Accident lawyers understand that money may not always be a guarantee of a full recovery after an accident. However, they know you deserve help to get the maximum compensation to assist in your recovery and to get through a difficult time in your life.
The role of a personal injury lawyer is to help you get the best possible outcome after an accident, whether this means a negotiated settlement or litigation.
Should I Get an Accident Lawyer?
You should always contact an accident attorney if you have been in a car crash that was caused by someone else and resulted in injuries to you or others.
According to the Californian Office of Traffic Safety, more than 3,602 people were killed in California in 2017, the last year they have available statistics for. In the same year, crash-related injuries amounted to 273,000 people. The total number of victims and injured individuals in Orange County that year was 21,969.
Common injuries include whiplash, spinal cord injuries, brain trauma, and bone fractures. Unfortunately, these types of injuries sometimes have a long recovery time and injured individuals can take a long time to recover, often meaning a loss of income.
A significant amount of injuries also includes dismemberment, disfigurement, or permanent disabilities. Often, these individuals cannot ever return to work again.
The best car accident attorneys know that insurance companies try to get away with paying crash victims the minimum compensation possible. That is why, after a crash; you need to get advice and appoint an accident attorney with experience in negotiations and litigation.
Cases can take a long time to reach a negotiated settlement, and if negotiations break down, they need to go on to trial. Every client relies on the experience of their accident attorney for litigation, and the best attorney is the one who has been on the case from the start.
Car accident attorneys have dealt with many cases where compensation is awarded. They know exactly what damages are owed to their clients according to the injuries suffered. They have experience in collecting evidence to help them prove their client’s case, and their office usually works with experts who can verify facts if the case goes to litigation.
Steps to Take After an Accident
It is vital that you stay safe after a car accident and there are several safety protocols you must adhere to. After the crash, diligently follow these 8 steps:
- Immediately get to safety, so you will be protected from further injury. If your car was hit in the middle of the road, pull it over to a safe place, and then leave it.
- If there are any injured individuals call an ambulance immediately.
- Call the police to report the accident. This may not seem like an important step if you appear to be uninjured, but do not take it for granted that you have no injuries. Sometimes injuries take a while to set in. If you file an injury claim, a police report will be required.
- Never admit to it being your fault, and always be careful what you say.
- Collect all the relevant information about the driver of the other vehicle that was involved in the crash. This includes their license plate number, insurance information, their name, address, and driver’s license number.
- Make sure to document the scene of the crash by taking photos on your phone and saving them. This must include damage caused to the vehicles and any other property. Also, take a screenshot of the date and time of the accident on your mobile phone. This is vital to have an exact record of the date and time of the crash.
- If there are witnesses, make sure to get their contact information.
- Contact an accident attorney as soon as possible. They will help you file an injury claim with the insurance. Accident lawyers have experience and will file for the maximum compensation you deserve for injuries, medical expenses, loss of income, pain, and suffering caused by the crash.
California is an “at-fault state” which means that the claim must be filed with the at-fault party’s insurance.
How Does an Accident Lawyer Work?
Accident lawyers are experienced in dealing with accident claims and insurance companies. They know that insurers try to trick car accident victims into accepting far smaller claims than they deserve. An accident attorney assists clients by examining each case closely and may also call in the assistance of an accident expert if necessary.
If they deem it necessary, they will continue to gather further evidence from the crash scene. That is why it is important to see an accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident because the evidence at the crash scene is still fresh.
Your accident attorneys will also look for evidence from any video footage available from the accident, contact witnesses for further accounts, and will have your medical records evaluated by medical professionals. This information is kept safely on file at their offices and will be used to negotiate a fair settlement for you, or in litigation in front of a jury.
What is the Average Settlement for an Accident Lawyer?
Once your accident lawyer looks at all the evidence from the accident for your case, they will be able to work out a compensation amount that will be a fair settlement for what you have suffered. They aim to make sure that all your medical bills related to the accident are covered for as long as you need for a complete recovery. They will also take into consideration any future problems you may have from your injuries.
Also, they will seek compensation for lost income if you cannot work, your mental anguish, and any loss to your way of life caused by the accident. Finally, your accident lawyers will seek punitive damages from the negligent party.
For your accident lawyers to get the most value out of your case remember:
- Do not admit to being at fault.
- Collect as much information from the accident scene and get a police report.
- See a doctor immediately.
- Do not sign anything for an insurance company until you have seen an accident attorney.
