If you’ve recently been the victim of an auto accident, you should consult with an experienced auto accident lawyer serving Gaithersburg . You may be entitled to file a personal injury claim and seek an auto accident settlement for financial, physical, and emotional damages sustained. Here is a guide to identifying your total damages after a car accident.
Emotional DamagesYour auto accident lawyer should seek damages for mental or physical distress when he files your personal injury claim. These damages may compensate for the emotional anguish at the time of the accident, as well as resulting mental pain and suffering after the accident. Examples of such pain and suffering may include depression, anxiety, phobias, insomnia, and stress. Emotional damages are calculated based upon the severity of the symptoms, the type of physical injuries suffered, the circumstances surrounding the car accident, and the likelihood of future mental pain and suffering.
Physical damages refer to any injuries you suffered as a result of the car accident. The damages that you may be awarded in your auto accident settlement will depend upon the severity of the injuries, the location of the injuries, your prognosis for recovery, and the affect that the injuries have on your professional and social relationships. For instance, if you have suffered from extreme, permanent facial scarring, you might be awarded more in physical damages than if you simply suffered from a broken bone. Physical damages include compensation for all medical expenses, including in-home care services.
Financial damages are damages that you suffered due to lost wages, or vehicle repairs that weren’t covered by your auto insurance. If your auto accident injuries were severe enough that you missed work, even for a brief period of time, you might be entitled to recoup your lost wages. If your injuries prevent you from working at all in the future, or prevent you from working in the field in which you’re specifically qualified, you may get a higher auto accident settlement.
If you have been hurt in a car accident , you should seek counsel from an auto accident lawyer near Gaithersburg. Personal injury law can be complicated, and only a personal injury attorney who regularly handles auto collisions can evaluate whether or not you may have a claim for financial damages. Continue reading to find out why you should not speak to the other driver’s insurance company, put off seeking medical care, or have your car fixed immediately after an accident.
Speak to the Other Attorney
Assuming you are in an auto accident with a truck or car driver who is insured, his or her insurance company will want to secure a statement from you as soon as possible. However, it is essential to hire a personal injury lawyer before you speak to any insurance company. Many people feel pressured to give a statement after an accident. Unfortunately, anything you say can and will be used against you in a trial. Only an experienced personal injury attorney can ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you do not accidentally admit to fault.
Put Off Seeking Medical Care
When it comes to accident injury claims, seeking medical care right away is important. Even if you are not sure that you are seriously hurt, it is vital to speak to a doctor and seek a comprehensive medical evaluation. Many injuries do not show symptoms until days or even weeks after an accident. In order to recover monetary damages and be reimbursed for medical bills, you should see a doctor immediately after an accident. You should also make sure to hold onto any bills.
Take Your Car in for Repairs
While you may understandably want to have your car fixed as soon as possible, having your vehicle serviced can make it more difficult for investigators to determine who is at fault. To make sure you are adequately compensated for any property damage or loss, a personal injury lawyer urges clients to only take a car in for repairs after fault has been conclusively established.
It’s a fact – Car and truck accidents often cause injuries. If you are involved in a car or motorcycle crash, it’s important to promptly consult an auto accident lawyer near Gaithersburg to ensure your legal rights are protected. Your personal injury lawyer will work with you to help you determine the facts of the situation and the types of damages you may be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit.
In this video, you will learn more about what to do after an auto accident, as well as what your auto accident lawyer can do for you. Following an accident, all the names and contact information of the individuals involved should be recorded, and statements taken on the scene by a police or other law enforcement official. Even if this process is not followed exactly, your personal injury attorney may be able to follow up with those involved to get the facts needed to present your case.
