Every car accident has a different set of circumstances, but all of them will inevitably leave the victims of an accident with the nagging question of whether or not they should hire an attorney to oversee insurance claims. The answer to this question lies in the circumstances of the accident, but the answer is usually a resounding YES. At the minimum, consulting a lawyer is a generally sound rule.
To call or not to call a lawyer?
The incident is going to vary by type of accident but there are a few hallmarks of cases that require an attorney. First of all, if there is any type of injury involved, you should call an attorney. No matter what kind of accident it is, if someone is hurt, then it’s time to call a lawyer. Outside of cases like there where there’s clear and visible injury to one or both parties, lawyers come in to evaluate the circumstances behind the case and let you know what to do.
Some accidents have conflicting accounts of what happened, which is very common in car accidents that often happen so quickly neither party is completely clear about what caused the accident. It’s here that an attorney’s keen skills can decipher from the evidence at the scene exactly what happened and whose account is more accurate.
Medical bills, lost wages from work, and other results of a car accident are something an attorney can piece together and make a coherent picture of that insurance companies clearly have a biased take of. Insurance companies want to pay the least amount of damages that they can in the event of an accident. That’s their job. The job of an attorney is to make sure that anyone wronged in a car accident is going to get the maximum amount of compensation both from insurance companies and private parties who contributed to the accident.
Why you should call an attorney
Since it’s extremely clear that only in those accidents that have no conflict between victims and that are pretty cut and dry, an attorney should be called. These attorneys work for years in law school and then in on-the-job cases to ensure that the true facts behind the case come out and an injured party is compensated for their damages.
These damages can include-
– Money for wages lost due to the car accident
– Pain and suffering from an avoidable accident
– Medical bill compensation to cover what could turn into a lifetime of medical bills from the injury
This is just the tip of the iceberg. An attorney knows so much more than a layperson and can truly cut to the facts of the case and get damages awarded. Without a good attorney on your side, you simply aren’t going to get the kind of financial compensation that you deserve.
What happens if you don’t call an attorney
In many cases, an insurance company seeks to unfairly settle a case for damages that amount to thousands or even millions less than they should have paid out. In the end, it’s the potential attorney’s client that is hurt. A personal injury case due to a car accident is one of the specialties of almost any personal injury lawyer. This is due to the fact that care accidents are tragically common in today’s world.
If you don’t call an attorney, you may walk away with nothing at all from a very severe accident and be stuck with years of medical bills and pain and suffering due to someone else’s negligence. This is always a tragedy because a lawyer will tell you, from experience, that no one should have to pay for injuries that are the result of someone else’s neglect or carelessness. Ever.
What to do now
If you’ve been in an accident, you should almost always call an attorney for a free consultation. If the lawyer doesn’t think your case merits a lawyer, they will generally tell you this because they don’t get paid if you don’t get paid. This means that they don’t take on cases that don’t have a high likelihood of success. If a lawyer takes your case, it is because they think your accident merits financial compensation. They will evaluate, build, and present your case for you and then only be paid when you are. This is fair to both you and the lawyer and gives you no good reason to not call a lawyer in the event of a car accident.
Whiplash is probably the most common injury that people suffer in motor vehicle collisions. It’s an acceleration-deceleration injury. That force rapidly throws a victim’s head forward and then backward. It results in muscles, tendons, ligaments and other anatomical structures being strained, sprained, fractured or otherwise damaged. Whiplash can be acute with symptoms that can last from six to eight weeks, or it can be chronic and last a lifetime.
Suing for a whiplash injury
Yes, you can file a personal injury lawsuit and seek damages for a whiplash injury, but you’ll be required to show that the driver who allegedly caused your injury was careless and negligent. In order to prove negligence, you’ll need to prove the following elements:
- That the other driver owed you a duty of care
- He or she breached that duty
- The breach of duty caused your crash
- The crash was the proximate cause of your whiplash injuries
- You suffered legally recognized damages
If you fail to prove even just one of those elements, your case is going to fail in its entirety.
Subjective and objective symptoms
A person who suffers a whiplash injury might complain of subjective symptoms that won’t show on an x-ray, CT scan or MRI. Those symptoms could include:
- Blurred vision
- Pain, tingling or weakness in the shoulders, arms and hands
- Loss of range of motion of the neck
There are other times when they might show objective signs of an injury if the right diagnostics are done. Those could be a displaced or herniated spinal disc, a displaced neck vertebra or a compression fracture. These are all objective signs of injuries that a jury can see when a radiographic image of the injury is placed on a flash box in a courtroom.
Defending soft tissue cases with subjective symptoms
If there’s a soft tissue injury that doesn’t show up on any radiographic images, expect an insurance company to defend the lawsuit vigorously. Insurers won’t pay on soft tissue cases on the injured claimant’s good faith alone. In any soft tissue injury case, it’s crucial that the injured victim seek medical attention and documentation of the injury right away. A physician and appropriate therapy will aid in healing from the start, and important medical records will be generated that will help substantiate a very real injury that medical science still can’t verify. Spasms, stiffness and loss of range of motion will be noted by the treating physician and any therapists. That’s far better evidence than standing in front of a jury of 12 people and telling them that you want compensation for injuries that you suffered from being rear ended without any proof of damages.
