- Why Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?
- Drowsy driving
- Types of Car Accidents
- Types of Bodily Injury From a Car Accident
- What Happens During an Auto Accident Lawsuit?
- Should I Accept a Quick Settlement From the Driver’s Insurance Company?
- Damages You Can Recover After a Car Accident
- How Will I Pay for a Car Crash Lawyer?
- Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation Today
Experiencing a car accident can be frightening and life-altering. Aside from emotional distress, you will likely incur hefty medical bills and lose out on wages due to the crash. An accident claim can give you the monetary compensation you need to get your life back on track after suffering debilitating injuries.
If you’ve been in a car accident, the personal injury attorneys at Nessler & Associates can help you seek financial recovery from the responsible parties and pursue all appropriate legal action, so you receive the fair compensation you deserve.
Why Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?
An experienced attorney investigates the collision and uses various experts to offer valuable insight into your accident. These elements help you recover more damages than when attempting to negotiate with the other driver’s auto insurance provider on your own.
A personal injury lawyer will file all documents on time, so you don’t miss out on compensation and ensure you meet all necessary deadlines. Your lawyer will also examine all insurance policies relevant to the crash and negotiate on your behalf to achieve the maximum possible compensation to pay for all damages you incur.
Car Accident Causes
To receive compensation from an insurance company or sue the at-fault driver, determining the accident cause is essential in pinpointing all liable parties. Common car accident causes that your lawyer will look for include:
Poorly maintained vehicle
There are several ways in which a poorly maintained vehicle can cause a collision. Faulty brakes increase the distance necessary for stopping a car. If the driver’s brake pads are worn or the anti-lock system does not engage, the car may slam into another vehicle, a common contributing factor to rear-end collisions.
Burned-out turn signals fail to warn others that the driver intends to turn. Pedestrians and cyclists who assume the driver will maintain their course can be in danger. Non-functional turn signals can also put other drivers in danger. A burned-out headlight affects the driver’s visibility, increasing the chances of a collision.
Worn-out windshield wipers can make it difficult to see in rainy conditions while trying to clear debris even in clear weather can block visibility at the most inopportune moment.
A faulty fuel pump can cause the car engine to stall, leaving the vehicle without power while in motion. A collision can result if the driver does not catch this on time, especially at intersections and freeways. Similarly, the loss of power steering can suddenly make it harder to control the vehicle, causing the driver to steer into another vehicle inadvertently.
Proving that the at-fault driver knowingly operated their vehicle with an underlying mechanical problem may help you claim damages.
Your personal injury lawyer may also look into your vehicle’s condition to determine if a mechanic performed negligent maintenance work. In some cases, substandard maintenance can contribute to a collision. If your attorney can establish a causal link between the professional who worked on your vehicle and the accident, you may be able to make a claim against the mechanic.
Drowsy driving is when a driver operates their vehicle while sleepy or tired. The drowsy driving phenomenon is dangerous and common, with 1 in 25 drivers over 18 years old report having fallen asleep at the wheel at some point in the 30 previous days.
Distracted drivers cause 9 deaths per day on average in the United States. Distractions include the driver taking their eyes off the road, taking their hands off the steering wheel, and losing mental focus on driving tasks or the road.
Reckless driving generally means the driver operates their car with a willful or wanton disregard for other people’s safety and property.
Speeding usually falls under reckless driving statutes and is a major contributing factor to fatal car accidents in the United States. Breaking traffic laws by traveling at speeds that exceed the speed limit by 20 miles per hour warrants a reckless driving citation by police.
There are 28 deaths from drunk driving collisions every day in the United States, with a yearly cost of over $44 billion. If you are a drunk driving accident victim, you may need to file a lawsuit against the intoxicated driver to establish negligence and receive compensation.
Types of Car Accidents
Car accidents vary in severity and in how they occur. The type of car accident you are involved in affects the type of injuries you incur.
