These days most people have cars, and they view them as an essential tool for home and work. With the increase in traffic comes the higher likelihood of experiencing some sort of crash. Sadly, these things are pretty much a part of life.
In one calendar year in the United Kingdom, there were almost two thousand deaths from car accidents, and over 150,000 recorded casualties. The implications of sustaining an injury can be many. There’s the emotional and traumatic element. There may be medical bills to pay and loss of earnings through being unable to work. If one’s car was involved, there might be repair bills.
The medical implications of the incident may be long term, as some people are never able to work again. Some need extra medical support and equipment at home. There are also other casualties, such as the impact on family life.
In many cases, people can claim financial compensation, which is what this article is all about.
The First Steps
When involved in an accident, the last thing one feels like is taking photographs. Actually, it’s really important. Don’t just take pictures of the vehicles and damage, but also of the road and landscape as they may help give an indication as to why the incident occurred.
There may have been a lack of light or an unmaintained and, therefore, dangerous road. The victim will need to take photos of the physical injury as soon as possible. These will support the claim for compensation and may support the trauma and emotional elements of the case. It’s also important to obtain the other party’s insurance details and write down the contact details of any witnesses.
This should be obtained as a top priority. It may be an ongoing thing, as some injuries don’t manifest themselves for a couple of days. Other secondary issues can also present themselves later on. Once a medical doctor has produced a statement, it is important to then be referred to a specialist for their report. This is because a consultant’s word carries more weight than a doctor who is only skilled in general medical practice.
Seeking a lawyer is the next step in most cases. Much information about attorneys can be gleaned from the internet, such as their experience and qualifications, and how long the business has been in practice. There may be client reviews, and there are also ways to find out if anyone has previously filed a complaint.
Most firms offer free consultations, but this doesn’t commit anyone to choose to use their services afterward. The fees, including hidden ones, should be fully discussed before proceeding. Many firms operate a ‘no win no fee’ policy, so it’s a good sign if an attorney is willing to take on the case. They are best placed to know one’s chances of success and how much compensation to seek.
In most American states, it is necessary for people to have Personal Liability and Property Damage cover. When visiting TheClarkLawOffice.com, it was helpful to learn from the experts that attorneys can also help people choose the most suitable option in the first place. There are several elements involved, being personal injury protection, property protection, and residual liability insurance. Lawyers are able to explain and advise on each of these elements so their clients can make an informed choice.
Insurance companies may try to deal with the injured parties directly, but it is safer to only communicate via the attorney. In fact, all communication should come from them and not the victim of the crash. If the best lawyer has been selected, they will have had lots of experience with similar scenarios to this one. Attorneys also gain an understanding of the medical conditions arising.
Compensation and Court
The tendency is for injured parties to want their compensation money as soon as possible. This is particularly if one has medical bills to pay, and they are currently unable to work. Some legal cases can drag on, and others will eventually end up in court. Court cases occur less than one would think, but would definitely happen if no one was admitting liability.
An attorney can help people sail the rocky seas of settlement offers. Some parties may offer an early settlement figure. This may be, for instance, if they don’t want to incur bad publicity through it ending up in court. The problem is, early offers are not usually for the full sum requested. It can be hard for a layman to decide wisely when they are still recovering from the accident and emotionally involved.
Someone would be very unwise to accept an early settlement offer if the full medical diagnosis had not yet been reached. That’s because until one knows the full extent of the injuries, one doesn’t know the long term implications or how much compensation to request. Sadly some people are rendered unable to work again or have to have such things as a walk-in bath, handrails, wheelchairs, or other medical appliances. These will all have a bearing on both the financial and the emotional elements of the claim.
When a settlement offer is given but is only slightly smaller than the full compensation claim, the attorney can be the one to help decide. If the other party has admitted liability, it may be possible to obtain an interim payment before the case has been resolved. This can help the client be more patient with the length of the case and pay any outstanding bills and expenses.
The more complex the case or, the bigger the claim, the more important it is to have an attorney. It will be their job to compile the evidence, reports, and statements. They’ll know what to do and when. They will be their client’s representative, and if the case goes to court, their legal advocate. It’s important to have an experienced and assertive professional protect one’s interests, fight one’s corner, and gain the most satisfactory and fair settlement figure. At the end of the day, one wants justice to be done.