you might be eligible to recover as part of your car accident claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can also determine a ballpark figure for the total value of your case.
Finally, if you accept a settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, your lawyer can let you know the amount of their fee and the total net amount you will clear from the car accident claim or lawsuit.
Causes of Car Accidents
Many car accidents are a direct result of another driver’s negligent behavior. A driver is negligent when they act unreasonably under the circumstances, usually by violating one or more traffic laws or regulations.
For example, a negligent driver might fail to use their turn signal, fail to use their mirrors and other technological devices on their vehicle, speed, or fail to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle at a traffic intersection or while switching lanes on a multilane road.
Other drivers are negligent when they drive recklessly and carelessly. Some people drive recklessly when they engage in road rage. An enraged driver often attempts to get ahead of other traffic by speeding, tailgating, cutting off other vehicles in traffic, or otherwise operating their vehicle in an overzealous manner.
Unfortunately, these negligent driving maneuvers often lead to serious accidents that injure other drivers and passengers.
Distracted driving is another common cause of traffic accidents. Drivers may become distracted while programming a GPS navigation system in their vehicle, adjusting the sound on their music system, roughhousing with vehicle passengers, or texting while driving.
All these activities may take a driver’s eyes off the road and onto a device in their vehicle, preventing them from seeing an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian until it’s too late.
Finally, traffic accidents may also occur when drivers consume alcohol or drugs before driving. For example, when a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that measures at least 0.08 percent (per a Breathalyzer reading) makes a passenger vehicle driver legally intoxicated. In addition to facing arrest, an intoxicated driver may also have to pay civil damages to an accident victim if they cause an auto crash that results in injuries.
Drunk and drugged driving is extremely dangerous because intoxicated drivers frequently lose control of their vehicles, experience blurred vision and other physical symptoms, and suffer from delayed reflexes, which may prevent them from stopping their vehicle before causing a crash.
If a negligent driver caused your recent car accident, you should obtain the legal help you need as quickly as possible. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can meet with you to discuss your accident circumstances, investigate your accident, and plan your case.
Once you sign your lawyer’s contingency fee agreement, your lawyer can enter their appearance in your case, file a personal injury claim on your behalf, and begin negotiating favorable settlement compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If that does not work, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court and seek the monetary recovery you deserve for your injuries.
Successfully Proving a Car Accident Claim or Lawsuit
To obtain monetary recovery in a car accident claim or lawsuit and for your lawyer to obtain a fee, you must successfully establish the legal burden of proof in your case.
First, you must demonstrate that another driver deviated from the standard of care by behaving recklessly or carelessly under the circumstances.
In any situation, drivers violate the standard of care by breaking one or more traffic laws. For example, the driver who caused your accident might have been speeding or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
Next, you must prove that the other driver negligently caused your accident. In other words, the other driver’s negligence must have been at least one cause of the car crash that occurred.
Finally, through medical testimony, you must establish that you suffered at least one physical injury in your car accident. For example, your lawyer can retain a medical provider who can state, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that your injury or injuries happened because of the subject car accident.
In addition to establishing this causal relationship, a medical expert may demonstrate that one or more of your injuries are permanent. In many cases, bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis injuries are permanent, meaning they will last for the rest of the accident victim’s lifetime.
Your car accident lawyer can help you satisfy your legal burden of proof by retaining the necessary experts and introducing the necessary evidence in court on your behalf.
Injuries in Car Accident Cases
Car accident victims very often suffer extremely serious injuries and damages. These injuries typically happen when a driver or passenger’s body moves around inside their vehicle during a crash. Moreover, a part of the accident victim’s body may strike an interior component of the vehicle, such as the steering wheel or headrest, further leading to debilitating injuries.
For example, if a driver or passenger’s head strikes the headrest with significant force, the accident victim may suffer a traumatic head or brain injury, such as a concussion. Other common injuries that car crash victims suffer in accidents include bone fractures, rib fractures, spinal cord damage, full or partial paralysis injuries, open lacerations, bruises, internal organ damage, internal bleeding, eye injuries, and mouth injuries.
If you suffered one or more of these injuries in your car crash, a car accident lawyer can help you seek the monetary recovery you deserve. However, to maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable monetary award, follow through with your medical treatment regimen and complete all recommended medical treatments. For example, you may need to attend physical therapy sessions, consult a medical specialist, or meet with your primary care doctor if your symptoms worsen.
Your car accident lawyer can start advocating for you as soon as you sign their contingency fee agreement. Specifically, your lawyer can start gathering your medical records, obtain copies of police reports and other investigation documents, and speak with witnesses to the accident. While your lawyer focuses on the legal components of your case, you can focus all your attention on getting better.
Talk to a Local Car Accident Lawyer About Your Legal Matter Today
In any car accident claim or lawsuit, time is of the essence. This is because car crash victims have only a short window of time after their accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
In Alberta, that statutory period is two years from the accident date. If a car crash victim has not filed a lawsuit within two years, the courts will prevent them from recovering any monetary damages for their injuries.
A personal injury lawyer experienced in car accident cases in your area can file a timely lawsuit in your case and begin pursuing the monetary compensation you deserve. Because of the contingency fee arrangement, a lawyer will not collect any fee unless and until they recover favorable monetary compensation on your behalf. Therefore, your lawyer has a direct interest in doing a good job for you and maximizing your monetary recovery.
Throughout your case, your lawyer can answer all your questions, help you make intelligent and informed decisions, and work to maximize your total monetary award via settlement or litigation.
You have nothing to lose and no upfront costs when hiring a car accident lawyer. Seek your no-cost, no-obligation consultation today and begin protecting your rights.