Can You Sue Someone for Lying About a Car Accident? | Auto Accident Lawyers

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s likely that you’re considering whether you can actually sue someone for causing the accident.  This might seem straightforward at first glance, but in reality, many defendants are “shady.”  They hide information, twist the facts, and lie outright. So, can you sue someone for lying about the facts in a car accident case

This can be extremely frustrating, as you might have already felt confused and overwhelmed by the prospect of a lawsuit.  With the defendant lying about the car accident, it may feel like the case has become even more complicated.  This isn’t an unreasonable reaction.  After all, conflicting stories in a car accident requires a bit of extra work.  Proving the “truth” isn’t always easy. 

Fear not!  Experienced attorneys can help.  Defendants lie relatively often, so there are strategic tools in place to “suss” out the lies.  If you’d like to learn more before speaking to an attorney, let’s explore the basics.

Why Do People Lie About Car Accidents? 

Though it may seem like the answer is obvious, it’s important to break this down: why do people lie about car accidents? 

At a basic level, defendants lie to avoid liability.  In a lawsuit, liability can lead to a significant damages payout, so defendants will often do whatever it takes to ensure that the court doesn’t find that they are at-fault.  By twisting the factual narrative around the case, the defendant may be attempting to create a new story that paints them in a favorable light. 

There are a number of avenues for the defendant to twist the narrative — for example, the defendant could lie to police at the scene of the accident, and those lying statements will be recorded in the police report.  In many cases, the defendant isn’t considering the lawsuit when making false statements.  When dealing with police, these false statements are made to avoid ticketing, fines, or an arrest. 

If you’re trying to sue someone for injuring you in a car accident, this lying can make you feel frustrated, even overwhelmed.  After all, you might not know how the defendant’s lies are going to impact your case, and how to counter the lies.  Well, don’t worry!  Experienced car accident attorneys are very familiar with handling false statements by defendants, and understand how to draft probing investigative questions to reveal the lies. 

What if Someone is Lying About a Car Accident?  How the Lie Can Impact Your Case. 

Okay, so we know that people often lie about the details of a car accident to try and minimize their role in causing it.  At this point, it’s not unreasonable to think: can you sue someone for lying?  

The answer is no — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful.  The defendant’s lies can give you a strategic advantage. 

See, lying about a car accident doesn’t create a lawsuit by itself.  If you can prove that the defendant lied, however, it can “enhance” your case (i.e., easier to undermine the defendant’s narrative, access additional damages, etc.). 

In a typical car accident dispute, one of the major challenges is proving that the defendant is liable for your injuries.  In other words, proving that they are at-fault.  The defendant may attempt to avoid liability by painting a favorable version of the factual narrative.  This may include exaggerations and lies. 

If you can point out discrepancies, there are two major impacts: 1) the court may determine that the defendant’s conduct is egregious enough to justify bonus punitive damages (which can increase your compensation significantly), and 2) it will be much easier to undermine all other statements made by the defendant, as the court will be less likely to believe them. 

Ready to Sue Someone?  Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation 

If you’ve been injured in a car accident — whether or not you believe that the defendant is lying about the facts — you should speak to an experienced attorney about your case

Call our team at 1-800-THE-LAW2 to connect to a qualified car accident attorney in just 10 minutes or less.  Consultation is free and confidential, so there’s really no downside to having a conversation. 

We look forward to assisting you. 

Why You Need a Lawyer Even if Your Case is Going to Settle | Injury Accident Lawyers

Many injury victims mistakenly believe that the at-fault party’s insurance company will take care of them, no fuss required. Sadly, this doesn’t usually happen. Insurance companies are for profit. They are in business to make money. If they paid everyone fairly for their claims, their profits would go down. In fact, insurance companies are notorious for engaging in manipulative strategies to avoid having to pay injured parties. 

What Can Claimants Do to Fight for Fair Compensation? 

The best decision you can make is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Even if you think that your case will conclude in an “easy settlement,” you still need the knowledge and skillset of a personal injury attorney to maximize the settlement amount.  

Why Do You Need a Lawyer? 

You’re not a trained attorney. That means you don’t know the ins-and-outs of detailed court procedures, let alone have the strategic experience to understand how to properly interrogate witnesses and present evidence in court. 

In fact, this depth of knowledge is considered so crucial, that American courts discourage claimants from moving forward without an attorney. It’s a choice that you’re legally allowed to make, but a foolish one – like swallowing a tube of poison to test whether it will harm you. 

Take the time to heal and recover from your injuries. Focus on your recovery. Do not concern yourself with things that are beyond your experience and training. Unless you’re a personal injury attorney yourself, you simply don’t know how to negotiate a settlement with a hostile insurance company, for example. 

What Are the Responsibilities of Personal Injury Lawyers?

The responsibilities of personal injury attorneys include: 

  • Investigate your injuries and how they happened 
  • Identify the liable parties—if there is more than one, this can maximize your compensation 
  • Hold the right parties accountable for your damages 
  • Collect evidence  
  • Research all applicable insurance policies 
  • Protect you from falling victim to the insurance company’s tactics 
  • Ensure all your damages are accounted for within your demand for compensation 
  • Prepare your case for trial if you don’t receive a reasonable settlement offer  
  • Represent you at trial, if you decide to take your claim to trial

Is it Better to Settle or Go to Trial? 

In general, an out of court settlement is preferable to going to trial. There are many benefits for both parties if they can agree to settle out of court

These benefits include: 

  • Decreased cost overall—it’s more expensive to go to court 
  • Decreased time to resolve the claim—you don’t have to prepare for trial and wait for a court date 
  • More control over the resolution of the claim—you aren’t putting the fate of your case in the hands of a judge or jury 

Injured parties can also avoid the hassle and anxiety of going before a judge and jury, while insurance companies, and sometimes clients, can preserve their reputation by not having the ordeal on a permanent and public court record. Most cases end in a settlement, due to a combination of these benefits.  

That being said, skilled attorneys understand that part of getting a “high” settlement is being ready and able to go to trial, if necessary. The threat of a trial has to be there to maximize the settlement amount

The Settlement Negotiation Process 

During the settlement negotiation, your attorney will be deeply familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of your claim. Typically, settlement negotiations begin after your attorney sends an initial demand letter to the at-fault party or their insurance company. This letter describes in detail:

  • What happened
  • Why you deserve compensation
  • Wow much you are requesting
  • And why  

Once the insurance company or their attorney receives this settlement demand letter, they will reach out to your personal injury attorney and make a counteroffer to the demand letter. This usually begins settlement negotiations. The negotiations can happen in person, at scheduled meetings, over the phone, or via email. The negotiation process can last days, weeks, months, or even longer. It varies from case to case.  

It’s your injury attorney’s responsibility to present you with the personal injury settlement offers, and to provide you with legal advice as to whether it’s an acceptable offer. In the end, YOU are the one who gets to decide if a personal injury settlement offer is acceptable. In the event that you do not receive any acceptable settlement offers, you can elect to move forward towards court litigation. 

Do bear in mind that accident settlements can be reached even after the trial starts. If you do agree to a settlement, you are required to sign a form agreeing not to pursue accident compensation for the same reason, and sometimes, to refrain from disclosing the details of the settlement.  

What Happens at a Settlement Meeting? 

Attorneys generally work through the negotiation process themselves. Usually, your attorney will ask for a settlement amount close to what was initially demanded. The defending party will likely point out a few weaknesses in your case and make a counteroffer. Your accident attorney will then point out weaknesses in their arguments, and will serve up another counteroffer. This offer-counteroffer dynamic will go back and forth until their efforts are exhausted or they reach an agreement for the value of your personal injury claim. Your attorney will let you know when it might be a good idea to accept a settlement offer.  

Speak with an Injury Lawyer Today 

Insurance companies know that claimants with legal representation are serious about getting the compensation they deserve for their injuries. They also know that personal injury lawyers know the true value of their client’s injury claim, so presenting a lowball offer won’t work. So you can increase your chances of a full and fair accident settlement by relying on an experienced personal injury attorney to represent your case. 

Call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 or fill out our form to get connected to a qualified attorney in your area in just 10 minutes or less. Legal consultation is free, so don’t delay!

How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident? | Lawyers for Car Accidents

Questions this article can help to answer: How much can someone sue for in a car accident? | What is your accident claim worth? | What is the difference between economic damages and non-economic damages? | How much does it cost to sue someone? | Why is my car accident settlement taking so long? | How long does a car accident settlement take? 

Despite safe driving campaigns and the introduction of new safety features, car accidents still occur at an alarming rate. These accidents can vary quite a bit. Some cause little to no injury, while others can lead to life altering injuries. Regardless of the extent of your injuries, you may wonder: “how much money can I sue for in a car accident?” 

We understand. You deserve to be compensated for losses you suffered after an accident. Until you speak to an experienced car accidents attorney, there is no “simple” answer. An accident attorney will listen to the factual narrative, then be able to piece together an estimation of the monetary potential in your case. 

How Much Can Someone Sue for in a Car Accident? 

There really is no limit to how much money you can recover in an auto accident lawsuit. However, that doesn’t mean that you will get as much as you ask. In all accident lawsuits, to secure compensation, you have to be able to prove your damages. If you cannot introduce evidence that supports your argument, you will not get the compensation you seek. 

Proving damages in a car accident case can be difficult, which is why injury victims turn to experienced car accident attorneys for help. Skilled traffic accident lawyers know how to identify all the damages, and also how to assess their true value. Then, to prove those damages, they take steps to gather sufficient evidence. 

Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts

Car accident settlement amounts depend on many other factors: 

  • What area of the country you are located in  
  • The insurance policies involved and their coverage limits 
  • The assets of the person responsible for your accident 

What is Your Claim Worth? 

The value of your auto accident claim derives from your damages. Most car accident injury victims have both economic and non-economic damages that make up the value of their accident claim.  

Assessing Economic Vs. Non-Economic Damages

What Are Examples of Economic Damages?

Economic damages include: 

  • Lost wages and income 
  • Medical bills and expenses 
  • Property damage 

Economic damages are worth their face value. They are also relatively easy to establish with documentation such as estimates, bills, and receipts. 

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

On the other hand, non-economic damages are quite subjective, don’t have a face value, and lack much evidence other than possible witness testimony. Their value is typically based on the value of your economic damages in some way, such as using a multiplier related to the severity of the injuries suffered. 

What Are Examples of Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages include: 

  • Pain and suffering 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life 
  • Loss of consortium 
  • Scarring and disfigurement  
  • Humiliation 
  • Mental anguish 

How Much Does it Cost to Sue Someone? 

Nothing. 

Zilch. 

Zero. 

NO OUT OF POCKET COSTS. 

That’s right. Experienced car accident attorneys typically work on contingency. What does that mean? That means that you only pay them if, and when, you win compensation in the case. They’ll take a percentage cut of the total compensation, anywhere from 25 to 40 percent, usually. This makes legal assistance extremely accessible in a car accident dispute. You don’t have to pay anything unless you win. And even when you do win, you only pay out of the money that your car accidents attorney has won for you. Really, it’s a win-win situation. 

Why Is My Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long?

Unfortunately, it can be tricky to determine precisely how long a car accident settlement will take to resolve. The person who can best answer this question is your own attorney, as they will know all the details of your case.  

How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take? 

Even the simplest of car accident cases can be expected to take several weeks or even months. Complex cases, such as those with multiple at fault parties, victims, or catastrophic injuries, can take a year, or more. That being said, in cases where fault is abundantly clear, a settlement can happen rather quickly. To expedite this process, contact an attorney as soon as you can after realizing you have sustained injuries in a car accident. Being cooperative with your attorney will help speed it along, too.  

Are You Ready to Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer About Your Claim? 

If you have questions about a potential car accident claim or are ready to secure legal help, call 1-800-THE-LAW2 or complete the form below. Consultation is free, and you’ll get connected to a qualified attorney near you in 10 minutes or less. Don’t delay! Get the help you need. 

How to Choose the Right Accident Lawyer for Your Claim | Accident Attorneys Near You

Being in a car accident can make you feel like your life is in a tailspin, but when you hire an experienced car accident lawyer, you’ll have an advocate and guide through these difficult times. It can, in turn, make the situation much easier to manage. You might have lingering pain and need to seek continued medical care. You might not be sure how to take care of all of your bills, get your car fixed, and all the logistics that come in the aftermath of the motor vehicle collision. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. But how do you choose the “right” lawyer?  Let’s take a peek. 

What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do? 

A knowledgeable car accident lawyer has a variety of responsibilities, and their skillset empowers your claim in a number of different ways. Their main responsibility, however, shift the burden off your shoulders and to secure a win, and in doing so, maximize your compensation

Car accident lawyers can do the following: 

  • Explain your legal rights and options and provide legal advice in plain language so you can understand 
  • Determine the value of your case 
  • Develop a persuasive legal argument and present it to the other side 
  • Gather and preserve evidence to support your claim 
  • Identify every liable party 
  • Discover ALL available sources of compensation 
  • Ensure that your case is in-sync with procedural requirements 
  • Keep your case moving in a timely manner 
  • Negotiate full and fair settlements 
  • Pursue trial litigation if a settlement can’t be reached 

How Do I Find the Right Car Accident Lawyer? 

Finding the right car accident lawyer begins with searching for lawyers in your area that might be a good fit. This can be extremely difficult, however – many lawyers pay the same marketing companies to setup their websites, and it’s not clear how to differentiate between lawyer services, experience, and advantages. 

As an individual who isn’t intimately familiar with lawyering, and how to choose a lawyer, it can feel like an arbitrary, random process to choose the right lawyer by simply exploring your local options. 

We offer a great alternative. Instead of worrying about which lawyer fits your case, we do the legwork for you. Our lawyers are experienced car accident attorneys who have signed up to take on clients through our platform. They are ready and able to take on cases like yours. When you call in or complete our online form, we connect you to an experienced, skilled local attorney – you don’t have to worry about how to choose. 

What to Look for When Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer 

That being said, even after you’re connected with an attorney, you may still want to determine whether they’re the right one to move forward with. Finding the best accident lawyer for your case really requires that you know what to look for.  So here’s a few aspects to consider: 

Reputation

Were they recommended to you by someone you know? Have they been peer-reviewed? Do they have a proven track record? Are they in good standing with your state’s bar association? Have they ever been disciplined by the bar, and if so, why? 

Practice Experience

How long has the attorney been practicing personal injury law, or more specifically, representing car accident clients? Do they only focus on personal injury or car accident claims, or do they dabble in other areas of the law, too, such as criminal, family, or estate law? How many car accident clients do they represent each year? Have they handled similar cases to yours? The more time they have spent focused on personal injury law, especially in car accidents, the better.  

Fee Arrangements

Will they charge a contingency fee or an hourly rate? How much will they charge for legal services? Most personal injury attorneys work under contingency fee arrangements, meaning you pay nothing unless or until they obtain compensation in your case. 

Communication Style and Personality

Do you feel comfortable speaking with them? How do they communicate with clients—phone, email, text? How quickly do they generally get back to clients? Do they have the time to personally handle your case now? Can you see yourself working with them for at least several months or not a year or more? Do you feel understood by them? Do they seem particularly rushed? 

Strategy

What do they see as the best strategy in your case? What do they believe are the strengths and weaknesses in your case? Do they have the professional connections and resources to manage your case? 

Characteristics of an Excellent Car Accident Attorney 

It’s also crucial to look for people-skills in a car accident lawyer. Some may be more important to you than others, but in general, an excellent car accident attorney will

  • Be compassionate and seem genuinely concerned about your situation 
  • Be patient in negotiations 
  • Be easily understood as they are an excellent communicator 
  • Be passionate and driven to obtain financial compensation for your claim 
  • Have extensive knowledge of personal injury law 
  • Have a successful professional record 
  • Provide clear guidance 
  • Be willing to build relationships with clients 
  • Work to understand your goals for your case 
  • Upon their legal advice, allow you to decide whether to settle your claim or proceed to trial 

You may not be able to observe all of these qualities when meeting with them. However, looking at Google reviews or reviews on their website or social media can help you get a feel for the type of attorney they are and could be for you. 

Are You Looking for the Best Car Accident Attorney? 

If you are looking for the best auto accident attorney to help with your claim, look no further – you’ve come to the right place. Call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 or complete the form below.  We’ll get you connected to a reputable car accident attorney in just 10 minutes or less. Consultation is free, so don’t delay! Get your claim started today so you can get the compensation you deserve for your car accident

Should I Wait to Call a Lawyer for Car Accidents? | Auto Accident Attorney

If you suffered harm due to the negligence or carelessness of another driver, you may wonder: “should I contact a lawyer after a car accident?” The answer is an unequivocal yes. 

Motor vehicle accidents continue to plague the United States, many experts consider it a full-blown public health crisis. Recent data shows that over 46,000 individuals lose their lives every year in motor vehicle accidents in the US alone. In addition, more than 4.4 million are injured seriously enough that they need emergency medical attention. Also, the overall economic impact of road crashes comes at a $871 billion cost, with more than $380 million in direct medical costs

If you have injuries from a motor vehicle accident, you are not alone. Many, many others have gone through the same issues, or are currently navigating similar circumstances. 

Should I Contact a Lawyer After a Car Accident?  

You should absolutely contact a lawyer after a car accident, if even for a simple case evaluation. It is the most important thing you can do, and it comes at no out of pocket cost, or commitment. 

See, most car accident attorneys offer free initial consultations. During this consultation, they will assess the accident, and your injuries, to determine whether you have a valid accident claim. They’ll also provide some helpful guidance on next steps. If you feel that they are a “good fit,” you can move forward with them, then agree to have them represent you in litigation

Either way, you have nothing to lose by reaching out to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation. 

When Should You Contact a Lawyer After a Car Accident?   

You should call a lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident. In fact, they should be one of your first phone calls. Here are a few reasons why: 

Statute of Limitations

Every state has a personal injury statute of limitations. This is a deadline that mandates how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident. In some states, it is as short as a year or two. It can be even shorter if your injury claim is against a government entity. Keep in mind that your auto accident attorney will need time to work on your legal case before they can file a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, the sooner you contact them, the better. They will know what statute of limitations apply to your accident case to keep it moving in a timely manner.  

Maximizing Claim Value

What are 4 insurance company tricks that get car accident victims to settle for less?

Car accident insurance adjustors have a habit of reaching out to injured claimants shortly after they file a legal claim. This is no mistake; they want to talk to them about a settlement while the getting is good. At this stage, most injured parties haven’t yet contacted a lawyer for car accidents to find out what their claim is really worth. When they receive a call from an insurance adjuster already offering a settlement, they might be happy to receive it so quickly. They might accept the settlement offer, not yet knowing their personal injury claim might be worth much more. The sooner you contact a personal injury lawyer, the sooner you will know the actual value of your accident claim and not fall for lowball settlement offers

Protecting You From Insurance Company Tactics

Insurance companies use many tactics to avoid paying claims or the full value of the claims they receive. When you speak directly with them, you leave yourself open to more of their tactics. For example, they might twist what you say. If they call you and ask how you are doing today, you might answer, “Fine.” This doesn’t mean you are healed from your injuries and living your life as usual; it just means you are fine. However, they will use something as simple as that to their advantage, arguing that you must not have significant injuries or that you are already healed since you said you were fine. Insurance adjustors might also ask for recorded statements that they can use against you. You have the right to refuse to give such a statement. When you hire a car accident attorney, you no longer need to have direct contact with the insurance company. If the insurance company needs to speak to you, your lawyer will be present to protect your rights.  

