After you have been in a serious car accident, you can be faced with costly personal injuries that affect your life, medical bills that are seemingly endless, rehabilitation for recovery, lost wages from the inability to work, lost future wages if you are not able to get back to work after medical treatment, and/or pain and suffering. In catastrophic cases, permanent disability, or the loss of ability to enjoy a normal life may affect you. Many people underestimate the full costs of an accident.
If you were not at fault, you may be entitled to claim full compensation for the losses you incurred. That’s where car accident lawyers play a vital role.
Car accident personal injury lawyers are incredibly important to have on your side to help you investigate the facts, gather evidence, create a strong case, and negotiate for full maximum payment for your accident.
Insurance adjusters will often suggest much lower payout for your damages. This is why speaking to a car accident lawyer if you were not at fault is so important to recover the maximum amount for your losses.
How Much Does it Cost to Retain a Car Accident Attorney?
Most car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they don’t get paid unless they win for you. This arrangement is very beneficial for the plaintiff in many ways:
- Your attorney is aligned in incentives to make sure you win. Attorneys that work on contingency are financing all upfront costs. It’s in their interest to win a maximum recover for you and to do so efficiently.
- You don’t have to pay up front fees for their services. Legal representation is expensive and many people are afraid of hiring a lawyer if they aren’t sure they will win. On contingency, a lawyer either wins or their client doesn’t have to pay.
- If a law firm decides to take you on, they are likely confident in their ability to secure a win. In some cases, a car accident attorney may not decide to take you on for instance if the injuries are small and the expenses to recover are manageable on your own. Speak to several to discuss your accident. Having more than one options is very helpful for you to understand what’s available and choose between them.
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Compare Car Accident Lawyers in Your Area
Get a free consultation with several personal injury lawyers in your area to talk to them about your accident, how they work with clients, what they think they can do for your case, and answer your questions.
What to Look for in a Car Accident Attorney
These are questions you can ask in addition to speaking about your accident during your free consultation.
- Compare car accident attorneys. Use our short form or call our number to connect with personal injury attorneys in your location. It’s best to compare your options to find one that you are comfortable using.
- Understand the fee structure. Confirm if they are paid on contingency, when payment occurs, and what percentage it is. Are there any other costs in relation to working with them?
- Ask about their track record of wins and experience in the type of car accident that you have had in this location?
Get a free consultation with car accident attorneys in our nationwide network. Be sure to take notes and compare so you can make the decision that suits you.
What Determines Compensation Amounts For a Car Accident Case?
If you were not at fault, you could be compensated for the losses sustained during the accident and for future losses as a result of the accident. Personal injury lawsuits for a car accident seek to recover car accident settlements to pay for:
Medical treatment and medical expenses related to the accident including immediate and ongoing (such as rehabilitation or a surgery that is needed as a result of the accident)
Lost wages due to inability to work. Lost future wages if a victim’s ability to work has been compromised due to their injuries.
Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Compensation amounts vary widely but if catastrophic injuries occurred such as brain injury or spinal cord injury occur, claims amounts and settlement offers for car accident victims will likely be higher than lesser injuries. Compensation amounts are also dependent on the other driver’s insurance policy as well as your own.
Only an auto accident lawyer can give you an estimate based on your specific circumstances.
Car Accident Lawyers are Personal Injury Lawyers
- Personal injury lawyers help their clients build a personal injury claim and seek compensation for injuries sustained due to another person’s fault. Their work can involve:
- Determining liability
- Gathering evidence and investigating
- Helping their client understand the law
- Negotiating for a fair settlement from insurance companies of those at fault or of their own
- Filing a lawsuit if an insurance company will not negotiate
- Representing you in court if a lawsuit goes to trial
Why It’s Beneficial to Have a Car Accident Lawyer
An experienced car accident attorney is knowledgeable about the law.
- It’s their job as attorneys to know the laws and how to build a strong case for car accident victims within the law. Laws are extremely complex and differ by state and city.
Experienced car accident lawyers know how to build a solid case to win maximum compensation.
- That is their job and they have the experience to know what to do to create a case with the best chance of success. In fact, they are incentivized to do so if they take on a client as most personal injury lawyers only work on contingency.
A study by the Research Insurance Council determined that those who were represented by a lawyer earn 3.5x greater reward than those who represent themselves.
Car accident attorneys are skilled negotiators on behalf of their clients.
Car accident lawyers are personal injury lawyers and most are paid on contingency fee basis.
- This means that they don’t get paid unless they win compensation for their client. This aligns their incentives to their clients to win. Clients benefit from not having to pay upfront costs for legal representation.
