Have you been injured in a car accident? Do you suffer pain each day as you try to go back to your normal lifestyle? Are you struggling to pay medical bills to receive the medical care that you need in order to heal and recover from your injuries? If so, you are not alone. Thousands of people according the country suffer life-changing injuries in car accidents each day.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes throughout the United States during 2014. Another 2.3 million people were injured that same year due to motor vehicle crashes. Distracted driving accounted for 10% of the deaths in car accidents during 2014 while alcohol-related accidents accounted for 31% of the deaths in car accidents.
Regardless of the reason why a car accident occurs, the consequences are often the same for the accident victims. A life-long medical condition or disability that requires prolonged medical treatment. This changes the person’s life and the lives of his or her family members forever. Even with minor injuries, the physical pain and emotional suffering can be devastating as you cope with the impact of a car accident on your life.
What Compensation am I Entitled to Receive for a Car Accident?
Each case is different even though you may suffer the same exact physical injuries as a person in another car accident. Your lost income may be more substantial because of you career or your loss of enjoyment of life may not be as severe because the hobby you love to pursue is not effected by your injuries while the other person will never be able to enjoy the hobby that has been their passion for the past 30 years.
It is impossible for an attorney to give you an exact dollar amount of what your claim may be worth without first meeting with you, discussing the details of the accident, reviewing your medical records, interviewing eyewitnesses, and speaking with your medical providers about a prognosis. If an attorney gives you a figure after only meeting with you for a few minutes — get a second opinion. Bill Pickett will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the extent of your damages before discussing any settlement figures with you.
In most cases, you will be entitled to receive compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, property damages, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent scarring or disfigurement, permanent disability, physical pain, and emotional suffering. You may also be entitled to receive additional compensation depending on the facts of your case.
Do You Know What to Do If You are Involved in a Car Accident?
It is easy to think what you might do if you were in a car accident; however, in the moment, you may not be thinking very clearly. It’s a good decision to keep a list of what to do after a car accident and read it often. Make sure your children read the list and know what to do in a car accident, as well.
- Contact Emergency Medical Personnel – If you are injured or someone else is injured, your first priority is to get immediate medical help. You can usually take care of this step and the next step by making one quick call to 911.
- Contact Law Enforcement – Cooperate with law enforcement officers, but only answer the questions you are asked with the shortest answer possible. Ask for a copy of the police report. Review the report when you return home and report any mistakes to the law enforcement office immediately.
- Take Photographs Of The Accident Scene – Do not forget to get photographs showing the weather, the placement of the vehicle, the damage to the vehicles, the placement of road signs, etc. This could be very useful for your attorney should they determine that other parties are liable for your car crash. If you are unable to take pictures, ask someone else to do so for you.
- Never Admit Fault – It is only natural for you to want to say “I’m sorry” to the person in the other vehicle who may be injured. Unfortunately, a simple kindness can be turned into evidence against you. Instead of “I’m sorry” try “Can I call someone for you” or “Can I do something for you (if the person says yes, take the request to a first responder so that person can resolve the matter without you being involved.)
- Ask For The Names And Contact Information For Any Eyewitnesses To The Accident – Eyewitness testimony can be a very powerful tool in a “he said / she said” battle in the courtroom. Your attorney will want to meet with the eyewitness before memories begin to fade and facts begin to become distorted in the memory.
- Do Not Discuss The Accident With The Insurance Company Or Anyone Other Than Your Attorney – The insurance company for the at-fault driver will ask you to provide a recorded or written statement to clarify the facts. It also needs a signed medical release to verify your injuries. This sounds reasonable, right? No, this is an old tactic insurance companies like to use to gain as much information as possible about you and about your health prior to the accident to determine if there is anything the company can use to limit its liability. Always consult with a car accident attorney before you do anything that could reduce the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.
- Stay Off Social Media – This is one that many people do not think about; however, it can be very important. The attorney for the insurance company and/or defendant could subpoena your social media accounts. Something innocent you posted on social media could hurt your chances of recovery.
- Contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible – Insurance companies want to pay the least amount possible for your car accident claim. Your attorney wants to get you the maximum amount of compensation you are allowed under the law. Obviously, your attorney has your best interest in mind when settling a car accident claim.
Do You Need a Car Accident Attorney to Protect Your Rights?
Yes — if you have been injured in a car accident, you need to consult with an experienced car accident attorney. You deserve compensation for your injuries. Do not let an insurance company or other party take advantage of you by reducing the amount of money owed to you for your losses. We want to protect you while you continue to recover from your injuries. Call The Pickett Law Firm today to discuss how we can help you.