Car Accident Lawyer
When you are in a car accident, the experience can be incredibly traumatic. Not only are you left with physical injuries, but the emotional aftermath can be long-lasting and debilitating.
You might only have to deal with your own insurance company. However, more often than not, victims negotiate with insurance adjusters and even car accident attorneys from the other driver’s insurance company.
The process can be confusing, frustrating, and overwhelming – especially if you are already dealing with the physical and emotional fallout of the car accident. The personal injury attorneys at Injury Lawyer Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, advocate for injured victims harmed through another’s negligence.
Contact a personal injury lawyer today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Car Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more than 6 million car accidents in the United States annually. These car accident events result in over 30,000 deaths and 2.3 million injuries.
In 2020, 38,680 fatal car accidents were reported in the United States, a 2% decrease from 2019. The majority of these accidents (94%) were passenger vehicle occupants.
Car accidents are costly in terms of human life and property damage. In 2019, the cost of car accident damages was more than $900 billion. Other statistics included:
- The average cost of a car accident is $300,000.
- The average cost of a deadly car accident is $1.5 million.
- The average cost of a property damage-only car accident is $3,000.
- Car accidents are the leading cause of death for people aged 3-34.
Fatal Car Accident Statistics
Fatal car accidents are a problem in the United States, resulting in over 30,000 deaths yearly.
Texas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina are the five states with the highest incidence rate of fatal car crashes. These states accounted for more than 25% of all deadly auto accidents in the United States in 2020.
The leading car accident fatalities by demographics include:
- Men aged 25-54: This demographic accounted for the most significant percentage of car accident fatalities in 2020, at 29%.
- Women aged 55 and over: This demographic accounted for 14% of car accident fatalities in 2020.
- Children under 14: This demographic accounted for 8% of car accident fatalities in 2020.
What Causes Car Accidents?
Automobile accidents can be caused by various factors, from driver negligence to driving distracted. When these accidents occur, they can seriously impact the people involved.
Injuries in auto accidents can range from minor to life-threatening; sadly, some fatalities occur. The most common causes of car crashes are:
- Adverse weather conditions
- Aggressive/reckless driving
- Animal crossings
- Driving distracted
- Driver fatigue
- Driver negligence
- Driving at night
- Driving the wrong way
- Driving while impaired (alcohol or drugs)
- Following too close
- Making improper turns
- Road hazards
- Roadway construction zones
- Roadway design defects
- Running red lights
- Teenage driving
- Tire blowouts
- Unsafe lane changes
- Vehicle defects
Plan how to drive before leaving home or the workplace. Be proactive, take precautionary steps, and remove any form of distraction that could take your focus away from the roadway.
#1 Cause of Car Accidents: Driving Distracted
Driving distracted is a leading cause of car crashes. It’s become increasingly common in recent years as more and more people use their phones while behind the wheel. Driving distracted causes more accidents than drunk drivers sharing the road.
Distraction is dangerous because it makes it more difficult for drivers to pay attention to the road and react quickly to changes.
Texting, talking on the phone, and even just looking at your phone can take your attention away from the road and make it more difficult to react to sudden changes. The distraction can lead to minor accidents with severe and even fatal accidents.
You may be entitled to compensation if you’ve been involved in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Contact a car accident lawyer today to learn more about relevant laws and your legal rights and options.
What Is Driving Distracted?
Distraction behind the steering wheel is any activity that takes your attention away from the task of driving, including:
- Talking on the phone, either hand-held or hands-free
- Checking email
- Looking at maps or navigation systems
- Adjusting the radio or other controls in the car
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers
Anything that takes your mind and eyes off the road can be considered distracted driving. It’s essential to remember that even if you’re not looking at your phone, you can still be distracted by a conversation you’re having with others.
Injuries Resulting From Car Accidents
Car crashes can cause catastrophic injuries that lead to long-term disability or even death. Some of the most common injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord damage, and broken bones.