Side-swipe car accidents
A sideswipe accident happens when multiple vehicles moving parallel to one another strike each other’s side. This type of accident can produce minimal property damages and injury in some cases. In others, a side-swipe accident can be dangerous due to a vehicle losing control and running off the road or into another lane.
In the latter scenario, a car that veers off its course after being side-swiped can experience a secondary automobile accident with another vehicle, a traffic post, or other objects. Broken bones and head trauma are possible from side-swipe accidents.
A distracted driver, failing to keep a safe distance, and faulty brakes are three causes that frequently result in rear-end collisions. If speeds are low, injuries are usually minimal, while damages depend on the mechanical parts of your car that the impact damages. A high-speed rear-end collision can cause severe whiplash, spinal injuries, and other painful and debilitating health issues.
Side-impact collisions occur when one vehicle strikes another vehicle at a right angle. This is informally referred to as being “T-boned” as the two vehicles form the letter “T” upon impact.
A side-impact collision can be especially dangerous if there is a driver or passenger at the point of impact. This is because the vehicle’s side offers the least protection since there is less mass to disperse or absorb the collision force.
Blind spot accidents
Failing to check a vehicle’s blindspots when in motion or pulling out of a parking spot or driveway can result in a collision. Blind-spot accidents are also common when merging or changing lanes, causing a side-swipe or side-impact accident. This type of accident can involve motorcyclists and bicyclists as they require extra attention due to occupying less space.
Head-on collisions are particularly hazardous for drivers and passengers. Each car’s energy to the impact point is expended in heat, sound, and damage to the vehicles. Head-on collisions become more dangerous for passengers as the size of the cars and their rate of speed increase.
Head-on collisions account for 10.9% of car accident fatalities and result in many injuries, from whiplash and broken bones to brain trauma. These injuries often result in recurring medical expenses like physical therapy.
Collisions between three or more vehicles create unpredictable circumstances in which serious injury is likely. Multi-vehicle accident types include pile-ups that can stem from poor weather conditions and intersection collisions resulting from distracted drivers or faulty traffic lights.
Multi-vehicle accidents present a greater risk to victims as they can be vulnerable to an additional vehicle hitting them when attempting to distance themselves from the crash scene after the initial collision.
Rollover accidents are extremely dangerous, accounting for 28% of passenger fatalities in auto accidents. The chances of serious injury are also high as a flipping car exerts great force while also leaving it vulnerable to subsequent collisions with other vehicles. Rollover accidents can involve combustion and explosions that may result in severe burns and death.
Besides burns, rollover accidents can cause brain trauma, spinal cord damage, concussions, bone breaks, and organ failure. The serious nature of rollover accidents may call for victims to seek non-economic damages that include pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental trauma, and loss of consortium.
Drunk Driving Accident
Thousands of people every year lose their lives due to drunk driver collisions. If you are in an accident that involves a drunk driver, you need to call the police to the scene. The authorities will file an accident report that your attorney can use for your personal injury lawsuit.
Your priority should be to receive medical care for any injuries you sustain. If your injuries are minor and you can gather information about the incident, try noting bystanders’ names and contact information that can offer their testimony. Also, try to find out as much information on the negligent driver. If you are dealing with an uninsured driver, they may try to flee the crash site.
Use your smartphone to take photos and videos of the vehicles, including as much of the surrounding accident scene as possible.
Next, contact Nessler & Associates as soon as possible so that an auto accident lawyer can immediately start compiling the evidence you need for your claim. We will obtain medical records, police reports, security camera footage, eyewitness statements, event data recorder data, cell phone records, and blood alcohol test results to solidify your case.
A drunk driving lawsuit differs slightly from a conventional car accident suit as you have the potential to receive punitive damages for the at-fault driver.
Types of Bodily Injury From a Car Accident
From minor injuries to crippling damage and even death, a victim can sustain many medical issues due to a collision. Some injuries are immediately apparent, while others may take time to show symptoms.
