When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident

Written By: Darl Champion

Date Posted: 02.19.24

Category: Car Accident

When drivers exhibit road rage, engage in distracted driving, violate traffic regulations, or drive while intoxicated, they significantly increase their chances of causing a traffic accident. As a result, accident victims may suffer debilitating injuries that can affect every aspect of their lives.

If you sustained injuries in a motor vehicle crash that a negligent driver caused, you must retain experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. Once you retain a car accident lawyer for representation, they can investigate your accident circumstances and gather important evidence to satisfy your claim. Moreover, as your case proceeds, your lawyer can handle all the necessary steps, including filing a claim with the insurance company and negotiating with insurance company representatives for favorable settlement compensation.

Additionally, suppose the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement. In that case, your attorney can promptly pursue litigation in the court system and, if necessary, bring your case to a final resolution at a trial or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding.

Types of Car Accidents that Negligent Drivers May Cause

When other people drive carelessly and recklessly, their chances of causing a serious accident increase dramatically.

Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs pose an extremely serious threat while on the road, frequently contributing to various types of accidents. One common consequence of drunk driving is rear-end collisions. Intoxicated or impaired drivers may struggle to maintain a safe following distance, increasing their likelihood of striking the vehicle in front of them. These accidents often result in property damage and injuries to the occupants of the impacted vehicles.

Car accident: Woman driving at high speed exits junction without signaling, causing negligent collision with man's car.

Distracted driving is another significant contributor to car accidents, leading to scenarios like sideswipe collisions. Drivers engaged in activities such as texting, talking on the phone, or adjusting in-car entertainment systems may inadvertently drift into adjacent travel lanes, causing collisions with vehicles traveling alongside them. These accidents can damage the sides of the involved vehicles and may lead to further complications if multiple vehicles are affected.

Violations of standard traffic laws can lead to T-bone accidents – especially at busy traffic intersections. Drivers who run stop signs or fail to yield the right of way risk colliding with vehicles crossing their path perpendicularly. These accidents often result in severe side impacts, especially if one vehicle travels at a high speed.

Reckless driving behaviors like speeding or aggressive maneuvers can result in head-on collisions. Drivers operating under the influence may exhibit impaired judgment and engage in risky behaviors that lead to them crossing into oncoming traffic. Head-on accidents are particularly dangerous, often resulting in severe injuries and fatalities due to the opposing forces involved.

Why are Injuries in a Car Crash So Serious?

The repercussions of driver and passenger injuries in a car accident extend far beyond the immediate physical harm. The aftermath can profoundly alter the accident victim’s life trajectory, influencing various aspects, from personal well-being to daily routines.

Physical injuries, depending upon their severity, often result in pain and discomfort, affecting an individual’s ability to perform routine tasks. Mobility may also become restricted, making simple activities challenging. This newfound physical vulnerability can lead to a reliance on assistive devices, altering the individual’s independence and introducing the need for ongoing medical care and rehabilitation.

The emotional toll of car accident injuries is also significant. Mental health struggles, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), frequently accompany the accident victim’s recovery process. The trauma experienced during the accident can also manifest in persistent fears, nightmares, and general unease, reshaping the emotional landscape of the accident victim’s life.

Occupational consequences are another facet of the accident’s aftermath. Injuries may render individuals temporarily or permanently cannot work, leading to financial strain and potentially altering their career trajectory. Loss of income and mounting medical expenses can create a precarious financial situation, affecting not only the victim but also their family members and dependents.

Family dynamics often change as well. The injured accident victim may require extensive support from loved ones, shifting roles within the family unit. Caregivers may need to adapt to new responsibilities, while relationships may become strained due to the emotional and financial stressors resulting from the accident.

Individuals recovering from car accident injuries may also experience social isolation as they navigate the challenges of rehabilitation and coping with their new physical and emotional state. Social activities may become curtailed, leading to disconnection from friends and community.

Long-term consequences may include permanent disabilities, altering an individual’s lifestyle, and requiring ongoing adjustments. Once taken for granted, everyday activities become formidable challenges for many car crash victims. Adapting homes and vehicles for accessibility becomes necessary, further emphasizing the enduring effect of injuries on the accident victim’s life.

While accident victims are treated for their injuries and receive the medical treatment they need, an experienced car accident attorney can begin promptly handling the necessary legal components and preparing the claim for filing.

How Can a Lawyer Help with a Car Accident Claim or Lawsuit?

Engaging a knowledgeable car accident lawyer can prove instrumental in navigating the complexities of a personal injury claim or lawsuit. First, their experience in assessing the extent of injuries and calculating damages ensures that the accident victim pursues fair and reasonable compensation for their losses. A skilled attorney can build a robust case that accurately reflects the full scope of the victim’s car accident losses by thoroughly evaluating medical records, consulting with healthcare professionals, and considering long-term implications.

Legal proceedings involve intricate paperwork, and an experienced lawyer can efficiently manage this administrative burden. From filing court documents to dealing with insurance paperwork, their attention to detail ensures that all necessary forms are completed accurately and submitted promptly. This meticulous approach also helps prevent delays and ensures the case proceeds smoothly.

Negotiations with insurance companies can also be daunting for individuals, but a seasoned lawyer is a strong advocate. They understand how to handle settlement discussions, pushing for a fair offer that addresses economic and non-economic losses. Insurance adjusters often attempt to minimize payouts, but an attorney adept at negotiation can counter these tactics, safeguarding the accident victim’s interests.

