Car accident lawyers belong to the group of personal injury lawyers who can handle a variety of accidents that come within the ambit of personal injury laws, among which car accidents top the list. From medical negligence cases to police brutalities as well as workplace injury and slip and fall accidents, all come under the purview of personal injury laws. But car accidents constitute the bulk of all personal injury cases and claims because the rate of motor vehicle accidents is increasing at an alarming rate in the US. The preliminary figures available from National Safety Council show that in 2020 about 42,060 deaths happened due to car accidents which increased by 9% over the figures of 2019.
The accidents increased in the pandemic year when there were widespread restrictions in travel and movements are a matter of serious concern. It mainly points to lapses on the part of drivers that caused the accidents and deaths. Despite the driving miles falling by 13% in 2020, the number of fatalities from road accidents increased by 24% over the same period in the preceding 12 months. According to NSC data, the death rate is the highest in almost a century or 96 years, to be precise. 4.8 million People suffered severe injuries from road accidents in 2020, which cost society about $474 billion.
Exercise your right to claim compensation
Motorists and pedestrians must be increasingly careful to avoid car accidents. But everything said car accidents could affect anybody, anytime. If you or some of your dear ones suffer injuries from car accidents, you must prepare to exercise your right under the personal injury laws and file a compensation claim. Barring minor injuries and damages, you can claim compensation for personal injury under the guidance of an Oceanside car accident lawyer who can handle your case efficiently to ensure that you get the fairest compensation for personal injuries.
Although most of the personal injury claims settlement happens at the level of the insurance settlers, you still need a personal injury lawyer by your side to wade through the legal process. Usually, insurance companies’ attorneys are involved in settling claims, and in protecting your interest, you must entrust the job to a personal injury lawyer.
First, consult a personal injury lawyer
As soon as you recover from the initial shock of the accident and overcome the momentary mental disorientation due to the shock, you must start preparing to file a claim for compensation for the injuries and damages. Assuming that the injuries are serious enough to claim compensation, the first step is to consult a personal injury lawyer. Look for a trustworthy and knowledgeable lawyer with a proven track record of successfully protecting the clients’ interests to help them get the most deserving compensation. Soon after the accident, the insurance company of the other party involved in the accident would get in touch with you to gather information and build a case against you so that they can either avoid paying the compensation or reach a subpar settlement and leave you high and dry.
Since they would try to gather a lot of sensitive information from you to catch you on the wrong foot, be careful when sharing information with them as it can influence the case’s outcome. Act according to the guidance of your personal injury lawyer, and it would be best to allow the lawyer to represent your case for handling the intrusive agencies that try to beat you at your own game.
When can you claim compensation?
To claim compensation for personal injury, there must be enough grounds to build a strong case against the offending party by establishing the sequence of events that led to the accident. When you narrate the facts to the lawyer, it will become clear whether there is enough merit in the case to claim compensation. Firstly, it requires establishing that the injuries did not pre-exist but happened only because of the collision that even damaged the vehicle you were traveling. It is essential to prove the involvement of the third party, but it is a prerequisite to establishing that the accident and injuries occurred due to the negligence of fault of the third party.
Establishing fault is critical
Establishing fault or negligence of the party that caused the accident is the pivot of all personal injury cases. The lawyer must prove with supporting evidence that the accident was a negligent act of the other party whose carelessness or some deliberate intention of causing harm resulted in the accident. Failing to prove the fault or negligence of the third party would weaken your case, and you will not receive any compensation. Therefore, the accused party should bear the liability for compensating the accident victim for the injuries that include medical bills for treatment, including expenses to be incurred in the future and other damages like loss of earning, household expenses, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, etc.
Damages that you can include in the claim
In addition to physical injuries sustained in the accident, there are several other types of damages. Some of them may be directly or indirectly related to the accident that contributed to the pain and suffering of the victim while recovering from the injuries.
Generally, compensation claims for personal injury cases consist of two damages – General damages and Special damages. All damages and suffering undergone by the victim come under these two categories.
The direct effects of the accident related to the injuries constitute a major part of the claim and are known as general damages. All kinds of pain and suffering of the victim together with loss of amenity come under the broad head of General Damages. Loss of amenity includes everything that impacts the life of the victims and pushes them towards despair and mental agony. Suppose you have a fractured leg from an accident and receive medical treatment for it over a few weeks or months, depending on the severity of the injury. During the treatment period, when you remain confined to the bed for most of the time, you will not lead a regular life. It amounts to the loss of amenity as interpreted by the personal injury laws.
General damages include loss of earning at present as well as loss of any earning in the future. It also includes household expenses and even the cost of trip cancellation if you planned for vacation but could not make it because of the accident.
The second part of the claim for compensation consists of special damages that include all such things that help you regain the financial position that you enjoyed before the injury and the accident. It consists of all kinds of expenses denoted by ‘out of pocket expenses that include all sorts of future expenses that you might have to incur together with similar expenses already incurred.
Loss of earnings – As the accident might rob you of your earning ability temporarily or sometimes for life, the loss of income incurred during the period until regaining regular life after recovery constitutes a loss of earnings. It also includes the losses you incur until you become fully fir to ear at the pre-accident level.
Costs of treatment and care including rehabilitation – Treatment for injuries from an accident includes therapies and other physical aids given to help victims regain normalcy in movements and motion to come back to everyday life gradually. For example, if someone needs a wheelchair for assisted movement during the rehabilitation period and later requires a walker or walking stick to get back on their own feet again. The cost of all such equipment and aid, including whatever might be essential in the future, would be part of the compensation claim.
Loss of property – Any damage caused to property due to the accident forms a part of the claim.
A lot of traveling is often necessary while undergoing medical treatment for injuries resulting from the accident, and such expenses are also part of the compensation claim.
The lawyer ensure justice and recovery
To exercise your right to claim compensation for personal injury, your personal injury lawyer will play the role of your mentor and well-wisher and help file the claim by adhering to the rules within the stipulated time and help you with proper medical treatment. The lawyer will coordinate with the doctors treating you and oversee the treatment to ensure a speedy recovery. Moreover, the lawyer will use his legal knowledge and skills to compute damages to assign a monetary value for all types of damages undergone. The task is not easy because it involves many intangible objects. The lawyer must use some proven methods to ascertain the losses or damages in monetary terms.
The lawyer will try his best to ensure that the clients regain their physical fitness fully and at the same time receive proper compensation for the sufferings that caused a lot of setbacks in their lives.