While most individuals are familiar with accidents involving personal cars, trucks, or motorcycles, public transportation vehicles are also at risk for accidents as well. Bus and train accidents cause the same injuries and hardships that result from car and truck accidents , but seeking compensation is much more difficult without the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer serving Rockville. Every time you ride public transportation, the carrier assumes responsibility for your safety. Pedestrians and bicyclists sharing the roads with public transportation also have the right to safe conduct by bus and train operators. Thus, if you are involved in a public transportation accident, you may have the right to sue for compensation to cover lost wages and medical expenses associated with your injury. However, seeking compensation from a public transportation service is not the same as filing a normal personal injury lawsuit following a crash in which everyone involved is a private party. Many municipalities that operate bus, subway, or train systems have special immunities or “notice” requirements in place to limit their liability, or worse, extinguish your claim entirely if all of the special rules are not followed. This is why working with an experienced personal injury lawyer is so important—your lawyer will ensure you follow all necessary regulations and meet any required deadlines to file your case to avoid the most common causes of dismissal and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Car accidents affect millions of people each year, and while some accidents are minor, others lead to serious injuries and loss of wages. What factors contribute to these frequent accidents? Distracted driving, including mobile phone use, is a major issue, as is driver fatigue and driving while intoxicated. Whatever the cause of an accident, the steps you take after one occurs can make a big difference in your ability to get compensation for your damage and injuries. After getting any necessary medical attention, be sure to call a lawyer before you consider any settlement offers. Find out more about car accidents in this infographic from Sussman & Simcox: Attorneys at Law. We assist clients with personal injury claims in Gaithersburg, and we can protect your rights throughout the personal injury settlement process. Contact us when you need a lawyer to assist you with a personal injury claim, and please share this information with your friends and family.
When buying or renewing car insurance, most people naturally look for places to save money. But when you buy insurance, Rockville personal injury attorneys suggest paying special attention to PIP and uninsured motorist coverage.
PIP stands for personal injury protection and is no-fault coverage designed to pay immediate medical expenses and lost wages after an accident. Individuals apply for these benefits from their own insurance companies and they are payable regardless of who caused the accident. Minimum coverage is $2,500 in benefits, which generally covers an emergency room visit, x-rays, some follow-up care, and some time off work. PIP is a great value in that it does not cost very much to add to your auto policy, and each member of your household will then have access to their own $2,500 benefit.
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you suffer personal injury in an auto accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Like PIP, this benefit is purchased through your own insurance company. It gives you the peace of mind in knowing that if you or other occupants of your car are seriously injured, and the other driver is inadequately insured, there will still be coverage available to pay for your injuries and wages. Given the high cost of medical care, families can be devastated with uncovered hospital or surgical bills after an accident. Insure yourself. The next time you renew your auto insurance make sure you consider raising your uninsured motorist limits.
All personal injury claims in Gaithersburg or surrounding area immediately receive the attention of insurance companies eager to minimize their financial obligations to victims. Once the insured or the injured person opens a claim, an insurance adjuster gets to work to investigate the facts of the accident and try to negotiate settlement of the claim. To protect yourself, make sure you have a good accident attorney to help you navigate insurance company demands. Read on to learn more about what role insurance companies and adjustors play in personal injury cases.
Speak to the Insured Party
An insurance adjustor’s first step is to speak to the individual covered by their insurance policy. If the insured individual has suffered personal injury in a car, truck, boating, or other accident, the adjustor will ask for a recorded statement describing the accident and all injuries.
Request Official Records
Car accidents are generally accompanied by police reports and accident reports drivers file with the state department of motor vehicles. An insurance company will request copies of all these documents as they begin to build their file.
Request Additional Documentation
Once the claim has been filed, the adjustor generally identifies him/herself, explains applicable policy limits, and asks the claimant or claimant’s personal injury attorney to provide documents that may be relevant to the claim. For example, an adjustor may ask for medical bills, medical records, proof of earnings, and proof of property damage.
Investigate Injured Persons
If you are the victim of an accident, the individual who caused your personal injury most likely has his insurance company investigating you. The opposing insurance company will look for any information that might defeat your claim or lower its value. For example, the company may Google you or examine insurance claims databases to see if you have ever filed a personal injury claim before. Adjustors may call your employer to find out how you are doing back at work. They even access accident victims’ Facebook pages to see if they have posts that suggest they are not truly injured.
