Getting into a car accident can be a major disruption for you, especially if you suffer significant injuries. In addition to the repairs that you will need to make to your vehicle, or if you need to replace your vehicle, you will have to deal with some significant issues as you work with medical professionals to recover from your injuries. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be unable to return to work right away, or could even suffer from debilitating injuries that require you to go on short- or long-term disability and endure a significant economic change to your lifestyle.
No matter what your situation looks like after being injured in a car accident, it is important that you understand the right steps to take, how to get the money that you rightfully deserve, and give yourself the space you need to focus on recovery. 1-800-Injured can help you connect with a trustworthy car accident attorney so that you can move forward with confidence.
Read more below to learn about what to expect after being injured in a car accident, and how you can move forward with the best possible chances of a successful outcome following your insurance claims process. Contact us now to be connected with an attorney as soon as possible, and get started on the right track immediately.
Working With a Personal Injury Attorney After a Car Accident
After a car accident, you will need to file an insurance claim to recover financial damages for both the property damages you suffered, such as your car and other personal items, as well as any personal injuries that you endured. If you were not physically injured, and only need to seek compensation for your personal property, then this process can be relatively simple.
However, when there are personal injuries involved in a car accident, the claims process becomes more complicated, and the amount of money that you are owed will increase significantly. This additionally means that the insurance company will push back on a variety of things in order to reduce the amount of money that they pay. When you hire an attorney, they will be able to help you with all of these complications and more.
Benefits of Hiring An Attorney
There is a wide range of benefits that come with hiring an attorney, but one that people may not consider is the fact that it can be a major advantage for your physical recovery from your injuries. Emotional stress is proven to significantly impact recovery from physical injuries, meaning that anything you can do to eliminate or reduce stress will improve your recovery times.
In addition to reducing your stress levels, hiring an attorney is the best way to determine how much money you are actually entitled to. Damages in a personal injury case are much more detailed than simply compiling some receipts or getting a repair estimate to submit to the insurance company for reimbursement. The foundation of your case will rely on your economic damages, which are relatively simple to calculate, but when you begin to explore non-economic damages, the entire process becomes more complicated.
You can read more below about how settlement amounts are calculated, including the differences between economic and non-economic damages. Specifics aside, the best way to fight for all of these damages is with the help of an experienced car accident attorney in Sarasota. We will be happy to connect you with the right attorney for your case as soon as you contact us for a free initial consultation.
Finding the Right Attorney For You
Searching for an attorney that you trust can be an unnecessarily complicated and stressful process involving a variety of initial consultations, asking and answering the same questions over and over again, and ultimately questioning the decision you made once you select an attorney to help you through this process. When you work with 1-800-Injured, you can avoid this entire process by simply reaching out to our team and being connected with a proven and successful attorney in Sarasota who is ready to take your case and fight for the money that you deserve.
If reducing stress should be one of your top priorities during this process, then using 1-800-Injured to find an attorney is a great first step to take in this direction.
Filing an Insurance Claim After a Car Accident in Sarasota
Once your immediate medical issues have been addressed and you are able to start thinking about what comes next, you will need to file an insurance claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. Once you submit your claim, the company will assign an insurance adjuster to your case, who will investigate all aspects of the accident in order to confirm your claims and determine the amount of money that the insurance company should pay you for this situation.
Submitting To an Independent Medical Exam
Depending on the injuries that you claim, the insurance company may require that you visit an “independent” doctor for a medical examination. While the idea is that you see an impartial doctor to get an objective medical exam, the reality is that this doctor is contracted by the insurance company, and the goal of this exam is to identify any and all possible ways to reduce your medical damages so the insurance company can save money. When you have an attorney representing you, you can go through this process with confidence, knowing that you have been counseled on what you can say and should avoid saying, how to present your injuries in a way that clearly connects them to the accident, and how to avoid accidental complications to your claim by making seemingly-innocuous statements that can come back to haunt you.
If there were eyewitnesses to your accident, their testimony can be a major benefit to your case to support your claim that the other driver was responsible. The police will submit an accident report after their initial investigation at the scene of the accident, but in some cases, there are details that are missed, or supporting information that can add to the context of the overall situation that works in your favor.
In some instances, the other driver may be cited or arrested for behaviors that caused the accident, but in other cases, the details may not be so clear without a variety of accounts. Your lawyer will be able to sort through all of the available information in order to present a clear picture of the accident to the insurance company and make it very clear that you are the victim of this accident.