Soft tissue damage
Soft tissue damage is an injury to tendons, ligaments, nerves, and muscles. Strains, sprains, and contusions are soft tissue injuries that often become apparent after a car accident, while internal bleeding calls for immediate medical attention and requires medical tests.
Whiplash is another accident injury in the soft tissue damage category and involves the nerves, muscles, tendons, and discs in the neck. Symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, low back pain, dizziness, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, shoulder pain, memory and concentration issues, sleeplessness, and tiredness.
Most whiplash patients will recover within three months of being in a motor vehicle accident. However, collision victims will continue experiencing symptoms that can prolong their time away from work in some cases.
Depending on a vehicular collision’s circumstances, accident victims can suffer exposure to electricity, toxic chemicals, or even fire from leaked fuel.
Although not due to fire, an intense crash can also cause seat belt burns. The friction from a seat belt restraining a passenger’s body causes physical pain from an abrasion that can turn skin blue or black. The characteristic discoloration on an accident victim’s body can signal internal organ damage from the collision’s force that may require immediate medical attention.
Lacerations can happen during a collision as broken windows or other objects can cut into the victim’s skin. You may have to tend to cuts yourself by applying ointment from a first aid kit and a fresh bandage until first responders arrive. Lacerations longer than half an inch or cuts that are bleeding profusely may require stitches .
Scars from cuts and blunt force trauma may require costly surgery to remedy. Excision, dermabrasion, skin grafts, or laser surgery can be necessary for restoring a collision victim’s appearance. These procedures cost thousands of dollars and are enough to present a significant financial burden unless you recover damages.
Traumatic brain injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are due to the brain suddenly accelerating against the skull. Car accidents are a top traumatic brain injury cause as collisions present the circumstances for forceful jolts and the potential for hitting the steering wheel hard.
If traumatic brain injury affects a small number of cells, the patient can recover fully. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury can lead to neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric problems.
A collision victim that suffers a severe brain injury may require access to experimental treatments, expensive medical care, physiotherapy, and support with daily tasks at home. Besides their diminished cognitive function, brain trauma patients can suffer financial losses stemming from their inability to work or make important decisions.
Spinal cord injuries
One of the more life-altering injury types auto accident victims can suffer is damage to the spine. Spinal cord injuries limit the patient’s mobility and often require that the victim has people around them to assist in daily tasks.
Spinal cord injuries can be incomplete or complete. Incomplete spinal cord injuries limit body functionality partially. They may affect one side of the patient’s body or reduce functionality throughout the body without removing mobility completely.
Complete spinal cord injuries, also known as paralysis, pertain to damage that leads to loss of function in the body below the injury. Paralysis medical bills can surpass the $1 million mark, making a personal injury claim necessary for car accident victims who suffer spinal cord injuries.
Loss of limbs
Losing a limb can be one of the most devastating physical injuries you can suffer in a car collision. As with paralysis, losing a limb reduces functionality and requires rethinking many everyday tasks. From driving to climbing steps to your home, losing a limb calls for gear and equipment that will help the crash victim adapt to their new life circumstances.
Losing a limb can cost victims over $500,000 as they will need surgery, treatment, and support from specialists.
People can deal with even the most catastrophic injuries gracefully if they have the financial means and personal attention from others. Family and friends will contribute to a support network that can help the victim carry on with their life. However, a wrongful death leaves inconsolable relatives behind.
If a driver’s negligent behavior robs you of a loved one, you may consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit. It can be difficult for family members to estimate the monetary value of damages during a climate of mourning.
An experienced car accident attorney at Nessler & Associates can help you in your pursuit of compensation by assisting you in determining the value of your case. We will go over your loved one’s medical records and place a fair monetary value on your family’s pain and suffering.
Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit depend on the people the victim leaves behind. Dependents have different needs according to their age and other factors. An older husband or wife may receive less than a young child that needs several years of financial support in the deceased’s absence.