These injuries can impact the victim’s quality of life, making working or enjoying time with family and friends difficult or impossible.
In some cases, victims may require lifelong care and assistance.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
The forceful impact of a vehicle colliding into an object or another car or truck can be devastating, leaving victims with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This injury can create lifelong problems that might include:
- Chronic pain
- Problems with vision
- Loss of hearing
- Memory issues
- Difficulty speaking
- Cognitive impairments.
Treatment for a TBI can be expensive, and some victims never recover from their injuries. Victims often require 24-hour nurses and nurse’s aides for medical care and hygiene assistance in the home or at a nursing facility.
Spinal Cord Damage
The spinal cord is responsible for sending messages from the brain to the rest of the body. When it’s damaged in a car accident, it can cause partial or complete paralysis. The condition often means that the victim may be unable to move or feel parts of their body below the point of injury.
In some cases, victims may require a ventilator to help them breathe. Spinal cord damage is usually permanent, and there is no known cure. Spinal cord accident victims need durable medical equipment, including wheelchairs, hospital beds, and lifts.
They also need in-home care or 24-hour nursing care to assist with their daily needs or adaptive equipment, including specialized vans for mobility and transportation.
Car collisions can cause broken bones, which often require surgery to repair. In some cases, victims may need physical therapy to regain range of motion and strength.
Victims with multiple broken bones or compound fractures may be hospitalized for an extended period.
Internal Organ Damage
The force of a car accident can cause internal organ damage, which may be life-threatening. Victims may require surgery to repair the damage and ongoing treatment to manage their injuries.
In some cases, victims may need a transplant due to their injuries.
Disfiguring Facial Scars and Injuries
Automobile accidents can cause disfiguring facial scars and injuries. Victims may require surgery to repair the damage and ongoing treatment to manage their injuries.
Victims may sometimes need a skin graft due to their injuries.
Amputation or Dismemberment
Car crashes can cause amputation or dismemberment. Victims may require surgery to repair the damage and ongoing treatment to manage their injuries.
In some cases, victims may need a prosthetic limb due to their injuries.
Automobile accidents can cause burns. Victims may require surgery, skin grafting, and ongoing treatment to manage their injuries.
Neck Injuries and Whiplash
The sudden thrusting of the head forward and backward during a collision can cause neck injuries, including whiplash. In some cases, victims may need a cervical collar due to their injuries.
Car crashes can cause chest injuries. Victims may need surgery to repair the damage, followed by ongoing treatments.
Victims may need a heart transplant due to the trauma in some cases.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Auto accidents can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Memory problems.
People with PTSD often require counseling and medication to manage their symptoms. Some victims may never fully recover from their injuries and require lifelong assistance.
Car accidents can cause permanent disability. Auto accident victims may require surgery to repair the damage and ongoing treatment to manage their injuries. In some cases, victims may be unable to return to work or live independently due to their injuries.
Car accidents can have a devastating impact on the lives of victims and their families. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, it is crucial to get legal help as soon as possible.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and options, and they will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Common Types of Car Accidents
There are many types of car crashes, and they can happen in many different ways. Auto accidents can often be the result of the motorist’s negligence or reckless behavior, such as when they are distracted while driving.
Crashes can lead to many problems for the victims involved, such as injuries and damage to their car. In some cases, automobile accidents can even be deadly.
The most common types of catastrophic to minor auto accidents include:
- Rear-end collision– This type of crash occurs when the front of one car hits the back of another. This horrific crash is often the result of driving distracted or tailgating.
- Side impact collision– Also known as a T-bone car accident, this happens when the front or back of another hits the side of one car. This event can be a particularly dangerous crash because it often leads to severe injuries.
- Rollover accidents usually occur when a car flips over on its side or roof. They are often caused by the motorist’s negligence, such as speeding or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Head-on collisions– These crashes happen when the front end of one car hits the front end of another. Head-on collisions are often fatal, which is why they are considered one of the most dangerous types of car crashes.