How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost? 

How much does a car accident attorney cost out of pocket?

Most lawyers for car accidents work on contingency, which means that they don’t get paid until and unless they obtain compensation on your behalf. Simply put: they only get paid if you do. 

If and when they reach a settlement or receive a court award on your behalf, they take a percentage cut of the winnings. This can vary from 25 to 40 percent, depending on a number of different factors. 

In the vast majority of cases, victims obtain significantly more compensation than they would if they handed their cases themselves. Hiring a lawyer for car accidents is a good investment, and it’s a “free” investment, too. 

Find the Best Car Accident Lawyer Near You

If you need to find the best car accident lawyer near you, you have come to the right place. Simply call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 or complete our form to get connected to a licensed attorney in your area in just 10 minutes or less. Consultation is free, so don’t delay! 

Ready to Call a Car Accident Lawyer? Here Are 4 Things to Look For | Car Accident Attorneys

Car accidents are among the most common types of personal injury claims, that’s fairly unsurprising to most people. After all, even minor car accidents can leave victims with serious injuries and expenses. 

Thankfully, the law entitles car accident victims to pursue compensation. That being said, you don’t want to move forward alone. It is important to work with an experienced attorney, they can help you navigate the complex, and often confusing, legal process.

When Should I Call a Lawyer After a Car Accident?

One of the most important things you can do after being involved in a car accident is to call an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you secure legal representation, the more likely it is that your right to compensation will be protected.  Aside from receiving any necessary medical care, your next priority should be to meet with an attorney to discuss your case. But how do you find a good lawyer?

What to Look for in a Car Accident Lawyer

Finding the right car accident lawyer for your claim can sound stressful. However, this crucial task can generally be approached like hiring any other professional. Here are four things to look for when hiring a car accident attorney

What Are the Qualities of the Best Car Accident Lawyer?

Experience in the Type of Law You Need Help With

Is the attorney experienced? What type of law are they experienced in? You need a personal injury lawyer if you have been in a car accident. Finding an attorney near you who was great at getting your friend through a divorce or helping your parents plan their estate isn’t likely going to help your car accident claim much. While they may be effective, professional attorneys, they aren’t experienced in the type of law you need help with. Make sure you hire someone who has experience representing car accident victims.  

Litigation Experience

You will want to hire an attorney who also has litigation experience, one who isn’t afraid to take your claim to trial if it becomes necessary. Plenty of law firms are simply settlement mills, taking on every case they can, knowing they will settle it and move on to the next client. You want a lawyer who is committed to doing what is best for you. In some cases, doing what is best means refusing to settle and instead going to trial.  

Proven Track Record

Does the attorney have a proven track record of obtaining compensation for their clients—either through a negotiated settlement or a court award? While past results are no promise of their future performance, they can give some insight into how your case might end. For example, you want to hire a car accident lawyer with experience getting car accident victims what they deserve for their damages.

Good Communication

There are many outstanding lawyers out there; however, some are severely lacking in the communication department. They forget that they are representing real people with real issues and injuries. Clients call or email to ask for updates; they simply don’t respond or take weeks to respond. No one wants to be ignored during this stressful time of life. You deserve an attorney who will address your questions and concerns in a timely manner. When you meet with a potential attorney, ask them how they handle client communication. Will you be able to speak directly with them? Or will you speak with a receptionist or a paralegal? 

Good Standing and Reputation

It’s also essential to ensure that the attorney you want to hire has a good standing and positive reputation. You can check your local state bar organization to ensure their license hasn’t been suspended and they aren’t facing any type of disciplinary action from the state bar. You can also check with other reputable organizations and their peers to determine the attorney’s reputation. Online reviews from previous clients are also a good resource. If necessary, ask the attorney for recommendations. If they want your business, they should be willing to show you their reviews and why you should hire them.  

Is It Worth Getting a Car Accident Lawyer?

Far too many injured car accident victims shy away from seeking legal help. They think they can do it themselves, that car accident lawyer fees are too high, that they don’t have the money to pay for them upfront, or that having legal representation for a car accident doesn’t make any difference. However, legal representation can make a substantial difference in your claim.  

Even better, most offer free consultations. So, you can meet with them, then find out if you have a valid claim. Most car accident attorneys work on contingency fees only if you decide to hire them. This means you don’t pay them anything to get your case started or during the duration of your case. Once your case is over, they get paid out of any monies they obtain on your behalf. If they don’t obtain any, you don’t owe them anything. Many car accident victims receive more compensation with a lawyer than they would without one, even after the attorney has taken out their fees and services. 

Ready to Call a Car Accident Lawyer?

Are you ready to call a car accident lawyer? 

We make it easy for you. Simply call 1-800-THE-LAW2 or fill out our convenient online form. You’ll be connected to a qualified lawyer within 10 minutes.  During this free consultation, you can discuss your car accident claim, and our lawyer will answer any questions you might have.

Choosing the Best Car Accident Attorney for You

How do you choose the best car accident attorney for you? 

You probably don’t have to look far to find personal injury lawyers near you. Maybe you’ve seen their ads on television, social media, buses, or billboards. But now, it actually matters. You have injuries from a car accident, and you want to hire a lawyer. You might be tempted to call, and hire the first attorney that comes to mind.  

That being said, you should make sure to choose the “best” car accident attorney for you. Remember that the right attorney for your friend or family member may not be the right one for you. Everyone has different needs and communication styles. 

Why You Need a Car Accident Attorney 

First, consider why you need a lawyer in the first place. You may not even realize all the benefits of having one, but learning what they can do for you can help narrow your search. A car accident attorney can: 

  • Manage your car accident claim 
  • Handle communications with the insurance company and their legal team 
  • Collect necessary evidence  
  • Investigate the accident 
  • Determine who is liable for the accident 
  • Negotiate a settlement 
  • File a lawsuit if necessary and litigate the case 
  • Provide guidance and support throughout the entire legal process 

Technically, you don’t HAVE to hire a lawyer to file a car accident claim. However, courts do highly discourage going without an attorney, and for good reason. 

Attorneys know the law and all the procedures, and they know how to push for maximum compensation. Car accident attorneys also typically work on contingency: they only get paid when you do.  So it’s absolutely in your best interest to have legal representation. 

Understanding what a lawyer can do for you can help you know what qualities to look for when hiring one. Since it’s best to have a seasoned car accident lawyer on your side sooner rather than later, start your search as soon as possible after your accident. It’s also a good idea to refrain from speaking with the insurance company until you have an attorney on your side. 

How to Choose the Best Car Accident Attorney 

Choosing the best attorney for your car accident means choosing someone that’s a good fit for you and someone who possesses certain qualities and characteristics.

What are the qualities of the best car accident lawyer? 

Experience  

Good accidents lawyers will have several years of experience in car accident cases, such as those involving: 

In fact, it’s best to choose an attorney whose area of focus is that of motor vehicle accidents. In general, the more focused a lawyer’s practice is, the better the chances of you obtaining the full and fair value of your accident claim. 

Fees 

Speak to your potential attorney about their fee structure. Most car accident attorneys provide free initial consultations, even if you decide not to use their services. In addition, many accident attorneys work only for contingency fees.

How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost Out of Pocket?

A contingency fee arrangement means you pay them nothing upfront and nothing until they win your car accident case. You owe them nothing if they don’t settle your case or win your lawsuit in court

What Percentage Do Most Injury Lawyers Take?

When and if they do recover money for your car accident damages, they receive payment from those funds. The amount they receive is usually determined by a percentage of the total recovery and is agreed upon when you hire them. Even after paying their fees, it’s worth getting a car accident attorney as nearly all accident victims will receive more compensation with an attorney on their side. 

Communication 

Do you feel like the attorney understands you? And, do you have a good report? How do they handle your questions and concerns along the way? Do you feel at ease talking to them? It’s crucial to feel comfortable talking to the attorney you hire and how they want you to communicate with them going forward. While your ultimate goal is financial compensation for your damages, you should feel supported and at ease during the process. 

Peer Respect and Reputation 

Do your research to determine how others in the legal community view your potential attorney, such as judges, past clients, and other lawyers. How are their online reviews? Have they been disciplined by or reported to the state bar? What professional recognitions or awards have they received?  

A Professional Office 

When you visit the prospective attorney’s office, is it professional? Are the staff courteous and friendly? Is it clean and well-kept? Is it easily accessible? You will likely be in the office several times throughout the course of your case and interacting with the office staff, so this is a crucial part of your decision. Unfortunately, not all car accident lawyers have a professional office. 

Find the Best Auto Accident Attorney Today

If you’re ready to get started choosing the best car accident attorney for your case, call 1-800-THE-LAW2 or complete our contact form. You’ll be connected to reputable attorney in your area within 10 minutes.  During the free consultation, you’ll learn more about the possibilities for your case, as well as next steps.

Title Jumping | What Happens If You Get Into an Accident and the Car Has a Jumped Title?

Getting in a car accident is not a particularly good situation to be in, but things can get worse still. For example, if the vehicle has a jumped title, the accident dynamic can become even more stressful. And, it is more complex. To help you determine your best next steps, let’s explore this type of title fraud and its risks and consequences. And, of course, your legal options.

What Is Title Jumping?

A car title is a legal document designating vehicle ownership. It includes the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the make and model year, date of issue, body style, fuel type, owner name and address, and lien information, among other pertinent details. 

If a person buys a vehicle without putting it in their name and then sells it, it is known as title jumping. This illegal act is also referred to as title skipping or floating. When there is a jumped title issue, the new buyer cannot register the car in their name with the DMV, and the individual becomes subject to related problems, such as unpaid fees and missing signatures.  

Car buyers title-jump for several reasons, the most common of which include:  

  • Selling multiple vehicles per year but not wishing to register with the state as a licensed dealer due to the expenses involved.  
  • Refusing to pay taxes and fees, such as registration fees, sales taxes, and titling fees, before reselling a vehicle.  
  • Not wanting to inform the new buyer about serious issues with the vehicle, such as flood damage, a failing transmission, or continual engine problems.  
  • Selling salvaged vehicles with no titles, maintenance histories, and other essential documents.

“Shady” or unscrupulous car dealership employees can also engage in this practice. However, victims of title jumping typically purchase vehicles via third-party sellers, such as private sellers or through online means. Facebook Marketplace and craigslist are two forums for local vehicle sales that can result in title floating issues.

Is Title Floating a Felony?

Title jumping is considered a felony in most states, including Iowa where it is unlawful for a manufacturer, dealer, importer, or any other vehicle seller to “sell or dispose of” a vehicle without the proper title and other registration information. Some states, such as California, use forms called Release of Liability. Sellers complete this form as part of the selling process, which includes furnishing information about their buyers. If this form is not submitted to the appropriate DMV branch, the state will suspect title fraud. This is because the California Department of Motor Vehicles does not consider a car or truck transferred out of the seller’s name unless this form is submitted. 

Was the title of your car jumped? Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to find an attorney who can help your situation today.

Can I Sue Someone for Title Jumping?

It is possible to take legal action against someone who sold you a vehicle without the proper title, but it can be difficult. The seller might have provided a fake name, deleted their listing on craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, or left the state, making it challenging to locate the individual and serve them. If you purchased the vehicle from a car dealership, you can file a legal claim against the company.  

How to Fix Title Jumping and What to Do

Should you decide to take legal action, contact an attorney with experience in title fraud. The lawyer will assist you throughout the legal process and answer any questions you have. Typical actions include filing a police report detailing the time, location, and date of the purchase. Any conversations with the seller should be included. You will also want to capture images of your vehicle, make copies of paperwork connected to the sale, and call your local DMV. The department may be able to provide assistance regarding a new title. Such titles are known as bonded titles.

Bonded Titles

What Is a Bonded Title?

Bonded titles are furnished by surety companies. They remain bonded for a set period, and come with a risk.

Risk of Bonded Title

During this time, the previous seller can claim the bond, and therefore reveal themselves as the title owner. Whether the seller of the vehicle does or does not claim the bond, you must wait for the specified time before applying for a clean title. Clean titles indicate that the applicable insurance companies do not consider the vehicles “total losses.”

Some states do not accept bonded titles, including Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Oregon.

What is the Penalty For a Jumped Title?

The penalty for title jumping depends on the state, but it typically includes imprisonment and fines.

  • Title jumping in Texas: If a vehicle seller engages in title skipping in Texas, but does not transfer a vehicle title to a new owner within 30 days of the sale, this individual pays a fine of up to $4,000. There are no fee waivers, with the seller also facing up to two years’ imprisonment.
  • Title jumping in California: In California, the seller must pay a $1,000 fine and spend one year in jail. 
  • Title jumping in Missouri: Other states, such as Missouri, do not issue title penalties until 60 days after the date of sale.

Is it Possible to Sell a Car Without a Title in My Name?

You may wonder – Can I sell a car without a title in my name? While selling a car with no title is regarded as a felony in most states, there are loopholes. For example, if a vehicle was abandoned on your property or you purchased the property featuring such a vehicle, it is technically yours. To avoid title fraud issues, you must provide the local DMV with the VIN number to contact the previous owner. If the owner cannot be located or does not take responsibility for their vehicle, you are legally allowed to procure a title.  

What to Do If You Are a Victim of Title Jumping

If you have been a victim of title jumping, contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your situation. Speak to a lawyer near you by calling 1-800-THE-LAW2. Consultation is free and confidential, so get started today!

What to Bring to Your Free Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer | 1-800-THE-LAW2

This article covers what to bring to and how to prepare for a car accident lawyer free consultation.

If you have injuries from a car accident, chances are you’re feeling a bit confused, and possibly overwhelmed by the situation. After all, a serious collision can cause injuries that are not only going to impact your day-to-day life, but that also have an impact on your ability to earn an income. To top it off, navigating through insurance hurdles, paperwork organization, and possible settlement negotiations can be a lot for someone trying to heal and recover after an accident. 

An attorney can help you move forward. They can advocate on your behalf, do all the “dirty work,” and let you focus on your own healing. Ready to get connected?  Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer

This article can help you to answer these questions:

What Should I Expect at a Free Consultation With an Accident Lawyer? 

The initial attorney consultation can either be in person or over the phone. We find that phone consultations can be an excellent starting point, as it lets you familiarize yourself with how the attorney is likely to communicate with you over the course of representation. After all, much of the communication will occur over a distance. So, seeing how well your accident lawyer communicates over-the-phone is crucial. 

What Is Included in a Free Consultation With a Lawyer?

During the consultation, the attorney will listen to your story and will ask lots of clarifying questions. Provide all the necessary details to fully explain the incident. After hearing your story and asking questions, the attorney will evaluate your claim and let you know if they will be able to assist you.  They may even provide a projected estimate of how much the case is worth. Attorneys are not superheroes. If they promise you all sorts of guarantees, that often means they are not reputable.

Are Lawyer Consultations Confidential?

Consultations are fully confidential, so nothing you say in the meeting will leave the conversation. You can and should be completely honest.

What Questions Should I Ask at a Free Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer? 

A free consultation provides you with an opportunity to interview a potential lawyer, too. Ask lots of questions, you want to feel comfortable with your choice. Following is a list of examples of questions to ask the accident attorney during your free initial legal consultation.

Some Questions to Ask a Potential Car Accident Attorney 

  • Do you specialize in car accidents?  What do you specialize in? 
  • How long have you been an attorney?  
  • Where did you study? 
  • How many cases like mine have you handled? 
  • What are the results you’ve had with similar cases? 
  • How long will it take to resolve my case? 
  • How much could I recover in compensation? 
  • What is your contingency fee arrangement like? 

Be prepared and ready with a list of questions you would like to ask a prospective lawyer. Once you have answers, you can evaluate if this attorney is the right fit for you and your specific situation.  

What Should I Bring With Me to a Free Car Accident Consultation? 

It’s important to be prepared, meaning: know what to bring and have all pertinent documents and information an attorney will need to begin working on your case. If you aren’t prepared and need to know what to do to help your case, that’s okay too. Your attorney will let you know what they need after the consultation. 

If you can get the documentation you need beforehand, it makes the consultation more detailed and more useful.

What Should I Take to a Lawyer?

If you can, here is a list of the documentation and items that you should bring with you to a free consultation: 

  • Identification such as driver’s license and social security card.  
  • Insurance information including your insurance card, agent contact information, insurance policy, and any documentation you have received from your insurance company.  
  • A police report from the scene of the accident is necessary as it may help the attorney identify who was at fault for the accident. You should have been provided a copy of the report from the police, but if you were not given a copy, contact the police department that filed the report.  
  • Doctors’ bills, receipts, and reports will help the lawyer assess the extent of injury, damages, pain, and suffering caused by the accident.  
  • Other driver’s information, such as contact information, driver’s license, and insurance information. 
  • Witness statements and/or witness contact information is pertinent and will help to determine fault.  
  • Estimates or bills for vehicle repairs which will help the attorney assess the amount of property damage caused by the accident.  
  • Proof of wage loss, including a list of missed days or hours of work, and any relevant pay stubs or a W-2. 
  • Photos of the accident, of damage to vehicles, and of injuries will be helpful to assess the property damage and personal injury.  
  • Camera footage if available. Sometimes, people video at the scene of an accident, or security cameras may capture an incident.  
  • Written summary of what happened – take some time to jot down details of what you remember. 
  • List of pertinent questions for the attorney. 
  • Any emails or text messages relating to the accident. 

Possibly. Something to take notes with is on our list of top items to bring to your initial legal consultation. It is wise to take notes during your meeting, the attorney may offer free legal advice and recommendations. Being prepared with the correct documentation at your free consultation helps things go smoothly, and it sets your legal case up for success. Not only will the initial consultation alleviate the stress and anxiety involved in managing the aftermath of a car accident, but if you end up hiring the attorney you meet, you will be on your way to living your best life again, mentally, physically, and financially.  

Find a Car Accident Lawyer to Help Your Case

If you are the victim of a traumatic vehicle collision and have injuries or losses due to someone else’s negligence while driving, it is wise to seek the counsel of a caring, experienced car accident attorney.

Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to connect to the best car accident lawyer for your caseConsultation is free and confidential, so don’t hesitate!

How Much Does a Car Accident Attorney Cost Out of Pocket? | Auto Accident Lawyers

Questions that this article will help to answer: What is the cost to hire a car accident attorney after a crash | What is a contingency arrangement | How does a contingency arrangement work | What contingency fee percentage should I expect | What are the benefits to hiring a car accident lawyer based on a contingency plan | Why seek assistance after a car crash with a car accident attorney

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, chances are that you’ve at least considered the possibility of working with an attorney. You may have medical bills, lost wages, and property damages, and an attorney can help you recover compensation to cover all these different losses. 

Many injured accident victims avoid legal assistance, fearing that it will be extremely costly. This could not be further from the truth!  In most accident-related cases, it costs nothing to sue, as it is based on a contingency fee arrangement. So you don’t need to worry that you don’t have expendable cash in hand. 