Many car accident survivors experience a potent psychological shock that affects their lives. A loss of enjoyment can lead to depression, causing the victim to experience difficult times financially and socially.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that develops in people who experience intense, scary events. Doctors diagnose PTSD in over 22% of car crash survivors with symptoms that include difficulty sleeping, angry outbursts, negative feelings about oneself or others, flashbacks, and nightmares.
Getting a medical professional to conduct a thorough examination helps establish a PTSD diagnosis. Symptoms can take as much as a few weeks or even months to appear and significantly affect the accident victim’s quality of life.
Failing to recover damages for PTSD can lead to sizable out-of-pocket expenses since therapy can call for working six months or more with a therapist. PTSD costs may include medication for dealing with symptoms and lost wages due to an inability to attend work.
What Happens During an Auto Accident Lawsuit?
An investigation happens after your initial consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer from our personal injury law firm. This includes looking at the insurance policy coverage of the at-fault parties to determine damage coverage.
Your lawyer may start your case with an insurance claim to the negligent party’s insurance company. If they do not respond with a reasonable settlement that will cover your medical expenses, your lawyer may then file a complaint in court with the names of all parties responsible for providing restitution.
After filing suit, your attorney starts what is known as discovery. This is where reports and documents are gathered, including depositions and affidavits.
Medical examinations, including a range of diagnostic tests, can help quantify all injuries from the car accident. Being thorough is important for ensuring you receive fair compensation for all medical bills you incur.
Settlement negotiations follow, with your crash attorney sending the at-fault party’s insurance provider a demand letter so that negotiations can begin. If the two sides reach a fair settlement, you release the at-fault parties from future liability and legal action.
On the other hand, if you do not reach a full and fair settlement, your case will have to go to trial. This allows both sides to build an argument by presenting evidence.
The court makes a decision about the level of damages you should receive. Either side may appeal to a higher court, which eventually reaches the final stage of your lawsuit. You would receive your monetary compensation according to a structured payment schedule or lump sum disbursement if you won damages.
Should I Accept a Quick Settlement From the Driver’s Insurance Company?
The at-fault driver’s insurance company may attempt to close the matter by offering you a lowball settlement. This offer is clearly for far less than you deserve for your damages.
Car accident victims who attempt to negotiate with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company without experienced legal counsel may be tempted to accept less financial compensation than is necessary for dealing with the accident’s aftermath.
You should never accept an insurance settlement without first consulting with an experienced car accident lawyer. The attorneys at Nessler & Associates have a legal duty to ensure you recover the damages you deserve. The at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, on the other hand, is trying to minimize potential disbursements to you.
Do not sign any releases, waivers, or other documents that the insurance representative presents you with unless you speak first with experienced counsel. If you forego consulting with an experienced lawyer, you could risk paying for costly medical bills out-of-pocket.
Damages You Can Recover After a Car Accident
Damages you can claim for car accidents include medical expenses, diagnostic tests, physical therapy, and wage loss. You can also claim non-economic damages, including disfigurement, pain and suffering, and disability. You can also receive compensation for property damages for the destruction done to your vehicle.
For fatal crashes, relatives can pursue wrongful death and survival. Damages you can recover include those that involve losing financial support and security.
How Will I Pay for a Car Crash Lawyer?
At Nessler & Associates, our fees come from the settlement our attorneys obtain on your behalf. We do not receive any payment unless you do. This means that you don’t have to worry about legal fees for our services. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning our fee depends on the result we achieve for the client.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation Today
If you or a family member is the injured party in a car accident, Nessler & Associates can ensure you get the compensation you deserve. With a proven track record of over 35 years in the field, we guide you through the process and help you avoid any pitfalls.
Our lawyers will handle your personal injury claim, whether you’re in a minor motor vehicle crash such as a fender bender or a collision with catastrophic injuries. We evaluate any settlement offers from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider and make sure you don’t settle for anything less than what you are owed and deserve.
Call us at 800-727-8010 for a free, confidential consultation.