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What to Expect after a Car Accident?

What to Expect after a Car Accident?

Car accidents, especially at high speeds, can lead to significant property damage and physical injuries. Those injuries may require ongoing medical care that lasts many months or even years.

Following a car crash, some accident victims are unsure where they should go, what they should do, or to whom they should turn. In addition to seeking the prompt medical treatment that you need after a car accident, one of the most important steps you can take is to retain skilled legal counsel to represent you throughout the proceedings.

Your car accident lawyer can help you prepare for what’s to come, including claim filing, settlement negotiations, and possible courtroom litigation. Your attorney can assist you with every step of the process, attend all litigation proceedings, and help you maximize your compensation through a favorable settlement, jury trial verdict, or binding arbitration result.

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Injuries that Drivers and Passengers Suffer in Car Accidents

Many car accidents are so severe that accident victims incur significant property damage to their vehicles and severe physical injuries.

An accident victim’s injuries can vary widely based on the accident’s severity, the collision’s force, the number of vehicles involved, the accident location, and the type of auto accident that occurs. The more forceful the collision and the higher the involved vehicles’ speeds, the more severe an accident victim’s injuries.

In some auto accident scenarios, the collision force causes an accident victim’s body to move violently inside their vehicle, and a part of their body might strike a part of the vehicle.

For example, the force of a rear-end accident might cause the driver’s head to hit the steering wheel or headrest, leading to a traumatic head or brain injury. At other times, the abrupt forward and backward motion of the accident victim’s head and neck may cause a soft tissue whiplash injury.

Car accident victims may also suffer:

While you complete your medical treatment for accident-related injuries, an auto accident attorney in your area can start handling the legal aspects of your case, gather the necessary documents, and assemble a settlement demand package on your behalf.

Typical Causes of Area Car Crashes

Experience Car Accident LawyerIn many situations, car accidents directly result from another driver’s careless and reckless actions or inactions. Some car accidents happen due to negligent drivers.

For example, the driver may have driven aggressively, failed to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle at the proper time, or exceeded the speed limit. In any of these circumstances, a driver may lose control of their car, causing it to careen out of control and strike another vehicle or pedestrian.

Next, some car accidents happen when drivers engage in road rage usually because they are in a hurry and want to get ahead of other traffic. However, many drivers resort to speeding, tailgating other vehicles, weaving in and out of heavy traffic, or cutting other cars off in traffic. In those situations, a driver may cause their vehicle to strike another car, bringing about severe property damage and physical injuries.

A car crash may also happen when a driver does not drive attentively. For example, drivers might fail to use their mirrors or backup cameras when backing out of a parking space.

Alternatively, they may forget to watch the road because they are too busy fiddling with a cellular phone, tablet, or GPS navigation system. Passengers in the vehicle may also distract the driver from observing the road. When a driver looks away from the street or their mirrors, even for a second or two, an accident can occur.

Finally, some auto accidents result from intoxicated and drugged driving. Intoxicated drivers are more likely to cause accidents because of the mind-altering effects that usually accompany alcohol consumption.

Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the central nervous system’s ability to function. As a result, an intoxicated driver cannot focus all of their attention on the road or respond to roadway situations. Drunk drivers also frequently experience delayed reflexes and reaction time. Their vision may also blur, preventing them from seeing other vehicles and pedestrians.

If you sustained injuries in an auto accident that resulted from another driver’s negligence, reach out to skilled legal counsel right away to explore your legal options and develop a plan of action. Your attorney can prepare you for your case and arrive at a ballpark figure regarding your case’s ultimate settlement or verdict value.

What Usually Happens After a Car Accident?

Following most car crashes, accident victims will need to undergo medical treatment. The claims-filing process will begin, and your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company adjuster for fair settlement compensation.

If your case does not settle, litigation will ensue, and you may take your case to a civil jury trial or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding.

Ongoing Medical Treatment

The medical treatment that an accident victim must undergo following their crash is usually dependent upon the severity of their injuries, as well as the accident itself. The more serious an accident victim’s injuries, the more extensive and costly their medical treatment.

Following a crash, the accident victim may need to undergo a lengthy treatment regimen, including hospitalization, various medical procedures (including surgeries), physical therapy, and visits with medical specialists. The accident victim may need to undergo pain management treatment or consult a neurologist.

Following through with your medical treatment regimen after an auto accident is critical since it helps to increase your chances of making a full recovery. Moreover, insurance companies and their adjusters will be less skeptical of your injuries if they see that you followed through on all treatment recommendations – and that your treatment was continuous.