Car accident claims often prompt insurance companies to call those parties involved and demand a recorded statement. However, it’s essential to understand your rights in a personal injury claim and whether you are required to give a statement regarding the incident or your injuries. Contacting a lawyer serving Gaithersburg and Rockville before giving a statement is your best course of action to prevent making unintended statements that could hurt your personal injury claim.
This video explains that insurance companies often try to obtain recorded statements immediately after an accident, before you have seen a police report or spoken with an attorney. While some insurance policies do require you to give a statement, in many cases you are not required to submit a recorded statement—your personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether a statement is needed and how to address the questions you will be asked to best aid your personal injury claim.
Filing personal injury claims after suffering a car accident injury in Gaithersburg or Rockville can help you recover compensation for your losses following a rear-end collision . However, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of car and truck accidents. As a general rule of thumb, leave at least one car length of space for every 10 mph between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you. If a vehicle is following you too closely, switch lanes if possible or consider pulling over to let the vehicle pass you.
As you’ll learn when you watch this video, personal injury claims often arise because many drivers become careless when the gaps between vehicles remain consistent. In other words, drivers are more likely to take their eyes off the road when the vehicle ahead of them maintains a steady speed. Unfortunately, complacency can easily lead to a rear-end collision, as the car ahead can suddenly brake when the rear driver has glanced away.
It’s all too easy to panic after being involved in a car wreck, especially one that involves significant damage and injuries. However, panicking can make it difficult for you to think clearly and you could easily end up making a serious mistake. Instead, take a deep breath and check to see if you or anyone else has sustained a car accident injury . It’s also a good idea to call an auto accident lawyer serving Gaithersburg. Your personal injury lawyer can offer the legal guidance you need to avoid making the following mistakes.
Avoid Making an Oral Agreement
In the event that the accident was a minor fender bender and no one sustained any injuries, the other driver may try to make an oral agreement with you. He or she might try to convince you not to call the police . The other driver might also tell you that he or she will pay for the damage out of pocket and that calling the insurance company isn’t necessary. This is never a good idea. You should always call the police to report the accident and to obtain a police report. Without the police report, there is little evidence to prove that the crash occurred and you’ll likely have difficulty with your claim. Additionally, if the other driver is offering to bypass the insurance paperwork, there’s a good chance that he or she lacks auto insurance. In this case, it’s best to let a car accident lawyer handle your case.
Avoid Leaving the Area
Another mistake drivers commonly make is leaving the scene of the accident, rather than pulling over. Even if your car just barely grazed the other car’s bumper, you still need to pull over and check to see that the other driver is alright. You’ll also need to report the accident to the police and exchange insurance information with the other driver. Failure to do so is a criminal offense.
Avoid Forgetting to Exchange Information
Many drivers already know that they need to exchange their insurance information, and write down the other driver’s full name and address. However, one common mistake is neglecting to write down other crucial details, such as the names and contact information of any passengers and witnesses to the crash. You’ll also need the make, model, and color of the vehicle, along with the license plate number.
If you or a loved one has suffered a car accident injury , it’s always advisable to seek the counsel of a personal injury lawyer. It isn’t in the best interests of insurance companies to offer you maximum compensation. Your car accident lawyer located in Gaithersburg understands how to guide you through the claim process, how to best present your claim, and how to negotiate with the insurance company to obtain maximum compensation on your behalf. Car accident injuries can lead to chronic pain and even permanent disability. Work with a personal injury attorney to avoid settling for less than what you deserve.
Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer
There are many ways of locating a personal injury lawyer near you . You could ask for referrals from family members or friends who have previously been involved in auto accidents. Or, you can check with your state bar association. Healthcare professionals may also offer referrals.
