America’s growing population translates into more vehicles on the road and more car accidents each new decade. Did you know that more than six million car accidents occur every year in the U.S.? That’s one for about every 50 people in the country, and considering that most of those crashes involve more than two people, your chances of getting in a car accident are high, every year.
The majority of car accidents are not minor fender-benders that leave no one hurt and only minor damage done. In fact, about half of all vehicle accidents result in an injury or significant property damage. Thus, if you are involved in a car accident, you have a decent chance of sustaining an injury or significant damage to your vehicle.
Furthermore, fatalities still occur far too frequently on American roads, to the tune of 115 every day. That’s an astounding number, and it’s a good bet that many of those killed were excellent drivers that had maintained clean driving records. Many of those who die are victims of others’ reckless driving and negligence.
And, if we are honest, it is a small miracle that more accidents do not take place on the road! Have you seen the number of drivers texting and talking on phones lately? How many times have you had to honk at someone in front of you at a red light because s/he is looking at her cell phone as the light turned green? How many times have you wondered about the car weaving in front of you or going very slow, only to pass it and see that the driver is obviously texting?
When you text and drive, you take your eyes off the road for at least five seconds, which is plenty of time for an accident to occur. The very latest statistics show that cell phone use and texting are involved in more than one-quarter of all accidents in the U.S., and that number is expected to rise despite the vigorous public awareness campaigns devised to halt the problem.
These types of new distractions are making American roads more perilous than ever, and you could be the innocent victim of a major car accident. That’s why you need to plan on contacting a car accident attorney before you are in a crash, not when you are dreading the process of finding a personal injury lawyer as you scramble to take care of all the details after an accident. Many times, you are handling those details when you don’t feel very good, suffering symptoms of a concussion, a neck sprain or back injury, some of the more common injuries sustained after a vehicle accident.
You will have several opportunities in the moments and days after a car accident to choose an option other than calling a car accident lawyer, but you should say “No” to all of those other choices. The other driver might talk you out of calling the police or his/her insurance company. The insurance company might want to settle with you very quickly and discourage you from contacting a personal injury lawyer. You might even have family members that warn you about the time and expense involved with contacting an attorney.
Don’t listen to the naysayers. Call a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after you are involved in an accident, for these reasons:
- Most car accident attorneys will give you a free consultation and then work for you on a contingency basis. That means that you put no money down to find out if your case is worth being pursued with the help of a car accident lawyer.
- That settlement which the insurance company has offered? It often does not take into account future medical bills or your pain and suffering. Insurance companies need to make a profit, and they calculate their settlements accordingly. A skilled car accident attorney will help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve, even if you don’t feel like fighting.
- You might not feel like fighting because injuries sustained in a typical car wreck often grow worse with time, not better. The most common sort of accident is being hit in the rear, which causes damage to your soft tissues. Those injuries to your neck and back might not show up in full force until several days after the accident. By that time, you might have accepted a low settlement amount from the insurance company. In fact, your injuries might be much more serious than you realized. You might need surgery, rehabilitation and other treatment, all of which require time off work. Did the insurance company foresee all of that when it calculated your settlement? Probably not. That’s why you need a qualified car accident lawyer in your corner, to get the compensation that you will need and avoid the double-whammy of an accident plus huge bills that you can’t pay.
- No matter how skilled of an orator you think you are, you will need a pro in the courtroom. A good car accident lawyer will know the judge in your case, the opposing lawyer and the police officer. S/he will know exactly what angles to take as s/he argues your case, and s/he will know where to find the evidence that will prove that you are the victim, not the perpetrator. Lawyers have all kinds of insider information that you will never have access to, as well as knowledge of processes that can get access to records you would have never dreamed of. They also have years of experience in knowing just how costly car accidents can become. They will be able to put an accurate dollar figure on what your case is worth, and that number will probably be much higher than you thought and much more than an insurance company offered you.
- Extra services that a car accident attorney can provide for you include: making sure that you get the best medical treatment possible, even if you don’t have insurance; finding the right repair shop to give an accurate estimate of the damage done to your vehicle; finding transportation while your vehicle is being repaired so that you can get to work or to and from doctors’ appointments; filing claims with your insurance company to receive reimbursement for your medical bills; making home visits in case that you are not able to drive to the lawyer’s office for help. Lawyers make house calls? Yes, they do.
- Are you able to put a solid dollar figure on your pain and suffering after an accident? Didn’t think so. A car accident lawyer will know exactly how much you should receive for pain and suffering, which is not easy to quantify unless you are an expert. That extra amount will come in very handy as you try to put your life back together after a car accident.
Now that you understand your need to find a recommended car accident attorney, you need to figure out how to find the best in the field in your area. One good measuring stick is to find a firm that argues for accident victims, not the insurance companies. This will be a tip-off to you that the firm cares about good citizens like you who can easily be gouged by the system.
Another mistake that you want to avoid is thinking that you can wait to see how your case develops before calling a car accident lawyer. You should know that these types of cases are especially time-sensitive, so you should never hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a wreck. Hopefully you will be in good enough shape to call a lawyer the day of or the day after your accident. Don’t wait any longer than that.
Don’t underestimate your need for all types of support after a car accident. You might be dizzy, nauseous and disoriented after a concussion. You could be wearing a neck brace to hold those muscles and bones in place. You will not be in tip-top shape to search the Internet for a lawyer or plan your own legal defense. Prepare ahead of time by identifying the best possible car accident attorney in your area, one you can call on when you will be in need. Knowing that you have a personal injury lawyer fighting for you every day as you struggle to feel better will be an immense relief.
Don’t allow a car accident to become a much bigger physical and financial challenge than it already is. Don’t let the other driver or an insurance company representative manipulate you into accepting a smaller settlement than is justified. Contact a personal injury lawyer and make a plan to get all that you deserve so that your bank account is not emptied and your health is not decimated. A skilled car accident lawyer will help you to put your life back together again with no injury suffered to your financial health.