- Sideswipe crash– This type of auto accident happens when the side of one car hits the side of another. It is often caused by drivers not paying attention to their surroundings or attempting to change lanes without signaling.
- Multi-car pileup is a truck and auto accident involving three or more vehicles. They are often caused by poor weather conditions, such as heavy fog or rain.
- Highway construction accidents can occur when drivers fail to slow down or move over for construction crews. They can also happen when debris from a construction site falls onto the roadway and causes an accident.
- Single vehicle crash– A single-vehicle auto accident involves only involves one car. They can be caused by many factors, such as the motorist’s negligence, mechanical problems, or poor weather conditions.
- A hit-and-run car accident occurs when a driver hits another car and leaves the crash scene without stopping. This crime in most states can result in severe penalties for the driver who flees the scene.
- Intersection collision– This type of car accident happens when two cars collide at an intersection. It can be caused by drivers who fail to yield the right of way, run red lights, or make illegal turns.
- Pedestrian accidents occur when a car hits someone walking on or near the road. They are often caused by drivers who are speeding, distracted, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Bicycle accidents are similar to pedestrian accidents, but they involve a car hitting a bicyclist instead of a pedestrian. The same factors, such as speeding or driving distracted, can cause pedestrian accidents.
- A blind spot auto accident occurs when a driver changes lanes without checking their blind spot first, leading to a collision with another car, motorcyclist, or bicyclist.
- A low-speed auto accident happens at speeds of less than ten mph. They are often the result of a motorist’s negligence, such as tailgating or failing to yield the right of way.
- Parking lot car accident is a common type of crash in parking lots. They can be caused by various factors, such as driving distracted, poor visibility, or reckless driving.
- Merging collision– A merging collision occurs when two cars collide while merging onto a highway or other roadway. This type of auto accident can be caused by many factors, such as the motorist’s negligence, driving distracted, or failure to yield the right of way.
How to Prevent a Car Accident
A car accident can happen instantly and leave you feeling confused and vulnerable. While you can’t always prevent them from happening, there are things that you can do to help reduce your chances of being in a car accident.
We’ve outlined some of the most common causes of car accidents and how you can prevent them.
By being aware of the risks and taking precautions, you can make yourself a safer driver and avoid potentially costly collisions.
- Car accidents are often caused by driver error. You can help prevent accidents by paying attention to your driving and being aware of the risks on the road.
- Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents. Avoid using your phone or other electronic devices while driving, and keep your eyes on the road.
- Drinking and driving is a leading cause of car accidents. If you drink, make sure you have a designated driver.
- Speeding and aggressive driving are also significant causes of accidents. Obey the speed limit and give yourself enough time to brake if someone cuts you off or otherwise drives erratically.
- Following traffic laws can help you avoid accidents, but it’s also crucial to be aware of the potential risks on the road.
- Carrying insurance can protect you financially if you are involved in an accident, and knowing what to do after an accident can help you get the care and support you need.
While you can’t always prevent a car accident from happening, following the advice above can help you reduce your chances of being involved in one. If you are in an accident, seek medical attention and contact a car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.
What To Do In the Moments After a Car Accident
If you are ever in a car accident, it is essential to remain calm and take action. Knowing what to do in the moments after an accident can save your life and the lives of others. These simple steps can help keep the situation under control until emergency personnel arrives.
What to do in an accident so you can act quickly and effectively includes:
- Stay calm and take action – it is crucial to remain calm after an accident so that you can think clearly and take appropriate action.
- Check for injuries – check yourself and your passengers for any injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately.
- Move to a safe location – if the car is blocking traffic or is in a dangerous location, move it to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
- Go to the hospital – In the first few moments after the crash, your adrenaline is racing through your bloodstream. You may be unaware of the extent of your injuries until a doctor using the best diagnostic tools can identify and evaluate your health condition.
- Help keep the situation under control until emergency personnel arrives – if possible, help direct traffic around the crash scene. Controlling the emergency will help prevent further accidents from happening.
