When maximizing the monetary compensation you recover for a car crash, an experienced car accident lawyer can help you. Your lawyer can assist you with every step of the claims-filing process, including negotiating with insurance company representatives.
Insurance companies often look for any excuse to deny personal injury claims or limit their monetary payout to a car accident victim. However, a skilled car accident lawyer will have your legal interests at heart and will work to highlight the strengths of your case, downplay any weaknesses, and maximize your final monetary award.
Moreover, if the insurance company refuses to take your car accident case seriously, your lawyer can file a lawsuit, assist you with every step of the litigation process, and, if necessary, resolve your case at a civil jury trial, mediation hearing, or binding arbitration proceeding.
Causes of Car Crashes
Car crashes frequently happen when drivers are careless or reckless. In some situations, car crashes result from traffic law violations, such as speeding and failing to yield the right-of-way to other drivers and pedestrians at the proper times. Car accidents can also happen when drivers tailgate other vehicles, aggressively weave in and out of traffic, and engage in other aggressive driving maneuvers, sometimes due to road rage.
Car accidents may also occur when people drive while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. Alcohol intoxication is a serious problem because it severely affects a driver’s ability to drive carefully and safely. Alcohol, which is a depressant, can slow down a driver’s central nervous system, limit their reflexes, and delay their reaction time.
Consequently, a driver might be unable to stop their vehicle in time to avoid hitting another car or pedestrian. Moreover, alcohol may cause a driver to experience dizziness and blurred vision, preventing them from seeing an approaching vehicle or pedestrian.
Car crashes also result from fatigued driving especially when commercial truck drivers fail to take breaks while on long road trips. A drowsy driver may negligently cause their vehicle to veer into another travel lane, striking another car and bringing about serious injuries. A tired driver might also fall asleep at the wheel, causing them to lose control and hit another vehicle.
Finally, car crashes often happen because of distracted driving. A driver is distracted when they fail to watch the road attentively or utilize their mirrors on roadways and in parking lots and garages. A driver may also become distracted when they focus their attention on a cellular device, tablet, or GPS navigation system, instead of the road.
Loud music may also prove distracting for some drivers, along with rowdy vehicle passengers. When a driver diverts their attention from the road and onto something in their vehicle, they may end up causing a severe accident that leaves others severely injured and in pain.
When people drive recklessly and carelessly, they may bring about:
- Sideswipe accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end accidents
- Overturn accidents
- Broadside accidents
- T-bone collisions
If you sustained injuries in an accident that resulted from driver error, you are not alone. A skilled car accident lawyer in your area can evaluate your legal circumstances, as well as your eligibility for filing a successful personal injury claim. Your lawyer can assist you with every step of the process, including negotiating with insurance company representatives or, if necessary, litigating your case in court.
Pursuing Monetary Compensation in a Car Accident Case
In a nutshell, a car accident lawyer helps accident victims recover and maximize the total monetary compensation they receive for their injuries and other accident-related losses. To accomplish this goal, car accidents lawyers can assist with all of the following:
Investigating Your Accident Circumstances
The first way that a knowledgeable lawyer can help in your case is by investigating the circumstances surrounding your car accident. In many car accident scenarios, it can be difficult to tell precisely how the accident happened and who was at fault. If that is the situation in your case, a lawyer can retain an accident reconstructionist who can visit the scene, review police reports, speak with witnesses, and draft a report stating their conclusions.
Gathering Important Documentation
When it comes to proving the legal elements of your case, your lawyer will need to submit various types of evidence. Your lawyer can begin gathering evidence as soon as you retain them to represent you throughout your claim.
Specifically, your lawyer can obtain copies of your:
- Related medical records
- Lost income documents that show the dates and hours you missed from work, as well as the total amount of compensation you lost following your accident
- Photographs of your injuries
- Photographs of any property damage to your vehicle
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Income tax returns in support of a lost income claim or a claim for loss of earning capacity
Filing a Claim With the Appropriate Insurance Company for You
Once your lawyer obtains all these documents, they can submit them to the insurance company adjuster for review. In the event the adjuster accepts fault for your accident, your lawyer can start negotiating a fair settlement that genuinely compensates you for your physical injuries and other accident-related losses.
