It’s estimated that vehicle crash injuries cause the deaths of 1.35 million people around the world every year and amount to about $1.8 trillion in medical care and productivity losses.
Car accidents often lead to damages for the injured party, paid either as a settlement agreement or through a court, in cases prepared by expert car accidents lawyers. Many factors contribute to how much the at-fault party might pay as part of a settlement. If you were in a car accident, discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced car accident injury lawyer who can help you navigate the complex legal process.
Determining Fault in a Car Accident with a Car Accidents Lawyer
After an accident, the parties involved exchange insurance information, take photos of the scene and vehicles, and the police write a report about the accident. The accident report documents essential evidence, but it’s not the only evidence that’s useful to support your case. An experienced car accidents lawyer can help you gather all the relevant evidence, such as witness testimony, damage expenses, and medical bills, to fight for sufficient compensation for your losses.
Whether you think you might have partially caused the accident or blame the other driver for the crash, call a car accident injury lawyer to review your case and determine your options. A good car accidents lawyer should know how to negotiate with insurance companies and fight sham claims to get you the settlement you deserve.
Types of Physical Injuries from a Car Accident
Car accidents can result in many injuries, including:
- Cuts, sprains, and bruises: Shrapnel from the accident and bumps on the steering wheel or another part of a car can cause severe cuts and bruises that adversely affect an individual’s ability to work and engage in their everyday activities. If cuts and bruises require medical attention, you may recover compensation for the hospital and ambulance bills, medication, and other medical expenses.
- Spinal cord injuries: The spinal cord allows the brain and the rest of the body to communicate. Symptoms of spinal cord injuries depend on the extent of the damage but may include numbness, muscle weakness, and paralysis.
- Head and brain injuries: Head and brain injuries are common in car accidents, particularly in rear-end collisions. A car accident victim might strike their head on the windshield or side paneling, for instance. The likelihood of injury increases if the vehicle doesn’t have airbags or they don’t deploy properly.
Victims can suffer from concussions, skull fractures, or severe traumatic brain injuries, and symptoms can range from severe headaches to coma or brain death. Symptoms might not immediately appear, so seek medical attention after any car accident, even if you seem to have none.
- Neck and back injuries: Any car accident can cause severe neck and back injuries, including herniated discs. Even in low-speed collisions, the body’s twisting, due to impact, can cause significant pain. These injuries often require rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other measures to manage lifelong pain.
- Internal injuries: Various internal injuries can result from an accident, including punctured lungs and internal hemorrhaging. Almost all these severe injuries can result in extensive, long-term health problems.
- Dental and facial injuries: Injuries to the head, face, and mouth can happen as the skull collides with various surfaces in a car. Mouth and face injuries resulting from collisions include fractures, lacerations, and cracked or chipped teeth.
- Whiplash: Caused by forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement, whiplash is common in rear-end accidents. It’s more severe when someone doesn’t expect an accident and their body can’t brace for impact. Common whiplash symptoms include soreness, limited range of motion, headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. Less common symptoms include blurred vision, memory problems, ringing in the ears, and depression, resulting from an accompanying head injury or concussion.
- Wrist and arm injuries: It’s an instinct when seeing an oncoming car for a driver to place their arms on the steering wheel to brace for impact, but this increased rigidity may do more harm than good. The additional tension in the body can cause serious injuries to a person’s arms and wrists, such as broken bones and dislocated joints.
You must see a doctor and get an accurate reporting of injuries you sustained directly after an accident. Tell the doctor exactly what you’re feeling. All information is relevant when a car accidents lawyer is formulating a case to bring to trial or when calculating damages for a possible settlement.
What Damages Can You Recover after a Car Accident?
The most commonly recovered damages in a car accident settlement include:
- Property damage: The most likely damage from a car accident is to the car. If destruction occurs to other property — such as a phone or laptop — those losses can also factor into a compensatory award. Photographs of the scene and destroyed property provide proof of damages.
- Medical expenses: Hospital bills, medication, and rehabilitation costs might entitle you to recover compensation for these expenses. Keep an accurate and full log of all injuries and the steps taken to remedy them.
- Emotional distress: Car accidents undoubtedly cause psychological distress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, following a car accident. Symptoms don’t always immediately appear, but once psychological pain surfaces, it may require professional treatment. Costs related to psychological treatment may qualify for inclusion in a car accident settlement.
- Lost income: If you can no longer work, must work fewer hours or have less work responsibilities, you may qualify for compensation to cover lost income. Under civil statutes, the negligent party is responsible for lost wages as part of any restitution made due to an accident. If you cannot return to work for an extended time, your car accident injury lawyer can consult an economic expert to help project potential lost earnings.
- Loss of enjoyment: An accident may prevent a victim from engaging in everyday activities and hobbies. Settlement discussions can consider these noneconomic losses. Consult an experienced car accidents lawyer to discuss the potential value of your claim.
Insurance companies and courts consider all the elements mentioned above when discussing settlement amounts. Due to the subjectiveness of a claim based on the specifics of a case, it’s difficult to determine a definitive answer to the question: “How much can I expect from a car accident settlement?” Work with an experienced car accident attorney to navigate the legal process and negotiate the highest possible settlement.
Pain and Suffering
You can receive compensation for emotional distress in a settlement agreement, or a court can calculate your pain and suffering to compensate you at trial. Emotional distress is a noneconomic damage, meaning it doesn’t have a monetary value. Calculating pain and suffering is difficult, which is why an experienced car accident injury lawyer will gather evidence to demonstrate the physical and emotional distress you’ve endured. For example, not having the ability to pick up your kids or drive to and from the grocery store can add to your pain and suffering.
Various factors influence the extensiveness of injuries, including:
- Pain endured from physical injuries and related medical treatment.
- Emotional or mental trauma.
- Chronic pain or discomfort.
- Diminished quality of life.
- Inability to complete specific tasks.
Demonstrating these factors and negotiating with the other party or parties and the insurance companies is something you should not do alone. Experienced car accident attorneys help people like you get the settlements they deserve.
Wrongful Death Claims
If a driver killed your loved one in a car accident, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit. A state’s wrongful death statute may allow a surviving spouse, children, and parents, or the estate’s personal representative, to bring a wrongful death claim. To prove wrongful death, you must ascertain liability, and so a family member must prove:
- The defendant (driver) owed the deceased a duty.
- The driver breached that duty.
- The driver caused damage to the deceased.
If you can prove these elements, you can recover compensation for:
- Funeral and burial costs.
- Medical expenses.
- Loss of future income from the deceased.
- Loss of companionship (if you’re filing as the surviving spouse).
- Loss of love and care (if filing as the deceased’s child).
- Pain and suffering.
When Should I Contact an Experienced Car Accident Injury Lawyer?
You should contact an expert car accident injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident because there’s a limited amount of time to file a claim. In Texas, it’s two years from the date of an accident, and if you don’t bring your case before this deadline, you will lose your right to receive compensation.
To talk to an expert car accident injury lawyer and possibly start a case, contact Patino Law Firm now and get a free, no-obligation consultation. We don’t charge upfront fees and only take a fee if we win your case for you and get you a settlement.
Patino Law Firm
1802 N 10th St
McAllen, TX 78501