- Call the police – even if there are no significant injuries, it is crucial to call the police so that they can file an accident report that will be helpful later when filing insurance claims.
- Exchange information with the other driver – get the other driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information. You will need this information when filing a claim.
- Take pictures of the accident scene – use your phone to take pictures of the damage to both vehicles and the surrounding area. These photos can be helpful when filing a compensation claim.
- Call your insurance company – once you have exchanged information with the other driver and taken pictures of the crash scene, call your insurance company to report the accident. They will be able to help you through the claims process.
- Let us help you get the peace of mind you deserve – the moments after an accident can be chaotic and stressful. We are here to help you through this difficult time. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.
By following these simple steps, you can help ensure that everyone involved in the accident is safe and that all necessary information is gathered. Car accidents are stressful events, but remaining calm and taking action can help make the situation manageable.
Determining Who Is At Fault For A Car Accident
If you are a car accident victim, proving that you did not cause the crash can be essential to receiving compensation for your injuries. Personal injury claims can be complicated, and the victims often have to prove they were not at fault.
There are a few ways to do this, but the most common is through evidence and eyewitness testimony:
- If you have any physical evidence from the auto crash scene- skid marks, damage to both cars, etc.- this can help back up your claim.
- Witness testimony is also essential; if any bystanders saw what happened, they may be able to provide testimony that supports your case.
- A police report from the auto accident scene can also be helpful, as it will likely contain information about what happened and who was at fault.
- Private investigators and accident reconstruction experts can also be hired to help prove your case. These experts will recreate precisely what happened during the accident, which can help determine who was at fault.
Proving that you did not cause a car crash can be essential to receiving the compensation you deserve. By gathering evidence and eyewitness testimony, you can build a strong case that will help you get the financial support you need.
If you have been in a car accident, it is vital to seek legal help as soon as possible. An experienced auto accident attorney can investigate the accident and help you gather the evidence you need to prove that you are not at fault.
Additionally, if the other driver has a history of accidents or traffic violations, this can also be used to show that they are more likely to be at fault in a car crash.
If you were not at the car accident scene, there are other ways to prove that the other driver was at fault, including:
- Obtain a copy of the other driver’s insurance policy
- Check to see if the other driver has a history of accidents or traffic violations. If the other driver was ticketed or cited by police for speeding, running a red light, or any other traffic violation, this can be used as evidence that they were negligent.
- Review the police report from the car accident scene
By gathering this information, you can build a strong case that the other driver was at fault for the car crash.
If you have been in a car accident, it is crucial to seek legal help as soon as possible. An auto accident attorney can investigate the car crash and help you gather the evidence you need to prove that you are not responsible for the crash.
Car accident claims can be complicated, but with the right help, you can get the financial recovery you deserve.
Proving the Four Elements of Civil Law to Resolve a Car Accident Claim
Criminal cases and civil lawsuits are significantly different and how they are handled in court. Typically, a criminal faces charges by the police or district attorney for breaking a state or federal law, whereas a civil plaintiff sues another liable party for breaking a contract or causing harm.
Car accident cases are usually handled as civil lawsuits. To win a car accident case, the plaintiff must prove the following four elements of civil law:
- The defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care.
- The defendant breached that duty by failing to exercise proper care.
- The plaintiff suffered a physical injury or loss.
- The defendant’s breach of duty caused the plaintiff’s injury or loss.
How the Four Elements Work in a Car Accident Case
A Duty of Care– A driver owes other motorists, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists a duty to exercise reasonable care while operating their vehicle. Proper care is defined as how a careful driver would act under the same or similar circumstances.
