​What to Expect After a Car Accident

​What to Expect After a Car Accident

Car accidents often leave victims seriously injured, in need of medical treatment, and out of work for a significant period. As a result, many victims usually have questions and are unsure about how to pursue monetary compensation for their accident-related injuries and other losses.

Fortunately, car accident victims who suffer injuries due to another driver’s negligence may be eligible for various types of monetary damages. To increase your chances of obtaining the full monetary damages you deserve, you should seek experienced legal counsel to represent you as quickly as possible.

A knowledgeable car accident attorney can tell you what to expect during the insurance claim and litigation processes and prepare you accordingly. Specifically, your lawyer can investigate your car crash circumstances, file a claim on your behalf with the at-fault party’s insurance company, and negotiate with insurance company representatives.

Furthermore, if necessary, your attorney can file a car accident lawsuit in the court system on your behalf and litigate your case to a conclusion. Your lawyer will do everything they can to maximize your total monetary recovery through settlement or litigation, helping you become whole again after your car accident.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation

Injuries in Car Crashes

​What to Expect After a Car Accident

Injuries in car accidents are often debilitating. Sometimes, a car crash victim will suffer a permanent injury that causes pain and symptoms for the rest of their life.

The size and scope of a car crash typically affect the injuries that accident victims suffer. In some cases, a car accident victim’s body might move forward and backward in their vehicle, causing them to suffer soft tissue whiplash injuries.

An accident victim’s head might strike something in their vehicle, causing traumatic head or brain damage, such as from a concussion or coma. An accident victim can also sustain a shoulder or ankle fracture in their car accident or a rib fracture if their front torso strikes the steering wheel or console.

Car accident victims may suffer spinal cord injuries, full and partial paralysis injuries, open lacerations, and bruises, especially if airbags deploy in their accident.

Following a car crash, accident victims must receive the prompt medical treatment they need. In many cases, accident victims are not immediately aware of the full extent of their injuries in the moments following a car crash.

This unawareness is especially common when accident victims suffer soft tissue contusions and concussions. In fact, symptoms of these injuries may not appear until days or even weeks after the accident happens. Seeking same-day medical treatment following a car crash helps prevent an accident victim’s injuries from worsening significantly.

Additionally, obtaining proper treatment shows insurance companies and their adjusters that post-accident injuries are serious.

When a car crash victim undergoes treatment at a hospital emergency room, a medical doctor can physically examine them, order X-rays, diagnose their medical condition, and refer them to other medical providers for ongoing care. In the meantime, a car crash lawyer can begin investigating the accident scenario and obtain the necessary documentation to file a personal injury claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company.

Common Reasons Car Accidents Happen

Most of the time, car accidents occur when people drive recklessly and carelessly. A driver might fail to watch the road attentively, violate a traffic law, or engage in driving under the influence, or DUI.

Distracted driving is one common cause of car crashes. When drivers look away from the road, even for a second or two, or fail to use their side view and rearview mirrors, they are less likely to see another vehicle or pedestrian nearby, causing a serious crash that leads to injuries.

Common driving distractions include:

  • Fiddling with or programming a GPS navigation device in the vehicle.
  • Programming a radio or adjusting the volume while driving.
  • Making a phone call on a cellular device that does not have Bluetooth capabilities.
  • Using headphones when operating a vehicle.
  • Roughhousing with vehicle passengers or disciplining young children in the vehicle.
  • Texting or emailing on a cellular phone or tablet while driving.

Any of these activities may prevent a driver from watching the road attentively and lead to a severe accident.

In addition to distracted driving, traffic law violations cause many car crashes. Some of the most common traffic law violations that lead to car accidents include excessive speeding, engaging in road rage and other aggressive driving maneuvers, failing to yield the right-of-way, failing to use turn signals at the appropriate times, such as while switching lanes on a highway, and aggressively weaving back-and-forth through traffic.

Other car accidents happen when people drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A police officer can arrest a passenger vehicle operator for DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches 0.08 percent or higher while operating a vehicle.

However, drivers under eighteen and commercial vehicle operators can be subject to a DUI arrest if they have any alcohol in their system. The law imposes criminal penalties if a driver sustains a DUI conviction. Moreover, a driver, through their insurance company, may have to pay civil damages if they cause a traffic accident that leads to injuries.

Drinking and driving is especially dangerous because drugs and alcohol can affect a driver’s central nervous system. These substances may also cause a driver to experience physical symptoms, like blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, delayed reflexes, and limited concentration. All of these negative consequences may impair a driver’s ability to drive safely and carefully. It might also cause a driver to experience delayed reaction time, which prevents them from stopping their vehicle in time to avoid a crash.

Some car crashes result from fatigued driving, where a driver may fall asleep at the wheel and lose control of their vehicle.

If you suffered injuries in a traffic accident that a negligent driver caused, an experienced car crash attorney in your area can determine your legal options and help you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s motor vehicle insurance company. Your lawyer can assist you with every part of the claims process and pursue a favorable settlement offer on your behalf.