Hiring a Medical Expert
In a car accident claim or lawsuit, the accident victim has the sole legal burden of proof. This means they must establish certain legal elements to recover monetary damages. One of those elements is medical causation. In other words, the accident victim must show their claimed medical condition, injury, or illness directly resulting from the subject car accident.
To satisfy their legal burden, an accident victim’s lawyer might need to hire a medical expert, such as a specialist doctor or other medical providers. That doctor can state, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that the claimed injury or injuries directly resulted from the subject car crash. In addition, a medical provider can establish whether the accident victim suffered an injury that is unlikely to get better sometimes called a permanent injury.
Negotiating With Insurance Company Representatives
If the insurance company accepts fault for your accident, they might offer you a specific amount of money to settle your case within the applicable insurance policy limits. In most cases, however, initial settlement offers that insurance adjusters make are far below the actual value of a car accident claim.
Adjusters offer small monetary settlements at first to see if the accident victim is in a hurry to resolve their case. Really, it is to the insurance company’s advantage to resolve a claim for as little money as possible. After all, the insurance company stands to lose significant money when they have to pay out a large settlement or personal injury jury verdict. They only make money when insured individuals pay their premiums.
Settlement negotiations in a car accident claim are typically a back-and-forth process. The accident victim’s lawyer typically starts the process by making an opening settlement demand, after which the adjuster makes a much smaller monetary offer. The negotiations go back and forth between the parties until the case settles out of court or the parties reach an impasse. In the latter instance, a personal injury lawyer can file a lawsuit in the court system on the accident victim’s behalf.
Litigating Your Case in the Civil Court System
The litigation stage of a car accident case begins when the accident victim’s lawyer files a lawsuit in the civil court system. Even after this point, however, the parties may continue their settlement negotiations, and the case can still resolve out of court. In fact, most car accident claims resolve outside the courtroom in one way or another.
During the litigation stage of a car accident case, the parties will engage in written and oral discovery. First, the parties will answer one another’s written Interrogatories, which are questions about the accident, how it occurred, and the resulting injuries and claimed losses. A personal injury lawyer can help their client answer these interrogatories in an effective manner. A lawyer can also prepare the accident victim to satisfy at a discovery deposition to make the best possible presentation.
Representing You at Your Legal Proceedings
Next, a car accident lawyer in your area can represent you in all of your legal proceedings. If the case does not resolve out of court, the parties will try their case in front of a jury. At that time, the jury will resolve all disputed issues, including those involving liability and monetary damages. If the jury finds that another driver caused the accident, they will decide on the types and amounts of financial compensation to award the accident victim driver.
At a jury trial, your lawyer can introduce evidence on your behalf, help you prove the legal elements of your claim effectively, and argue for a fair and reasonable monetary award.
As an alternative to a jury trial, your lawyer can help you explore various options, including mediation or binding arbitration. During mediation, the parties meet with a neutral mediator who helps them resolve their disputed issues. At a binding arbitration hearing, a neutral arbitrator listens to the evidence and evaluates the case. Your lawyer can represent you at either of these proceedings and aggressively advocate for your legal interests there.
Recovering the Money Damages You Deserve Following a Car Crash
In a car accident case where the accident victim can satisfy all of the necessary legal elements, they may be eligible for various monetary damages, depending upon the circumstances of their accident, the extent of their injuries, and the amount of time they missed from work.
Compensable damages in car crash cases include compensation for:
- Loss of earning capacity
- Lost income
- Mental distress, pain, and suffering
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of spousal companionship
- Loss of the ability to use a body part
- Permanent disability or bodily disfigurement
Your lawyer will do everything possible to help you maximize your total monetary award in a car accident claim or lawsuit.
Speak With a Knowledgeable Car Crash Lawyer in Your Area Today
If you suffered injuries in a recent car accident, you should not wait to seek out experienced legal counsel to represent you. In fact, doing so may significantly jeopardize your right to recover the monetary award you deserve.
Car accident victims only have two years from their accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking monetary redress. If an accident victim fails to file a lawsuit within that time, they waive their right to receive any financial payout for their injuries.
A knowledgeable car crash lawyer in your area can file a timely lawsuit in your case and begin litigating it on your behalf in the court system. Your personal injury attorney in Edmonton can also help you negotiate a fair settlement offer or successfully take your case to a jury trial, mediation hearing, or binding arbitration proceeding.