Curious?  Call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to an attorney for a free consultation today. For now, let’s explore some of the basics of hiring a car accident attorney. 

What is the Cost to Hire a Car Accident Attorney After a Crash?

Hiring an attorney for your motor vehicle accident claim does not cost anything up front. First, most personal injury, or accident, law firms offer free consultations to get started. Using this, you can get a fresh, professional perspective on your case. And, know how to best move forward. 

Secondly, in personal injury disputes, attorneys offer “contingency-based” arrangements. This creates a win-win situation for both the injured individual, as well as the attorney. 

What is a Contingency Arrangement?

A contingency basis, or contingency fee arrangement, means that the lawyer gets paid when the job is done, and the client is paid for their pain, suffering, and damages. The American Bar Association defines a contingency fee as, “The lawyer agrees to accept a fixed percentage (often one third) of the recovery, which is the amount finally paid to the client.” 

Put simply: the attorney gets paid only when the client secures compensation. If the client doesn’t get paid, the attorney doesn’t either. This creates a dynamic where the attorney is incentivized to do the best possible work, and do it efficiently. The more that you, as the injured victim, get through compensation, the more that the attorney gets paid, as they get paid a percentage cut of your total compensation.

How Does a Contingency Arrangement Work? 

The client and attorney agree to the “percentage of the outcome” the attorney will receive once they earn an award for their client. They also agree as to how legal expenses will be handled during litigation. Expenses including:

  • court filing charges
  • travel costs
  • and witness fees

Your attorney will generally pay for these extra expenses, though you’ll want to double-check the client-attorney agreement to ensure that this is the case. You can discuss the details more during the initial consultation.

What Contingency Fee Percentage Should I Expect?

In most personal injury cases, contingency fee percentages hover around 33%. Many agreements are based on a sliding scale percentage, however. The percentage will, therefore, shift depending on:

  • The expected payout
  • How long it takes to resolve the claim
  • And the phase of litigation

For example, if the attorney takes a personal injury case, and is easily able to obtain a satisfactory settlement with insurance adjusters in a brief time, they may only charge 25%. If an attorney needs to litigate and the case begins to take on more time and effort, the percentage due will slide up and move to 33%.  

It is important to note that minimum and maximum contingency fees may vary depending on:

  • State laws in which the client lives
  • Where the attorney practices
  • Extent of the damages
  • Expected recovery amount
  • Complexity of the incident
  • Experience of the attorney

Benefits to Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer Based on a Contingency Plan

Many injury victims struggle with stress and anxiety after an accident. They may have lots of bills to pay that they simply don’t have the money to cover, and post injury lifestyle changes can be difficult to adapt to as well. 

A reliable, experienced attorney can alleviate the stress of dealing with insurance companies and bill collectors. Attorneys have the resources to help you obtain the care you need for your injuries, and even the repair work needed for your vehicle.  

Hiring based on contingency means there will be no immediate out of pocket legal costs and you will not be billed unless the attorney wins the case. A contingency plan motivates the attorney to do their best, because if they do not do their job, they will not get paid. The risk to you is low, but the potential payout can be high.

Seek Assistance After a Car Crash With a Car Accident Attorney

Did you suffer injuries in a car crash? An experienced car accident attorney can help you recover compensation for your injuries. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to find a car accident attorney in your areaConsultation is free and confidential, so don’t delay!

Four Insurance Company Tricks that Get Car Accident Victims to Settle for Less | Auto Accident Attorneys

Every state in the U.S. requires drivers to provide evidence of financial responsibility before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Most of the time, this proof of financial responsibility means proof of insurance coverage in the minimum amounts required by law. State lawmakers require this so that if an accident occurs and an at-fault driver injures or kills someone or damages their property, the victim can receive money for their accident-related expenses. It sounds relatively simple and straightforward, as it should be.  

Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get in touch with an experienced auto accident attorney who can help you secure compensation and battle insurance companies.

Tricks Insurance Companies Use

However, insurance companies like to complicate the matter. Why? Because while the very nature of their business is fairly paying car accident claims, doing so doesn’t serve their financial goals.

How Do Insurance Companies Make Money?

Just like any other business, they exist to make money. The more they spend on car accident claims, the less they have in their bank accounts. One of their solutions to this dilemma is to use tricks and tactics that entice car accident victims to settle for less than their claim is worth.  

4 Most Common Tactics Insurance Companies Use

Anyone filing a car insurance claim after an accident, no matter how big or small, should be aware of these unfair and often unethical practices. They should also have an experienced car accident lawyer on their side who can help identify and eliminate these tactics. So how do insurance companies try to trick you? Here are four of their most common tactics:

  1. Swoop and Settle
  2. Recorded Statement
  3. Denying Your Claim
  4. Asking for Additional and Unrelated Medical Records

The Swoop and Settle

Do insurance companies want to settle quickly? Of course, they do, but not for the same reasons you do. You want to settle quickly to pay your bills, make up for lost wages, and move on with your life. They want to settle quickly so that car accident victims don’t have the chance to meet with an auto accident lawyer to learn what their case is really worth or before they have time to realize the full extent of their injuries.  

They want to swoop in, sometimes within days of filing your claim, make you a quick offer, and have you accept. This way, you don’t know that the offer they presented you with was extremely low compared to what you could receive with a lawyer on your side. Once you accept and sign their offer, there’s usually no going back. Don’t accept any settlement offer from the insurance adjuster without speaking to a seasoned car accident attorney. It’s also important to note that you can counter-offer their settlement, but this is usually also best done with an attorney who knows the strengths and weaknesses of your claim.  

The Recorded Statement

When the insurance adjuster calls to speak with you about the accident, they will typically ask your permission to record your statement and answers to their questions. They may make it seem like it’s a requirement or that they can’t process your claim without doing so. However, this isn’t true. You don’t have to agree to or provide a recorded statement. Instead, tell them you are going to discuss your case with an auto accident lawyer first.  

By asking for a recorded statement, they can use what you say against you. They can also ask you leading questions, such as: 

  • “You didn’t see the car coming because you were looking down at your cell phone, right?” 
  • “You were driving home after a long night shift, right?” 

Or they may even just twist what you say. It’s best to hire an auto accident attorney who will speak to the insurance adjuster on your behalf. 

Delaying Your Claim

Another common car insurance company tactic is to simply delay your claim. You file your claim as soon as possible after the accident, and then it seems like nothing is happening. You call to check on the status of your claim, and the adjuster gives you the runaround or other excuses. It’s their hope that you get tired of waiting for them to process your claim, forget about it, and move on or simply agree to settle for less.

What To Do If the Insurance Company Is Stalling

When you have legal representation, the insurance company knows they can’t get away with these delays. Your attorney will ensure that there are no unnecessary delays. 

Asking for Additional and Unrelated Medical Records

The insurance company has a right to see the medical bills and records for which you are asking reimbursement or compensation. They don’t automatically have the right to see your medical records for any dates preceding the car accident. If they get ahold of such information, they could try to use it against you. So, for example, if you sent them medical records from an old back injury, they might try to say your pain and symptoms now can’t be from the car accident you just experienced but rather because of your old back injury. They will use this trick to try to deny or decrease the value of your claim.  

The insurance adjuster may also ask for additional records or information they already have just to delay your claim further.

In a Car Accident? Don’t Fall for Insurance Company Tricks, Hire an Experienced Attorney Instead

Anytime an insurance company can poke holes in your case and twist your words, they will do so.  It benefits them to weaken your claim and get you to settle for less, or even to reject it outright.  

With the help of a qualified motor vehicle accident attorney, you can avoid falling for insurance company tricks.  Attorneys are committed to helping you obtain the monetary compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.  

Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get in touch with an experienced auto accident attorney who can help you secure compensation and battle the insurers.  Consultation is free and confidential, so there’s no barrier to getting started!

Electric Scooter Accidents Involving Cars | Scooter Accident Lawyer

The rise in electric scooter accidents and injuries, especially in collisions involving cars, is increasingly more common. Many vehicle drivers aren’t sure how to share the road with e-scooters, or are simply too aggressive

Have you been injured in an electric scooter crash involving a car? If so, you may have a legitimate legal claim. We encourage you to speak with an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to experienced, local accident attorneys near you.

Electric Scooter Accident Statistics

E-scooter accidents are also known as electric scooter accidents. They frequently lead to severe injury or even death, as there is no protective frame to protect the rider or driver. In fact, nearly 50% of those involved in e-scooter accidents suffer severe injuries. According to a study conducted by the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety, about 80% of fatal e-scooter crashes involve collisions with cars

Are Electric Scooters Safe?

As the electric scooter becomes cheaper and more accessible, riders increasingly join the bustling community every year. The popularity of a two wheeled vehicle can lead to some difficulties on the road, and increased risk of accidents involving cars.

More studies are being conducted to determine the effects electric scooter accidents are having on communities in which they are used, and on society as a whole. Given the dangers associated with using an e-scooter, similar to those of riding a motorcycle or electric bike, scooter riders must be especially careful as they navigate roadways in the United States.

Avoiding Electric Scooter Accidents

Don’t ignore the risks. If you were not involved in an accident while riding an electric scooter yet, take proactive steps to reduce the likelihood that it will happen. Given the severity of many e-scooter accidents, it is important to avoid them entirely, when possible. 

There are a number of ways in which you can minimize risks. They are:

  1. Inspect your scooter on a regular basis.
  2. Ride on the street, not on the sidewalk.
  3. Limit yourself to solo riding.
  4. Wear a helmet, knee pads, and other protective gear.

Regular Inspections

First and foremost, inspect your scooter on a regular basis. Make sure that it is in good working order. If the scooter doesn’t behave as you are expecting, while on the road, an accident may happen. 

Ride On the Street

Secondly, assuming your scooter is street legal, ride on the street, and not on the sidewalk. Many accidents with an e-scooter occur when riding on the sidewalk. On the street, you’ll have far more space to operate, and fewer pedestrians to avoid. Being in the street means you have to contend with cars, so pay close attention to drivers. Make yourself visible on the road, do not slip between cars, if you can avoid it. 

Ride Solo, Not in Tandem

Thirdly, limit yourself to solo riding. Riding in-tandem only increases your chances of an accident, try to minimize doing so. 

Wear a Helmet and Other Protective Gear

Finally, wear protective gear. Helmets are essential when riding an E-Scooter. It doesn’t matter if local laws require a helmet or not, you should wear one. Protective knee pads and elbow pads are also very helpful, consider using them if you can.

What To Do If You Are in an Electric Scooter Accident

Okay, so you took precautions, and safely operated a vehicle. Unfortunately, an accident happened, and it was not your fault. Multiple factors, like driver impairment or negligence, may cause a scooter crash. 

Negligent or Impaired Driving Examples

Examples of negligent or impaired driving are:

  • Inattentive driving
  • Speeding
  • Drunk driving, or driving while intoxicated

What Should You Do If You Were Injured In an Accident With an Electric Scooter? 

  1. Secure immediate medical attention if necessary. This is your first priority. 
  2. Move away from the accident site if there’s active danger in the area. An example of active danger is: traffic. 
  3. Report the incident to authorities. This information will form the basis of the police report, which is valuable evidence for your accident case.
  4. Gather contact information from eyewitnesses and the driver who hit you. 
  5. Take photos to document your injuries, the scene of the accident, and the damage done. 
  6. Contact an attorney for legal assistance.

In the days following your accident, ensure that you obtain critical medical care, and follow through with such care. Do not assume that you are not injured. To be sure, have a battery of diagnostic tests done.

Were You Injured In an Accident Involving an Electric Scooter? Find an Accident Lawyer to Help.

Accidents happen. But when they do, you’ll want to be equipped to sue and recover the compensation you’re entitled to under the law. Ready to speak to a skilled personal injury lawyer about your case? Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 today for a free and confidential consultation.

Suing for Emotional Distress in an Accident Case | Emotional Distress Lawsuit

What isn’t always obvious when you’ve been involved in an accident or personal injury is the mental trauma and emotional distress that accompanies physical injury. Mental suffering is often hidden from view, and it is often harder to quantify and prove in a court of law, or to an insurance company.  That being said, mental trauma and distress can just as severely impact a victim’s life as a “physical” injury. 

So, can you sue for emotional distress? What does it mean to sue for emotional distressHow is emotional distress defined? And what are the steps for filing a lawsuit? Let’s explore these issues in brief.

Can You Sue For Emotional Distress?

The short answer is that suing for distress is possible. In most states, your emotional distress lawsuit must be accompanied by physical harm or physical injury component. Within some courts, as it relates to sexual harassment or assault, distress is one of the first claimed damages. 

Suing for Emotional Distress  

There are two primary types available:

  1. Intentional infliction
  2. Negligent infliction

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Deliberate actions taken by the defendant to inflict harm or cause suffering to the victim can be filed under an intentional infliction claim. For example, emotional or mental trauma caused by abuse, reckless behavior, and bullying at school or in the workplace fall under this category. 

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

Unintentional actions by the defendant that in the end cause distress emotionally to the victim or the victim’s family would be filed under negligent infliction. For example, in a car accident, if the driver is under the influence and kills a child or an adult, the family members of that person would suffer emotional distress which would be part of the lawsuit. 

What Does It Mean to Sue for Emotional Distress?

Understanding Emotional Damages in an Accident Case

Emotional distress damages can manifest in many different ways. They can be long-term or short-term in effect, for example, and range in severity.  Common indicators of emotional distress include loss of sleep, depression, anxiety, fear, humiliation, psychological issues, mental instability, and panic attacks among other things. These consequences lead to damages, assuming that your life is negatively impacted.  As such, the more severe the distress, and the longer lasting, the higher your damages claim is likely to be. 

What may be distressing, or harmful, for one person may not be the same thing for someone else. In order to build a case, it is useful to assess the internal and external pressures that may not have existed before the accident.  

Documentation

Don’t focus only on your physical injuries. Be comprehensive. You’ll want to tell your doctor about the emotional, mental, and psychological symptoms you are experiencing as a result of your accident.  

Medical documentation is a core part of any successful personal injury lawsuit case. We encourage you to keep a journal to record how you’re feeling, and to record changes whenever they occur. Document all the ways that your injury affects your life and emotional wellbeing. Doing so can help “sell” the idea that you have truly suffered mental trauma, and help you and your accident lawyer form a stronger case.

What Is Emotional Distress?

Emotional Distress Definition

According to the Legal Information Institute, distress that occurs emotionally is: “mental suffering as an emotional response to an experience that arises from the effect or memory of a particular event, occurrence, pattern of events or condition. Emotional distress can usually be discerned from its symptoms (ex. Anxiety, depression, loss of ability to perform tasks, or physical illness).”  

Distress, and its consequences, can vary quite a bit depending on the type and severity of injury. For example, if you get into a car accident where you lose the ability to walk, then you likely have suffered a significant amount emotionally, due to your new limitations. 

In many cases involving severe injury, you’ll be able to negotiate a settlement, or secure a court award, that includes compensation for distress and mental suffering.

Emotional Distress Lawsuit

Steps for Filing a Lawsuit for Emotional Distress

If you are suffering from emotional or mental distress due to a physical incident, you can file a lawsuit for damages. Here are the steps to take: 

  1. Document your emotional state. Distress cases are tricky. As a result, you will need to prove emotional damages. Document how you feel and ensure your medical records reflect the same.   
  1. Obtain an attorney. Contact an attorney who specializes in U.S. civil law to help you sort out answers to questions and build a case that can be won. 
  1. File a lawsuit. Once you and your lawyer have a game plan and all the evidence, you can file the lawsuit against the defendant. 
  1. Prepare for what is next. If the defendant chooses to settle out of court, it is easy from there. If the defendant chooses to fight the lawsuit, you will likely go to trial in court. Your lawyer should be able to walk you through this process. 

Find a Lawyer Near You Today

Accidents happen every day. If you have suffered a physical injury and believe that you have also suffered distress and trauma as a result, we encourage you to consult a qualified accident lawyer. 

Get in touch with an experienced injury accident attorney who can advocate on your behalf. Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 today for a free and confidential consultation

CarShield Class Action Lawsuit | 1-800-THE-LAW2

Topics and Questions this article covers: What is a CarShield Class Action Lawsuit | Is There a Class Action Suit Against CarShield | Does CarShield Pay Their Claims | Why Does CarShield Have So Many Complaints | CarShield Reviews and Horror Stories | Who Accepts CarShield | Who Owns CarShield | Why is CarShield Not Available in California | Is CarShield a Legitimate Company | Is CarShield Going Out of Business | Your Legal Rights

When you purchase any type of warranty or insurance policy, you anticipate that the company you are doing business with is fair, reliable, and trustworthy. You expect them to perform under the terms of their contract, and rightfully so. You anticipate that they will abide by their own contract.  

However, far too many learn the hard way that these expectations aren’t always reality. Insurance companies often give claimants the runaround and unfairly deny their claims. If you purchased a CarShield warranty for your vehicle and experienced a wrongfully denied claim, you could be owed compensation. It’s in your best interest to speak to an experienced attorney about the specifics of your circumstances.

What Is a CarShield Class Action Lawsuit?

A CarShield class action lawsuit allows one or more plaintiffs (wronged parties who bring the lawsuit) to file a lawsuit on behalf of a larger group of plaintiffs, usually called a class. Class action lawsuits help courts manage multiple cases that would otherwise prove unbearable for the court to handle if they were required to join the lawsuit as a named party. Any settlement or court award money from a class-action suit after its legal fees are paid is shared among all class members. Class representatives typically receive more for their time, and class members usually get an equal share.

Is There a Class Action Suit Against CarShield?

Yes, CarShield is currently a defendant in a class action lawsuit and may also soon face others. A class action lawsuit was filed against CarShield in May 2017, alleging misleading consumers through advertisements and violating the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994. 

In addition, CarShield recently filed a lawsuit against the Better Business Bureau, or BBB, claiming the nonprofit organization unfairly rated CarShield. CarShield currently has an “F” BBB rating, along with over 1,500 CarShield complaints.

Does CarShield Pay Their Claims?

While not yet another class action suit, there are multiple CarShield lawsuits filed CarShield claimants have filed suit against the company for refusing to pay on covered claims or unfair demands. 

CarShield Lawsuit Example: Car Engine Starter

For example, Devonna Hopkins of Philadelphia filed a CarShield lawsuit for requiring her to pay for her vehicle’s engine to be completely broken down before they would even consider paying her claim. Under the contract, Devonna was simply obligated to pay for diagnosing the problem, her starter. However, the mechanic determined it wasn’t the starter after all, but failed main bearings. American Auto Shield, CarShield’s claims administrator, refused to pay unless the engine was dismantled entirely, and only then, under certain circumstances.  

Ms. Hopkins isn’t alone, as at least dozens of other vehicle owners across the nation have had similar experiences and complaints with the car warranty company. 

Why Does CarShield Have So Many Complaints?