Scheduling an Initial Consultation
Before hiring a personal injury lawyer, you’ll meet him or her during an initial consultation. Most personal injury attorneys do not charge a fee for the first consultation and you can rest assured that it will be entirely confidential. The initial consultation provides the lawyer with an opportunity to look over your case, do some fact finding, and provide you with crucial information about the claims process. And its an opportunity for you to ask questions about the legal process involved.
Asking Important Questions
You can expect to answer questions about the auto accident and the losses you’ve suffered as a result. You’ll also have the opportunity to interview the lawyer to decide if you want to hire him or her. You can ask questions such as “Have you handled auto accident cases before?” and “What should my realistic expectations be for recovery in this case?” You may also ask about how often the lawyer will update you on the progress of the case.
Working with the Lawyer
Auto accident cases may not always be as straightforward as they appear. Often, victims find that they suffer from additional symptoms or complications weeks after the crash. Keep updated records regarding all of your medical problems and the resulting financial losses, and share those records with your lawyer.
There are a few things you need to do immediately after a car crash to protect yourself from legal liability . Even if the accident seems minor, you should always pull over right away to check for damage and evaluate whether a car accident injury is present. Call the police promptly and arrange for an ambulance if necessary. Then, you can contact a personal injury lawyer if you need help figuring out what to do next.
As you’ll learn by watching this video, your personal injury lawyer serving Gaithersburg will likely instruct you to exchange certain information with the other driver. For a personal injury claim, you’ll need the other driver’s name, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information.
After sustaining a car accident injury , it’s advisable to work with a personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will help you understand your legal rights and advise you with regard to the steps you need to take to substantiate your personal injury claim. By filing a personal injury claim with the help of your attorney, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, disability, and other damages.
See a Doctor Promptly
In addition to filing a police report to establish a record of the incident, it’s important to begin documenting your injuries. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, you may be evaluated by emergency responders at the scene and taken to the hospital via an ambulance. Even if your injuries are not this severe, however, you should consider a visit to an urgent care clinic or with your doctor as soon as possible to ensure you fully understand how the accident may have affected you. Let the doctor know that you were in a car crash and that the injury occurred as a result of the accident. In the weeks and months ahead, be sure to follow your doctor’s treatment plan. Otherwise, you may delay your own recovery and inadvertently jeopardize your personal injury claim. You should also schedule follow-up appointments with your doctor as needed.
Keep Track of Your Expenses
Your personal injury lawyer serving Gaithersburg is likely to advise you that keeping accurate, updated records is essential for a successful claim. Before you can demand compensation for your losses , you must first demonstrate exactly what those losses are. Keep receipts and other documentation that prove your out-of-pocket medical costs. You may have also incurred transportation expenses traveling to and from your medical appointments and therapy sessions, and you may have lost wages because of appointments and because of your recovery time.
Maintain Updated Health Records
With the passage of time, you may not always remember the different ways that you were affected by your accident injuries. Your lawyer may advise you to keep a health journal. Write down details about your symptoms and describe how they interfere with your daily activities. Keep track of anything you’re no longer capable of doing because of your injuries. Additionally, write down the dates and outcomes of all of your medical appointments.
Car accidents are never expected, but you should always be prepared. Preparedness can take a lot of the stress out of the post-collision situation, so here are some simple things you should keep with you at all times:
- Pen and Paper
- Insurance Card
- Medical information card for you and your family
- Safety Cones
- First-aid Kit
The experts at State Farm Insurance have compiled a list of things to do immediately following your accident. Here are the first 5:
- Stay as calm as possible.
- Check for injuries. Life and health are more important than damage to vehicles. When in doubt, call an ambulance.
- If the accident is minor and there are no serious injuries, move cars to a safe place, rather than risk being in moving traffic.
- Turn on hazard lights. If warranted, and possible, use cones, warning triangles or flares for safety.
- Call the police, even if the car accident is minor.
Remember you aren’t alone in this. If you’ve been involved in a car accident and need legal help, contact Sussman & Simcox. Our expertise and years of experience can help you get the compensation you deserve. We’ll look over your case for free!
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