There are many ways a driver can breach their duty to exercise reasonable care, but some of the most common causes of automobile accidents include:
- Driving distracted
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Fatigued driving
- Reckless driving
The Defendant’s Breach of Duty – If the plaintiff can prove that the defendant breached their duty to exercise reasonable care and that breach led to the plaintiff’s injury or loss, then they may be able to recover damages. Car crash victims can recover both economic and non-economic damages, which may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
The Plaintiff Suffered Injuries – The at-fault party because the plaintiff suffered injuries that could involve:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage
- Cuts and lacerations
- Dismemberment or amputation
- Organ damage
The Defendant’s Breach of Duty Led to the Plaintiff’s Injuries – The plaintiff must also be able to prove that the defendant’s breach of duty was the direct cause of their injuries (causation).
For example, if the plaintiff were rear-ended by the defendant and suffered whiplash, they would need to prove that the defendant’s negligent driving led to the collision, which caused their injuries.
Car accident victims who have suffered the above injuries should seek immediate medical attention. After being treated for their injuries, they should consult with an experienced auto accident lawyer to discuss their legal options and whether or not they have a case.
Contact an auto accident lawyer from our law offices today to learn more about how to prove the four elements of civil law or to discuss your case with an experienced auto accident attorney.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer For a Car Accident?
Even minor car accidents can cause serious injuries that require expensive medical treatment. Unfortunately, many people try to handle their car accident claims independently and get taken advantage of by the insurance company.
A car accident lawyer can help you file a personal injury claim and negotiate for the financial recovery you deserve. Car accident lawyers have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies and know how to get you the best possible insurance settlement.
They also have access to resources that can help you recover damages even if you are not at fault for the car accident.
Should I Still Hire An Attorney If The Car Accident Was Minor?
Even if your accident was a minor fender bender, hiring an auto accident lawyer is still important to avoid the tactics an insurance adjuster uses to minimize the legal claim payout amount.
Personal injury lawyers have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies and know how to get a fair settlement. They also have access to resources that can help you recover damages if you are not at fault for the car accident.
Studies show that personal injury attorneys representing car accident victims receive more than three times the financial compensation when victims without legal representation. Hiring a car accident lawyer to follow their legal counsel can ensure a more successful outcome in a higher payment from the insurance company.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You: Working with Lienholders and Insurers
If you are involved in a car accident, the last thing you want to worry about is dealing with the insurance company. A personal injury attorney can help you take care of that and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
They can also work with lienholders to get the money you need to pay for past and future medical expenses and other damages. And if necessary, they can speak directly with the insurer or defendant to get you the compensation you deserve.
Negotiating with Lienholders
In all likelihood, you suffered injuries in your car accident or had significant damage to your vehicle from the collision. To ensure that you had adequate medical care from the best professionals and your vehicle was repaired to the manufacturer’s standards, you likely signed liens to pay those bills until your personal injury claim could be settled.
Signing a lien can help you quickly get the necessary medical treatment and repairs. However, it also means that the provider will be paid first from any settlement or jury verdict you receive. Personal injury lawyers can negotiate with lienholders to have them accept a reduced amount so that you can keep more of your compensation.
Reducing the payment is essential if your injuries are severe because you will likely have significant medical bills that will need to be paid now and in the years ahead. Your personal injury attorney can help ensure you have enough money to cover those expenses by negotiating with lienholders.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
After a car accident, you should contact your family’s insurance company as soon as possible to report the incident. But you should be careful about what you say to them. The insurance adjuster may try to get you to say something used to deny your car accident claim or minimize the amount of money you recover.
It’s crucial to remember that the insurance company is not on your side. They aim to pay out as little as possible on personal injury claims. That’s why it’s vital to have an auto accident lawyer on your side who can deal with the insurance company and make sure they don’t take advantage of you.
Filing a Lawsuit
In the days and weeks after your car accident, there’s a chance that the insurance company will not offer you a fair settlement. In that case, you may need to file a lawsuit against the other driver to get the compensation you deserve.
After filing all the necessary documents, your attorney will begin building a case, gathering evidence, speaking with eyewitnesses, and sending a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Typically, the demand letter states precisely what the case is worth and how to resolve all legal issues through negotiated settlements.