Delayed medical treatment and lengthy treatment gaps are often red flags for insurance adjusters. When adjusters see long gaps in treatment, they are more likely to think that the accident victim’s injuries are not severe and do not warrant significant monetary compensation.

Requests for a Recorded Statement

Sometimes after an auto accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may ask you to provide a recorded statement. They may even tell you that a recorded statement is mandatory in your case. However, that is not true. Nothing requires an accident victim to provide a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company at all.

The only purpose of a recorded statement is for the insurance company to see if there is a basis for denying the accident victim’s claim or otherwise limiting the compensation they recover. If you say something damaging to your case during a recorded statement, the insurance company can use that statement against you.

Given the potential pitfalls, you should have legal counsel represent you, either on the phone or in person, during any recorded statement. If necessary, your attorney can object to specific questions and be present during the entire proceeding.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

After you have completed the majority of your medical treatment, you should be ready for your attorney to file a personal injury claim on your behalf.

In most situations, attorneys file these claims with the insurance company for the at-fault driver. However, in some cases, such as where the accident victim did not have insurance coverage (or had insufficient coverage), your lawyer can file a first-party uninsured or underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance company.

To ensure the insurance company adjuster has everything they need to evaluate the claim, your attorney will submit copies of police reports, photographs of your injuries, pictures of property damage, medical treatment records from your healthcare providers, medical bills, and income loss documentation. The adjuster will then use these documents to evaluate your claim for settlement purposes.

Usually, initial settlement offers from insurance companies are not good. This is because insurance companies want to see if the accident victim will settle quickly and for as little monetary compensation as possible.

However, your attorney can aggressively negotiate with the insurance company and work to secure a higher settlement offer that genuinely compensates you for your accident-related losses. If the insurance company does not offer you fair monetary damages, your lawyer can prepare a lawsuit and submit it to the court.

Litigation in the Court System

Litigation frequently becomes necessary when insurance companies and accident victims cannot agree on a fair settlement number. Even after filing a lawsuit in your case, your attorney can still continue their settlement negotiations with the adjuster and pursue a favorable settlement on your behalf. In fact, filing a lawsuit is sometimes enough for the insurance company adjuster to sit up and take notice.

If your case does not settle upon filing suit, the parties will engage in oral and written discovery, and the defense attorney will likely take your discovery deposition.

A deposition allows the defense attorney to question you about your accident, the injuries you suffered, the medical treatment you endured, and the overall consequences of the accident on your life.

Your attorney can fully prepare you for your deposition, including the questions the defense attorney will likely ask, so you will testify clearly and convincingly. After the deposition, the defense attorney will typically submit a report to their adjuster, and your settlement offer may increase as a result. If that does not happen, the parties may take their case to a jury trial for a resolution.

During a trial, the jury evaluates the evidence that the parties present and decides the outcome of all disputed issues. If the parties pursue ADR, such as binding arbitration, a neutral arbitrator whom the parties pre-select will review the evidence and medical documentation and decide on the issue of monetary damages.

Your attorney can help you make essential decisions in your case, including whether to settle your case out of court or pursue litigation at a civil jury trial or ADR proceeding.

Recoverable Car Crash Monetary Damages

When an auto accident victim can satisfy their legal burden of proof, they may be eligible to recover various monetary damages. Those damages compensate accident victims for their losses in an attempt to make the accident victim feel whole again.

Economic damages may include compensation for related:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss earnings
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of spousal companionship
  • Loss of the ability to use a body part
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Mental distress
  • Permanent disability
  • Permanent scarring
  • Inconvenience
  • Past and future pain and suffering

Reach out to a Car Accident Attorney in Your Area Right Away

Greg Bentley & Keith More - Experienced Car Accident cases lawyer in Newport Beach, CA

Greg Bentley & Keith More Car Accident Attorney in Newport Beach, CA

If you recently sustained injuries in a car crash, involve legal counsel in your case as quickly as possible.

If you wait too long to file a lawsuit, the statute of limitations may prevent you from recovering the damages that you need. In fact, auto accident victims only have two years from their accident date to file a lawsuit seeking monetary recovery for their losses.

With very few exceptions, if the accident victim fails to bring their lawsuit in a timely manner, the court will prevent them from recovering monetary damages at any future point. You do not want to let this happen in your case, as you can leave substantial money on the table simply by waiting too long to call an attorney.

A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Orange County can prepare you for what’s to come in your case and help you handle each step of the claims-filing process. Your attorney can also represent you and aggressively advocate for you during legal proceedings, including depositions, jury trials, mediations, and binding arbitrations. Your attorney will work hard to maximize your total monetary recovery, ensuring you get the compensation you need.

Begin protecting your rights as a car accident victim today and call a car accident lawyer.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today!