Last week, we talked about what can be the main sources for compensation after you submit a car accident claim. You have your standard (and mandatory) PIP coverage, no-fault insurance coverage, long-term disability coverage and health insurance.
In this part we will be focusing on how can you (as the victim) hold someone financially accountable and what that actually includes.
How can you hold someone financially accountable for a car accident?
Knowing that the law allows a car accident victim to submit a car accident claim and obtain compensation for serious injuries whomever caused them is one thing. But taking the necessary steps in order to achieve this i.e. submitting the car accident claim and to get the most out of it is another. Since these don’t always turn out to be the simplest cases (and they rarely are) the best way to move forward is to get a skilled auto accident lawyer who will represent your best interests. A car accident attorney will know exactly what steps are necessary to prepare and submit your car accident claim in order to get the most for your compensation.
Investigation of your injuries and the accident
In order for you to recover the most amount of money possible, you need to know exactly how the accident happened, who is the party at fault and how much money will you need in order to compensate for your injuries. In order to find these out, a thorough and diligent investigation has to be performed, by someone who has previous experience with a car accident claim and knows exactly what he/she is doing.
There are many reasons why a car accident occurs. Unfortunately, the victims rarely realize all the potential causes of the car crash and how they can injure them. Sometimes, they can’t even remember that the accident happened. They only remember that someone did something unsafe in traffic, which caused the collision and their injuries.
However, it’s rarely the case that only ONE bad decision or careless action is to blame for the accident, and experienced lawyers know this. In the majority of cases, there’s always a series of circumstances or events that led to the crash. Some of them are clearly visible, while others aren’t. It’s up to the attorney to follow the flow of events and decisions that caused the accident, and to find out who is legally liable for causing the accident.
A typical car accident might include:
A driver of the car that was involved in the car accident – This can typically mean the driver who chose to text while driving, drive drunk or to driver too fast.
The employer of the driver (in case of a commercial vehicle) that was involved in the accident – sometimes the employer is legally liable for the action of his employees and in these cases, the employer can be accountable for the employee’s behavior on the road.
The manufacturer of the product which caused the accident – For example if the auto part make was selling defective products that eventually failed, causing the accident.
The engineer that designed and built the road that isn’t safe for the public – A good example of this are dangerous intersections that are too confusing so drivers can’t navigate safely.
Through a detailed investigation, the auto accident attorney will create leverage for holding the liable party (or parties) accountable.
The next phase of a car accident claim will be to demand compensation from those parties. The liable parties (along with their insurance) will hire their own attorneys and the two side will reach a negotiation stage where they will discuss if the liable party will compensate you for your injuries and damages, and how much.
Even though these negotiations are a part of the lawyer’s everyday routine, each negotiation is unique and there’s nothing “routine” about it. They often look like boxing matches, where both parties exchange punches and counterpunches, looking for an “opening” in the other side’s defense. The goal of the victim’s attorney is to land the winning punch, knock out the competition so that the other side has to pay out as much as possible.
Car accident victims often thing that they can handle these negotiations on their own, but this is false. You might understand the legal terminology (or some basics of it), however, that’s not enough. You need to understand the fine details in the law, know how to navigate the process and to anticipate the other side’s next move.
Dealing with insurance offers
Insurance companies will often try to bypass the car accident victim’s attorney, and approach the victim directly with a settlement offer. Victims want to take the money for various reasons, but that’s almost always, a bad idea.
One of the reasons why insurance companies do this (try to avoid your attorney) is that they believe that by settling things directly with the victim, they will pay out less money than the victim actually deserves. This way they take advantage of the victim and their lack of experience in car accident claims. A skilled and well-experienced lawyer will prevent this from happening.
If you were in a serious car accident that left you struggling emotionally, financially and physically, you might be eligible to recover a substantial amount of money as compensation from the at-fault party. Having an experienced lawyer at your side is always a good idea, because you will learn more about your rights and will have a solid strategy on how to move forward and claim the most money for your injuries. Contact Scheck Podolsky today and schedule a consultation.