How to Prove Car Accident Claims and Lawsuits

In any car accident claim or lawsuit, the accident victim must satisfy a legal burden of proof to recover monetary damages for their losses. First, the accident victim must establish that the at-fault driver violated a rule of the road or otherwise deviated from the prevailing standard of care. In addition, the accident victim must show that this deviation caused both the car crash and their injuries.

Insurance companies sometimes will dispute fault or liability in a car accident case. They may allege that the accident victim contributed to or caused the accident somehow. An insurance company might also contend that the accident victim’s injuries did not result from the present car accident, but rather, were preexisting or unrelated.

An accident victim’s lawyer can introduce expert testimony into the case to combat these insurance company tactics. For example, an accident reconstructionist can review witness statements and police reports, visit the accident scene, observe property damage, and make an independent determination about how the accident happened. They can then testify about their findings at a discovery deposition or in court at a jury trial.

In addition, a medical expert, such as a treating medical provider or a specialist, can review the medical evidence of the case and causally relate the accident victim’s claimed injuries to the subject accident or establish that the accident victim sustained one or more permanent injuries in their accident.

Car Accident Investigations

One of the primary benefits of experienced legal counsel in a car accident case is that a lawyer can prepare you for what to expect. In some car accident scenarios, the insurance company may challenge fault for the accident. When that happens, an investigation into the accident may begin.

Your lawyer can assist you during this process by retaining the necessary experts and submitting necessary documents to the insurance company, including copies of police reports, photographs, witness statements, or camera footage that depicts the accident.

Car Accident Negotiations and Settlements

In addition to assisting you during a car accident investigation, your attorney can help you during the negotiation and settlement stage of your personal injury claim. A claim typically begins when an accident victim’s lawyer submits a settlement demand to the insurance company. This demand package will typically include a formal settlement demand letter along with important documentation.

If the insurance company decides to accept fault for the car crash, they may respond to the settlement demand letter by making an initial settlement offer. However, in most situations, insurance company settlement offers are far below the actual value of the case. Your lawyer will typically need to negotiate with the insurance company several times in an effort to obtain an increased settlement offer.

Car Accident Litigations

Settlement negotiations following a car accident may continue until the accident victim and the insurance company agree on a settlement number or the parties come to an impasse. If the parties cannot agree to settle their case, the accident victim’s lawyer will typically file a lawsuit in the court system on the accident victim’s behalf. Following suit, the parties may still continue their settlement negotiations. However, they will be subject to deadlines that the court imposes.

During litigation, the parties will typically continue exchanging documents, answering written interrogatories, and taking one another’s discovery depositions. Your lawyer can assist you throughout the litigation stage of your case, help you answer your interrogatories, and prepare you for a discovery deposition. Your lawyer can also attend any in-court proceedings with you, including settlement conferences.

Jury Trials and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Proceedings

Some car accident cases do not resolve by the end of litigation. When that happens, the parties may need to take their case to a civil jury trial. At a trial, the lawyers will introduce evidence on behalf of their clients, and the jury will decide all disputed issues at that time. In most instances, the issue of monetary compensation remains in dispute. When that happens, the jury will decide on the amount of monetary compensation to award the car accident victim.

Instead of taking a case to a civil jury trial, the parties might decide to explore one or more alternative dispute resolution options. For example, they may decide to mediate their case, at which time a neutral mediator will help the parties continue their settlement discussions. Alternatively, they might take their case to a binding arbitration proceeding, where a neutral arbitrator will listen to the evidence, review it, and render a financial award to the car accident victim.

Recovering Monetary Damages Following Your Accident

Monetary settlements and litigation results in car accident cases are extremely circumstance-specific. In other words, different accident victims will receive different types and amounts of monetary compensation. The total monetary award that a car crash victim receives will depend upon the severity of the injuries they suffered, the extent of their medical treatment, the cost of their medical treatment, and other factors.

Compensable monetary damages following a car crash may include compensation for related past and future medical expenses, lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, inconvenience, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of spousal companionship, loss of life enjoyment, loss of use of a body part, permanent disability or disfigurement.

Contact a Car Crash Attorney Near You Today

Gary Annes Attorney for Car Accident Cases near Chicago
Gary Annes Car Accident Lawyer

A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area can prepare you for every stage of your personal injury claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can also represent you at every legal proceeding and strongly advocate for your legal interests throughout your case.

Car accident victims have only two years to bring a claim or file a lawsuit in the court system for monetary damages. Therefore, time is of the essence, and you should retain experienced legal counsel to represent you as quickly as possible in your case.

As soon as your lawyer enters an appearance, they can begin advocating for your interests and helping you pursue the full monetary compensation you deserve for your car accident injuries.

You Might Be Also Interested In

​When to Get an Attorney…

Serious car accidents continue to be an unfortunate problem nationwide. In most instances, these accidents happen when drivers…

View Post

Who Pays for Rear-End Collisions?

In rear-end car accidents, there is a presumption of fault. We usually blame the driver of the rear…

View Post

What Is Considered Reckless Driving?

One of the reasons why the car accident fatality rate has soared since the beginning of the pandemic…

View Post