You may be a careful driver who maintains your car, obeys the traffic laws, and pays attention to the road, but the negligent behavior of another motorist is all it takes to turn a routine commute to work into a nightmare of twisted metal and shattered glass. When you suffer injuries in a car accident caused by the fault of another driver, you have the right to recover compensation for the pain, suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses that you incur.
Too many people injured in car accidents accept settlements offered by the insurance company for the at-fault party that is substantially less than what they should have recovered had they retained an experienced personal injury attorney to handle a claim for them. Here are some of the ways that an attorney improves the chances of a successful outcome of your car accident claim.
Conduct a thorough investigation of the accident
To get the compensation that you deserve either through a negotiated settlement or in a verdict after trial requires evidence to prove that another party was at fault. One of the first things an attorney does after being retained to handle a claim for compensation is to conduct a thorough investigation.
Attorneys experienced in the representation of victims of car accidents have access to investigators and accident-reconstruction accidents who gather evidence, including traffic- and surveillance-camera footage, that can be used to prove the negligence of the at-fault party. A skilled attorney knows how to use the evidence to build a strong case for damages against the party responsible for the injuries that you sustained.
Identify all parties responsible for the crash
The driver of the vehicle that crashed into you may be the most obvious party to make a claim against for compensation, but there could be other parties whose conduct caused or contributed to causing the crash. For example, a study concluded flaws in road design and a lack of maintenance can be contributing factors in causing motor vehicle accidents. Some of the factors highlighted in the study include the following:
- Traffic control device not working.
- Excessive road crown.
- Missing signage.
- Insufficient sightlines.
- Excessive ramp speed.
- Poor road conditions.
An attorney has the ability to analyze evidence from a car accident to determine whether road conditions, vehicle maintenance, and other factors in addition to driver behavior caused it. This could lead to a claim against the municipal agency responsible for maintaining the road, a trucking or leasing company that failed to maintain its vehicle, and other parties responsible for causing the crash.
Communicate with the attorney and insurance company of the at-fault party
Claims adjusters and defense lawyers are not on your side and are not looking out for your interests. By letting your personal injury attorney handle all communications with the people representing the at-fault party, you get to focus on resting and recovering from your injuries while your attorney aggressively fights for the compensation that you deserve.
Attorneys know the true value of your claim for damages
Defense lawyers and adjusters rely on the fact that accident victims without legal representation rarely know the value of their claim for damages and can be tricked into accepting less than it is actually worth. Your attorney uses current and anticipated future medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other factors to determine the value of your claim before negotiating with the lawyer or adjuster for the other party.
Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations to victims of car accidents. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about how the attorney can be of help with your claim for compensation.