In a complex car accident case, your lawyer will schedule at least one settlement meeting to resolve the compensation claim, and maybe many more if multiple defendants are involved. Using the best negotiation skills and years of experience, the lawyer will argue on your behalf (the plaintiff) to get a fair settlement that adequately compensates your losses paid by the responsible party (the defendant).
The case will go to trial if no agreement can be reached after multiple negotiation meetings.
Preparing for Court
Presenting evidence at trial is complex. However, having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side can help you navigate the legal process and get the compensation you deserve.
At this point, your personal injury lawyer might hire accident reconstruction experts to re-create precisely what happened and medical experts who can explain the extent of the victim’s injuries.
A personal injury attorney can help you with every step of the process, from filing the initial complaint to going to trial. They can also help if the other driver files a counterclaim against you.
No one should go through the legal process alone if they’ve been injured in an accident. A car accident attorney can ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries and damages.
Legal Options for Families Who Lost a Loved One in a Wrongful Death Car Accident
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do. However, taking legal action can help you get closure and justice.
The family may be left with many questions about what to do next. One of the most important decisions is whether to file a car accident case, citing a preventable death.
Qualifying family members who can seek compensation through the court system typically include the surviving spouse, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, siblings, and others. If the decedent did not designate a legal representative over their estate, the court might appoint one.
The legal representative will have control over the estate’s assets and debts and will be tasked with bringing any legal action on behalf of the estate, such as filing a car accident claim.
A Wrongful Death Claim Against Another Driver
A claim is a civil lawsuit where plaintiffs can seek compensation from the person, business, entity, or another party responsible for the decedent’s death. In most car accident cases, this will be another driver who was negligent in causing the accident.
However, other possible defendants exist, such as one or more distracted drivers, an irresponsible company, or a defective car part manufacturer.
Proving negligence can be difficult, but an experienced car accident attorney will know how to investigate the case and build a strong argument. Proving the case will require showing that the person responsible for the death had a legal obligation to ensure the decedent’s safety.
The person at fault for the crash must have breached that legal obligation, leading to the decedent’s death.
Manufacturing Defect Car Accident Preventable Death Claim
Your car accident attorney might prove that a defective component on your loved one’s vehicle or another car or truck involved in the crash led to the fatality.
Possible manufacturing defects could include:
- Tire blowouts
- Malfunctioning brakes
- Defective seat belts
- Exploding airbags
- Faulty steering wheels
To file a successful claim, you will generally need to show that the company knew or should have known about the defect and failed to warn consumers or take steps to fix the problem.
You will also likely need expert testimony to connect the dots between the manufacturing defect and your loved one’s death.
Faulty Airbags and Defective Seat Belts
Takata airbags have been recalled for malfunctioning in many vehicles. These airbags can inflate with too much force, causing the metal casing to shatter and spray shrapnel into the vehicle.
This defect poses a danger to auto accident victims and anyone who happens to be near the car when it deploys. So far, numerous injuries and even deaths related to these faulty airbags have been reported.
Not all airbags are involved in the recall. However, if you own a car with a Takata airbag, it’s crucial to determine if your particular model is affected. You can check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.
If your car is included in the recall, take action as soon as possible to have the airbag replaced. In the meantime, avoid driving if at all possible. If you must drive, be extra cautious and watch for any potential accidents.
Car manufacturers are currently working on a fix, but it could take time before all affected cars are updated.
Malfunctioning Seat Belts
Seat belts are an essential safety feature in cars. They keep drivers and passengers in their seats during a collision, preventing them from being thrown around the vehicle and potentially suffering severe injuries.
However, seat belts can also be dangerous in certain situations. In most car accident cases with defective seat belts, they can malfunction and cause severe injuries to the driver or passenger than if they had been unrestrained.
One common problem is that the seat belt can tighten up suddenly during a collision. Tightening can cause the driver or passenger to be jerked forward and slam into the dashboard or windshield. It can also lead to neck and spine injuries.