Negotiating Your Settlement Offer
Once the claims adjuster completes their investigation, they will return to the insurance company with their findings and make a recommendation on the settlement amount they should offer you. The problem with the settlement offer is that it is the amount that the insurance company wants to pay, NOT the amount that you actually deserve. If insurance companies paid victims the amount they were rightfully owed in any given accident, they would not be able to remain in business for long.
Once the insurance company gives their offer, they will suggest that this is the best offer you will get. This is not true. In fact, this is only the beginning of an ongoing series of negotiations to get you the money that you actually deserve. Insurance companies rely on the fact that the victim may be stressed about their growing medical bills, as well as the fact that they are likely unfamiliar with insurance claims in general.
In exchange for the initial, unreasonably low offer, the claimant will be required to waive their rights for any additional legal actions against the insurance company or their client for this accident. This is unfair on a variety of levels, and your lawyer will not allow this to happen to you.
Determining Your Settlement Amount After a Sarasota Car Accident
In order to arrive to negotiations with a strong position and a clear understanding of your rights, it is important that you and your attorney have calculated all of the factors that go into a settlement amount and arrived at a concrete and fair number. In order to do so, there are a variety of factors that need to be explored, compiled, and calculated, known as “damages.” No two accident is alike, meaning that it is important to go through each possible damage in your accident and get a complete idea of the issues present in your case. Damages are typically divided into two types, economic and non-economic, in order to arrive at a final amount.
Economic damages are the basis of a personal injury case because they are the easiest to calculate and the most simple to compile. They include all accident-related issues that involve actual financial transactions or losses, such as medical bills and income-related issues. Your attorney will go through all of these measurable damages in order to determine how much you should get from the insurance company.
Medical bills such as ambulance rides, emergency room visits, surgical costs, recovery and physical therapy bills, assistive devices, prescriptions, co-payments, and other similar expenses are just a part of these damages. In addition to the medical costs, these damages include all income-related losses such as lost wages, decreased ability to earn your normal income, and the possibility of short-term or long-term disability if your injuries limit your ability to return to work.
Once your attorney has calculated the economic damages that you have suffered, the next step is to determine the non-economic damages present in your accident. Non-economic damages are more complicated to determine and quantify, since they do not have set dollar values, but they are no less important and deserve to be compensated just as much as economic damages. They include things like the actual pain and suffering of the injuries, as well as things like loss of enjoyment in life following the injuries, depression, and more.
Insurance companies tend to push back on non-economic damages harder than economic damages, simply because there is more room for disagreement with abstract damages than there is with a stack of invoices. That said, you deserve to be compensated for this suffering, and your attorney will fight on your behalf.
One of the most common ways to assign a dollar amount to these damages is by considering all of the damages on a scale of how severe they are and using the number on that scale as a multiplier. This multiplier is applied to the total economic damages from the accident, and these abstract damages suddenly have a cost associated with them. For example, if you have incurred $100,000 of economic damages and your attorney has identified your non-economic multiplier as 3x, then you will seek non-economic damages of 3 x $100,000, or $300,000.
Common Injuries After a Car Accident
Just like the amount of damages that a victim incurs after an accident, the type of injuries they suffer in the accident vary depending on a variety of factors that make each accident unique. However, there are some accidents that are more common than others, including the following.
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in any type of car accident, even at very low speeds. This injury happens when the vehicle stops suddenly, and the victim’s head is jerked forward, down, and back in a rapid “S” motion. This motion quickly stretches the soft tissues in the neck, like the muscles, tendons, and disks, causing tears and ruptures that lead to a stiff neck, headaches, mobility issues, jaw aches, trouble sleeping, and more.
Soft tissue injuries may take some time to become fully apparent, meaning that you may feel that you are not injured at the scene of the accident, only to realize a day or two later that you are seriously incapacitated. This is why it is important that you do not make any statements at the scene that claim you have not been injured at all.
Unlike soft tissue injuries, a fractured bone is fairly easy to identify as soon as it has occurred. These injuries are very common in higher-speed impacts or instances where the victim collided with a solid piece of the car, causing the bone to split. Fractures can be extremely painful, and require immediate medical help in order to set the bone and get it into the proper support device to facilitate full healing.
Concussions are very serious injuries, sometimes known as “silent killer” because of how often they are ignored or not given enough attention. Even a minor concussion can have serious long-term impacts on the victim, such as trouble sleeping, personality changes, memory loss, and more.
The more serious that a concussion is, the more severe and dangerous the long-term impacts can be. In some cases, concussions can be the first step towards a coma or brain death, which is why even the most minor instances of a concussion must be examined by a medical professional.