Suffering an automotive accident can be a traumatizing experience. Things happen so fast that you are not prepared to deal with when you are the victim. Your mind is racing immediately after the accident as the adrenaline pumps and your body succumbs to fight-or-flight mechanisms. If the accident is severe, there may be police on the scene trying to figure out who is responsible. They are also creating evidence that may be used by the insurance companies to find several parties at fault for things like multiple vehicle pile-up accidents. It is important to not give the officers any statements and emphasize that you need to speak with a lawyer because you may be suffering whiplash disorientation or need prompt attention for other injuries.
The full effects whiplash may not be manifest until hours or days later. This is why you should never give any statements or sign anything immediately after an accident. You should take as many photos as possible to strengthen your case with real-time artifacts. Don’t rely on the police or others to make a record for you. If you are injured and unable to do it, request assistance from a friend nearby. Never make a settlement or speak with the insurance companies without first contacting an accident lawyer.
It is in your best interests to write a report immediately after the accident from your recollection of events. Did the driver smell like alcohol? Were they impaired? What were the weather conditions? Was the other driver speeding or violating any traffic laws? If you can have the document notarized, this is in your best interests to prove more firmly the dated certainty of your recollections.
There are many technical aspects to the laws that only an experienced attorney will have the knowledge to define for you. The case-law defining the contours of any claim is very expansive and always changing between localities and states. Many times, fault can be established per se in the other motorists by establishing that they violated traffic laws. The defendants almost always argue comparative negligence even if your case is cut and dry. For example, if they inadvertently were distracted and ran a stop sign, they may also question whether you were distracted or speeding.
These cases are nearly impossible to win without expert opinions and a good lawyer in your corner to present the virtues of your case. Most of the time, you will be able to reach a settlement without a jury trial. You can expect to be compensated for all your medical expenses, lost income, damage to property, pain and suffering, disability, and other permanent injuries that are disfiguring or result in quality of life losses.
These damages can be calculated prospectively over a lifetime and from the moment of the accident. Family members may also be able to file suit when there is a loss of consortium issue from injury or death of a spouse. Family members may sue for wrongful death on behalf of the deceased. The may include funeral costs, emotional damages, and loss of expected income to dependents. With this knowledge in mind, you can hedge against the technicalities that rob victims of justice when accidents occur.
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