The most common injuries in car accidents range from relatively mild injuries like lacerations and bruising to more severe injuries like whiplash and concussions. Regardless of which common injuries you suffer after a car accident, you’re sure to deal with severe pain and possibly serious consequences to your daily life because of your injuries. A car accident that wasn’t your fault causing those injuries makes your suffering much worse.
If you’re dealing with common car accident injuries, you’ll need a lot of help to recover your strength and the quality of life you lost after the accident. At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, our primary goal is to help injured people like you recuperate and get back on their feet. We know how difficult it can be, and we’re here to help you recover physically, financially, and personally from whatever common injuries you’re dealing with. Reach out to a Florida car accident lawyer for more information.
What Are Common Injuries in Car Accidents?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle injuries are the third leading cause of unintentional injury in the United States, accounting for 1,696,165 injuries over the most recent year. Over 900,000 lives perished because of motor vehicle accident injuries, according to the latest data. Car accident injuries are a real problem in the United States, and if you’re suffering from car accident injuries, you’re certainly not alone.
Some of the most common injuries that people suffer in car accidents include:
- Severe brain injuries
- Broken bones (legs, ribs, arms)
- Spinal cord injuries
As you can imagine, most of these common injuries are incredibly difficult to recover from. Most leave victims with ongoing issues ranging from disfigurement to difficulty walking, talking, eating, and exercising. It is common for car accident injuries to leave victims so severely damaged that they can’t return to normal life functions or previously held jobs ever again.
These injuries lead to serious physical suffering, and most patients suffer from loss of life enjoyment and broken relationships due to their injuries. For this reason, you must seek legal help if you suffer any of these common car accident injuries. Only a car accident lawyer can help you pursue justice and compensation for the physical, personal, and financial suffering that you’re enduring.
What To Do After a Car Accident
Dealing with a car accident’s aftermath is challenging and confusing. Most people never plan to go through a car accident, so it’s no surprise that they don’t know what to do when they’re in one.
If you aren’t sure where to start:
- Seek medical attention. You must get the medical attention you need to recover as fully as possible, so don’t wait to see a doctor and begin a treatment plan. You must know exactly what injuries your accident led to so that you can bring them into your car accident claim.
- Gather evidence. As you receive medical bills, medical records, receipts for car repairs or cell phone repairs, documentation of lost work and wages, and any other evidence that may be relevant, be sure to keep it on hand. You’ll need to send it to your lawyer if you decide to pursue a car accident claim against the party responsible for the crash.
- Keep details private. You may have a very clear picture of what happened in the accident and how you got into it in the first place. However, you mustn’t spread it around on social media or even among friends or family because you don’t want to accidentally say something that could be incriminating in a court of law.
- Call a lawyer. As soon as you can, call a personal injury lawyer who can help you collect evidence and build a personal injury complaint against the at-fault party in your accident. You have four years from an accident to file a claim, which may seem like a long time, but you want to get to it as quickly as possible, so you have plenty of time to negotiate and gather evidence.
- Focus on recovery. A car accident is a harrowing and traumatic experience in more ways than one. After your accident, take the time to recover physically, mentally, and emotionally and restore your relationships as quickly as possible.
Don’t worry about doing everything alone after a car accident. If you call a lawyer immediately, they will help you gather evidence and pursue the justice you deserve so that you can get back to normal life as soon as possible.
How to Prove Fault in a Car Accident Claim
The law counts a car accident claim as a personal injury claim.
This means that you must prove four main criteria to win your claim against the at-fault party:
- The at-fault party (also called the defendant) owed you a duty of care. In a car accident, you must show that the defendant owed you the same road safety practices that any reasonable person should expect others to follow.
- The defendant breached their duty of care.
- The defendant’s breach of duty led to the accident.
- The accident the defendant caused led to serious injuries and severe suffering for you or your loved ones.
If you can prove that these four things are true, you can seek compensation from the at-fault party in a car accident and receive that compensation promptly. However, to do so, you’ll need to gather evidence that your lawyer can use to create an effective, convincing complaint.
The evidence you’ll need may include:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Photos or video footage from the accident scene
- The police report
- Eyewitness testimony
- Documentation of lost work and wages
- A journal detailing your personal, physical, and financial losses
- Receipts for repairs to (or replacement of) damaged property
- Expert testimony from medical professionals who can explain how your injuries will impact your future
- Testimonials from family and friends detailing how you have suffered since the accident
What Compensation Can You Receive After a Car Accident?
Typical car accident injuries usually result in a wide range of suffering, not only physical but also financial, mental, relational, emotional, etc. You can generally group the types of damages that you have suffered into two main categories: economic and non-economic. However, to recover compensation, all damages will be assigned a specific amount so that you can recover financial compensation for all of them.
The common damages that you can seek compensation for after an accident may include:
- Medical expenses (emergency room visits, surgeries, procedures, ongoing therapy, medication prescriptions, medical equipment, etc.).
- Property damage repair costs.
- Lost wages from time taken off work to recover.
- Loss of earning capacity (potential income) if you can’t return to work in the same job or capacity as before the accident.
- Pain and suffering in general.
- Scarring, disfigurement, and humiliation.
- Emotional distress or trauma.
- Loss of life enjoyment.
- Loss of consortium (relationships with loved ones).
There may be other damages that you could potentially claim compensation for. You must speak with a lawyer after your accident to ensure that you recover compensation for every possible damage you suffered.
What Happens in a Car Accident Injury Claim?
As you can imagine, the legal process of pursuing a car accident injury claim is often long and complicated.
However, each claim follows the same basic steps.
- Speak to a lawyer for a free consultation to determine if you should pursue a case.
- Meet with the lawyer in person to go over the details and sign a retainer for their services if you agree to work together.
- Gather evidence such as medical records and lost wages documentation to build a complaint. You may also want to gather evidence such as a police report and any photos taken at the accident scene—if you don’t have these already, don’t worry. A lawyer can get them together for you!
- Send a complaint to the at-fault party and their insurance company explaining the consequences of the accident and asking for compensation.
- Receive a response with either a denial of your claim or an initial settlement offer.
- Collect further evidence from depositions (verbal questionings), interrogatories (written statements), and document exchanges with the at-fault party’s legal team.
- Negotiate for a settlement that satisfies both parties.
- Go to court if you can’t settle through negotiations.
- Try your case before a judge and jury.
- Receive a verdict from the judge and jury and take home your settlement check.
Each case will vary considerably on how long each step takes and how complicated things might get. You must connect with a lawyer as quickly as possible to ensure your claim gets started right away and on the right foot.
Fighting the Insurance Company
As you may be aware, insurance companies make money by taking in more money from premium payments than they have to pay out to settle claims. Therefore, insurance companies are never eager to pay the money that accident victims deserve.
It will be an uphill battle if you’re in an accident and need the at-fault driver’s insurance company to compensate you. The insurance company will start with a lowball offer and continue to pressure you to accept less than you deserve.
Instead of going through a stressful battle with an insurance company by yourself, seek help from a car accident lawyer to fight the insurance company for you and protect your legal rights so insurers can’t take advantage of you. Reach out to a Florida personal injury lawyer.
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