People who are in motor vehicle collisions often just let their insurance agents take care of everything having to do with related financial and liability issues.
But when someone does not hire a lawyer who can advocate for them, they may not receive all the benefits to which they are entitled.
First, while you may have a good relationship with your insurance agent, insurance companies are in the business of making money. Even if they comply with the policy, they may try to pay out on the lower side of the potential monetary range.
It is smart to sit down with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident while the evidence is still fresh and witnesses’ memories clear. Legal counsel can launch a comprehensive investigation into the incident, casting a wide net to understand all aspects of the crash. They will review police records, visit the site – sometimes with an accident reconstructionist – interview witnesses and more.
Who might be responsible for your losses?
A thorough understanding of what happened will reveal potentially responsible parties who may have contributed to the accident, such as:
- At-fault drivers who drove negligently, recklessly or aggressively under the circumstances that may have included construction zones, heavy traffic, blinding sun, wet pavement, dark or foggy conditions, ice or snow on the pavement, violation of traffic laws, driving after drinking or using drugs, failure to make necessary vehicle repairs and other scenarios
- Providers of negligent maintenance or repair to involved vehicles or to roadways
- Engineers or others may have designed the roadway or intersection in a dangerous way
- All involved insurance companies may have liabilities, so review of the policies in detail is important
- Municipal, state or federal government officials who may have neglected responsibilities for road design, safety and maintenance
Seek comprehensive damages
An attorney will assess the victim’s injuries and losses so comprehensive damages can be sought. Of course, property damage, medical bills, lost wages and loss of earning potential are standard, but in severe injury, other losses could be incurred like modifications to home or vehicle, therapies, medical equipment, rehabilitation or retraining and more.
In some cases, reimbursement for pain and suffering may be appropriate, as well as punitive damages for particularly outrageous behavior by a responsible party.