Insurance companies are more likely to negotiate with a client that is represented by an attorney.
When Should I Contact a Car Accident Lawyer?
If you were seriously injured in a car accident, you have a limited time to file a personal injury claim. The statute of limitations varies by state. In California, you have 2 years to file a claim, whereas in Tennessee, only 1 year.
If you were not at fault, it’s in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so they can help you prepare and set up the best chances for winning full financial compensation for your losses. You will want to speak to them early so you know what not to do especially when it comes to speaking with insurance companies that can use anything you say against you.
Working with a car accident lawyer right away will help you:
- Setup your case for the best chance of winning.
- Educate you on what to do and what NOT to do (for example not to speak to the other driver’s insurance company directly instead of through your attorney).
- Walk you through the claim process.
- Value your car accident claim.
- Potentially expedite your compensation.
Get Free Consultations from Personal Injury Lawyers in Your Area
Our form connects you to personal injury lawyers in your area. The lawyers we connect you to offer free case evaluations and most work on contingency. Be sure to verify their fee structure and how they work with their clients during your consultation.
You’ll be matched with more than one so you are not limited in your options. Be sure to use your free case evaluation to ask the questions you need to determine which personal injury attorney works best for you. You can ask about their fee structure, their track record, and what they think you can recover for your case.
What Should I Do if I Was in an Auto Accident?
If you are ever involved in a car crash, some tips from personal injury lawyers will include the following steps to take:
- Call 911
- Make sure you call from a safe place following an accident.
- Collect information about your car accident.
- After any necessary medical treatment from emergency technicians has been given at the scene, exchange contact information with others in the accident. Get names and phone numbers of witnesses.
- Take pictures of the scene and get a police report.
- Use your cell phone to take photos and videos of the entire accident scene. Get a copy of the police report.
- Make sure you receive medical care even if no injuries are visible.
- You may have sustained injuries you are not aware of. Take care of your health.
- BEFORE you file a car accident claim, if you were seriously injured and not at fault, speak to an auto accident attorney to see if you may be able to receive full compensation for your losses and what that amounts to.
- You can file an insurance claim offer or personal injury claim on your own if the value is low but be sure to seek legal advice first. Your car insurance often will not seek maximum compensation. Having an experienced attorney will help you claim a maximum recover for your losses.
What Are Common Personal Injury Accidents?
If you were hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be compensated in full for your losses. Common personal injury accidents that people are affected by are:
- Car accidents: This is by far one of the most common personal injury accidents that affect millions of people annually where someone is often at fault. The statistics for reckless or negligent driving are eye-popping. Did you know that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that in the fall of 2020 within the US, over 56% of drivers involved in a serious injury or fatal crash tested positive for at least one drug?
- Truck accidents: Given their massive size, truck accidents can often cause catastrophic injuries.
- Motorcycle accidents: Motorcyclists make up a small percentage of the total motorists on the road but due to their vehicle size, weight, and minimal protection compared to a car or truck, motorcyclists sustain a disproportionately high percentage of
- Pedestrian accidents: Pedestrian accidents often occur when a driver is negligent or reckless and collides with a pedestrian. Given pedestrians are unprotected, collisions with a car or fast-moving vehicle can leave a pedestrian accident victim with severe injuries.
- Rideshare accidents: With the growing popularity of Uber, Lyft, and other Rideshare apps, accidents with passenger injuries have become more common. Rideshare accidents are included in car accident cases because passengers that are injured by a driver’s negligence have rights to compensation if it resulted in car accident injuries by an at-fault driver.
- Bicyclist accidents: Similar to pedestrians, bicyclists are especially vulnerable. Bicycle collisions with cars can leave a bicyclist with severe injuries and with property damage.
- Wrongful death accidents: Generally, if someone was killed as a result of someone else’s negligence, their family may be able able to sue for wrongful death compensation for their loved one’s death. Requirements for who can sue for wrongful death vary by state.
- Workplace accidents: Companies could be at-fault if a work environment is deemed unsafe or if a worker was determined to not have received the proper safety training. This can happen often in lines of work where heavy machinery or dangerous workplace activity is involved.
- Dog bites: Dog bites and dog maulings are considered personal injury cases. The owner of the dog is responsible if their dog bites another person.
- Medical malpractice: Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor or health care provider’s negligence results in injury to someone.
- Slip and fall accidents: Slip and fall accidents are related to premises liability where a personal injury lawsuit could be filed if someone seriously injures themselves on property due to an unsafe environment that caused them to slip and fall.
- Product Failures: A company may be liable under personal injury law if a product was found to have malfunctioned and as a result caused serious injury to a person.