Click Here If You’ve Suffered Health Issues Due To Water Contamination

When to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident

January 19, 2024

By Thomas McCutcheon

If you recently suffered injuries in a car collision that was not your fault, retain experienced legal counsel to represent you in your case as quickly as possible. Having a lawyer on board right away helps to ensure that your legal rights remain protected – and that you recover fair monetary compensation for all of your accident-related injuries and damages.

Waiting too long to seek an attorney to represent you may jeopardize your case and your ability to recover favorable monetary compensation. If a car crash victim does not file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of their accident date, absent exceptional circumstances, the courts will bar their right to monetary recovery.

An experienced Florence car accident attorney can assist you with every step of the legal process, from investigating your accident circumstances to representing you at various litigation proceedings throughout your case.

Your attorney can also safeguard your legal rights and interests, handle all communications with insurance company representatives on your behalf, and work to secure the maximum amount of monetary compensation you deserve to recover for your injuries.

Common Injuries in Car Crashes

Car crashes can lead to debilitating injuries for both drivers and their passengers. The injuries that a vehicle occupant will suffer in a car accident frequently depend on the number of separate collisions that occur, the number of vehicles involved, the force of the crashes, the type of car accident, and other accident-specific circumstances.

In addition, if a part of an accident victim’s body strikes a vehicle component, such as the doorframe or window, the accident victim is more likely to suffer serious injuries.

Man in suit holds a magnifying glass over a book with symbols of law and justice.

For example, if a driver hits their shoulder or elbow on the window in a car accident, they may suffer a broken bone or soft tissue injury, leading to ongoing pain and other permanent medical complications.

In addition, the force of a collision may cause an accident victim to strike their head on the steering wheel or headrest, bringing about a traumatic head injury, such as a concussion.

Other common injuries that car accident victims may suffer include eye injuries, mouth and teeth injuries, rib fractures, internal organ damage, bruises, open lacerations, internal bleeding, complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries, and full or partial paralysis injuries.

You increase your chances of achieving a favorable monetary settlement or litigation result by seeking ongoing and continuous medical treatment following your car accident.

Also, while you treat continuously for your injuries, your car accident attorney can begin gathering the necessary records to prove each legal element of your personal injury claim.

Reasons Why Car Accidents May Occur

In many scenarios, car accidents directly result from another driver’s careless, negligent, or reckless behavior. When drivers look away from the road, violate one or more traffic laws, or engage in reckless driving, they are more likely to cause a severe car accident that injures other people.

Common traffic law violations that lead to traffic accidents include:

  • Failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles at traffic intersections
  • Excessive speeding
  • Failing to use mirrors, backup cameras, and other safety devices on a vehicle
  • Failing to use turn signals when making a turn or switching lanes on a multi-lane highway or road 

In addition to common traffic law violations, traffic accidents may happen when people drink and drive. Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a sure recipe for disaster since intoxicated drivers often experience significant physical and mental impairments.

In terms of physical impairments, intoxicated drivers may suffer from blurred vision or dizziness. In addition, they may experience various mental impairments, such as the inability to concentrate or observe the road.

An intoxicated driver may also experience delayed reflexes and reaction time. As a result, they may be unable to hit the brakes and stop their vehicle before causing a significant accident.

When passenger vehicle drivers have a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, that reaches 0.08 percent or higher, they are legally intoxicated. Minor drivers who are less than 21 years of age, along with CDL drivers, must follow more stringent standards.

In addition to facing a DUI arrest and criminal penalties, including jail time, a drunk driver who causes an accident that leads to injuries may have to pay the accident victim civil damages through their insurance company.

Distracted driving is another common cause of traffic accidents and occurs when a driver fails to observe the road. Many activities cause distractions, including texting and driving or using hands-free technology to make a call or send a message.

Non-electronic things can also cause distraction, such as tending to children in the back seat or eating while driving. All of these activities can potentially turn a driver’s attention away from driving, take their eyes off the road, or remove their hands from the wheel.

Cognitive, visual, and manual distractions can all cause a serious accident and lead to a car accident claim.

Finally, some traffic accidents happen when drivers exhibit various forms of road rage. Drivers show road rage when they become angry in response to a real or imagined roadway circumstance that arises.

For example, an enraged driver might become upset if the driver does not go fast enough in front of them. The angered driver may then resort to horn honking, tailgating, speeding, or cutting the other vehicle off in traffic.

Unfortunately, an angry driver’s response may lead to a single traffic accident or a series of collisions that involve multiple vehicles, drivers, and passengers.

If you suffered injuries in a car crash because of another driver’s negligence or recklessness, you should retain a skilled attorney to represent you as quickly as possible.

Your lawyer can immediately begin investigating your accident circumstances and determine your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim. If you are eligible to proceed with a claim, your lawyer can help you within the statutory time limit. Your attorney can also negotiate with insurance company adjusters and represent you at all legal proceedings in your case.

In any personal injury claim or lawsuit that arises from a car crash incident, the accident victim (i.e., the injured driver or passenger) has the sole legal burden of proof.

  • First, the accident victim must demonstrate that the other driver owed them a legal duty of care they subsequently violated. Drivers have an obligation to drive in a careful, safe, and prudent manner at all times. When a driver deviates from this legal duty, such as violating a traffic law or regulation, they can be responsible for any subsequent accident.
  • Second, the accident victim must show that their car crash was a direct and foreseeable result of the other driver’s negligent behavior.
  • Third, the injured driver or passenger must establish that they suffered physical injuries and damages due to the other driver’s breach.

