When you sustain an injury as a result of a car accident, you may not be the only one who suffers. Injuries incur costs, both financial and otherwise. You may suffer lost wages, you might lose your job, or your earning potential may be reduced if you are left with a significant disability. As medical and other bills pile up in the aftermath of an accident, the stress and anxiety that come with it can be overwhelming and even incapacitating at times. Individuals who are injured in a car accident may be entitled to receive compensation for their injuries, expenses, and even pain and suffering; however, doing so can be complicated, especially for someone struggling with the physical and emotional ramifications that often occur following an accident.
Injuries can also have a negative impact on the loved ones of the injured person. Often, family members are forced to assume the role of breadwinner or caregiver, or both, which can place a tremendous burden on them and cause additional stress for the injured person. In addition, if family members are forced to leave their jobs or reduce their working hours in order to accommodate their care-taking responsibilities, the resulting financial insecurity can further contribute to stress for all involved. Role reversals such as these can make an indelible and negative mark on families in the wake of an accident-related injury, which can hamper and complicate recovery.
In the aftermath of an accident, insurance companies often prey on the vulnerability of the victims and are quick to make contact with them. They may ask for a statement from a victim, which can be damaging to their hopes of filing a successful claim in the future. Or, they may offer a quick cash settlement, which is likely far less than what would be owed in the event that the true nature of the accident – and the resulting injuries – was revealed. In reality, insurance companies are simply trying to get to accident victims before the victim obtains legal counsel. This is where a personal injury attorney can help.
Research has shown time and time again that utilizing the services of a personal injury attorney not only increases an individual’s chances of receiving compensation but also increases the amount of damages that are awarded. Insurances companies know this, which is why they go to great lengths to resolve matters fast. This is important information to know because, after an injury, it can be difficult to think beyond the present and focus on the big picture. An initial settlement from an insurance company might be tempting, but it may not be in the best interest of the injured person, their future, or their family’s future.
A personal injury attorney can do a multitude of things to help accident victims secure adequate compensation. They can interpret complicated insurance laws and manage the associated claims. If a settlement is possible and desired by both sides, attorneys can ensure that the person at fault covers the cost of all medical bills, in addition to punitive damages for pain and suffering. Furthermore, in the event that a case goes to trial, attorneys can take the reins, handling paperwork to file with the court, ensuring that deadlines are met, and preparing their client for the trial.
Oftentimes, people are hesitant to retain an attorney after an accident for fear that doing so will not be cost-effective. This is often not the case. In fact, most personal injury attorneys who specialize in representing victims of car accidents do so on a contingency basis. This means that they are not paid upfront. Rather, they receive a percentage of any compensation awarded to their client. Occasionally, such an arrangement may still deter some people from seeking counsel. They may believe that they would end up with more money in their pockets if they did not have to share it with an attorney. Keep in mind, however, that working with a personal injury attorney not only increases the odds of receiving compensation, it often leads to higher awards, which can still result in more money in the pocket even after attorney fees are paid.
After an accident, even one in which the injuries are minor, it is always advisable to consult an attorney. Personal injury lawsuits can be complicated and detailed, and attorneys can help victims defend their rights and seek compensation that is commensurate with their injuries. Individuals who remain on the fence about utilizing an attorney should keep in mind that initial consultations are almost always free; therefore, they have nothing to lose by pursuing a preliminary meeting. Doing so may make a difference not only in the amount of damages they receive but also to their future well-being and that of their family.