- See a specialist who can properly diagnose your injury and its recovery time.
- Assign an accident lawyer to your case to deal with the insurance.
Types of Accident Lawyers
There are three types of accident lawyers. Even though most are experienced to deal with all types of accidents, some are more specialized in one area.
Truck Accident Lawyers
Personal injury lawyers who specialize in trucks are very experienced in truck laws and can easily find discrepancies. Truck accidents can cause devastating injuries because of the size and weight of these heavy-duty vehicles. This can lead to financial and emotional stress for the victims.
Truck accident lawyers know that trucking companies often falsify their records to protect their drivers. The law requires proper truck maintenance and there are also federal laws that place restrictions on how many hours a truck driver can drive at a stretch.
Car Accident Lawyers
The office of a car accident lawyer will help an accident victim file a claim to an insurance company after an accident. These lawyers specialize in tort law surrounding car accidents. They look at civil wrongs and omissions that hold the person responsible for the accident liable. They help a victim get compensation for replacing lost and damaged property, their medical expenses, lost income, and for their pain and suffering.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Injured motorcyclists are often faced with problems when trying to gain compensation for their injuries after a motorcycle accident. Unfortunately, motorcyclists often suffer severe injuries in accidents, because they are more exposed during an accident.
Experienced motorcycle accident lawyers understand that many motorcycle accidents are caused by vehicles and truck driver inattentiveness. Many drivers fail to check their blind spots or don’t look behind them or to their side before opening their vehicle door, resulting in injuries to motorcyclists.
How to Calculate How Much my Accident is Worth?
This is a common question people make to accident attorneys, but the answer is not always straightforward. This is because each case differs. The value of a claim is calculated according to each accident type and the injuries you have suffered.
Since no two accidents are the same, so the injuries suffered during an accident also differ. Your car accident lawyer will consider the accident, your injuries, your recovery time, and how long it will take before you can work again. They also consider whether you needed to have invasive surgery, how you responded to the first course of treatment, and if you will be left with a permanent disability.
Insurance companies look at claims differently. They undervalue cases because they use an algorithm to calculate the settlement for a car accident. This settlement usually reflects other similar cases but does not take personal circumstances into account.
Therefore, the role of a personal injury attorney is invaluable. Your accident lawyer not only calculates your injuries but also considers how they will affect your life in the future. They will also calculate the emotional anguish you have suffered.
In the event your case goes to court if negotiations break down, your accident lawyer will want to litigate your case in a way that will ensure the jury is aware of the injuries you have suffered. During litigation, the jury is the ultimate decider. Your accident attorney will want to show them how the accident has affected your life and how it will continue to affect it.
The more serious your injuries, the more compensation your lawyer can claim for you from the insurance. However, even with minor injuries, accident lawyers can get you a substantial difference in compensation from what you will be offered by the insurance.
Car Accident Injuries and their Approximate Recovery Costs
Some of the most common injuries in car accidents are whiplash (minor, moderate, or serious), joint and tissue damage, and injuries that require surgery. Severe and life-threatening injuries are also common. These all have expensive recovery costs because they often need more than just immediate attention, and often requiring weeks or months of physical therapy.
Your medical bills for these can range from $3,000 to more than $100,000, depending on the injury.
How to Choose an Accident Lawyer Near Me
Orange County and its average population of 141,000 is the fifth most dangerous county in California in car accidents. The last figures released by the California Office of Traffic Safety are from 2017, with a total fatality and injury count of 868.
If you have injuries from a car accident in Irvine or its surroundings, you need to get your case to an accident attorney immediately. At Moet Law, our office is comprised of an experienced team of accident attorneys. We specialize in personal injuries and accident cases.
We know that money cannot remove the ordeal you have suffered or guarantee a full recovery. By getting the compensation you deserve, you will be able to get through a difficult time in your life. From the minute you bring your case to us, we investigate every aspect of the accident. We work out the compensation you deserve for the crash, by considering:
- All your medical expenses related to the accident
- If you cannot work, your loss of income
- The mental anguish caused you by the accident
- Property damage
- The loss of your way of life
- Any negligence on the part of the other driver, and punitive damages we can claim
Each case is dealt with completely by your assigned attorney from our office. It will never be handed over to a paralegal or case manager. This ensures you are always in contact with your car accident attorney who keeps you fully informed throughout the entire process. The process always starts with negotiations, but the team is as experienced in litigation as with negotiations.
At Moet Law, we only get paid once you have received your compensation.