Serious injuries from a car accident deserve compensation. Not only must you live with the limitations of those injuries, often for the rest of your life, but you may also need help paying your medical bills and managing the other expenses that go along with your injuries. How can you get the most money from a car accident?
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
If you want to maximize the compensation you receive following a car accident, hire an attorney. You should contact that attorney as soon after your accident as possible. Hiring an attorney:
Prevents you from mistakenly minimizing your compensation. After a serious car accident, an insurance company could make a settlement offer. Often, this settlement offer fails to reflect the funds you really deserve for your injuries. In some cases, in fact, the insurance company may offer only a fraction of what you really deserve for your injuries. Some car accident victims may accept this offer because they believe they will not get a better one or because they think it represents the maximum compensation available for their injury. An attorney can give you a better idea of how much you really deserve for your injuries, preventing you from mistakenly minimizing the compensation you can receive.
Provides you with a full evaluation of all parties liable for your accident. Illinois drivers who carry minimum auto insurance may have insurance that provides only $25,000 in compensation for bodily injury as a result of the accident. The medical bills for many types of injuries, including burns, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injury, may far exceed that amount. You can file a personal injury claim against all entities that contributed to your accident, which may maximize your compensation.
An attorney can:
- Seek video footage of your accident. Video footage may include dash cam footage, security footage from local businesses, or traffic camera footage that clearly displays your accident.
- Speak to witnesses. Witness statements can help an experienced attorney or expert witness put together exactly how the accident occurred and what factors contributed to that accident.
- Check truckers’ logs and evaluate the trucking company, including taking a look at the driver’s past tickets and accident history. An experienced attorney may learn that a trucker has exceeded the number of hours he can legally spend behind the wheel or that the trucking company has a history of expecting drivers to meet unrealistic expectations or drive in unsafe conditions, for example.
- Take a look at the maintenance history of the vehicle and evaluate whether, if mechanical failure caused the accident, the manufacturer or a mechanic who recently worked on the vehicle may share liability for your injuries.
- Take a closer look at any other factors that contributed to your accident, including a poorly loaded truck or a mechanical defect.
Increases your understanding of the compensation you deserve for your injuries. You may question how much compensation you really deserve following a serious accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can improve your understanding of the compensation you deserve and provide you with a highly effective plan to proceed with your claim.
Most car accident victims include several common aspects as part of their claims, including:
- Medical expenses. Your medical expenses may mount quickly, especially in accidents that include burns, traumatic brain injury, or spinal cord damage. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you evaluate all medical expenses associated with the accident, including emergency transport, treatment in the emergency room, surgeries and procedures, tests, and durable medical equipment. An attorney will also advise you about other expenses that count as medical expenses for the purposes of your personal injury claim. For example, you may need to make modifications to your home to accommodate a wheelchair after a spinal cord injury or amputation, or you may need ongoing personal care as a result of a traumatic brain injury. An attorney can help you understand how and when to include those expenses as part of your personal injury claim.
- Lost wages. Severe injuries can prevent you from returning to work long-term—or, in some cases, prevent you from returning to work permanently. If you face lost time at work due to your injuries, you deserve compensation for those injuries. Your attorney will help evaluate the terms of those lost wages, including how lost vacation time as a result of your injuries could increase the funds you deserve in your personal injury claim.
- Pain and suffering. While pain and suffering does not represent a tangible cost, it can add substantially to your personal injury claim. Many car accident injuries not only cause significant physical pain and suffering, they may leave you suffering from isolation or struggling to return to the activities that normally bring you joy. An attorney can help you determine how to calculate the worth of that pain and suffering.
Provides support as you deal with negotiations, mediation, and even go to court, if necessary. You may go through numerous stages of negotiation before you reach a resolution in your personal injury claim. In some cases, you may need to go to mediation to reach a resolution if you and the liable party, usually an insurance company, cannot come to an agreement about the worth of your claim. Failed negotiation results in your claim going to court. At every stage in this process, your attorney provides vital support that can help increase the compensation you receive for your injuries.
If you want to maximize the compensation you receive from a personal injury claim, start by hiring an experienced personal injury attorney. Many clients find that simply retaining an attorney increases the compensation the insurance company will willingly offer. In other cases, an attorney will manage the negotiation process or proceed to court for your claim. Contact an car accident attorney to discuss your case and learn more about how to obtain as much compensation as possible after your car accident.