A car accident can happen in the blink of an eye. Without warning, your car is wrecked and you are left wondering whether you are injured and how injured you are. While it may be difficult to remain focused during this type of situation, there is a lot you can do at this point to make your life a lot easier.
Why You Need A Lawyer
If you were injured as a result of the negligence of another driver, you should not be forced to pay a dime yourself for your medical expenses and car repairs. You may even be entitled to:
- Lost wages
- Future wages
- Reimbursement for anticipated future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
However, to receive compensation for your injuries and lost wages, you will need to prove that you suffered damages, or lost money, as a result of your accident, and that these damages were the result of mistakes made by the other driver.
What Should I Do After An Accident?
If you are severely injured, do not move and wait until paramedics arrive. If you are able to walk around safely, you should:
- Take photographs of the accident
- Take photographs of your injuries
- Exchange insurance information with the other motorist
- Exchange contact information with any witnesses
Then, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Afterward, you should make a phone call to a Kansas City car accident lawyer.
Compensation For Your Injuries
Because all drivers are required to carry liability insurance, the other party’s insurance provider will most likely be paying for your injuries. However, insurance adjusters are trained to do everything they can to lower your settlement amount. The initial settlement offer will be a low-ball amount. If you reject this amount, the adjuster may make a somewhat higher offer, but it will be unlikely to cover your long-term expenses. For this reason, you will need help from an experienced Kansas City car accident lawyer.
How Much Should My Settlement Be Worth?
Your lawyer will provide you with an initial consultation. By providing your medical records and employment information, he will help you craft a demand letter that will ask for a much higher settlement than the initial settlement offer from the adjuster.
Should I File a Lawsuit?
Most car accident cases are settled out of court. You may also choose to enter into mediation. In this case, the mediator facilitates a discussion between you and the other party. You will sit in a room with your attorney and the legal representative of the other party will be in another room. The mediator will move between both rooms until both sides are able to agree to a settlement. You may enter into mediation immediately and the process is much faster than going to trial.
However, you may be unable to reach an acceptable settlement through negotiations and your Kansas City car accident lawyer might recommend that you take your case to court. Depending on how backlogged the courts are, this can take as long as a year. There may also be a third-party defendant such as the auto manufacturer or another motorist. Finally, the other driver may not even carry car insurance but may assets that you can collect through a lawsuit.
By going to court, the job of your lawyer will be to prove that the other party was negligent and that this caused you pain, suffering, and economic losses.
What if the Accident Led To A Fatality?
If anyone involved in the accident passed away, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim if you are a:
- Surviving spouse
For example, you may have been driving when another driver ran a red light and collided with the passenger side of your vehicle. You are severely injured and your spouse passed away. You would not only be entitled to compensation for your injuries but also for the wrongful death of your spouse.
Under wrongful death, you may be entitled to damages related to end-of-life medical expenses, burial or cremation costs, loss of services, loss of consortium, loss of the victim’s earnings, loss of support and guidance and loss of love and affection.
Common Driver Mistakes
If the other motorist made a terrible mistake while driving, you may use this as evidence that he is liable for the crash. Common driver mistakes include:
- Ignoring traffic lights
- Ignoring road signs
- Failing to check a blindspot
- Drinking and driving
Even though over 10,000 Americans die each year due to drinking and driving, some motorists continue to get behind the wheel while drunk. For this reason, it is important to wait for a police officer to arrive at the scene and fill out a report. She might cite the driver for a DUI and this can be used in your car accident case.
Over 2,500 Americans died as a result of distracted driving in 2018. One of the most common reasons drivers are distracted is that they are texting while driving. Other common reasons include:
- Applying makeup
- Looking at a GPS
- Adjusting music
- Talking to other passengers
- Handling children or pets
Some drivers become bored and are simply wrapped up in their own thoughts. They may also be driving while drowsy and may even fall asleep behind the wheel. This is especially a problem with truck drivers who work longer hours than they are allowed to by law. Drowsy truck drivers cause the most catastrophic car accident injuries.
When You Must Hire a Lawyer
It is always a good idea to hire a lawyer after a car accident. However, some cases are especially difficult:
- Accidents involving multiple cars
- Accidents where you were partially at fault
- Accidents involving government vehicles
If you were partially at fault or if there were multiple cars involved, you will need help from an experienced car accident lawyer to determine who shares liability for the accident. An attorney will help you through the discovery process so that you can minimize any fault that the defendant wishes to place on you and maximize your compensation.
Accidents involving government vehicles are different from accidents involving private citizens. You will have to follow a specific process to receive compensation from the government and you may be limited in the damages that you may be entitled to. Therefore, make sure to speak with a lawyer who can guide you through the steps involved. If you or a loved one suffered injuries after a car accident, contact our law office and schedule a free consultation.