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of CarShield reviews and complaints in 2022, indicating a pattern of complaints involving several different factors. Common complaints are: 

  • Pushy or misleading sales and advertising
  • Failure to pay covered claims
  • Difficulty canceling policies
  • Rude CarShield representatives

CarShield Reviews and Horror Stories

Customer Review: New Transmission Claim

Ms. Hopkins isn’t the only one whom CarShield misled. There are many more stories like hers across America. For example, after Atlanta’s Joseph Weatherspoon’s warranty expired on his 2016 Chevy Impala, he became a CarShield customer. Several months later, when his car failed to go in reverse, he thought the problem would be covered. After taking his car to the dealership, he learned that it needed a new transmission as the clutch pack inside had failed. However, Car Shield denied Weatherspoon’s claim saying that clutch packs aren’t part of the transmission and therefore aren’t covered under his vehicle’s warranty. After many phone calls and being transferred from one person to the next, CarShield finally agreed that the clutch pack was part of the transmission. But they still wouldn’t cover a new transmission or repairs, saying that because a clutch pack couldn’t be the reason the transmission failed.  

Thankfully, after reaching out to WSB-TV2 Atlanta, his claim was accepted, and he received a repair check for $42,000. “It feels like they had the intent of not paying that claim. They were looking for one way or another to get out of paying that claim,” Weatherspoon said.

Customer Review: Electrical Claim

April Grant of Aurora, Colorado, shares a similar story. She purchased CarShield’s highest package, the “Gold Package,” for $139 per month. Then, in December 2020, her car broke down, and all the lights on the dashboard lit up. Thankful that she had CarShield, she took her vehicle into the shop and filed a claim. However, they also denied Ms. Grant’s claim because it doesn’t cover electrical components. 

Customer Review: Warranty Is Not Honored

Another Denver area CarShield customer, Lorie Jackson, said she spent hours and hours on the phone trying to get CarShield to honor her warranty. “I was diligent, or I never would have seen the money.” 

Customer Review: Engine Repair Claim

Vanessa Sanchez shares a similar story with Ms. Hopkins. After a mechanic diagnosed her vehicle with a blown engine, CarShield requested that it be dismantled, leaving Sanchez to cover the labor costs if CarShield subsequently determined they wouldn’t pay for the repair. 

Company Review: Terrible Customer Service

It’s not just CarShield claimants that are experiencing problems. Lori Williams of Gary’s Full Service Auto Repair in Aurora reports dealing with four CarShield or American Auto Shield claims in a single year. None of them went smoothly, all involved a delay, partial payment, or denial. Williams also reports that: 

  • One representative would deny a claim; when she called back, a different one would approve it 
  • CarShield insists on outsourced parts or would only cover some parts 
  • CarShield doesn’t tell their customers that they won’t pay for programming a part once it’s installed 

Who Accepts CarShield?

It’s up to each service shop and mechanic if they will accept CarShield. Some did accept it, and now don’t, due to their customers having issues with their coverage and getting their claims paid. Suppose you have a vehicle service contract through CarShield. In that case, you can take your car to a Shield Repair Network repair facility, or choose your own ASE-certified repair facility or dealership. 

Who Owns CarShield?

MepCo is the parent company of CarShield, a private company. Mark Travis owns MepCo, and is also the CEO and President of CarShield. CarShield is based out of Missouri, and their claims administrator, American Shield Auto, is out of Lakewood, Colorado. 

Who Is the Carshield Spokesperson?

The current spokesperson is Vivica Fox, whom you may have seen featured in television commercials promoting their insurance services. Iced T used to be their spokesperson and was also in their commercials.

Why is CarShield Not Available in California?

Many top car extended warranty providers, like CarShield, have excluded California from their coverage areas. This is mainly because of California’s strict regulations about vehicle service contracts. While these laws can make it harder to find extended warranty coverage for a vehicle, they protect insurance consumers from companies that may take advantage of them and not fulfill their end of the contract.   

Is CarShield a Legitimate Company?

CarShield.com is a legitimately operating insurance company for automobile repairs. It boasts over 2 million contracts sold, 17 years in business, $1 billion in claims paid, and currently over 1,000 employees. A company being legit doesn’t mean that it is trustworthy, or that it treats consumers as it should. Legitimate companies break the law, and are unfair to their customers every day. Based on multiple consumer CarShield complaints, BBB complaints, and other sources, CarShield.com has substandard customer service and underperforms, or fails to perform, the terms of their contracts. 

Alternative Car Warranty Companies

Some of CarShield’s competitors include: 

  • Endurance 
  • Carchex 
  • Autopom 
  • Concord Auto Protect 

Insurance policies through CarShield depend on the type of coverage desired and the mileage, year, make, and model of the vehicle they want to cover.

CarShield Prices

How Much is CarShield?

Generally, coverage premiums can run between $100-$300 per month or around $1,200-$3,600 per year. There are six different plans available with different deductibles and various service levels. 

They offer a 30-day full refund if you decide to cancel your policy. Suppose you cancel after the first 30 days. In that case, you can get a prorated refund for the amount of time left on the policy under most circumstances. You need to contact customer support and submit a policy cancellation notice to cancel.  

CarShield states that it won’t cover: 

  • Modified or altered parts 
  • Wear-and-tear vehicle components such as brake pads and air filters 
  • Claims arising from acts of nature, collision, vandalism, or lack of proper maintenance 

Is CarShield Going Out of Business?

While there are countless complaints and bad reviews, as well as a CarShield class action lawsuit, CarShield.com does not appear to be going out of business anytime soon. They are alive and well, still promoting their extended warranty insurance contracts.

Having your vehicle covered by an extended warranty can provide you with peace of mind. However, if you must fight with the insurance company to use the coverage you have paid for, it can quickly become quite frustrating. If you were a CarShield customer and this happened to you, it’s imperative to know that you have rights. You can connect with a lawyer today by filling out our form. An experienced attorney with 1-800-THE-LAW2 will call you within 10 minutes to discuss your questions and concerns.

Hit by a Skateboarder? You Can Sue | Accident Lawyer

Skateboarder culture has grown and changed many times since its inception, from the iconic 1970s “dude” culture to the “extreme sports” culture of the 1990s. Despite these many changes, skateboarding has always been plagued by risk of serious injury, and in some cases, even death. This isn’t limited to the person skateboarding, it’s possible to seriously hurt others, too. Unfortunately, skateboarders have long embraced these experiences as a rite of passage. This dismissive approach to injury continues to impact skateboarding. For example, wearing a helmet is often discouraged, arguments to this day are made as to why those skateboarding should not wear a helmet! 

Skateboarder Accidents with Pedestrians

This carefree attitude towards safety can put pedestrians at risk. It should come as no surprise that in 2022, we can expect hundreds of thousands of skateboarding-related injuries in the United States alone. If you’ve been injured by a someone on a skateboard, scooter, or electric scooter, we encourage you to speak to a personal injury attorney. They can help you understand your rights and potential next steps. You may be entitled to compensation, so don’t resign yourself to your circumstances. Explore your legal options. 

Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in your area.

A Pedestrian In A Skateboarding Accident 

Imagine that you’re walking down the street, heading to the local corner store for some groceries.  Suddenly, a skateboarder speeds by. In attempting a trick, he recklessly collides with you. The collision causes you to suffer injuries; naturally, you’re upset. After all, shouldn’t the person on the skateboard be riding on the street, and not on a crowded sidewalk designed for pedestrians? 

You may be wondering: Can I sue the skateboarder who hit me? 

Likely yes. But, developing a winning pedestrian injury lawsuit takes more than just a legitimate claim.  To succeed in obtaining compensation, you’ll have to show that the other person was liable and actually caused your injuries. And, you’ll also have to show that you did suffer the injuries that you claim. Lawsuits can be complicated, so you’ll want a seasoned personal injury lawyer by your side throughout these proceedings. 

How Negligence Works 

Most skateboarding accident claims involve “negligence.”  Specifically, the negligence of the skateboarder who hit you. But what does this entail? 

Negligence as a concept is a combination of four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. These are put together as follows: if a person violates or breaches their duty towards you and causes injury and damages as a result, then they are liable to you as the victim. This liability leads to financial compensation.

In the skateboarding context, a skateboarder owes a duty of care to others, including pedestrians. They must use their skateboard in such a way that it minimizes the risk of injury to others. If the skateboarder violates this duty, perhaps by recklessly weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic, and as a result collides with you and causes injury, then you could sue them for negligence. 

Proving negligence isn’t always easy. That’s where a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney comes in. They will review your situation and determine whether you have a viable case. After doing so, they’ll come up with the best “strategic plan” for securing compensation from the skateboarder who harmed you.

What To Do If You’re Hit By A Skateboarder 

If you’re injured in a collision with a skateboarder, make sure to secure your health and safety first.  There’s a time and a place for handling legal matters. If you have an actual medical emergency, then do not delay, make your way over to a hospital as soon as possible and get the medical care you need to recover. That being said, if your injuries are not severe and do not require immediate medical attention, then there are important steps you can take to strengthen your impending lawsuit

While at the accident scene, gather as much contact information as you can. Don’t just get the name and contact information of the skateboarder, speak to eyewitnesses and get their information. These witnesses will corroborate your side of the story, increasing the likelihood that you win your case. 

Finally, take photos of both the accident scene and your own injuries. You should also document your injuries over time, taking pictures everyday to show the development of the injury. These photos, along with test results and documentation from your doctor about your condition, will aid your case. 

Find a Personal Injury Lawyer to Help 

Skateboarding injuries happen quite frequently, but the “casual” nature of skateboarding may convince injured persons to simply move on. The truth is, if a skateboarder crashes into you and you suffer injuries, it’s likely that you can sue for damages. To improve your chances of winning the case (and to maximize the compensation you receive), you’ll want to work with a skilled personal injury lawyer who has experience handling skateboarding accident disputes. Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 today for a free and confidential consultation.

Negotiating a Legal Settlement | Car Accident Settlement Examples

Topics covered in this article: How a car accident settlement works. How to get the most out of your settlement. Car accident settlement examples. How to find a car accident attorney near you.

Have you suffered an injury in a car accident? 

If so, chances are that you’re a bit confused, and even overwhelmed, by the prospect of a lawsuit.  Litigation is complicated, of course, and it isn’t always clear what you have to do to obtain the compensation you deserve. 

Sometimes your losses may be particularly substantial. These may include wage loss, medical expenses, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and more. You may wonder: what if I sue the defendant, and lose? 

Fortunately, most car accident disputes in America are not resolved in a win-lose court case scenario.  Most in fact, the large majority estimated at 95 percent or more, legal cases are resolved through a negotiated settlement. This avoids the uncertainty and fear of a failed lawsuit. Curious? Read on to learn more about car accident settlement basics. 

How a Car Accident Settlement Works

So, 95+ percent of car accident disputes are resolved through a settlement. That may seem like a lot, and it is! But, the statistic begs the question: why are most car accident disputes concluded through settlement, and not courtroom litigation

See, litigation is uncertain, expensive, time-consuming, and exhausting. Most parties would rather avoid an extended court case. Parties may think it preferable to settle the case in three months, for example, then to win the case after two years of a expensive, hard-fought courtroom litigation. Perhaps most importantly, success is never guaranteed. 

This uncertainty lies at the heart of every dispute. Suppose that you have a favorable legal claim, and you have a roughly 70 percent chance of winning your case if you move ahead to trial. That percentage may not be enough, however. There’s still a good chance that your case won’t succeed. And even if it does, the court may not award all the damages that you’re seeking. 

Settlement is so common because parties would rather avoid rolling the dice of the dispute. A certain, “fair” amount is preferable to the uncertainty of a trial. It’s the difference between accepting a $70,000 payout for your car accident claims, and rolling the dice on the possibility of securing $100,000 (with a chance that you’ll receive absolutely nothing). 

How Do I Get the Most Out of My Settlement?

Now we know why settlement is so common. But, how can you maximize the settlement offers that you receive from the defendant? Generally speaking, you maximize settlement offers by introducing evidence and legal arguments that:

  1. increase the likelihood that you would “win” your case at trial, and
  2. increase the likelihood that the court would award you the claimed damages. 

This may seem confusing, so let’s use an example to clarify. 

Car Accident Settlement Examples

Suppose that you are injured in a car accident. You sustain serious back injuries, and believe that you have a $100,000 claim. After suing the defendant, you enter into settlement negotiations with them. Thanks to extensive evidence, and an airtight legal argument, you have a 90 percent chance of “winning” your case at trial. Also, your damages are fully supported by the evidence, there is no room for debate there. Under these circumstances, your settlement offers are likely to hover around $90,000, or 90 percent of the claim, reflecting the “risk” of taking the case to trial. 

Now, suppose that the percentages are different. Perhaps the case is complicated, and the evidence scant. There is only a 50 percent chance that you win the case if it were to move ahead to trial. The damages are also believed to be exaggerated, and there’s a 50 percent chance that you would be awarded $100,000 even if you won the case. Under these circumstances, your settlement offers are likely to hover around $25,000, or 25 percent of the claim, again reflecting the “risk” of taking the case to trial. 

Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Car Accident Lawyer Free Consultation 

If you were hurt in a car accident, then the law may entitle you to compensation. However, a legal dispute doesn’t always play out like a movie or tv show. In fact, most cases are resolved through settlement. 

Settlement negotiations can be complex. Securing maximum compensation is the goal of any attorney, but it isn’t always straightforward. To improve the likelihood of a favorable result, you’ll want to work with an experienced car accident attorney who understands how to persuasively advocate on your behalf. 

Call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation with an experienced network auto accident attorneys. We’ll get you connected in just 10 minutes or less to an accident atto who can help you move forward with your case. 

Can I Sue For Being Hit By A Truck? | Trucking Accident Lawyers

This article can help you answer or explain the following topics on Truck Accidents:

Large truck accidents killed 4,014 individuals in 2020. Of those who lost their lives, fifteen percent were truck occupants, 68 percent were in passenger vehicles, and the remaining 16 percent were either bicyclists, pedestrians, or motorcyclists. Sadly, 28 percent more people lost their lives in truck crashes in 2020 than in 2009 (the year it was the lowest since fatal crash data collection started in 1975). Additionally, the number of truck occupants who lost their lives was 35 percent more than in 2009.

If you or someone you love suffered severe, catastrophic, or fatal injuries after being hit by a truck, you have legal rights. One of those rights is to file a claim for compensation. If you don’t receive a full and fair settlement offer, you have the right to file a lawsuit to collect compensation. To help you navigate this often complex and lengthy process, it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced truck accident attorney.

Can I Sue For Being Hit By A Semi Truck?

You certainly have the right to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your damages after being injured in a semi-truck accident. Truck crashes can cause horrific injuries and high-dollar damages for which victims and their families deserve compensation.

However, before filing a lawsuit, you typically must file a claim with the at-fault parties’ insurance company. Depending on the specific details of your case, they may or may not offer you a settlement. If you have hired a truck crash lawyer, they can help negotiate a fair settlement with the appropriate parties. If they fail to offer you such a settlement, your next option is to file a lawsuit to seek a court award for compensation.

Who Is Liable For Your Truck Accident?

Truck crashes are legally complex, partly because multiple parties might be at fault. When more than one party is to blame, they often tend to point fingers at each other, making it even more challenging to reach a settlement agreement between all involved parties. Potentially liable parties in a truck accident include:

  1. Truck drivers
  2. Trucking carriers
  3. Other vendors
  4. Cargo shippers and loaders
  5. Truck and truck parts manufacturers
  6. Government entities and their contractors

Truck Driver

Some truck drivers behave negligently, for instance, by speeding or driving while fatigued or distracted. Truck drivers are also responsible for inspecting their trucks to ensure proper maintenance or cargo loading.

Carriers

Truck companies are responsible for the vehicles and drivers it puts on the road, including hiring and training policies. Suppose they don’t perform thorough pre-employment checks, they could end up hiring truck drivers with poor driving records. And, those records may include DUIs or a history of breaking federal rules surrounding driving a big rig.  

Other Vendors

Depending on the size of a truck carrier’s business, there may be vendors involved that take on outsourced work, such as administrative duties, like recruiting truckers or completing background checks, or truck maintenance, repair, and dispatching work. Vendors can also complete any part of fleet operations. Any of these vendors can be held liable if their negligence contributes to a truck accident.

Cargo Shippers And Loaders

The cargo’s originator, shipper, loader, and transporter – are each responsible for applicable federal and state regulations. If they fail to follow them, they might be held for any injuries they cause.

Truck And Parts Manufacturers

Tire blowouts, problems with the steering or coupling (kingpin) systems, and brake failures can all be caused by defective trucks or parts. Sometimes truck accident claims turn into product liability claims if the manufacturer or distributor has liability for causing the accident.

Government Entities And Their Contractors

Sometimes roadway hazards, including soft shoulders or broken pavement, can cause or contribute to a big rig crash. In these instances, the local or state government entity responsible for that stretch of highway can be held accountable for any negligence. Additionally, negligent maintenance contractors hired by government agencies could be held liable if they performed defective work that resulted in an accident or if they set up a work zone that contributed to truck crashes.

Damages Arising from Truck Crashes

Compensation in personal injury claims, such as one resulting from a truck crash, is based on the injured party’s damages. Damages are a financial representation of the losses, changes, and inconveniences a victim, and sometimes their family suffers due to the actions of the negligent party. Damages can be economic and non-economic.

Examples Of Economic Damages Include:

  • Lost wages and income
  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses
  • Legal fees and expenses

Also known as special damages, economic damages are relatively simple to calculate as they generally have bills, receipts, or other types of proof of value.

Non-economic or general damages can be more challenging to prove as they don’t typically have evidence of their exact value.

Types of Non-Economic Damages Include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Humiliation
  • Mental anguish
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of a body part or bodily function
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

A full and fair settlement offer should account for both economic and non-economic damages. By working with an attorney, you can maximize your compensation.

A Commercial Truck Hit Me, What Now?

If you have been hurt by a commercial truck, an attorney can help you pursue a settlement or file a claim in court. To be connected with a qualified lawyer near you, call us now or you may fill out our contact form. Once it is submitted, an attorney will contact you within 10 minutes to discuss your case.

How to Pursue an Uber Accident Settlement

Lyft and Uber accident settlements and claims have become common in today’s world, as rideshare services have become increasingly popular. 

Don’t resign yourself suffering, hire an Uber or Lyft accident attorney to help address your car accident claim. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 and speak with an accident lawyer near you. The law entitles you to sue and recover damages, if you can show that the defendant was responsible for your injuries. Let’s take a closer look.  

How to Sue Uber for an Accident

If you were injured in a rideshare accident, you may be able to sue the Uber or Lyft driver who hit you. You may have a potential lawsuit, if you can show they caused your injuries:

Remember This About Negligent Driving  

If the other driver was negligent and caused your injury, their insurance should cover damages. Some examples of negligent driving are:  

  • Speeding 
  • Distracted driving 
  • Making a wrong turn, and more. 

Insurance Coverage for Rideshare Services 

For rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, the law mandates service wide insurance coverage. Uber provides the following coverage amounts for accidents occurring during a driver’s pickup or trip:  

  • $1,250,000 third-party liability  
  • $1,250,000 Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury  
  • $50,000 Personal Injury Protection per person  
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision  

Related Article: How to Talk to Insurance Claims Adjusters After an Accident

Getting Rideshare App Companies to Pay for Your Accident

In some cases, you may be able to sue Uber or Lyft directly. This applies if they are solely responsible for your accident.  