Legal proceedings can be labyrinthine, with various rules and procedures. A knowledgeable lawyer understands the legal landscape, ensuring the case adheres to all applicable laws and regulations. This includes state statutes of limitations, court-filing procedures, and rules of evidence. Navigating these complexities is vital for the success of a personal injury claim, and an attorney’s experience ensures the case proceeds within the bounds of the law.

Moreover, in the event of a lawsuit, a car accident lawyer brings invaluable litigation experience to the table. They can build a compelling case, present persuasive legal arguments, gather evidence, and leverage their courtroom experience to advocate for the accident victim’s rights. From pre-trial motions to the trial, a skilled attorney guides their accident-victim client through the legal process, offering support and strategic guidance.

One of the critical roles of a car accident lawyer is thoroughly investigating the accident circumstances. An experienced attorney will work to establish liability by gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and consulting skilled accident reconstructionists if necessary. This comprehensive approach strengthens the case, providing a solid foundation for legal proceedings.

Evidence in Car Accident Cases

Proving a car accident claim or lawsuit often hinges on a combination of documentary evidence and witness accounts. Medical records are a cornerstone of documentary evidence, providing a detailed account of injuries sustained during the accident. These records, encompassing diagnoses, treatment plans, and prognoses, establish a clear link between the incident and the resulting physical harm to the accident victim.

Moreover, photographic evidence captures the accident scene and the damages incurred. Images of the vehicles involved, road conditions, traffic signals, and any relevant signage provide a visual narrative that can be instrumental in establishing the circumstances surrounding the accident. These visual records serve as powerful tools in conveying the collision’s aftermath.

Police reports also play a crucial role in documenting the official account of the accident. They include information on the parties involved, eyewitness statements, and the officer’s determination of fault. Police reports often serve as valuable supporting evidence in establishing liability for a car crash and providing the necessary framework for the sequence of events.

Insurance documents, such as policy details and correspondence, may further contribute to the evidentiary landscape. These documents illuminate the coverage in place, facilitating a comprehensive understanding of the financial aspects of the claim. Furthermore, repair estimates, invoices, and receipts for vehicle damages and medical expenses offer tangible evidence of the economic repercussions of the accident.

Witness testimony, both from occupants of the vehicles involved and bystanders, further adds a human dimension to the evidentiary tapestry. Eyewitness accounts may corroborate or challenge the parties’ versions of events, providing an additional layer of perspective. This type of evidence can be influential in establishing credibility and unraveling the complexities of the car crash.

Professional opinions, often from accident reconstruction specialists or medical professionals, lend additional authority to the evidence presented. These professionals offer insights into the mechanics of the collision, the forces involved, and the resulting injuries. Their testimony can be pivotal in uncovering technical details that may otherwise be challenging for a layperson to comprehend.

A skilled car accident lawyer can gather and present the evidence necessary to pursue a favorable settlement or litigation result in your case.

Recovering the Financial Compensation You Need for Your Injuries

Injured car crash victims may seek monetary damages to address economic and non-economic losses resulting from their accident. On the economic front, medical expenses represent a significant category. This includes costs associated with hospitalizations, surgeries, prescription medications, rehabilitation, and any other necessary medical treatments.

Two lawyers shaking hands in agreement, symbolizing a legal business deal or agreement in a law firm.

Lost income constitutes another crucial economic damage category. For individuals who cannot work due to injuries they sustained in the car crash, compensation covers the income they lost during their recovery period. This encompasses the immediate aftermath of the accident and accounts for any long-term physical impairment that may affect the victim’s earning capacity.

Non-economic damages focus on intangible losses that car crash victims may experience after their accident. Pain and suffering – encompassing physical discomfort and emotional distress resulting from the accident – are significant elements. This category acknowledges the enduring effect of the injuries on the victim’s overall well-being, capturing the human toll beyond the measurable economic losses.

Loss of consortium represents damages related to the effect of the accident on relationships. Spouses or family members may experience a diminished quality of life due to the victim’s injuries, leading to compensation for the strain on familial bonds and the emotional toll on interpersonal relationships.

Another non-economic damage category is emotional distress. Car crash victims often endure psychological trauma, including anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Compensation for emotional distress acknowledges the mental anguish and suffering that the accident causes.

Disfigurement (such as from scarring) or permanent disability constitutes another significant non-economic damage, acknowledging the profound and lasting changes to an individual’s appearance or abilities. This category recognizes the effect on the victim’s life, both in terms of self-esteem and daily functioning.

Loss of enjoyment of life is a nuanced non-economic damage. It addresses the reduction in the victim’s ability to participate in and derive pleasure from activities they once enjoyed. This compensation acknowledges the intangible aspects of life that the accident altered.

Together, these compensation categories aim to provide a comprehensive remedy for how a car crash may alter an accident victim’s life.

Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer in Your Area Right Away

Darl Champion

Car Accident Attorney, Darl Champion

If you suffered injuries in a recent crash because of a negligent driver, the sooner you involve a car accident attorney in your case, the better off you will likely be. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can handle every aspect of your claim or lawsuit while you focus your full attention on getting better.

Specifically, your attorney can initiate a prompt investigation into your accident circumstances, file a claim with the appropriate insurance company, negotiate aggressively on your behalf, and litigate your case to a prompt resolution in the court system.

About the Author

Darl Champion is an award-winning personal injury lawyer serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. He is passionate about ensuring his clients are fully compensated when they are harmed by someone’s negligence. Learn more about Darl here.