A skilled car accident attorney in your area can satisfy your legal burden so that you recover monetary compensation for your injuries and other accident-related losses.

How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me with My Case?

When maximizing your total monetary recovery after a car accident, a qualified car accident lawyer can be an invaluable help.

First, your lawyer can help you investigate your accident circumstances. Your lawyer can do this by retaining a qualified accident reconstructionist to visit the accident scene, speak with witnesses, and speak to you about how your accident happened. 

An accident reconstructionist can also review police reports and other potential evidence to conclude how your car accident occurred – and who likely caused it. The accident reconstructionist can also prepare a written report and testify at a discovery deposition or trial proceeding in your case.

Your attorney can also retain other experts on your behalf, including a medical expert. Medical experts are often treating healthcare providers or specialists in their field of experience.

A medical expert can examine you and determine, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that your injuries directly relate to your car crash. Your lawyer can also establish that one or more of your injuries are permanent, meaning that they are unlikely to get better over time.

Next, your car accident attorney can prepare a personal injury claim on your behalf.

Important claim documents may include:

  • A settlement demand letter that makes a demand for financial settlement within the available insurance policy limits
  • Witness statements
  • Police investigation reports
  • Camera footage of the accident, such as from a nearby business or body camera worn by a police officer
  • Medical reports
  • Medical bills
  • Lost income documents
  • Prior income tax returns, if the accident victim is making a claim for loss of earning capacity
  • Injury photographs
  • Property damage photographs

Your attorney can then submit these documents to the insurance company and begin negotiating fair settlement compensation on your behalf. In pursuit of a high monetary award, your lawyer can highlight the strengths of your medical records and other documents while downplaying any weaknesses.

If the insurance company adjuster will not make you a favorable settlement offer, your attorney – with your permission – can file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Next, your attorney can assist you during all litigation proceedings and aggressively represent you. For example, when it comes time for a discovery deposition, your attorney can thoroughly prepare you and help you anticipate the questions a defense lawyer might ask.

Your lawyer can also represent you at all courtroom proceedings, including your pre-trial or settlement conference, as well as your jury trial.

Although most car accident cases settle at some point during the litigation process, other cases will go all the way to trial. If your case proceeds to a civil jury trial, your lawyer can introduce evidence on your behalf, call witnesses to testify, and make convincing arguments.

Your lawyer can also pursue methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) instead of a jury trial. Those methods may include mediation or binding arbitration, both of which can help you avoid a courtroom jury trial.

In general, the earlier in the process you retain legal counsel to represent you, the higher your chances of obtaining a favorable monetary award in your case. Therefore, seek out experienced legal counsel right away after your accident. Your lawyer can begin working on your case immediately and pursue the monetary compensation you need and deserve.

Potential Monetary Recovery Following a Car Accident

The total monetary damages that accident victims may recover following a car accident will vary from case to case, depending on the accident circumstances. Some car accident victims may recover economic damages, including compensation for their related past/future medical expenses, as well as for lost income or loss of earning capacity.

In addition, accident victims can pursue intangible losses, including compensation for loss of spousal companionship, lifetime care costs, permanent disability or disfigurement, loss of use of a specific body part(s), lost quality of life, inconvenience, past and future pain and suffering, and emotional anguish.

Your attorney can help you recover the fair monetary damages that you need to become whole again after your car accident.

Free Settlement Tips for Accident Victims

Some injury cases can and should be handled without an attorney. Here are some free tips for handling an automobile accident case.

Let’s begin at the end. How much money do you get to keep? Make certain that you know and confirm that amount. If you settle for $5,000.00 but your hospital bill is $4,900.00 then you only keep $100.00. Understand what your compensation for your injury is.

You will need:

  1. The accident report.
  2. Medical bills.
  3. Proof of who paid the bills, i.e., Blue Cross, Medicare, Tricare, or that they have not been paid.
  4. Proof of lost wages.

You will also need some patience. Do not take the first offer. Think about it overnight. Different insurance companies make different kinds of offers. Some are fairer than others but not a single one will make their best offer first. If you have more treatment than just an ER visit, a good personal injury attorney can do all the work and make you money.

We get a large number of cases from people who refuse to sign medical authorizations issued by the insurance company. If we take the case, we review the medical records for accuracy before we send them to the person evaluating the claim.

With property damage claims the value of the car is what it is. It doesn’t matter what you paid for the vehicle or how much you owe. One of the things that we hear often is that the replacement value is not adequate and now a person has a car payment that they didn’t have before. Please note that if you had to replace the engine or transmission and you have those receipts it could add value to the vehicle.

If your vehicle is a total loss, make sure you have the title to the vehicle. If you still owe for the vehicle, make sure you have the lien holder’s information as well as the amount of the payoff.

I think we all see people driving as if they are alone on the road. The best tip is to drive defensively.

Buckle up, drive safely and as always, your referrals are appreciated! 256-764-0112

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today for More Information

Thomas W. McCutcheon Jr
Thomas W. McCutcheon Jr, Florence Car Accident Attorney

If you suffered injuries in a car crash that was not your fault, the best time to retain an attorney to represent you is right away. Your attorney can start working on your case by investigating the accident circumstances and filing a claim on your behalf.

Your attorney can also aggressively assist you during settlement negotiations and litigation and pursue the maximum monetary recovery you deserve for your accident-related losses.

Once you consult with skilled Florence personal injury lawyer, you will know whether you can expect compensation for your injuries and losses. This knowledge alone can provide peace of mind and allow you to focus on your physical recovery. Start protecting your financial future today.

Let Us Fight For You

Your Recovery Is Our Priority

Why Hire Us?