Here’s an example.

An Uber driver drives down the road and hits you. The rideshare app (Uber) certified the driver, which enabled them to take part in the rideshare services. Unfortunately, Uber didn’t inspect the car, and the company is negligent. As a result, the driver is operating a defective vehicle. If you can prove this, you could sue the rideshare company directly.  

The Average Car Accident Settlement & Why It’s Important to Have a Rideshare Accident Lawyer

What to Expect for Your Lyft or Uber Accident Settlement

As a general rule, there is no “certainty” when it comes to typical car accident settlement amounts and offers. All you can do is work with an experienced rideshare attorney, develop a strong case, and negotiate effectively.  

The more evidence you have, the more likely the defendant will settle quickly. 

Rideshare Insurance Coverage: the Odds Are in Your Favor

As rideshare companies provide their drivers with extensive auto insurance coverage, the odds are more favorable for plaintiffs. You could receive up to $1.25 million in property damages if you show that the driver was at fault at the time of the accident. 

What is Bodily Injury Liability and How to Recover Property Damages

Fighting an insurance company for Lyft or Uber accident claims for bodily injury liability and damages is not easy. If they can, they will try to avoid paying. To ensure legal compensation, it is your responsibility to present a solid case. 

As the facts for every case are different, average Lyft accident settlements will vary. You’ll find the same with Uber accident settlements, which is why it is important to hire a rideshare accident lawyer. If you bring forth a sound case, your settlement amount will likely resemble a high damages amount. For example, you have an injury and need considerable surgery as a result of an accident. In this case, your damages could total hundreds of thousands of dollars.

However, if you have injuries as an Uber passenger, your car accident settlement will be lower. The reason for this is because it cannot exceed your actual damages. 

Related Article: What Does an Accident Lawyer Do?

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation with a Ride Share Accident Attorney  

If you were hurt in a rideshare accident, the law may entitle you to significant compensation. An experienced attorney or law firm is necessary to successfully navigate ride share claims and develop effective legal strategies. 

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we maintain a large network of accident lawyers who are standing by to provide assistance. Call us today at 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to an experienced rideshare accident attorney for a free consultation. We’ll get you started in just 10 minutes or less. 

How Many Car Accidents Per Year Occur in the U.S.?

Statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that car accidents happen frequently. So, what are the car accident statistics and how many car accidents per year happen in the US?

How Often Do Car Accidents Happen?

Car Accident Statistics

According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, 37,000 people die annually due to car accidents. Additionally, 2.35 million people are injured or disabled due to car crashes. Children under 15 account for 1,600 traffic fatalities, while the fatality rate for people ages 16-20 is nearly 8,000 annually. 

While technical and legislative changes have been addressed to reduce fatal accident rates, many car accidents are due to driver impairment or behavior. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 29 deaths every day in the U.S. that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. Numbers for 2014 put total DUI crash fatalities at 9,967, accounting for nearly one-third of all traffic accidents in the country that year. 

These numbers are overwhelming. With over 200 million drivers on the road, the unimaginable can happen in a split second. Drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians are at risk of fatal injuries at every moment. Therefore, it is important to understand the rules of the road and how to handle various situations to avoid crash deaths and car accidents. 

Safe Driving Tips

  • Wear your seat belt at all times. Get in the habit of buckling up as soon as you enter the vehicle.
  • Obey all speed limits and signs.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These days, there are great options when it comes to getting a ride. Whether you order an Uber or Lyft ride share, call a local car service or taxi, or ask a friend to give you a ride, there are various options. Getting on the road if you are impaired can have a negative impact on your life, and the lives of others, for years to come. 
  • Keep your eyes moving. Get used to being aware of what is happening on all sides of the road. Also, check your rear view mirror regularly.
  • Know that other drivers will make mistakes and drive irresponsibly. It is important for you to be alert and ready to react in a manner that keeps everyone on the road safe. While you may be angry with the other drivers or pedestrians, causing an accident on purpose will result in bigger problems.
  • When approached by an emergency vehicle, pull over to the right of the road and stop.
  • When driving on multi-lane roads or highways, know that the left-most lanes are for passing only. If you do not intend to pass a vehicle, stay in the right lanes.

Car Safety Check

Before driving a vehicle, and especially in bad weather conditions, do a simple car safety check.

  1. Turn on the lights and walk around the vehicle to ensure all lights are working properly.
  2. Make sure your turn signal indicators, or blinkers, are working.
  3. Check that there is no sign of fluid leaks or things hanging from the vehicle.
  4. Don’t forget your tires. If they look flat, stop by a gas station or repair shop for air before driving long distances.

Next, adjust mirrors before you get on the road. To adjust the left mirror, place your head against the left window and adjust the mirror so that you can just see the left side of the car. For the right side, move your head towards the center of the car and adjust the mirror the same way. This will help reduce your blind spots.

Car Accident Lawyer Free Consultation in the United States (US)

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to damages under the law.

At 1-800-THE-LAW2, we maintain a network of experienced car accident lawyers who are standing by to provide a free consultation. Our agents will connect you to an attorney who will guide you through the litigation process after evaluating your case.

Contact us today at 888-943-0190

How to Talk to Insurance Claims Adjusters After an Accident

If you have been in a traffic accident, here is everything you need to know about how to talk to insurance claims adjusters. We know you are not enthused about going through the potentially lengthy legal claims process, and would rather focus is on recovering from injuries and returning to everyday life. This is understandable, and therefore it is important to work with an attorney as soon as possible.An attorney will handle your case from start to finish. When dealing with your insurer, your attorney will work as your advocate.

Your insurance company wants desperately to reject your claim and leave you with as little money as possible. That is the core of their business, after all. We know, it is a lot to take in. But, let’s clarify so that you understand. In this article, we will cover these topics:

How Do Insurance Companies Make Money?

How Insurance Companies Actually Work

It is easy to assume that when an auto accident occurs, you will be protected. The reality is unfortunate and harsh.

Insurance companies profit by paying out as few claims as possible. The fewer claims an insurance company pays, the higher its profit margins. When they have to pay a claim, they will generally make the lowest settlement offer possible, known as insurance underpayment.

In America, we are often told your insurer should be among your first calls after you have been in a vehicle collision. This is horrible advice.

2 Ways Insurance Companies Make Profit

Insurance companies profit when their customers do these two things:

  1. Don’t get into car accidents, or
  2. Get into accidents, but have their claims rejected or underpaid claims.

Simply put, your insurer hopes you’ll fail and be left with nothing. They want you to contact them “as soon as possible.” While you’re on the phone with the insurance adjuster, they’ll coax you with a pre-prepared conversation, so that you’ll reveal sensitive information about your accident. If they catch you saying a single thing that could be used to reject your claim, they will write it down and undermine your attempt to obtain benefits.

So, what should you do?

How to Negotiate a Settlement With an Insurance Claims Adjuster

Wondering How to Talk to Insurance Claims Adjusters?

First, contact an experienced auto accident attorney. Their job is to be your advocate, and they will speak to your insurer on your behalf. They will protect your claim and negotiate a favorable outcome. It’s no surprise that working with an attorney leads to significantly better payouts on average.

Dealing with Insurance Adjusters

How to Deal With an Insurance Claims Adjuster

Even if you avoid contacting your insurance company, a claims adjuster may try to contact you. If you’re wondering how to talk to insurance claims adjusters, the answer is: don’t. We encourage you not to speak to them, even if they take steps to contact you. Avoid conversation, and have your attorney speak on your behalf. It’s important to reiterate this because it is the key to maximizing compensation.

After an accident, your attorney will know what to say to your insurance company. Moreover, your attorney will have the experience necessary to guide you through your legal options.

Now, suppose you’re still curious about how to speak to an insurance claims adjuster without undermining your claims. In that case, there are a few considerations to keep in mind: their responsibilities and your legal rights.

What Does an Insurance Adjuster Do?

Insurance Claims Adjusters Responsibilities

An insurance adjuster, also known as an insurance claims adjuster performs these duties for their job:

  • Investigating claims
  • Determining if the insurance company is liable
  • Determining the losses
  • Identifying whether a claim should be rejected
  • Making settlement offers that are as “low” as possible
  • And more

What You Should Not Say to an Insurance Claims Adjuster and What to Do

Here are 5 things you should do and not do when talking to an insurance adjuster about your accident:

Write Down Their Contact Information

When speaking to an adjuster for insurance, write down their contact information. Specifically, this includes their: phone number, business address, and insurance company.

Do Not Disclose This Information About Yourself or the Accident

Again, we do not encourage you to speak to the adjuster. But if you insist, do not disclose any information about yourself or details of the auto accident. Offer only basic information about your identity, so that they know that you’ve been in an accident.

Do Not Agree to Recorded Statements

If the adjuster offers to let you make a recorded statement, do not agree. It’s a common tactic for insurance claims adjusters to get the information they need to deny your claim.

Do Not Agree to an Insurance Settlement

If the insurance claims adjuster makes a settlement offer, do NOT agree. It is almost certainly a low-ball offer. Agreeing to the low-ball offer leaves many thousands of dollars (even tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars) on the table.

Do Not Sign Anything

Finally, the adjuster may attempt to have you sign documents that admit fault or otherwise harm your claim. Do NOT sign anything. This is a common and aggressive scare tactic of insurers. Instead, contact a qualified local attorney and ask them for guidance on how to proceed.

Can An Insurance Company Refuse to Pay a Claim?

How to Handle Insurance Claim Denial

The best way to handle a claim denial is to simply avoid it by working with an attorney to submit the claim in the first place. If you already filed an insurance claim and it was denied, you have options. You can resubmit the claim or otherwise challenge the claim denied.

Insurance claim adjuster secret tactics include focusing on the tiniest details to shift the blame to you. They want you to be at least partially at fault for the accident, so they can justify underpaying your claim or even denying it entirely.

Find an Auto Accident Attorney Today for a Free Lawyer Consultation

Working with an attorney who handles claims against insurance companies is invaluable. Their goal is to protect your rights and secure the maximum possible compensation.

Contact an accident lawyer in your area. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation with experienced local lawyers who sue insurance companies.

Injured in a Single Vehicle Accident? You Might Be Entitled to Damages

Across the United States, single-vehicle accidents are common. However, when people envision a typical car crash, they often think it involves two vehicles. As a result, one car accident where no one admits fault or no one else is involved is not usually perceived as a legal claim. After all, if the driver who caused harm, the defendant, and the driver who receives the injury, the plaintiff, are not both present during the accident, is it even a legal claim?

What Are the Odds of Having a Single Car Accident?

Single vehicle collisions occur with surprising frequency, and they do not always involve two vehicles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in the United States, 9,973 deaths linked to single vehicle collisions occurred in 2019. As such, it is fair to say that single vehicle collisions are a problem area for major and minor car accidents that deserve more attention.

If you have an injury as the result of a single vehicle accident, you may find your case strategy requires a more skillful touch. For free lawyer consultation over the phone, call 1-800-THE-LAW2 and connect to an experienced car accident attorney near you in our network.

Curious about single vehicle collisions? Check out our short video on the subject below, or keep reading!

WATCH THE LATEST VIDEO SHORT FROM 1-800-THE-LAW2: Single Vehicle Accident video on Youtube

https://youtu.be/py9ACmgDQrQ
1800THELAW2 ON YOUTUBE: WATCH SINGLE VEHICLE ACCIDENT VIDEO

When Is a Driver Liable for a Single Vehicle Accident?

In a single-vehicle collision scenario, it’s not always obvious whether someone can be legally liable for injuries. This stands in stark contrast to car accident scenarios where liability is obvious, such as a drunk driver accident. Whereas in DUI cases, there is clearly a driver in the wrong. However, in a single vehicle crash, that is not always the case.

Liability is Not Obvious in a Single Vehicle Accident

To determine liability, a comprehensive evaluation of evidence is necessary. In the early stages of any legal claim, assistance of an experienced car accident attorney is invaluable. As the injured person, you might not realize that you have an actionable claim for damages under the law. An attorney can determine who is potentially liable, and how much they potentially owe you. Naturally, this has an impact on your legal claims for a single car accident. No insurance? If you lack proper insurance coverage, it’s much more critical to work with an attorney, as you won’t have any benefits to fall back on if you don’t sue and recover damages.

What Does It Mean to be in a Single Car Crash?

In a single vehicle crash, there is no driver who collided with your vehicle. Thus, you’ll have to explore other avenues for damages recovery and legal compensation.

Who Can You Sue in a Single Vehicle Collision?

Many victims do not realize that there are many other parties who are potentially liable for their injuries. A few examples are:

What are the Two Collisions that Happen in a Crash?

Here are two examples of one car accident cases where no one admits fault, yet another party is potentially responsible. They are:

Tree Accident Example

For the first example, suppose you have an injury that resulted from a fallen tree while driving. Here’s what happened. The tree was located on City property, and it was poorly maintained. The City made no proper inspections, and thereby allowed the tree to become structurally damaged. As a result of improper maintenance, it fell on a nearby car. Specifically, the tree accident involved your car, the tree, and no other vehicle. If this happened to you, you could sue the City and recover compensation for the one car accident, even though it involved no one else.

DUI Crash Example

In the second example, imagine your injury was a single vehicle collision that resulted from a DUI crash. This is what happened. A drunk driver swerved into your lane, and you suddenly switched lanes to avoid a car reck. In turn, you lost control and crashed your vehicle. Under these circumstances, you can sue the drunk driver despite the fact that they never actually touched your vehicle.

Leaving The Scene Of An Accident

Here’s an important single care collision advice:

If you’ve been in a single vehicle collision, avoid leaving the scene until you can do everything needed to preserve your legal claims. This may involve recording pictures and video evidence of the car crash scene, calling an attorney to help you physically evaluate the situation, and speaking to nearby witnesses to get their contact information. Many times, witnesses are a useful resource to prove that your version of events is correct.

Since environmental hazards and road defects cause many single-vehicle accidents, it is important to record that information in detail. When possible, collect video evidence, take pictures, and write down every detail you observe and remember from the car crash.

Also, be sure to secure medical assistance as soon as possible. Failure to seek timely medical assistance can undermine your legal claims. So, if you are seriously injured, do not delay. Get the medical attention you need.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 For Free Lawyer Consultation Over the Phone

If you had an injury as a result of a single vehicle accident, please call us today. In order to preserve your legal claim, it is important to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Our network of highly skilled auto accident attorneys provide free lawyer consultation over the phone. After investigating the evidence, your lawyer will develop a case strategy that may potentially lead to recovery of damages. Consultations over the phone are confidential.

Call us now to get connected to an experienced car accident attorney in 10 minutes or less. Legal consultation is free and confidential. If you decide to not move forward with the case, there is no commitment.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is distracted driving awareness month, so we feel it’s important to take a moment to explore some basic issues, and to bring the facts to light.

Distracted driving is an issue that doesn’t get enough attention, even though it contributes to so many accidents. Given the widespread use of mobile phones over the last 20 years, car accidents are becoming more common due to inattentive or distracted drivers.

If you are a driver, passenger or pedestrian, you should be aware of the risks posed by distracted drivers, how to avoid them, and what you can do legally if you are injured.

How to Win Your Case

In auto accident cases, you are entitled to damages under certain circumstances. You’ll have to prove that the defendant not only hurt you, but also that he was negligent, reckless, or intentional.

Distracted driving is “negligent” or “reckless” conduct. In other words, the driver who caused your injuries didn’t mean to cause injuries, but he behaved recklessly under the circumstances. Their behavior increased the likelihood that someone would get hurt, and that’s exactly what happened.

For more information on: What is the Difference in Negligent vs. Reckless Driving?

To win a distracted driving case, you have to prove that the driver was distracted while he was driving, and that his behavior wasn’t justified under the circumstances.

Confused? Don’t worry, let’s use a brief example to clarify. 

When It Is Not Considered Distracted Driving  

Let’s say you’re injured in an auto accident. You believe the defendant was distracted while driving, which led to the collision (they weren’t paying attention to the road).

As you investigate the case further, you discover that the defendant-driver had their attention diverted because their passenger had a seizure. The seizure caused the passenger’s arms and hands to enter the driver’s field of view, and even interfere with their use of the steering wheel. The driver had to take a moment to deal with the situation, which distracted them from the road.

In these circumstances, the driver’s distraction would be justified. It would not be unreasonable. It might be a bit harder to win the case, or the damage recovery might be reduced.

On the other hand, suppose the driver was distracted because he was texting friends while driving. This behavior is unreasonable and unjustified, and qualifies as negligence or recklessness under the law, so you might be entitled to damages.

Statistics of Distracted Driving Infographic 

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we have created an infographic to help the public better understand some important facts and statistics of distracted driving. Enjoy!

Click Here to Download

April is national distracted driving awareness month. Distracted Driving Infographic by 1800thelaw2.com

Examples of Distracted Driving 

Distracted driving can take on many forms, including: 

  • Texting while driving 
  • Cell phone use while driving 
  • Talking to other passengers while driving 
  • Inattentiveness (i.e., looking at the sidewalk instead of the road ahead) 
  • And more 

For example, while most people associate cell phone use with distracted driving, a driver can be drawn into conversation with his friend in the passenger seat. This conversation could distract the driver, causing them to make a mistake that leads to an accident.

Suppose the passenger contributed to the accident by distracting the driver. In that case, it may be possible to sue the passenger for damages. For a strategic approach, this makes it easier to secure the maximum possible compensation.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation 

If you’ve been in a car accident because of a distracted driver, you may be entitled to significant damages. When pursuing your claim, you’ll want to work with a qualified attorney who can help you from start-to-finish.

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, our attorneys are standing by to help you. We have a network of lawyers who are experienced in handling distracted driving cases.

Call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free and confidential consultation. We’ll connect you to an experienced attorney in 10 minutes or less. 

What to Do When Involved in a Parked Car Hit and Run Accident | Car Accidents Attorneys

According to an Allstate Insurance study from 2010, 69 percent of all hit-and-runs in the U.S. involve parked cars. If you unknowingly hit a parked car, you may feel embarrassment and want to drive off. Or if your parked car was hit, it can be extremely frustrating if the person did not leave a note with any contact information. Here is how to proceed in both instances.

How Do You Handle Hitting a Parked Car?

If you hit a parked car:

  1. Stay at the scene, it’s the law.
  2. If the owner or driver of the car cannot be found, leave a note.
  3. Before you leave the scene, take pictures and videos that show the condition of both cars, in addition to the license plate numbers.
  4. Try to find a few witnesses. 
  5. Call your insurance company as soon as possible so they can expedite the claims process. 

Stay at the scene, it’s the law. 

Leaving the scene after you hit a car is considered a hit and run. Conviction of a hit and run can lead to a substantial fine, jail time or community service, and suspension of you license.

If the owner or driver of the car cannot be found, leave a note. 

Most states require you leave a note that includes your name, address, contact number, an explanation of what happened, and if you were driving another person’s car, their name and address as well. You may want to leave your insurance information if you have it handy, as well. There’s no need to admit in writing that you weren’t paying attention or any other information that might be used against you later on when the insurance companies settle the claim. Tuck the note securely under the windshield wiper.

