Car accident lawyers in Port Richey regularly handle matters that arise from traffic collisions. They are the go-to professionals that can make a major difference in the outcome of a personal injury claim.
Responsibilities of Car Accident Attorneys
Car accident attorneys are also responsible for lifting the legal and financial burden off the shoulders of claimants. Therefore, their responsibilities involve the following activities.
Investigating the accident
They gather information such as police reports, photographs, and witness testimonies to determine who is at fault.
Managing insurance claims
They negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure compensation for lost income, medical expenses, and vehicle damage.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit
If the insurance claims don’t cover all your losses, your lawyer can initiate a personal injury lawsuit against the other party to pursue additional compensation. This includes both economic and non-economic damages.
The main difference between economic and non-economic damages is how they’re calculated. Economic damages represent quantifiable and tangible damages related to finances, earnings, property, and medical costs. They compensate the plaintiff financially for monetary expenses and losses.
Some of these damages include medical bills, lost income, loss of future earning capacity, and vehicle damage.
Non-economic damages represent intangible, hard-to-measure expenses that relate to pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of companionship. They are more subjective and are based on the severity of a victim’s injuries and how the event has impacted their lifestyle.
Attorneys use certain formulas to determine how much is fair and equitable when receiving a settlement for these life-changing costs.
The key difference is that economic damages have direct, documented financial costs, while non-economic damages have nebulous costs related to mental, relational, and emotional upsets. Therefore, assigning a monetary value to non-economic costs is more complicated. The overall goal is to make the plaintiff whole again after their experienced losses.
What you receive will depend on the extent of your injuries and your prognosis.
Medical bills. The at-fault driver’s insurance plan should cover any medical treatment for injuries sustained during the crash. Your lawyer will gather records of emergency services, hospital stays, physical therapy, and other relevant care received as a result of the accident. They can also estimate costs for future treatments or rehabilitation.
Lost income. If your injuries caused you to miss work for a period of time. There’s a possibility that you can recover that lost income. Your lawyer will collaborate with your employer to determine your earnings for a specific time frame before the accident.
Any sick or vacation days used during this period can also be factored into the settlement.
Property damage. If another driver is at fault, their insurance should cover the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle. Your lawyer will assist in obtaining repair estimates or determining the market value of your car if the insurance company totals it. They can also seek compensation for any damaged belongings in the accident.
Physical and emotional pain and suffering. Apart from compensatory losses, you may, as mentioned, be entitled to compensation for pain, emotional distress, and the impact the accident has had on your quality of life.
Your lawyer will evaluate the severity and consequences of your injuries to determine a reasonable settlement amount. They will take into consideration factors such as scarring or disfigurement, limitations in activities, traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and any other type of suffering resulting from the accident.
By assessing all damages and losses resulting from your car accident, an experienced lawyer can seek an award that allows you to move forward with your life more positively. Leave the calculations to them while you focus on recovering.
Representing you in court
If a lawsuit is filed, your attorney will represent you throughout the litigation process, whether you negotiate a settlement or must have your case heard in court.
Experienced attorneys have the experience to assess the cost of your injuries accurately and will work tirelessly to obtain the highest possible settlement or verdict.
Why You Want a Car Accident Attorney to Stay at Your Side
A car accident attorney has experience dealing with insurance companies and handling accident claims.
Therefore, one of an attorney’s roles is managing communications with insurance companies, so you don’t have to deal with an adjuster yourself.
Your legal advisor will carefully assess your insurance policy to determine the types of damages you can potentially receive.
They will also initiate an investigation into the accident. This will involve examining factors like police reports, photographs, witness statements, and road conditions to build a case. The swifter the investigation process, the more reliable the evidence gathered and retained.
If negotiations with insurance companies reach a standstill, your attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit. Lawyers are well-versed in calculating the costs associated with long-term care and how vehicle accidents can impact a person’s life.
You Don’t Pay Until You Receive an Agreed Settlement Amount
Car accident attorneys typically work on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t have to pay any fees upfront. Instead, they receive a percentage of your compensation as their payment.
With a car accident lawyer by your side, you can significantly increase your chances of recovering from an accident without facing financial hardships.
An attorney can handle the following and more.
Collecting the Evidence
A car accident lawyer puts in a lot of time to investigate your accident claim and, therefore, follows several steps to gain the evidence needed to file a claim successfully.
Examining the Vehicles Involved
Your attorney will examine the vehicles involved in the collision as soon as possible. Their objective is to document any damage by photographing the crash’s severity. Scratches, dents, or shattered glass can help establish how much force the incident exerted. They will check for contributing factors as well.
Reviewing the Accident Report
Law enforcement officials file a comprehensive accident report that outlines all events leading up to and following the crash. Your lawyer will obtain a copy of this report to seek any discrepancies or missing information.