Another issue is that seat belts can get caught on objects in the car during a collision, causing the driver or passenger to be pulled out of their seat and slammed into the door or window. It can also lead to internal injuries from being thrown around inside the car.
To prevent these types of injuries, it is essential to always wear your seat belt properly and make sure it is functioning correctly. If you experience any problems with your seat belt, be sure to have it fixed as soon as possible.
The Statute of Limitations for Filing a Civil Lawsuit or Claim
State law restricts an injured party’s time to file a civil lawsuit or claim seeking compensation for damages. This restriction also involves car crashes, truck accidents, motorcycle collisions, and pedestrian/bicycle accidents.
Typically, the statute of limitations restricts the time to two years from the date of the accident, but this can vary depending on the state where the accident happened. For example, if you were injured in a car accident in Florida, you would have four years to file a civil lawsuit or claim and seek compensation for damages.
You could be barred from doing so and unable to recover any compensation for your injuries if you do not file your lawsuit or claim within the applicable statute of limitations,
Some exceptions may extend the time to file a lawsuit or claim. For example, if the other party was drunk at the time of the car accident or if you were a minor when the car accident occurred. A car accident injury lawyer can help determine if your claim qualifies for an exception.
Do I Settle My Car Accident Claim or Take a Lawsuit to Trial?
Most personal injury attorneys understand that about 95% of all civil cases are resolved through negotiated settlements away from the courtroom. Usually, resolving the case through a negotiated fair settlement benefits the plaintiff (injured party) and defendant (at-fault party).
Presenting evidence before a judge and jury has risks. Neither side knows precisely how the jurors will resolve the car accident case, even if the evidence clearly shows what happened and who is at fault.
Staying away from the court and finding an agreeable middle ground is usually best for all parties. Data shows that the remaining 5% of civil cases not resolved through negotiated settlements usually favor the defendants because there is something drastically wrong with the evidence.
Proving Liability and How the Car Accident Happened
Competent personal injury attorneys work hard to prove liability and who caused the car accident. Alternatively, insurance companies tend to settle car accident injury claims for the lowest compensation accessible to the car accident victims.
In some cases, the accident victims receive far less than the value of their car accident case, especially if they do not have adequate legal representation to resolve the insurance company’s claim. Without sufficient funds, there is not enough money to pay their medical bills, rehabilitation costs, future surgery, or recoup their lost wages from time away from work while healing.
Hiring Competent Personal Injury Lawyers
Hiring a car accident attorney with years of experience in resolving complex auto accident claims is best to ensure adequate compensation when the case is over. Hiring an attorney early on can provide the evidence to prove the at-fault driver caused the crash.
The length of time it takes to resolve injury claims varies. However, an experienced lawyer can resolve the case in a few months to one year or slightly longer.
In the meantime, the car accident attorney will provide upfront funds to pay for expenses, negotiate medical care liens to ensure their client receives optimal care, and speak directly to the insurance company to keep the case moving.
Going to trial typically takes two years or longer. In many incidents, both parties agree to resolve the case on the county courthouse steps or the days before the trial date to avoid the uncertainty of the case’s outcome.
Car Accident Injury Lawyer FAQs
Our personal injury lawyers understand that many families have unanswered questions in dealing directly with the insurance companies after being involved in a car accident. A lawyer from our law office has answered some questions below.
Contact us for additional information or schedule a free consultation to discuss compensation through a car accident settlement.
What is the time limit to file a lawsuit after a car accident (statute of limitations)?
The time limit to file a lawsuit after a car accident is typically two years depending on the state. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. There are exceptions to this rule, so it is best to contact an experienced car accident lawyer to determine if you have a case.
An experienced attorney specializing in car accident claims can determine if you could still file a claim based on relevant laws.
I was involved in a severe car accident! What damages can I collect from the party responsible for causing the crash?
