Car accidents typically happen when others drive negligently and carelessly or deviate from standard traffic laws. When drivers do not take their responsibilities seriously, they may cause different types of accidents, which leave other drivers and passengers with severe injuries. In the most forceful accident cases, accident victims may suffer a permanent injury, which leaves them with ongoing medical complications and treatment needs.
If you suffered injuries in a recent car crash, involve a car accident attorney in your case as quickly as possible. First, your lawyer can investigate your accident's circumstances and determine how it occurred. Your lawyer can then file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf with the at-fault driver's insurance company. Your lawyer can then handle all settlement negotiations with insurance company representatives, seeking the monetary compensation you deserve.
If the insurance company refuses to make you a fair settlement offer in your claim, your lawyer may file a lawsuit on your behalf and litigate your case to a resolution in the court system. During litigation, your attorney can also represent you at all legal proceedings, answer your questions, and pursue the highest amount of monetary recovery you deserve for your car accident injuries.
Injuries in a Local Car Crash
The force of a motor vehicle collision may cause a driver or passenger to suffer debilitating, permanent, and sometimes deadly injuries in their accident. The specific injuries that a car crash victim suffers will usually depend upon the type of vehicles involved, the speeds of the vehicles, the kind of car accident, and how the accident victim's body moves inside their vehicle during the collision. In the most forceful accidents, a part of the accident victim's body can contact a vehicle component, such as the window, headrest, or dashboard, thereby bringing about a severe injury.
Some of the most common car accident injuries include bruises from airbag deployment, open lacerations and cuts, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, spinal cord injuries, traumatic head and brain injuries, complete and incomplete paralysis injuries, soft tissue contusions, bone fractures, rib fractures, mouth and teeth injuries, eye injuries, permanent scarring, cognitive impairment, and death.
After an accident and injuries, attend all the medical appointments your caregiver recommends and obtain the needed treatment. Otherwise, you run the risk of suffering ongoing pain and other symptoms. Depending upon the nature and extent of your injuries, you might consult a medical specialist, for instance, a neurologist or orthopedic doctor, or undergo surgery or other medical procedures. After undergoing a procedure, you might attend regular sessions at a physical therapy facility to recover your entire range of motion.
While you attend your medical appointments and focus on recovering from your car accident injuries, a personal injury lawyer can begin the process of investigating your accident case and obtaining the documents necessary to satisfy your legal burden of proof. Upon completing your medical treatment, your lawyer may submit these documents to the insurance company and begin pursuing a favorable settlement offer for your injuries.
Proving a Car Accident Legal Claim
To recover monetary compensation in a car accident claim or lawsuit, you must satisfy your legal burden of proof in the case. First, you must demonstrate that the other driver owed you a legal duty of care. In any situation, this legal element is straightforward to establish because all drivers have a duty to drive safely, carefully, and responsibly at all times. They also have a duty to refrain from distracted and intoxicated driving and follow all traffic laws and regulations.
Next, you must establish that the other driver broke one of these traffic laws or otherwise operated their vehicle unreasonably or carelessly. For example, the other driver might have been speeding, driving their car while intoxicated, or engaging in road rage.
Additionally, you have to establish that as a direct and proximate result of the other driver's careless or reckless actions, your car accident happened, which in turn caused your physical injuries and compensatory damages. For example, you might have suffered an injury that prevented you from working at your job for a significant amount of time after your accident. Additionally, you might have incurred substantial medical costs because of your accident-related injuries.
To satisfy your legal burden of proof in an accident case, your attorney can retain several experts, including a certified accident reconstructionist or a medical expert, to testify in your case. An accident reconstructionist can identify exactly how your accident happened and determine who was responsible by reviewing photographs of the accident scene, photographs of property damage, police reports, and other documentation. An accident reconstructionist can also speak with witnesses who observed the accident firsthand.
Accident reconstructionists are especially helpful in car accident cases where the insurance company disputes fault or liability for the accident. In addition to an accident reconstructionist, a medical expert can testify in your case. Specifically, the medical expert may help establish the causal relationship between your claimed injury or injuries and the accident. They may also verify that your injury is directly related to the car accident. Medical experts are especially helpful when insurance companies try to deny the seriousness of a particular injury or argue that an injury is pre-existing or otherwise unrelated to the car accident.
Recovering Monetary Damages for Car Accident Injuries
When an accident victim can establish their legal burden of proof in a case, they can receive various monetary damages. Since every car crash case is different, not all accident victims will be in the same position when recovering monetary damages. For example, some accident victims may receive higher or lower settlement awards or jury verdicts than others. The total monetary compensation you receive for your injuries will likely depend upon the specific injuries you suffered, the circumstances surrounding your car accident, the force of the collision, and whether you suffered a permanent injury or disability in your car crash.