The report helps them understand the incident scene and the crash’s sequence of events. Witness statements included in the report play a role in identifying parties and determining the level of fault.
Your attorney will try to reach out to any individuals mentioned in the police report who witnessed the incident, aiming to obtain their account of what transpired.
They will also conduct a search in the vicinity of the collision site to identify witnesses who may not have been included in the report. Statements from witnesses corroborating your claim’s details will significantly bolster your case.
Consulting with Experts
In situations involving accidents, your lawyer might need to consult experts to evaluate the accident’s chain of events thoroughly. Accident reconstruction specialists have the experience to analyze evidence and accurately recreate the crash.
Additionally, medical professionals may be called upon to assess the severity and long-term consequences of injuries sustained. Their professional insights will help establish a foundation for your claim.
The stronger the evidence gathered by your attorney in support of your case, the higher your chances of receiving compensation for both injuries and damages. While you focus on recuperating from this incident, entrust your accident lawyer with getting the facts.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies aim to minimize their payouts for any claims that are made. Your attorney is well-versed in their tactics. They will also handle all the paperwork, phone calls, and settlement offers so that you can avoid any hassle.
By considering factors like medical expenses, lost income, vehicle damage, and pain/suffering, your attorney will determine the value of your claim and commence negotiations to secure the maximum compensation available to you.
Your attorney will not hesitate to take your case to court if the initial settlement offer seems unjust or inadequate. Most insurance companies want to avoid the cost of litigation.
With their experience and readiness for trial proceedings, your attorney has leverage to negotiate a resolution on your behalf. They will ensure that any settlement reached covers all the costs of the accident and its potential impact on your life moving forward.
Communicating with Adjusters
Your attorney will initiate negotiation proceedings if the insurance adjuster counters your initial demand.
These negotiations may take place through email exchanges, phone conversations, or face-to-face meetings where your attorney presents evidence and arguments. The objective is to convince the adjuster to reach a compromise that aligns with your desired settlement amount as closely as possible.
These discussions can continue for weeks or months until both parties reach an agreement or decide that further progress is unlikely.
If the negotiations reach a deadlock, your attorney may need to take steps to compel the insurance companies to provide an offer.
This may involve:
- Filing a lawsuit to demonstrate your seriousness about getting the requested amount. In some cases, an attorney may contact an adjuster’s supervisor to apply additional pressure.
- Threatening to report the company’s claims practices to the state insurance commissioner.
- Suggesting a trial mediation where an impartial mediator oversees the settlement talks.
Drafting a Demand Letter
During negotiations, your attorney may draft a letter to the insurance companies outlining the accident’s facts and specifying the desired settlement amount.
The demand will be based on factors such as the severity of your injuries, incurred costs, impact on your life, and liability considerations. The insurance company will then accept the demand, propose a counteroffer, or reject the claim outright.
Reaching a Settlement
Before proceeding to trial, your attorney, as noted, will attempt to reach a settlement with the insurance company through negotiations. They will employ the evidence gathered during the discovery process to showcase the severity of your injuries and the related damages.
Many car accident cases are resolved during this stage to avoid the time-consuming and costly trial process.
Taking Legal Action in Case of Unsatisfactory Negotiations
If negotiations with the insurance company are progressing differently than desired, it might be necessary to initiate a lawsuit. This is where having an accident lawyer becomes invaluable. They will handle every aspect of the process on your behalf, from filing paperwork to representing you in court.
Initiating the Lawsuit
To commence the proceedings, your attorney will file a complaint with the court stating that the other party’s negligence caused the injuries and vehicle damage.
Subsequently, this complaint will be served to the driver (the defendant), who will then have an opportunity to respond.
The Discovery Phase
Following the above filings, the discovery process commences. This stage involves both parties sharing information related to the case, including specifics about the accident itself along with details about the injuries and damages.
Along with collecting vital evidence, your attorney will conduct depositions directing questions about the accident to you, the defendant, and any significant witnesses. This evidence determines fault and the extent of the damages incurred.
The Trial Process
During the trial, your attorney will present your case in court by sharing all the evidence demonstrating negligence, the extent of your injuries, and the associated costs. Witnesses may provide testimonies that support your case as well.
Ultimately, a judge or jury determines whether or not a defendant must pay for your injuries and will decide on a settlement amount.
Speak to a Car Accident Lawyer Now
The main objective in a personal injury case is to secure a reasonable settlement amount, enabling you to pay your bills, recover your losses, and move forward more positively.
Your accident lawyer possesses the knowledge and experience required to accomplish this goal. Speak to a car accident to learn more about your options and rights.
Never wait to seek a legal consultation. You do not need to pay anything for a case evaluation, so you have nothing to lose. Once you meet with the right law firm, you will know what to expect, which can relieve immediate stress. You can focus on your injuries and recovery while your lawyer handles everything else.