Before you leave the scene, take pictures and videos that show the condition of both cars, in addition to the license plate numbers. 

This can help safeguard you if the driver of the parked car claims you did more damage than you remember.

Try to find a few witnesses.

Get their contact information and take a video of their description of the hit. This will help show that you were diligent in trying to find the owner, and take responsibility for the accident.

Call your insurance company as soon as possible so they can expedite the claims process. The property damage liability portion of your coverage will pay for damages to the parked car, while collision coverage will cover your own car, once you pay the deductible.

What Should I Do If Someone Hits My Parked Car?

If your parked car was hit:

  1. If you get back to the parking lot from the mall and notice your car has been hit, the first thing to do is check to see if the driver is still around and collect his or her information. If the driver did not stick around, look around for a note or information the other driver may have left.
  2. If no note was left, check the area for any witnesses. Ask security to view footage from the parking lot and see if you can identify the other car’s license number. If you can find eyewitnesses, get their account of what happened and be sure to get their names and contact information.
  3. Take photos of the damage to your car expedite the claims process with your insurer.
  4. If the damage was bad enough, call the police. They can take a report and probably expedite the time it takes to access any surveillance cameras.
  5. Contact the insurance company – or both companies, if the other driver left the information in a note.

What is a Hit and Run?

Hit and runs refer to an auto accident where a vehicle hits a person, object or other vehicle. Then, the driver flees the scene without providing their information.

Hit and run statutes vary from state to state, however it is usually considered the crime of a driver of a vehicle who is involved in a collision with another vehicle, property, or person, who knowingly fails to provide his or her name, license number, and other details as required by law to the injured party, witness, or police officials.

If a vehicle has hit property and no other persons are involved, it may suffice to leave the information attached to the damaged property, provided that the person who caused the accident make a police report.

Examples of hit and run accidents include:

  • A driver hitting pedestrians in the crosswalk and then speeding off
  • A driver hitting your unattended parked car without leaving contact information or any means of collecting damages

What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident

If you are the victim of a hit and run, getting medical attention is the number one priority. Call the police for help if you can, otherwise call out for help from fellow drivers/pedestrians. If your injuries are not serious, it is important to remain calm and try to gather as much evidence as possible given the status of the scene. Having more information increases the likelihood of the police catching the driver who hit you, and helps your car insurance company make decisions about your claim.

Try to get information about the make, model, and license plate number of the car. Next, look around and talk to witnesses. Perhaps, they were able to view additional details about the car, or can supply missing information about the driver’s profile.

Document the scene, take pictures and videos on your phone. Be sure to get different angles of your car, especially if there are remnants of paint from the other car. (This will help prove you are not attempting to defraud your insurance company.)

If the hit and run occurred when your vehicle was parked, you should also document as much information as you can – the time you discovered the damage, the location of the vehicle, and details on the damage.

While it may be tempting to go after the other car, either by driving or on foot, this may cause more harm than good. Not only are you putting other vehicles at risk with reckless driving, but also you may injure yourself further.

It is best to call the police and file an accident report that includes the details you gathered, as well as the names and contact information for witnesses you were able to find. Even if the police cannot find the driver, having an official police report can go a long way in processing your auto claim.

Contact your car insurance company. In terms of auto insurance, hit and run accidents are the only accident in which you are not at fault for which you will be required to pay your collision deductible, in most cases. There is no other coverage on your auto policy that will cover a hit and run, which is why you will be required to pay the deductible. If you do not carry this optional coverage, you will not have insurance benefits to cover your damage.

What Are Potential Hit and Run Consequences? | Attorneys for Car Accidents

This article can help to answer these questions about hit and run consequences: What is a hit and run? | What are the charges for a hit and run? | Is a hit-and-run a felony or misdemeanor? | How many points for leaving the scene of an accident? | What evidence is needed to convict a hit and run?

If you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident, consult with a qualified hit and run lawyer for guidance. Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 today to schedule your free consultation.

What Is a Hit and Run?

A hit and run is generally defined as being involved in a car accident, either with another vehicle, a motorbike, or even pedestrians. Then, leaving the scene of the accident without stopping to identify oneself, or to provide aid to anyone who might need assistance.

Common hit and run circumstances include:

  • Drivers causing serious injury to a pedestrian and fleeing the scene because he or she was driving with a suspended license from a previous DUI charge and did not want to be charged for another offense
  • Drivers hitting a parked car and leaving the scene to avoid paying for property damage
  • Drivers hitting police cars that have been set up as part of a roadblock to avoid getting in trouble

Fleeing the scene of an accident has serious consequences. All drivers should think twice before leaving the scene of any accident they have been involved in.

Hit and Run Charges

What Is the Penalty for Leaving the Scene of an Accident?

In most states, it doesn’t matter whether a driver caused the accident or not. The fact that a party left the scene is enough to face consequences of a hit and run. An exception to this is if someone left to try to get help, as long as he or she returns to the scene immediately.

Major vs. Minor Penalties

Is a Hit and Run a Felony or Misdemeanor?

Hit and run consequences vary from state to state. Many states classify the charge as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on specific circumstances. Felony charges tend to be imposed in instances where a person has suffered any kind of injury, whether the injured person was a pedestrian or occupant in another vehicle. Guilty persons may be fined anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000. In addition, they may face the possibility of jail time of up to 15 years. A misdemeanor offense, while less severe than a felony, is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and also up to one year in jail.

License Points

How Many Points for Leaving the Scene of an Accident?

In addition to criminal consequences of a hit and run, almost every state imposes administrative penalties related to the person’s license. Any conviction will usually result in automatic suspension, or even revocation of the driver’s license for about six months. Some states impose the suspension for as long as three years. Other states impose the suspension for a lifetime, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

At-fault drivers may also be subject to civil cases. An injured party can file an injury claim for damages to their property. They may also be able to file for compensation for medical treatment and lost wages.

What Evidence is Needed to Convict a Hit and Run?

In a criminal trial, a prosecutor must usually prove the following facts to find someone guilty of a hit and run:

  • While driving, the defendant was involved in the vehicle accident
  • The accident caused serious injury, permanent injury, or death to someone else
  • The defendant knew he or she was involved in the accident that caused injury to someone else, or knew that injury was probable given the circumstances of the accident, AND he or she willfully failed to perform one or more of the following duties:
    • To stop immediately at the scene
    • To provide reasonable assistance to any injured persons
    • To give involved parties or authorities their contact and vehicle information; if not their vehicle, to provide the details for the owner of the vehicle; to provide the name and details of injured individuals in his or her vehicle; to show a driver’s license upon request at the scene; to notify authorities without unnecessary delay to fatalities as a result of the accident.

Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to Find a Hit and Run Lawyer Near You

After a hit and run accident, you may still be eligible for accident compensation. Let our personal injury attorneys make the litigation process easier for you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

Can You Recover Damages If You Were Not Wearing A Seatbelt?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident (due to the fault of another driver), but you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, then you may be wondering if you’re legally entitled to sue and recover damages. After all, failing to wear your seatbelt could have contributed significantly to your own injuries, and could be considered negligent behavior.

Whether you’re entitled to damages — and to what degree — depends in large part on the rules of the state in which your case will be litigated. It also depends on the specific facts and circumstances of your accident.

Except for a few states, however, you should be able to sue and recover damages in many no-seatbelt cases. As these cases can be a challenge to litigate, it’s important that you work with an experienced car accident attorney who understands how to navigate the strategic roadblocks. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to a skilled attorney in our network today for a free legal consultation.

For now, let’s explore how fault works in accidents where both sides engaged in negligent behavior.

Comparative Fault and Contributory Fault Basics

States implement one of three fault doctrines when evaluating how to allocate fault after a car accident. So, if you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of your accident, one of the following may apply:

Contributory Fault

Under the contributory fault doctrine, if you — the plaintiff — are even 1 percent at-fault for your own injuries, then you are prohibited from suing and recovering damages in a car accident. For example, if you failed to wear a seatbelt, and that failure contributed to your injuries, then the court would preclude you from obtaining any sort of compensation through a lawsuit.

As the contributory fault doctrine is extremely strict and anti-plaintiff, you’ll want to work closely with an attorney to ensure that you do not run afoul of the rule. There may be ways in which you can strategically develop the case (and present the facts) that show you are not responsible for your own injuries, even if you engaged in negligent activity at the time of the accident.

Pure Comparative Fault

Under the pure comparative fault doctrine, you can be 99 percent at-fault for your own injuries and still recover damages. The law would not prevent you from suing and obtaining compensation from the defendant, no matter how fault is allocated. However, it’s important to note that while you can sue and recover damages, those damages will be proportionally reduced by your contribution of fault.

How does this work?

Suppose that you are injured in a car accident in which you were not wearing a seatbelt. The court determines that you were 30 percent at-fault, due to your failure to wear a seatbelt. The total damages is roughly $100,000. You would be entitled to recover 70 percent of the total damages, or $70,000.

As such, even in pure comparative fault states, defendants have much to gain from showing that you were also at-fault — by doing so, they can reduce their damages’ liability to some degree.

Modified Comparative Fault

Under the modified comparative fault doctrine, you can sue and recover damages in a lawsuit against the defendant, but only if you were less than 50 percent at-fault. If you are 50 percent (or more) at-fault, then you will be prohibited from recovering damages entirely.

The modified comparative fault doctrine is thus a mix of pure comparative fault and contributory fault.

For example, suppose that you are injured in a car accident and were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. The court finds that you were 60 percent at-fault, as if you had been wearing your seatbelt, you would not have sustained any significant injuries. Under modified comparative fault, you would not be entitled to recover any damages through a lawsuit. If the court found that you were 40 percent at-fault, however, then you would be entitled to recover damages.

Proving that the Defendant “Caused” the Injury

Whatever the particular “doctrine” of fault that applies in your state, you can reduce how much fault the court allocates to you by showing that your negligent acts were not actually connected to the injuries — and that it was the defendant’s negligent acts that caused your injuries.

This can be a bit difficult to understand, so let’s use a brief example for clarity.

Suppose that you are injured in a car accident, and you weren’t wearing your seatbelt at the time of the collision. The defendant-driver sideswiped you, causing you to sustain multiple fracture injuries on your left side.

Now, the defendant knows that you were not wearing your seatbelt, and they are attempting to paint that you as highly negligent. They want to prove that your failure to wear a seatbelt is what led to severe injury. In truth, however, your failure to wear a seatbelt — though negligent and somewhat irresponsible — is not linked to the injuries you sustained. It is not as though you were flung forward through your window.

Here, the same sideswipe injuries would have occurred had you been wearing your seatbelt. As such, your negligence in failing to wear a seatbelt did not actually contribute to your injuries (and thus, fault cannot be allocated to you in this context).

Contact A Car Accident Attorney In Your Area For A Free Consultation

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we operate a large network of experienced car accident attorneys who are standing by to provide assistance, whether or not you were wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

Call us to get connected to a skilled accident lawyer in just 10 minutes or less. Consultation is free and confidential, so there’s no downside to contacting us to schedule an initial consultation.

We look forward to speaking with you.

What is the Difference Between Negligent and Reckless Driving? | Car Accident Injury Attorney

Negligent and reckless driving cases may result in injuries and damages that are essentially the same. If there are similar injuries or damages to one’s property, you may wonder: What is the difference between negligent vs reckless driving? The latter tends to have worse consequences in many states across the nation. Negligent driving is typically a civil traffic offense, but reckless driving may be considered a crime.

There are a number of unique issues in car accident disputes involving either negligent or reckless driving. For guidance on how to proceed, it’s worth connecting to an experienced car accident attorney. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation today.

Reckless Driving

What Is the Meaning of Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving includes unlawful and unsafe driving with a disregard for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians. Individuals who engage in reckless driving are aware of the risks involved with their actions behind the wheel, but continue to drive in a dangerous manner. A reckless driver has not only taken unnecessary risks, but do so in areas where the chances of injuries or damages are high.

Is Reckless Driving a Criminal Offense?

Due to the willfulness and intention of the driver, it is usually considered a criminal activity.

What Are Examples of Recklessness?

Examples of Reckless Driving Include:

  • Driving well above the speed limit
  • Not using turn signals when turning or changing lanes
  • Driving under the influence
  • Texting or talking on the phone
  • Refusing to stop at Stop signs and/or red lights
  • Failing to turn on lights while driving at night or in rainy conditions
  • Racing on public roads or illegal street racing
  • Knowingly operating a vehicle while intoxicated

Negligent Driving

How Do You Define Negligence?

Negligence occurs when drivers fail to use reasonable care while operating a vehicle, which could lead to personal injuries and damages to one or more vehicles. Drivers have a legal obligation to act in a certain manner that is dictated by law. When they proceed to breach that duty by acting in a particular manner, or failing to act at all, they are being negligent.

Is Reckless the Same as Negligence?

No. Unlike reckless drivers, negligent drivers do not know about the inherent risks associated with their behavior, which is why these accidents are often classified under traffic infractions.

What Are Examples of Negligence?

Negligent Driving Examples Include:

  • Unintentionally failing to provide a safe environment for other drivers and pedestrians
  • Incidents where the term “accidental” may be used to describe the event
  • Driving on private property without the owner’s consent
  • Driving under the influence of non-prescribed drugs or alcohol

Suing A Defendant For Negligent vs. Reckless Driving

How Do You Win a Negligence Case?

If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, then you may be entitled to damages under the law. Though many plaintiffs aren’t aware, the potential compensation, and the legal strategy you pursue, could be influenced by the defendant’s actions.

What Is a Car Accident Case Example of Negligence?

Suppose a defendant was street racing when they collided with your vehicle. The car accident lawsuit will be different than if the defendant was driving at a reasonable speed but distracted. The street racing defendant would be considered a “reckless” driver, making it easier for you to hold them liable. Bonus punitive damages might also be available, depending on the circumstances.

Damages May Be Different

As a general rule, it’s easier to “scale up” the damages claim in a reckless driving case, as opposed to a negligent driving case. The driver that injured you not only is more likely to have caused serious injury, but also engaged in behavior for which a jury may feel like “punishing” them through a large damages award. Additionally, however, reckless driving cases may also provide ample opportunity for a punitive damages recovery.

What Is an Example of Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are bonus damages that multiply the baseline damages. For example, if your accident case is worth $50,000, then the punitive damages amount may be up to $350,000, for a $400,000 total recovery.

Who Gets Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are only available at the discretion of the court, however, and that too, only when you can show that the defendant-driver engaged in malicious or egregious misconduct that recklessly disregarded the safety of others.

Given the possibility of maximizing the damages award, it’s critical that you pursue punitive damages where it might be potentially available. Doing so requires the assistance of a skilled car accident attorney who has experience securing such damages for clients.

Consequences for Reckless Driving and Driver Negligence

What Is the Penalty for Negligent Driving?

Penalties for negligent and reckless driving differs by state and on the severity of the accident. Given the more serious nature of reckless driving, the consequences associated are greater than negligent driving. Negligent driving penalties may include:

  • Suspension of one’s driver’s license
  • Fines
  • And even imprisonment

Safe Driving Tips

Avoid reckless and negligent driving to keep yourself, fellow motorists, and pedestrians safe by following these tips for safe driving:

  • Allow plenty of time to get to your final destination. This will help you avoid speeding, changing lanes quickly without signaling, and overall aggressive driving.
  • Wear glasses and/or contact lenses when driving to see clearly, especially at night.
  • Avoid distracted driving such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, and playing with the radio. When engaged in any of these activities, it’s easy to go too fast, swerve into other lanes, and run traffic lights/signs.
  • Don’t drive under the influence. Always assign a designated driver, keep a local taxi number handy, or stay at a friend’s place. A conviction related to DUI can lead to license suspension and jail time.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then you may have a right of action against the defendant. Of course, depending on whether the defendant-driver was acting negligently or recklessly, the legal strategy, and damages, involved may change. It’s important to work with an attorney near you who understands how to navigate these challenges. We’re here to help you secure the compensation you deserve.

At 1-800-THE-LAW2, we maintain a network of experienced car accident lawyers who are standing by to provide a free consultation. Our agents will connect you to an attorney who can guide you through the litigation process after evaluating your case. Don’t delay. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected today.

What NOT to Say After a Car Accident

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then the law may give you a right of action to sue and recover damages to cover your losses. Oftentimes, however, injured plaintiffs don’t fully understand how their legal claims could be impacted by the statements they make following an accident.

Even basic, amicable conversation (whether with an insurance adjuster, the opposing attorney, or the driver who caused the accident) can lead to disclosures that undermine your claims and prevent you from securing the compensation you deserve.

Of course, you should be careful about the statements that you make, but first-time plaintiffs may not realize what sort of statements qualify as “risky.” As such, it’s important to get in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer who will take over your case and communicate on your behalf. This will prevent any potentially damaging disclosures. Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to a lawyer today for free legal advice.

For now, however, let’s briefly explore some basic issues tied to verbal disclosures.

Disclosures Can Undermine Your Case

Disclosures can undermine your case in a number of different ways:

a) Disclosures that can be interpreted as an “admission of fault” can impact the allocation of fault and liability in the dispute; and
b) Disclosures that lead to an inconsistent interpretation of the facts (surrounding the accident) can weaken the proof of liability, or reduce the potential damages amount available to be claimed.

This may strike some readers as indecipherable “legalese,” so let’s explore a simple example for clarity.

Example

Suppose that you are injured in a car accident. Before you head to the hospital for diagnostic work and treatment for your injuries, you’re able to spend some time at the scene of the accident, speaking with the driver who caused the accident by rear-ending you. In your conversation with them, you apologize for having stepped on the brakes too suddenly, as you thought you saw something on the road — this may have contributed to the rear-end accident itself.

Though it may seem like an unproblematic apology, the truth is that your statements could be used in court to undermine your claims. After all, if you’re arguing that the defendant was liable for your injuries, then they could challenge that by arguing that you actually caused the accident by breaking suddenly, and at an inappropriate time.

Accidents are complicated. Instead of evaluating the accident yourself and speaking about it with others, it’s best to remain quiet about what you “think” happened and consult an attorney first.

Some Evidence Is Inadmissible In Court

If you did happen to accidentally make some statements at the scene of the accident, it’s worth noting that some of them will not be allowed into evidence. This will be significantly to your benefit.

Generally speaking, “hearsay” statements are inadmissible in court. Hearsay statements are those introduced to prove the matter at-hand.

So, for example, if the defendant is trying to prove that you were distracted from the road at the time of the accident and is trying to introduce evidence that you said you were in a heated conversation with your passenger (when they talked to you at the scene of the accident), then that could potentially be inadmissible. It likely qualifies as hearsay — a statement that is only meant to prove the fact.

However, it’s worth noting that there are a number of exceptions to the hearsay rule. Examples include:

A) If the statement was an “excited utterance” that you spontaneously made at the spur of the moment, that can be admitted into evidence;
B) If the statement was clearly against your own interest (i.e., a statement about how you were speeding);
C) If the statement was one that reflected a “present sense impression” of the situation at-hand;
D) And more.

Hearsay and its exceptions can be quite complex and challenging to argue. As such, we encourage you to get in touch with an experienced attorney who understands how to navigate the evidentiary record and ensure that problematic statements are not admitted into evidence.