Damages that can be collected from the party responsible for causing a car accident can vary depending on the state but typically can include compensatory and punitive damages, including:
- Medical expenses and hospital bills
- The cost of rehabilitation, surgery, and physical therapy
- Lost wages and possible lost future earnings
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Funeral & burial costs in death cases
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Punitive damages (in some cases)
Sometimes, the jury will award punitive damages to punish the responsible party when their actions were egregious. However, punitive damages are not available in every state.
What if the other driver was uninsured or underinsured?
People involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver might still be able to recover compensation for their injuries and damage to their vehicle by filing a claim with their insurance company through their uninsured motorist coverage. A car accident lawyer can also file a lawsuit against the responsible driver.
Were you involved in a car accident with an underinsured driver? You might be able to recover compensation for damages above the insurance coverage limit by filing a claim with your own insurance company through the policy’s underinsured motorist coverage.
You can also file a car accident lawsuit against the responsible driver to get compensated by their personal assets.
What if I was partially at fault for the car accident?
In some states, you can still recover compensation for your injuries and damage to your vehicle even if you were partially at fault for the car accident. This coverage is known as comparative negligence or contributory negligence.
However, in other states, your compensation could be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if the jury decided that you were 30 Percent responsible for causing the crash, your total damages would be reduced by 30 percent.
Note that even if you are partially at fault for the car accident, you should still contact an experienced car accident lawyer to determine what compensation might be available.
What if I was a passenger in the car that got into a horrific car accident?
Passengers in the car that got into a horrific car accident might be able to recover compensation for their injuries and damage to the vehicle by filing a claim with their own insurance company through personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
They can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver, even if they are a family member or friend. Their insurance company will pay the financial compensation received through a negotiated fair settlement or jury award.
What types of vehicle accidents lead to the most damage, injuries, and deaths?
Car crashes that lead to the most damage, injuries, and deaths are typically those caused by negligence. Some of the most common types of negligence that lead to auto accidents include:
- Driver’s negligence: Drivers can be held liable for automobile accidents if they are negligent in their actions, such as driving too fast, talking on the phone, or texting while driving.
- Driving distracted: Drivers who are distracted by their phones, passengers, or other distractions can be liable for auto accidents.
- Other party’s negligence: If another driver, a pedestrian, or a bicyclist is found to be at fault for causing a car accident, they can be held liable. Some of these accidents involve:
- Head on collision
- Rear-end car accident
- Side impact collision
- Rollover car accident
- Multi-vehicle pileup
- Hit-and-run car accident
Car crashes can also be caused by defective auto parts, such as:
- Tires that blow out
- Airbags that don’t deploy
- Seat belts that fail to restrain occupants
Road hazards can also cause auto accidents. These hazards include:
- Construction debris
- Animals on the road
- Bad weather conditions
Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries people sustain in crashes. It occurs when the head and neck are suddenly jerked forward and then backward, causing the ligaments and muscles in the neck to stretch beyond their normal range of motion.
How much are most car accident settlements?
Car accident settlements can vary widely depending on:
- The severity of the car accident injuries
- The amount of damage to the vehicle, and
- Who is at fault
Average car accident cases are generally resolved for about $42,000. However, there are some cases where the settlement amount exceeds $100,000.
Recent data shows that the average settlement for a car accident involving traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage in the United States is about $171,000.
These cases can settle for substantially more money if the plaintiff’s car accident injuries are permanent and they cannot return to work.
Hiring a Car Accident Attorney to Resolve Your Personal Injury Claim
Were you involved in a car accident and suffered injuries? Did you lose a loved one through the negligent actions of a reckless driver? The personal injury attorneys at the Injury Lawyer Team can help.
Our car accident lawyers have resolved hundreds of cases like yours, ensuring that the insurance company’s settlement covers all damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. Let us file an insurance claim on your behalf against the insurance company, even if you were involved in a minor car accident.
We accept all car accident claims and personal injury lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This agreement means that your payment of attorney fees is postponed until your auto accident attorney can obtain a financial recovery on your behalf.
Contact a personal injury lawyer today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.