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Should I Hire an Attorney After Being Injured in a Car Accident?

April 24th, 2024
Injured in a car accident

Facing the aftermath of a car accident, especially one involving injuries, can be a daunting experience. Questions about personal injury claims, legal steps, medical bills, and lost income often swirl in the minds of accident victims. If you’re grappling with these concerns, you’re not alone. Here’s a comprehensive guide on key factors in filing a personal injury claim, and why seeking assistance from a personal injury lawyer is crucial after a car accident.

Injured in a Car Accident? Here are the Determining Factors in a Personal Injury Claim

Following a car accident with injuries, understanding the factors that come into play for a personal injury claim is important to the outcome of any case. While each claim is unique, certain guidelines and considerations aid victims and their legal representatives in filing a claim effectively. Here are the primary factors:

  1. Fault and Liability
  2. Extent of Injuries
  3. Timing of Medical Attention
  4. Personal and Witness Statements

Lets’ take a closer look at each and what they mean to your personal injury case.

Fault and Liability

The primary determinant in assessing a personal injury claim is establishing fault or liability for the accident. If another party is solely responsible, your chances of a successful claim increase. Liability assessment involves various nuances, which we’ll break down below.

What is Proximate Cause?

Understanding the concept of proximate cause in a car accident can be tricky, but it’s essential to determine liability. Proximate cause refers to the direct action or failure to act that legally leads to the car accident, resulting in property damage and injuries. It’s important to note that proximate cause isn’t always attributable to the driver. Let’s explain a bit further with the two examples below:

  1. If a driver suddenly swerves out of their lane without any apparent reason, collides with your vehicle, and causes your injury, they are deemed the proximate cause or the “cause-in-fact” of the accident. Consequently, the driver would bear responsibility for both property and personal injury damages incurred.
  2. However, consider a situation where the driver veers to avoid a bicyclist behaving recklessly and ends up colliding with your vehicle. In this scenario, the erratic bicyclist becomes the proximate cause, while the driver is still the “cause-in-fact” of your injuries. Unless the driver’s response to the bicyclist was deemed unreasonable, the bicyclist would be held liable for damages in this instance.

What is Comparative Negligence?

In certain situations, where you might bear some responsibility for the car accident, it could impact your financial recovery. This is where the principle of comparative negligence applies.

For instance, suppose you’re involved in a collision at an intersection and are deemed partially at fault. In Pennsylvania, which is considered a modified comparative negligence state, you can still seek damages if your fault is less than 50% of the total responsibility for the accident. In such cases, your compensation is determined based on the percentage of fault attributed to the other parties involved. If there are multiple parties at fault, each bears responsibility for their share of the damages.

What is Gross Negligence or Recklessness?

Gross negligence and recklessness represent distinct states of mind carrying more significant blame than comparative negligence. They denote the defendant’s blatant disregard for the safety of others, indicating a conscious decision to engage in hazardous behavior despite awareness of its potential consequences. This concept is often cited in cases involving drunk driving or distracted driving, highlighting instances where the responsible party knowingly endangered others through their actions.

Extent of Injuries

The severity and lasting impact of your injuries can significantly influence your personal injury claim and the amount awarded. For example, serious injuries like amputation, paralysis, or permanent disabilities typically result in higher compensation due to their profound implications on quality of life and financial burdens.

Timing of Medical Attention

Prompt medical attention after any accident strengthens your claim by substantiating the link between injuries and the accident. Delayed medical treatment may invite skepticism from insurance companies regarding the accident’s causal role in your injuries. So, it’s important to seek medical attention after an accident- even if your injuries aren’t immediately seen or felt. Often, days and even weeks after an accident, injuries involving the neck, back, and spine can start presenting symptoms.

Personal and Witness Statements

In the aftermath of an accident, every word you say holds significant weight in shaping your personal injury claim. It’s crucial to exercise caution when communicating, particularly with the other driver and insurance adjusters. For instance, expressing remorse or apologizing to the other party might inadvertently be interpreted as an admission of fault, potentially jeopardizing your claim. It’s advisable to limit conversations and refrain from making statements that could be misconstrued. Seeking guidance from a personal injury attorney through a complimentary consultation is wise. They can offer invaluable advice on navigating discussions with insurance representatives and assess the viability of your personal injury case.

Additionally, it’s essential to recognize the importance of witness statements in bolstering your claim’s credibility. Gathering contact information from bystanders or other drivers who witnessed the accident can provide invaluable insights.

How Car Accident Attorneys Can Help After Being Injured in a Car Accident

After an accident, you have nothing to lose to reach out to a personal injury attorney. Most firms, including ours, offer free case evaluations– AND- you will never pay a fee until the case is resolved and money is awarded.  When you call on a personal injury law firm to help you with your claim, it can significantly impact a car accident case.  Car accident attorneys play a pivotal role in constructing your personal injury claim against the negligent party or parties by offering invaluable assistance with:

  1. Documentation and Medical Care:  Car crash attorneys assist in compiling and organizing crucial documentation, including medical records and bills, essential for substantiating your claim.
  2. Dealing with Insurance Companies: Legal representatives handle negotiations with insurance companies, shielding you from tactics aimed at minimizing compensation.
  3. Fault Determination: Lawyers conduct thorough investigations, gathering evidence and witness testimonies to effectively establish fault and liability.
  4. Negotiating Settlements: Experienced attorneys adeptly negotiate settlements, ensuring fair compensation and preventing premature, inadequate offers.
  5. Trial Preparation: While most cases settle out of court, attorneys prepare meticulously for trial, signaling readiness to pursue maximum compensation if required.

After a Car Accident, You Should Seek Legal Assistance Promptly

Following a car accident resulting in injuries, it’s crucial to promptly contact a personal injury law firm. Collaborating with a seasoned firm renowned for its track record of success enhances your prospects of securing maximum compensation for medical expenses, lost income, emotional distress and more. Additionally, having the support of the right law firm can alleviate the stress and complexities associated with navigating the aftermath of an accident.

Car Accident Attorneys in York, Pa.

At the law offices of Dale E. Anstine, our experienced car accident attorneys understand the challenges faced by car accident victims. You don’t have to navigate this difficult time for you and your family alone. If you’ve sustained injuries in a car accident, reach out to us for a free consultation. Our top-rated car accident firm is dedicated to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Don’t let the insurance company dictate your recovery and your compensation. Get fighters on your side and reach out to us today. You can do so by beginning a live chat on our website, filling out a free consultation form, or by calling us now at 717-846-0606.