For A Free Consultation, Contact An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Near You.

If you’ve been in a car accident, then there are a number of people (and entities) that you’ll be interacting with as you explore your recovery options. These interactions could lead to disclosures that undermine your damages claims, and prevent you from securing the maximum possible compensation. As such, it’s critical that you work with an attorney at an early stage in your case.

Your attorney will act as a “middleman,” ensuring that you can avoid the frustration and hassle of these legal interactions, while also avoiding potentially damaging disclosures.

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, our staff is standing by and ready to accept your calls. Contact us to get connected to an experienced car accident lawyer near you.

Get free legal advice now!

How to Write a Victim Impact Statement for a Car Accident | Car Accidents Attorney

Questions and topics this article can help to answer: What is a victim impact statement? | How to write a victim impact statement | Do’s and don’ts of writing a victim impact statement for a car accident | Example of a victim impact statement | Why write a victim impact statement?

When you’re the victim of a car accident, it can have a devastating impact on your life. People experience painful injuries, lifelong physical injuries, trauma, PTSD, anxiety, stress, and more. Additionally, a victim could have lost a friend or loved one who was in the accident with them.

If you’re the victim of a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may want to pursue a lawsuit against the other party. One factor that can significantly impact your case is a victim impact statement. Keep reading for a full overview of what a victim impact statement for a car accident is, how to write one, some popular tips, and an example statement. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to experienced car accident attorneys near you today.

What is a Victim Impact Statement?

A victim impact statement is a personally written account of how the car accident affected you. Many times, a serious car accident can have long-standing consequences. It’s an opportunity for a victim to explain the full extent the car accident may have had. For example, a police report may mention that the victim had a broken leg. But, what might not be mentioned is the other consequences, like:

  • Time off of work
  • Hospital bills
  • Cost and time of physiotherapy appointments
  • Canceled vacations or plans
  • Stress, anxiety, or depression when it comes to driving
  • The impact of the injuries and accident on friends and family

Your victim statement is a comprehensive overview of how the individual’s life has changed due to the car accident.

How to Write a Victim Impact Statement

A victim impact statement for a car accident doesn’t need to focus on the details of the accident itself. You shouldn’t feel that this is the time to explain what happened and who is at fault. That will be covered in the legal proceedings. Instead, the victim impact statement should discuss the physical, mental, emotional, and financial impacts you’ve experienced.

What Do You Say in an Impact Statement?

Wrapping up the whole experience in a victim personal statement can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips to walk you through the process of what it should include:

  1. Start with the emotional impact
  2. Transition into your physical injuries and disabilities
  3. Emphasize the financial consequences

Start With the Emotional Impact

You can discuss how you felt that day and how you feel now. You were probably scared and shocked on the day and might still feel anger and fear today. Describe these emotions in as much detail as you can, so the jury can understand just how emotionally traumatizing the car accident was.

Transition Into Your Physical Injuries and Disabilities

After covering the emotions, you can transition into your physical injuries and disabilities. You’ll want to cover how much these injuries hurt, how long and challenging recovery has been, if recovery made you take time off work, time lost with family, friends, hobbies, and other consequences. You may want to wrap this up in a personal story. Some common examples are having to cancel a booked and paid vacation because you were recovering. Or, having to become a burden and reliant on your family members during recovery, which impacted them as much as you. You need to go over these details, so the jury understands the full consequences of your injuries.

Emphasize the Financial Consequences

Lastly, you’ll want to emphasize the financial consequences. This will help the jury decide the amount of accident compensation you and your family may deserve. You can cover how much this accident cost you in terms of:

  • Healthcare and recovery costs
  • Wages lost at work
  • And more

How Do You Write a Good Impact Statement?

The Do’s & Don’ts Of Writing A Victim Impact Statement for a Car Accident

While writing your victim statement, try to keep these common do’s and dont’s in mind:

  • Do: Write in “I feel” and “I believe” statements rather than definitive “The defendant did…” statements. You should only include what you believe to be true, as the defendant can question the legitimacy of your statements.
  • Don’t: Use this as an opportunity to go over the details of the accident and lay blame on the defendant.
  • Do: Express your emotions clearly, add details, and paint a picture of what you’ve been through.
  • Don’t: Mention the type of punishment you think or want the defendant to receive.
  • Do: Have someone review your statement for proper spelling and grammar.
  • Don’t: Swear in your statement; it can cause the jury to see you in a negative light.
  • Do: Staple and include related paperwork that can help verify your statements, such as receipts.

Example of A Victim Impact Statement

Your Honor,

On August 25, 2021, at the intersection of Fir Street and 96th Avenue in San Diego, California, I was in a car accident with Mr. Smith. The accident happened at approximately 2:00 in the afternoon. My car was totaled as a result of the accident and I walked away with a broken arm.

That day, I had left work for a brief period to go to a routine doctor’s appointment. It was easily the most shocking and traumatizing experience of my life having a car ram into the side of my driver’s door. I couldn’t get out of the car and I sat there shocked with my arm pinned under the wheel. The paramedics arrived on the scene and were able to pull me out. I remember screaming in pain like I have never screamed before. I was taken to the hospital and informed I had broken my arm.

It took nine weeks for me to fix my broken arm. I had to cancel a vacation I had booked for Mexico. I also had to move into my parent’s home, so my mom could take care of me. I became a burden to those I love most, needing help eating, changing my clothes, showering, and more. I couldn’t even go to the grocery store and take my debit card out of my wallet to pay for my groceries. I needed someone to come with me everywhere I went. I felt helpless, useless, and an annoyance to everyone.

During my recovery, I had to take a leave of absence from work, losing nine weeks of wages. The hospital bills alone were tremendous, but I have also been in six months of physiotherapy. Not only are those appointments expensive, but they take up my time every week.

Today, I still don’t have full use of my arm. There’s a dull pain that shoots down my arm constantly. More importantly, I haven’t driven a car since the accident. I still have trouble getting into a car. I experience flashbacks and sometimes have panic attacks.

This accident has shattered me in every single way – financially, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I don’t know when I will be the same again, but it’s quite possible I’ve been changed forever. I ask the court to consider the full impact this accident has had on my life when deciding on a settlement. The jury needs to understand that I am not who I used to be and it’s been hard to reconcile that for myself, my family, and my friends.

Thank you for listening to me today.

Why Write A Victim Impact Statement?

One benefit of a victim personal impact letter is that writing it and reading it aloud can feel very therapeutic. It allows the victim to feel heard, and to tell their side of the story to the person who caused the accident, or to the court.

What Is the Purpose of an Impact Statement for Court?

The point of the victim impact statement is for the individual to present a more complete picture of how the car accident changed their lives, either for the short term or the long term. A victim impact statement adds a personal touch to your auto accident lawsuit. It’s an opportunity to speak to the jury, so you can get the compensation you deserve.

Find an Accident Lawyer Near You Today

If you’ve been in a car accident, consider getting legal representation so you and your family can get the maximum compensation for your injuries. Our experienced car accident lawyers have helped thousands of injured drivers get their rightful compensation. We’ll help you in every step of the process, including your victim impact statement for your car accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Whiplash Injury Facts: The Long-Term Effects

Whiplash is a common injury resulting from a car accident, truck accident or any other type of accident where the head is rapidly and abruptly “whipped” forwards and backwards.

The most common type of car accident is an impact in the rear. Typically, the vehicle that gets “rear-ended,” or impacted in the rear, is at the greatest risk of experiencing a whiplash injury.  

Contrary to popular belief, a whiplash injury is not trivial. In its early stages, whiplash can cause pain in the neck, shoulders, head and base of the skull. Other symptoms include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, sleep problems, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and poor concentration and memory. Most people recover from whiplash symptoms in a few weeks to a few months. However, about 15-20 percent of people develop chronic pain.

Whiplash Injury Treatments

The causes of whiplash pain may be related to sore and inflamed muscles, and strained discs and ligaments. This pain will not go away by itself; regular medical treatment is required.

Treatment typically involves X-rays and, possibly, an MRI for a diagnosis, followed by regular physical therapy – strengthening exercises, body mechanics – and, sometimes, spinal injections. In some cases, surgery is required.

Whiplash victims receiving treatment early on have a significantly better chance of fully recovering. Without proper treatment, whiplash victims can continue experiencing muscle pain, joint pain, chronic headaches and more for years following an accident.

But getting the right treatment can be a problem, and paying for the right medical care can be expensive.

A personal injury lawyer can be a tremendous help. Experienced whiplash injury lawyers can refer you to their network of medical specialists to ensure that you get the care you need. A lawyer can also help you get compensation to cover your medical bills, time off work, rehabilitation therapy, emotional distress and more.


Sources: 

What is Whiplash?” Spine-health: Trusted Information for Back Pain. Retrieved August 5, 2015.

What To Do After a Bike Accident

Bicycle accidents can be stressful situations, and the injuries may be severe making it difficult for you to remain calm and think clearly. Knowing what to do before a bicycle accident happens is the key to handling the accident correctly and ensuring fair compensation for your injuries and damaged property.

Many cities across the U.S. are starting to create bike lanes and cycling-friendly areas. While riding a bike is great exercise, it comes with risks – just like any other mode of transportation. If you are involved in a bike accident, your immediate actions may impact your recovery and future lawsuits. Here are some tips on what to do after a bike accident:

  1. Before assuming you are fine, take a few moments to slow down, catch your breath, and make sure you can feel all parts of your body. Many cyclists assume they are okay, stand up, only to bend over again in pain. Take your time getting up, stretching, and assessing any damage before getting back on the seat and pedaling away. Some quick tests including walking back and forth a few times, moving your arms in all directions, and looking up, down, left, and right to evaluate whether you have any pain. If you do, call for help.
  2. If you feel nauseous, dizzy, or see any blood, don’t move around too much. Wait for medical assistance. A quick way to check on whether you hurt your head is to look at your helmet. If it is cracked or bent, consider a checkup with a medical professional as soon as possible since some injuries take a day or more to show up. Confusion or disorientation are signs of a concussion so if you don’t know where you are right away, there’s a chance you have one.
  3. Once you have checked yourself out and concluded you don’t have any serious injuries, check the condition of your bike. Wheels tend to take most of the beating in bike accidents, but make sure your tires are holding air, that the wheels are true, and that there aren’t any broken spokes sticking out. Test out the brakes in case they have jammed up.
  4. Next, take a look at the position of the brake levers and shifters. It’s usually easy to push them back into place, but riding away without checking may cause you more problems! Assess any damage or misplacement of the chain, and ensure the saddle is firmly attached to the seat post. Finally, inspect the frame for scratches and cracks that may have occurred due to your fall because even minor cracks can cause more damage as you pedal away.
  5. To minimize the injuries sustained with bike accidents, prepare a basic bike kit – especially if you are riding in remote areas, or for an extended period of time. It should include a multitool, chain link, spare tube, and mini-pump. A few basic first aid supplies are also recommended – bandage and wrappings, for example.

At the Scene of a Bicycle Accident

The best time to gather evidence is at the scene of the accident. Insurance companies need convincing evidence to get an idea of what happened. When gathering evidence, it is best to get as much information as possible and follow these helpful tips:

  • Remain calm
  • Check for injuries: keep in mind some injuries may not be apparent right away
  • Call the police
  • Gather information: insurance information, names of anyone involved in the accident, addresses, phone numbers, car details, license plate numbers, witness information, accident details
  • Take photos: bicycle damage, car damage, accident layout

If your bike crashes into a car, or gets hit by a car, you should go through the steps of a vehicle-to-vehicle accident:

  1. Call the police so they can take an official report. Do not attempt to negotiate with the car driver or entertain the idea of accepting money they may offer to fix your bike. You may not know for several days whether you have actually sustained injuries that cause sprains, whiplash, or joint pain.
  2. Give the police an accurate account of what happened, get the contact information for any witnesses, and swap contact information with the driver. If your accident is serious enough, consider consulting with an attorney to understand what your options are for recovering damages for your property, as well as any medical expenses.

After a Bicycle Accident

The accident does not end at the scene, what you do after the bicycle accident is just as important as what you do at the scene.

  • Seek medical attention
  • Document the accident in detail
  • Pick up your copy of the police report
  • Get your bicycle inspected and repaired
  • Note all expenses
  • Notify your insurance company of the accident
  • Speak with a lawyer

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents are on the rise, making it important to be aware of actions which are common factors of bicycle accidents. According to the California Highway Patrol, these are the most common causes of bicycle accidents:

  • Bicycle rider using the wrong side of the road
  • Driver making unsafe left or right turn
  • Bicyclist riding from driveway or sidewalk into path of car
  • Driver opening door as bicycle passes
  • Bicycle rider weaving, leaving edge of road or bike lane
  • Bicyclist making unsafe left turn
  • Bicycle without headlight or reflectors

If you were injured while bike riding a bike accident lawyer could help you get the compensation you deserve. Compensation you may receive includes: expense reimbursement for medical treatment, property damage and rehabilitation benefits. It is risk free, you get paid or you don’t pay at all! Calling us is easy and our helpful representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get your life back on track with the help of a bike accident lawyer.

SOURCES:

  1. California Highway Patrol. Bicycle Riding. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  2. Washington Area Bicyclist Association. What to do after a crash. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  3. Washington Area Bicyclist Association. What to do in the event of a crash. Retrieved December 23, 2014.

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

Riding a motorcycle may give you a thrill each and every time you get on your bike, but whether you ride as a primary means of transportation or just for fun on the weekends, driving one in California can be dangerous.

Common accidents include those involving blind spots, rear end collisions, driving between lanes or while changing lanes, failure to yield, taking curves too fast, and intersection accidents. Injuries may include amputation, broken bones, paralysis, brain injuries, and in the most extreme cases – death.

Knowing how to handle the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can save lives. As with other vehicle accidents, the first thing you’ll need to do is assess the status of everyone involved. If you are not in need of immediate medical attention move everyone you can to a point of safety, except those who might experience greater injuries due to any movement. If other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians have been hurt, call 911 right away and request an ambulance.

Next, take out your phone and snap pictures of the scene before authorities arrive, as they will likely move things around. Get the license plate number of all vehicles involved, street signs, the position and damage to all vehicles, and images of any possible cause of the accident such as slippery road conditions, fallen branches, debris, etc.

Once you have taken pictures, gather as much information as possible on everyone involved. This includes driver’s license information, vehicle registration, insurance provider, policy number, and license plate numbers (in case the images on your phone are accidentally erased).

Talk to witnesses to get their account of what happened. Take their names and contact information because it may be difficult to get written statements at the scene of the accident. You or your attorney can get in touch with them at some point in the future for an official statement.

Do not discuss the specific events or details of the accident with anyone other than the authorities. And never admit liability, even when speaking to police officers. Explain the facts of what happened without making any subjective statements and let them investigate the specifics to reach their own conclusion. Get the officer’s business card, or take down their name, phone number, and badge number so you can easily contact them to receive a copy of the official accident report.

If you are arrested or taken into custody, do not resist. Do not give statements to any parties until you have had contacted a motorcycle accident attorney. They will direct you on how to proceed.

Otherwise, contact your insurance company to make them aware of the accident.

If an adjuster from the other side’s insurance provider contacts you, do not panic, but do not answer their questions. Explain that it is a bad time and ask them to make an appointment for another day and time. Let your attorney know so he or she can coach you on how to reply, or sit in on the call.

Keep a record of all repair bills, medical expenses, and time off work that has resulted from the accident so that you provide all the paperwork to your insurance provider when filing your claim.

What is the Most Common Motorcycle Injury?

Motorcycles pose a safety risk, even for the most cautious drivers on the road because they are less stable and less visible than cars, vans, and trucks. When motorcycles crash, riders lack the protection of being enclosed and are more likely to be injured or killed.

Most Common Motorcycle Injury

The most common motorcycle injury is to a rider’s feet or legs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When a fall takes place, a rider may put their hands out to protect themselves, yet hands and arms were much lower on the scale of injuries than feet or legs, which represent 30% of non-fatal injuries. This data highlights the importance of wearing a good pair of shoes that won’t slip off in a crash, like boots that zip, clip, or tie up above the ankle. Riders may also want to invest in long pants that have abrasion protection.

Other Common Motorcycle Injuries

The second most common motorcycle injury is to the head and neck, accounting for 22% occurrences.

Your head is one of the most important and heaviest parts of the body. While concussions may be mild, brain damage may be debilitating, or worse – fatal. Neck injuries may include everything from sprains to paralysis. Protect your head and neck from potential injuries by wearing a helmet at all times.

Road rashes occur when a rider slides across the pavement after an accident. This injury may result in more than just a cut, scrape, or bruise – such as permanent damage to the skin, irritation, infection, and even surface nerve damage. Consider wearing protective garments like kneepads, gloves, and a jacket. Leather is the best material to prevent road rash.

Injuries to the chest, back, shoulders, hands, arms, hips, and pelvis are also commonly caused by motorcycle accidents. As when driving a car, stay alert, follow the direction of traffic, avoid impulsive and unpredictable movements, and wear mandatory safety gear.

While only 19 states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring all motorcyclists wear a helmet, being cautious is better than sustaining any of these injuries.

What to Do When Hit by an Uninsured Driver?

Getting into a car accident is an already stressful situation, but learning the at fault motorist is uninsured can only make the situation worse. Instead of the at fault motorists insurance policy paying for your medical, vehicle, and replacement car expenses, the responsibility falls on, you, the victim. It happens more often than people think, in fact 1 in 7 at fault motorists in a collision were uninsured.

In 2013 there were 250 million licensed motorists in the United States, and 16.1 percent of those motorists were uninsured. It is essential to be prepared for uninsured motorists before a car accident happens.

Steps to Take If You Are in an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist

If you were hit by an uninsured motorist, it is important to remember these simple steps.

  1. Call the police immediately, document, and take pictures of the accident
  2. Exchange contact information, and also get witness contact information
  3. Contact your insurance company, talk to them about uninsured motorist coverage
  4. After the incident: Take care of yourself if you have bodily injuries, and repair your car
  5. Contact a car accident lawyer for a FREE consultation. A car accident lawyer can help you file a claim, protect your rights and help you navigate the legal process.

What Are Your Options for Future Protection Against Uninsured Motorists?

With uninsured motorists being involved in 14 percent of accidents, it is necessary to plan ahead. Insurance companies offer a variety of plans to protect yourself against uninsured motorists, so you aren’t stuck paying medical bills, worrying about lost wages, and vehicle repair or the replacement of your car. Many states require insurance companies to bundle your car insurance with uninsured motorist coverage.

A few examples of coverage that can protect you are: uninsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, and rental replacement car coverage. Talk to your insurance company to find out whether you are protected or not against uninsured motorists. Don’t get stuck paying for your own compensation.

If you’ve been in a car accident with an uninsured motorist and you are the victim, an experienced car accident lawyer can maximize your compensation. Save yourself the stress, time and money while a lawyer handles your claim.


