Whether you’re on your daily commute or you’re taking a leisurely weekend drive, it only takes mere seconds for a crash to throw off your entire day, week, and month—if not longer. While the majority of car accidents do not result in serious injuries, there are those that do—some of which have the potential to be fatal. If you or someone you love has been involved in a wreck, a car accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help.
Our law office recognizes the challenges that come with recovering from a traffic accident. When the collision wasn’t your fault, you have the legal right to seek compensation and hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries.
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Types of Car Accidents
The type of crash you’re in will play a role in the severity of your injuries, as well as your losses. Most of the time, the kind of crash is easily identifiable—as it’s related to the point of contact. The most common types of accidents clients come to us with include the following:
- Rear-end Collisions. This type of accident is most often the result of a distracted driver failing to slow down or stop before striking the vehicle in front of them. It can also happen when the leading driver slams on their breaks and the following driver is to close and does not have time to stop.
- Single Vehicle Accidents. When an accident only involves one vehicle, it’s usually because a driver has hit an inanimate object like a pole or building, or a parked car.
- Multivehicle Accidents. Accidents involving multiple vehicles are more likely to happen on congested, high-speed interstates. With the number of vehicles in such close proximity to each other, it only takes one error from one driver to cause a collision involving multiple cars.
- Sideswipe Crashes. Sideswipe accidents are often the result of improper merging. If a driver fails to check their blind spot, they can strike the side of another vehicle. If both drivers are able to correct themselves, the damage is usually minimal, but there’s also the risk of either driver losing control of their car.
- T-bone Wrecks. A T-bone accident happens when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another. These are common at intersections and usually cause more injuries to those on the side of the collision.
- Head-on Collisions. Head-on crashes are the deadliest of all motor vehicle accidents—especially when they occur at fast speeds. Drivers and passengers, especially when they are not wearing their seatbelts, can be thrown from the vehicle and sustain fatal injuries.
No matter what type of crash you’ve been in, our attorneys can determine who the responsible party is and fight for your right to a complete monetary award.
Common Car Crash Injuries
According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there were 6,756,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2019. As a result of those accidents, 2,740,000 people were injured and 36,096 died.
Injuries after a crash can vary greatly and are affected by the type of collision, the rate of speed the vehicles were traveling prior to the crash, the health status of the individuals involved, and the environment in which the crash takes place.
If you’ve been involved in a crash, it’s imperative to seek medical attention as soon as possible, as not all injuries are visible or immediately noticeable. Once you’ve been treated, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect in terms of recovery.
Some of the most common car crash injuries we’ve seen clients cope with include fractures, soft tissue injuries like whiplash, spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, contusions and lacerations, internal bleeding, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The severity of your injuries will affect how long it takes you to get back to your previous state of living. It could take days, weeks, or months until you feel like yourself again. With a serious crash, you could be looking at needing to adapt your way of living to meet the needs of a medical condition. When you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s actions, you deserve the best chance at recovery. Thomas Law Offices is prepared to help you take legal action and file a car accident injury claim.
What an Auto Accident Attorney Does
While you have the right to handle a car accident claim on your own, it’s important to understand the risks associated with doing so. Not only could you jeopardize your claim by saying the wrong thing to an insurance agent, but you could also increase your stress levels and negatively impact your healing.
To understand why it’s in your best interest to work with a personal injury lawyer, let’s take a look at what an attorney does when a client comes to them after a car crash.
Investigates the Crash
Every traffic crash is different. Because of that, your lawyer will conduct a thorough and personalized investigation. To start, they will collect all available documentation, like the police report and any applicable medical records and hospital documents. They will also take note of what you remember happening from the crash.
Depending on the situation, you may need an accident reconstructionist to rebuild your crash moment by moment. This is useful in situations where liability is not clear cut, as well as in accidents where the injuries are severe, life-altering, or fatal.
Along with the opinion of the accident reconstructionist, your attorney will also collect any available footage of the crash, as well as witness statements. Those statements can be used to clarify questions about the wreck and prove the other party is responsible for your injuries.
Obtains Evidence of Liability
Once the investigation is complete, your car accident attorney can begin building a case on the concept of negligence. To do this successfully, there are four elements that must be included:
- Duty of Care. Drivers are supposed to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. This means abiding by the rules of the road, taking necessary precautions to avoid dangerous situations, and maintaining their vehicle.
- Breach of Duty. Examples of breach of duty include distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and speeding.
- Causation. Once your attorney has established you were owed a duty of care that was breached, they can explain how that breach caused your accident. If, for example, the driver was speeding and failed to abide by a traffic signal when they struck your vehicle, their negligence can be directly correlated to the accident.
- Losses. The last element of negligence is losses. Your lawyer will use their investigation to value your claim and determine what you’re owed for your losses and suffering.
Values Your Case
Determining the value of a car accident claim can be challenging—especially when serious injuries are involved. Your lawyer will take into consideration your economic and non-economic damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, future medical costs and lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
Communicates With Insurance
Conversations with insurance companies need to be handled delicately. This is because the insurance company is going to do whatever it can to protect its bottom line. So, for example, if you’re asked a casual question like, “How are you?” and you politely respond with “I’m fine, thanks,” the claims investigator could use that to claim your injuries are not as bad as you initially reported. When your lawyer handles the conversations with insurance, you won’t have to worry about your claim being jeopardized.
Negotiates a Settlement
Once your lawyer has established negligence and valued your claim, the next step is often negotiating a settlement. In the majority of cases, a settlement agreement is possible, but that does not always happen. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair award or continues to claim you are at fault for what happened, you have the right to file a lawsuit and seek a verdict from a judge or jury.
Get Help from Thomas Law Offices
The car accident lawyers from Thomas Law Offices recognize how challenging it is to handle the aftermath of a car accident alone. That’s why we’re prepared to help you handle the legal aspects of the situation, so you can focus more on healing and spending time with your family.
The sooner you get in touch with our attorneys, the better your chances are of receiving full and fair compensation for your losses. While we have no way to guarantee case results outright, we will promise to provide you with strong, dedicated legal representation.
If you’re ready to file your claim, or you’d like to learn more about your legal rights and options after a crash, schedule a free consultation with our law firm. We’ll review what you’ve been through and help you decide how to proceed to protect yourself and your future.