When you have a car accident, your first thought may not turn to getting an attorney right away. In fact, many car accident victims believe that getting an attorney isn’t necessary because their insurance company will handle their claim fairly. Unfortunately, many insurance companies are simply concerned more about the bottom line than they are about you as a customer. As a victim of a car accident, you may suffer a personal injury that entitles you to a greater amount of financial compensation than your insurance company is willing to fight for in court. In these cases, you may wish to turn to the legal expertise offered by a personal injury attorney.
Types of Car Accident Personal Injury Claims
A personal injury claim from a car accident can range from a minor sprain that kept them out of work to permanent disability or death of a loved one. In any personal injury lawsuit, your experienced attorney will seek to not only cover your expenses, but also to prevent the personal injury from affecting your financial health for the rest of your life.
Examples of car accident injuries that may result in the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer include:
- Neck and back damage
- Concussions and brain injuries
- Facial injuries
- Damage to teeth and mouth
- Car Accidents: Personal Injury Statistics
Being in the car is such a common part of our daily lives that we rarely expect a tragedy to occur when we get into one. But the statistics on death and personal injury for car accidents are severe. According to Safer America, more than one million people die as a result of a car accident each year. That number ends up being more than 3,000 people each day. Car riders younger than the age of 44 comprised more than 50% of all of those deaths. Car accidents account for the leading cause of death of all adults age 29 or younger.
For those that are lucky enough to survive a car accident, the outlook can still be grim, especially financially. The CDC cites more than 200,000 Americans hospitalized in 2012 and more than 2.5 Americans visited the Emergency Department as a result of a car accident.
Costs of a Car Accident
The CDC estimated a total of $18 billion in medical costs in the year 2012 alone. In addition to medical costs, survivors of car accidents lost more than $33 billion in work wages as a result of losing work following a car crash. The costs associated with having a personal injury following a car accident are measured in property damage, medical bills and the time that you have to take off from work before you can return to the life you had before your car accident.
An insurance company will typically offer a low settlement as soon as possible after an accident in order to reduce costs to the insurance company. The company is looking out for your best interests, because they are busy protecting their own interests. They may try to force you to agree to a lower settlement even before your medical bills have been taken into consideration. Insurance companies may also try to downplay the financial struggle that comes with a personal injury. The company may argue that you are not entitled to a settlement that covers lost wages or one that covers your future financial needs. In case of a dispute with an insurance company, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you file a lawsuit in order to pursue your legal right to a fair settlement.
Facing Insurance Company Attorneys in Your Personal Injury Claim
Not only are the insurance companies more invested in their own bottom line, they will also have a full team of professional attorneys ready to argue against your best interests in order to reduce costs on their end. Although you may think that a personal injury claim doesn’t need an attorney, if you have a dispute with the insurance company that leads to court, you will be at the mercy of trained legal experts working for the insurance companies.
When Should You Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Not all car accidents will result in personal injuries severe enough to require the assistance of an attorney. But in some cases, the injuries or legal case are severe enough that obtaining the legal advice of an attorney is recommended.
Examples of when to contact an experienced personal injury attorney include:
- Your injuries in the collision required medical treatment.
- Your injuries are expected to require medical treatment in the future.
- There is a debate by the other party’s attorney or insurance company about who is liable.
- The insurance company offers you a settlement that will not cover your bills.
- Your injuries will be long-lasting or permanent.
- The collision resulted in the death of a loved one.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Having a qualified attorney work your case means that they will be familiar with the state and local laws concerning car crashes. This knowledge may be the deciding choice between determining whether you or the other party was liable for the car crash. The advanced understanding of state and local laws may also be able to identify if any traffic laws were violated. Since the laws that determine what constitutes negligence, liability and fault can be difficult to navigate if you are inexperienced, a qualified personal injury attorney can assist you in determining what type of settlement will be fair to you. An experienced personal injury attorney can also make sure that you file within the statue of limitations.
Bryan Garrett is a personal injury attorney in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Call the law firm of Bryan Garrett today for a consultation.
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