SOURCES:
1) Statistics Brain. Uninsured Motorist Statistics. Retrieved November 18 2014.
2) Esurance. Five-Step Guide to Handling an Accident with an Uninsured Driver. Retrieved November 18 2014.
3) Council of Better Business Bureaus. Victims Pay the Price for Uninsured Drivers: Even though it’s against the law, about 1 in 7 at-fault drivers are uninsured. Retrieved November 18 2014.
4) Statista. Total number of licensed drivers in the U.S in 2012, by state. Retrieved November 18 2014.

What to do When Injured in a Car Accident

Increased Car Accidents During the Holidays

The number of drivers on the roads peak as friends and families get together to celebrate during the holiday season. As a result, more drivers are impaired by alcohol leading to a predictable increase in car accidents, according to California State Highway Patrol departments. DUI arrests are at their highest between Thanksgiving and the end of New Year’s weekend. In fact, during the Christmas and New Year period, the average number of fatalities involving alcohol-impaired drivers increased 34% in previous years.

Even pedestrians are more at risk during the holiday season. New Year’s Day is considered by some to be the most dangerous days to walk, as statistics reveal more pedestrian deaths occur on January 1st than any other day.

Car Accident Laws in California

If you have been in a car accident in California, there are time limits for filing different kinds of cases. Personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years while property damage lawsuits must be filed within three years. These timeframes apply to the date of the car accident – not the date when the insurance claim was filed.

Car accident laws in California differ if your accident involved the government in any way (i.e. getting rear-ended by a city bus). Those rules require you to get your paperwork completed quickly and it may be best to consult an attorney from 1-800-THE-LAW2 as soon as possible.

If you share part of the fault for causing the accident, you can still recover compensation from any other at-fault party in California, regardless of the degree of your own fault. However, the compensation you recover will be reduced by the percentage of your fault.

long beach car accident attorney

How to Prepare for a Trial Scenario

Being involved in any kind of accident is scary, and it is understandable that individuals may panic. However, there are specific steps to take when injured in a car accident in California that will benefit you during a trial.

At the scene, or immediately after – seek medical attention. Even if you feel normal after the accident occurs, symptoms such as pain, discomfort, dizziness, and numbness may appear in the following days. Do not wait days until weeks after the accident to consult a doctor, as it will be harder to prove that your injuries were the result of the car crash.

Keep detailed notes and photos on your injuries, medical treatments, and the names and addresses of any doctors or professionals you were referred to after the accident. Keep receipts for medications and file every piece of paperwork that involves the car accident – whether from the insurance company, police documents, or medical notes. Print emails so you have the hard copy of all documents arranged in order.

Take pictures of the accident location, including stop signs and traffic lights. Snap pictures of your damaged car from multiple angles.

If you are able to write down the names and contact information of witnesses immediately after the accident, that is a huge plus because they may be able to corroborate your claims in court and to the insurance company.

Navigating the claim process can be complicated and an experienced attorney will have the knowledge and resources to help you get the highest possible amount for your claim. Get a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer when you call 1-800-THE-LAW2.

What to Do in a Rental Car Accident

Getting involved in a rental car accident may seem much worse than getting into a car accident involving your own vehicle. Taking responsibility for damages to your own car is one thing, but what happens when you’ve damaged someone else’s property? Before panic starts to set in, calm down and consider your situation.

Make sure everyone in your car and surrounding vehicles are safe. Call 911 immediately if anyone requires medical attention. If the cars are in an awkward position and putting other drivers at risk of danger, move the vehicles out of the way or call the police to help redirect traffic. Once the scene is safe, exchange information with the other driver(s) and take pictures of all vehicles that are involved.

What happens next depends on what kind of auto insurance you have. In some cases, individuals may only have car insurance through the rental company if they do not own a vehicle. On the other hand, others may be covered not only by rental coverage but also by their auto insurance and credit card companies.

How to Handle Damages in a Rental Car Accident

  1. If you paid for your rental car with a credit card, figure out what kind of coverage you have. Many credit cards will cover damages to the rental car under the Collision Damage Waiver. However, this does not include damages or injuries that have been inflicted on other cars or individuals.
  2. Before you take a trip, it is worth calling your credit card and asking whether the company offers primary coverage. This coverage means that you won’t have to deal with your auto insurer for coverage of rental car damages. It also helps avoid the chance of your insurance premiums increasing. Some credit cards may only provide secondary insurance, meaning you’ll have to go through your car insurance company first and the credit card company will pick up the costs of what’s left.
  3. Other details to double-check with your credit card company include exclusions on specific types of vehicles and trips. For example, expensive luxury cars are usually excluded, but sometimes vans and SUVs fall under the same category. Likewise, if you booked the rental car on a business credit card, you may need to prove that your travels were indeed business related.
  4. If your credit card does not cover rental car accidents, contact your auto insurance company to verify the extent of rental car coverage. Comprehensive and collision damage for your personal car typically pays for damages to a rental car. In the case where another car is involved in the accident, you’ll need to rely on your personal car insurance’s liability coverage as credit cards do not cover liability.
  5. Rental car companies also offer supplemental insurance. While you may consider this daily cost a waste of money, it can be helpful to exempt you from paying the deductible that your own insurance company and some credit cards will require. It’s also useful to sign up for this insurance when your credit card and personal insurance do not provide enough coverage for your comfort.

Whatever combination of coverage you may decide on, just make sure you have safeguarded yourself enough to avoid having to pay for damages and injuries out-of-pocket.

What to Do After a Car Accident That’s Not Your Fault

Driving to and from work, taking the kids to soccer practice, and weekend getaways are standard activities for millions of people who own vehicles across the nation. And while accidents happen everyday, you may not put a lot of thought into the idea that it could happen to you.

There are about 90 fatalities on the roads each day due to a variety of reasons including drunk driving, driving well above the speed limit, and not wearing seat belts. All drivers should be prepared in terms of what to do after a car accident not your fault.

Below are the steps to take if you find yourself in this situation:

The first thing to remember is to stay calm. If you are injured, call out for help so that people at the scene are aware that you need medical attention. If you are able to move or have not sustained any obvious injuries, check on your passengers, and other drivers/passengers who are part of the accident. Try to keep everyone calm while you call the police and ambulance but do not physically move anyone unless it is to get them out of harm’s way.

If the accident is bad enough, chances are that witnesses will automatically call the police and ambulance. Even if it is a minor accident without major damages or injuries, consider calling the police yourself in order to get a police report which can be used as leverage when you file your claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Try to gather as much information as possible, depending on the severity of your injuries. If the other driver is clearly at fault, then he or she is responsible for reporting the accident to their insurer. However, you should still collect all the relevant details to protect yourself in the event of future litigation including:

  • The other driver’s name, address, number, insurance company name, and policy number.
  • Pictures of the accident, including license plate numbers, cross streets, position of the vehicles, damages to all cars involved, and damages to any private property as a result of the accident.
  • Witness names, numbers, and statements.

In an ideal scenario, the other person informs their insurance company, you submit your expenses, and the insurance company releases the payment for damages/medical treatment.

However, things don’t always work out so smoothly which is why protecting your interests is important. After you leave the scene of the accident, seek help for any physical injuries you experience. Pay a visit to your doctor or the emergency room even if you do not feel any obvious aches and pains as it may take up to a week for symptoms to appear. Keep a record of all your medical bills to provide copies to the at-fault party’s insurer.

Next, contact your own insurance company to let them know what happened. In the event the other person’s insurance company denies responsibility, your own company will likely appreciate your effort of informing them before they launch their own legal challenge against the other company.

If you do not provide a police report with your claim, insurance companies may completely deny it. In this case, your own insurer may cover the damages, sue the other company, or try to reach a settlement that works for everyone.

Consider consulting with an experienced car accident attorney to figure out how to proceed in a way that gives you the best chances for a favorable outcome.

What to Do After a Car Accident with No Insurance

Statistics from a few years ago found that one in seven drivers on the road have no car insurance at all. Being involved in an auto accident is traumatic enough, but if the at-fault driver does not have car insurance, the whole situation can feel like a complete nightmare.

Determining fault and figuring out who is going to pay for damages are two factors to examine after a car accident with no insurance by one of the parties.

Protect Yourself from Uninsured Drivers

While most states have laws concerning insurance coverage, many drivers may not be able to afford the cost, especially during downturns in the economy. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage are options you should have to protect yourself. In fact, some states like California require all drivers to carry this type of coverage. Individuals involved in an accident with an uninsured driver (or even those who are underinsured) are vulnerable to substantial expenses.

Uninsured motorist coverage means that if the other driver does not have insurance, your insurance company will compensate you for your losses even if the accident is their fault.

Car accidents involving drivers with no insurance are a great danger to all other drivers – and pedestrians. Drivers caught operating a vehicle without valid insurance may be fined $100-$200 for a first offense, and between $200-$500 for a second offense.

Additionally, the car may be impounded and towed away in which case it will not be released until the uninsured party obtains coverage and pays all towing and storage fees.

In California, the license may be suspended up to four years. This can happen whether the uninsured driver is at fault or not. Drivers may be able to get their license reinstated after one year if they obtain valid insurance, provide proof of it at the DMV, and pay a reissuance fee.

Civil Costs for an Accident without Insurance

The at-fault party in an accident is responsible for the cost of all resulting damage. This includes damage to all vehicles involved, medical costs for injuries to all parties, and damage public and private property such as street signs and lights, bus stop fixtures, store fronts, etc.

Uninsured coverage does not mean that an individual will be free from paying for their part in the accident. The insurance company paying out the uninsured coverage will likely sue the responsible party to recover their costs.

What To Do After a Minor Car Accident

A minor car accident such as a fender bender may be inconvenient, but at least you do not have to worry about serious injuries.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more than seven million car accidents each year. Of those, more than two million people are injured and about 40,000 are killed. Fender benders tend to involve damage to the car, and most people settle quickly.

Vehicle-to-vehicle fender benders may result from various circumstances such as backing out of parking spaces or driveways, the inability to stop at intersections due to faulty brakes or slippery weather conditions, driving too fast in parking lots, distracted driving, as part of a chain reaction, or nodding off on the road.

While no one wants to be involved in any kind of car accident, fender benders have a straightforward protocol compared to more serious events.

Steps After A Minor Car Accident

Don’t panic. The first thing to remember is that no one has been hurt – it’s only steel and glass, and could have been a lot worse. If you are on your way to work, call the office and let them know you’ll be late.

Be pleasant, but not apologetic. Your natural instincts may be to apologize for the fender bender whether or not it was your fault. But it’s better to leave any comments for your insurance company because anything you say to the other driver may be used as evidence against you – even in a civil case.

Do not yell or react negatively toward the other driver(s). You do not want to escalate the event by turning a simple accident into a physical altercation. Avoid pushing, shoving, or threatening anyone.

Check for injuries. Even a fender bender can cause whiplash, soreness, or sprained muscles. If you or someone at the scene seems to be in any kind of pain, do not hesitate to call the police.

Calling the police is not always necessary, but you should do so if the vehicles are in an awkward position that has the potential to cause harm. If your vehicle was badly damaged, call the police in order to get a police report for your insurance claim. They will provide a report with the names and addresses of all parties involved, details surrounding the accident, a diagram, and make a designation of who was at fault. If the other driver was at fault and you reside in an at-fault state, this report will be crucial for your claim.

Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver. While you may also show the other drivers your own driver’s license, be sure to get it back before he or she leaves the scene.

Take photos and videos with your phone. Even if your car only has a minor dent, it is still a good idea to document the position of the cars, the damage to the other driver’s vehicle in case they claim more serious damages than you remember.

Contact the insurance company to submit your claim. While the other driver should inform their own insurance provider, you may want to call the provider to cover all your bases.

How to Determine Fault in a Car Accident | Car Accident Lawyers

Fault or liability in a car accident is dependent on determining whose carelessness or negligence is to blame for the accident.

After an auto accident there are two defenses that need to be weighed. They determine the degree to which either driver is at fault for the crash, as well as how much monetary compensation each driver will provide to cover damages. The two defenses are:

  1. Comparative negligence
  2. Contributory negligence

Comparative Negligence

Essentially comparative negligence ascribes a percentage of the blame to both parties.

For example if Jane and John get into an accident, John may claim that Jane rear-ended him in a collision, and therefore owes him compensation for the damage to his vehicle.

Jane may counter with a comparative negligence defense, stating that John was illegally double-parked and his car should have never been in her lane, saddling him with some of the responsibility.

When the case reaches trial the jury may find that John sustained $10,000 worth of damages to his car, but was also 40% liable for the accident. Comparative negligence rules deem that Jane must pay John $6,000 in damages ($10,000 less the 40% he is responsible for).

Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence which is followed in Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington D.C, states that if the defendant can prove any percentage of liability on the plaintiffs behalf, the plaintiff loses all rights to compensation.

Were you hurt in a car accident? If so, you may have a legitimate legal claim. We encourage you to speak with an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to experienced, local accident attorneys near you.

Determining Fault in a Car Accident in the United States

Whether your state follows contributory negligence rules or comparative negligence rules, there are do’s and don’ts of fault accident laws. They are:

Stick to the Facts

Even if you really believe that it was your fault, keep it to yourself. Stick to the facts in your conversations with the other driver and the passengers.

Resist any desire to admit that the accident was your fault. If the other parties or witnesses try to provoke you into admitting wrongdoing, step away until the authorities arrive. The last thing you want is to be caught on video or tape admitting fault, apologizing, or recounting any wrongdoing on your part.

Stay Calm

Remain calm and respectful at the scene of the accident. Whether or not the accident was your fault, try to help any victims and respect the other party. Keeping the situation under control signals to witnesses and authorities that you are responsible and will ultimately help determine who is at fault more easily.

Gather Physical Evidence of the Accident

Gather evidence at the scene with your phone. Take pictures of the accident, as well as videos. Look for street signs or the layout of the roadways and document everything you can. This will help your insurance company, and your attorney, determine who is at fault.

Filing a Police Report

Police don’t always come to the site of car accidents. If your collision is big enough, an officer will probably have to make some sort of official report. Be sure to get the names of officers at the scene, the precinct number, and even their badge number. Ask them how to get access to a copy of the report when it is ready. The report will definitely be a factor in determining who is at fault by the insurance companies on all sides.

Insurance Companies and Investigations

Insurance companies will carry out their own investigations, but the more information you can provide, the better the chance of a favorable outcome. If dealing with insurance companies is too intimidating for you, consider hiring an attorney to represent you.

Determining Car Accident Fault by Location of Damage

The type of accident and the position of cars also give clues as to who may be at fault. For example, rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of accidents and the vehicle in the rear is usually at fault. This is because vehicles are supposed to leave enough room between their own car and the vehicle directly in front to navigate safely away from a dangerous situation. If the front car stops suddenly and the rear car still ends up hitting it, they probably weren’t driving safely.

Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer

If you’re worried about having to pay damages after an auto accident, a lawyer could help you sift through your case and identify the proper evidence to prove fault. Remember there are two types of negligence that you could claim, and an experienced car accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation with a qualified accident attorney near you.

What Can You Sue For in a Car Accident?

After a car accident, you’ll need to determine how to proceed with your case – especially in the event of serious injuries which require regular doctor visits, time off work, or permanent disability. In deciding what you can sue for, you’ll need to first consider which legal argument will be used to hold the defendant liable and second, the damages (i.e. the dollar amount you will ask for.)

Legal Argument

In regards to car accidents, people usually end up suing for negligence, which is the basis of a personal injury case. Negligence results in the failure to exercise a reasonable level of care considering the specific circumstances.

In the event of a car accident, that means when Driver A fails to use reasonable care that ends up causing Driver B harm, then Driver B can file a lawsuit alleging that there was negligence on the part of Driver A. Failure to comply with driving laws, texting while driving, failure to keep a safe distance, and any other number of careless behaviors can provide the legal grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

Damages

The amount of damages you’ll sue for in a car accident is based on what you’ve lost – both monetary and otherwise. If you are filing a claim, insurance companies use a variety of methods to determine the value of a personal injury claim. It usually involves compensation for the medical bills you provide as well as lost wages, and possibly some amount money for pain and suffering. “Pain and suffering” is subjective and more difficult to prove. It can be even more problematic if the car accident was minor.

Pain and suffering refers to the physical and/or emotional stress associated with an accident and the injuries caused by it. The majority of states in the U.S. follow a standard fault-based liability system, where the person who caused the accident is considered negligent and thus held financially responsible for all reasonable damages. But there are a handful of states that follow a “no fault” system that prevents the injured party from filing a personal injury claim and from collecting compensation for pain and suffering. The only exception in the latter case is if medical bills exceed a certain dollar amount, which varies from state to state. If you are unsure about the laws in your state, consult with a personal injury attorney.

When calculating pain and suffering, insurance companies tend to look at the severity and permanence of injuries. A person with a broken arm will likely be entitled to less money for pain and suffering versus someone who suffered an injury that put them in a wheelchair – whether permanent or temporary. This makes sense because the more severe and permanent the injury, the more pain and suffering you are likely to experience.

To calculate the dollar value in regards to pain and suffering, insurance companies multiple the amount of your medical bills by a number between one and five. The more severe the injury, the higher the multiplier. Your attorney can help you come up with a figure to request based on their experience, as well as reasons to justify the amount in your demand letter.

What to Do If You Are Being Sued for a Car Accident

Consider the scenario in which you were in an auto accident in the past and your insurer settled the matter at that time. If you’ve put the event behind you and moved on with your life, you may be shocked to learn that you are again being sued for car accident damages.

While this is definitely an unwelcome situation, keep your cool and avoid reaching out to the other party. Yelling or threatening them over the phone or in person will only add weight to their claim about the damages they have suffered since the time of the accident. Anything you do or say may potentially be used as evidence against you.

Contact Your Insurance Company

The first thing you’ll want to do is reach out to your insurance company. Even if you changed companies since the time of your accident, the one who handled the original claim must still work with you. Unless there are extenuating circumstances that justify a new lawsuit being brought, your original coverage is still valid, and the old insurance company would still be responsible for protecting your rights under your old policy at the time of the accident.

In most instances, the policy of the at-fault party is sufficient to cover the penalties and injuries involved. However, in circumstances when this is not the case, you would likely have found out shortly after the accident and paid out the additional funds yourself. If you did end up paying out-of-pocket at the time of the accident, there is a good chance that your insurance company will not be able to cover any further costs for this new case. Keep in mind that while the insurer must defend the suit, they are ultimately looking out for their own best interests.

If you live in a no-fault state, there may be restrictions that limit the right to sue and allow recovery for injury from an insurance policy. Unless there are severe injuries or the injured party can show evidence that meets certain pain and suffering criteria, state laws may restrict general injury suits.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney

After alerting your insurance company, you may want to reach out to a car accident attorney in your area for a free consultation. He or she can review the facts of your case and provide professional guidance based on experience. If you feel comfortable enough with the attorney, consider hiring their law firm to handle the case.

You, or your attorney if you choose to hire one, will need to gather evidence related to who was ultimately at fault for the accident. Factors to evaluate include speed, collision angle, broken traffic laws, weather conditions, time of day, and other causes that may be relevant to the case.

If you were clearly at fault and the lawsuit has any degree of validity, settling may be the right decision. Doing so will save you the long and stressful process of going to court. You can easily hire an attorney to help you move through the settlement process in a shorter period of time compared to the time it takes to prepare for a trial.