First, you can pursue compensation for your related medical expenses, lost earnings, or loss of earning capacity. Additionally, you can claim various non-economic damages, including monetary compensation for your mental and emotional distress, loss of spousal consortium, long-term care costs, permanent disability or disfigurement, inconvenience, pain and suffering, lost quality of life, and loss of the ability to move or use a specific body part due to your injuries.
A skilled car accident attorney near you can help determine the likely value of your case, better enabling you to develop realistic expectations as to its value. A lawyer can then take the steps necessary to maximize your overall settlement or litigation compensation following your car crash.
Common Causes of Local Car Accidents
Local car accidents usually happen when other drivers make mistakes on the road. One of the most common causes of car accidents is traffic law violations, where a driver breaks one or more traffic laws while on the road. Some of the most common traffic law violations that lead to serious accidents include disregarding turn signal laws, violating speed limit laws, and failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles at the appropriate times.
Additionally, car accidents may happen when a driver operates their vehicle while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When a driver is intoxicated, they may experience various physical and mental symptoms that prevent them from driving carefully and responsibly. For example, they may experience delayed reflexes and reaction time, blurred vision, limited concentration, poor judgment, lack of motor coordination, and the inability to judge distances between vehicles. As a result, they are far more likely than a sober driver to cause a severe traffic accident.
Car accidents may also occur when drivers exhibit road rage, such as aggressively tailgating other vehicles, cutting them off in traffic, or weaving in and out of busy traffic. When a driver exhibits these reckless maneuvers, they may inadvertently bring about a single-vehicle or multiple-vehicle crash, injuring numerous drivers and passengers.
Finally, some car accidents happen when other drivers fail to pay attention to the road. For example, instead of watching the road, another driver might be looking at their phones, texting, programming a GPS, grooming, applying makeup, eating, or drinking. They might be tending to kids in the backseat or reaching for something on the passenger floorboard. As a result, a driver may take their eyes off the road and lose their mental focus, bringing about a serious traffic accident.
You are not alone if you've suffered injuries in one of these traffic accidents due to a negligent driver. A skilled car accident attorney in your area can take the necessary steps to pursue the full monetary recovery you need for your accident-related losses. Specifically, your lawyer may file a personal injury claim with the insurance company on your behalf, negotiate with insurance company adjusters, or pursue litigation if the insurance company will not compensate you reasonably and appropriately, given your injuries.
Filing an Insurance Claim after a Car Accident
A knowledgeable car accident attorney can be an invaluable asset during the claim process. First, your attorney can gather various documents and evidence necessary to prove your case, including medical bills, medical treatment records, expert reports, property damage photographs, injury photographs, lost-wage statements from an employer, and police investigation reports. Once the insurance company reviews these documents, your attorney can begin settlement negotiations with the adjuster. However, adjusters can take several weeks or months to increase their offer significantly.
Many insurance companies follow this model to convince accident victims to settle their cases for less than they are worth. After all, the insurance company is not interested in compensating you fairly for your car accident injuries. Instead, they want you to accept as little money as possible so that they can keep their money in-house.
When dealing with insurance company representatives, your attorney can aggressively negotiate on your behalf and fight for your legal rights. Specifically, to increase the adjuster's settlement offer, your lawyer may:
- Point to favorable expert reports, medical records, and other evidence in your case
- Downplay any weaknesses in your case, such as pre-existing injuries
- Threaten the insurance company with litigation if they do not offer you fair monetary damages
If the insurance company denies liability for your accident or simply refuses to make you a fair settlement offer, your attorney can file a lawsuit, litigate your case in the court system, and pursue a favorable and efficient resolution on your behalf. If your case proceeds to litigation, your lawyer can represent you at all legal proceedings, including a deposition, settlement conference, civil jury trial, or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding.
Speak with an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Near You Today
If you suffered serious injuries in a recent car accident, always pursue legal representation in your case as quickly as possible. Your San Antonio personal injury lawyer can take all the steps necessary to safeguard your right to monetary recovery, such as filing a personal injury lawsuit within the statute of limitations time frame. As a result of the statute of limitations, accident victims must file their lawsuit within two years of their accident date. Otherwise, they cannot recover any monetary damages for their injuries.
In addition to dealing with insurance company adjusters and filing a lawsuit, your lawyer can represent you at all legal proceedings, enter evidence on your behalf, and maximize the total monetary award you receive for your car accident injuries.