What if the accident wasn’t a rear-ender?
If you were in an intersection accident, somebody turned left in front of you on the open road, or somebody exited from a private drive and hit you, the opposing insurer is still going to defend against your medically verified soft tissue injury. It’s going to raise the affirmative defense of comparative negligence.
What’s comparative negligence?
When comparative negligence is raised, a determination must be made as to the percentage of fault attributable to each of the parties in an accident. That’s either done privately between the parties in a settlement, or it’s a question of fact to be decided by a jury. The good news about that is that Arizona is known as a pure comparative negligence state where a claimant can recover damages, even if he or she was 90 percent at fault for an accident. In other states, a person is barred from recovery if he or she is determined to be just 50 or 51 percent at fault.
Almost all whiplash injuries are legitimate, even if modern radiology can’t prove them. Doctors, family members and people that you work and socialize with can prove the difference in your life before and after a whiplash injury. If you or a family member has suffered a whiplash injury or any other type of injury in a motor vehicle accident, contact us right away at 602-833-7674 for a free case consultation and evaluation. No legal fees are due unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.
One of the biggest factors associated with hiring an attorney following any personal injury case is the cost. Clients want to know what their legal options consist of, but they’re not sure they can afford our services. We understand the financial downfall associated with any personal injury case, and our initial consultation isn’t one we charge for. When you feel you have a case, we want to speak with you. You have rights, you are entitled to damages, and you deserve representation that fights for you. We charge no fee for your first consultation, and that’s our promise to you.
When you pay an attorney for an initial consultation, you are less likely to call and ask for legal representation. We are aware of this, and that’s why we don’t charge for your first consultation. Our goal is to help you seek the justice you deserve, and charging you to seek justice isn’t what makes the legal system work correctly for the victims or surviving loved ones of a victim. Our attorneys want to speak with you about your case. We listen to the facts, evaluate the evidence, and we tell you honestly whether we think you have a case.
We also provide you guidance and assistance in getting through a situation that’s undoubtedly difficult. Whether you’re dealing with the wrongful death of a loved one or the medical bills and life-changing circumstances involved with a personal injury, we respect your feelings and strive to be honest with you about the process from the beginning.
How We Charge
Our office understands most people who come into our offices seeking legal assistance in a personal injury or wrongful death case cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars for legal representation when they walk through the door. Our office charges a contingency fee. This is a fee that’s paid when your case is won and settlement money is issued to you. We don’t take anything from you upfront, and we don’t charge you each time you walk into the offices or pick up the phone. If we don’t win your case for you, we charge you nothing at all.
Essentially, our attorneys are not paid without a win. If you’re not paid, neither are we. If ever you doubt the job we do in court for your case, understand our lack of compensation without a win is an even bigger motivating factor to win your case. We want to win for you, and we want to win for ourselves.
How Our Process Works
When you come to our office to meet with us regarding your case, we’ll go over the evidence and the facts to determine whether your case is a legitimate case worth taking to court. If it is, we’ll go over our plan of action with you. We want your input and your guidance on this situation, and that’s when we discuss our fees with you. These fees are paid only when a successful case comes to a close, and we agree to them when we take on your case. You’ll always know what the fee will be, and no surprise costs will accumulate or accrue without your absolute knowledge from the beginning.
Once we take your case into our hands, we offer you a chance to receive compensation for your pain and suffering.
The damages we seek depend heavily on the kind of case you present, but we can seek damage for many things:
- Pain and suffering
- Burial and funeral costs
- Loss of income
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Long-term medical care
No two personal injury or wrongful death suits are the same. Your situation differs from the situation of everyone else, which means your case is unique. Our attorneys work diligently from start to finish to seek the damages you deserve while keeping your best interests at the forefront of the case. You don’t deserve what happened to you due to someone else’s negligence, and it’s our job to prove their negligence to help you find some peace in a situation where it’s not readily available.
Contact us online or call 602-ARIZONA (274-9662) or 800-ATEAM-LAW (283-2652) toll free to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney.
The unexpected happens all the time, and you never know when you might require the help of an attorney to sort through a situation. Our attorneys know you don’t leave your home in the morning expecting someone to hit you with their car, to cause an accident that injures you, or expecting a loved one will lose his or her life because of someone else’s negligence. We also know you don’t keep an emergency fund for attorney fees just in case. We know life rarely works out according to your own personal plan, and things happen all the time.
When you’re involved in a car accident, you have a lot to consider. The entire process is confusing from the start. You don’t leave home in the morning thinking about you’ll handle a car accident if someone hits you or causes an accident. Not being prepared leaves you feeling confused, and that’s all right. The first thing you should do in this situation is contact the police, and then worry about contacting us later.
Q: Is there a fee to pay for consulting?
A: We don’t charge you fees to consult with us when you want legal advice. Many of our clients come into our offices confused and unsure whether what happened to them constitutes a lawsuit or case. We see people who don’t have a case but want a legal representative to tell them the truth about whether they do. We also see clients who have cases worthy of legal representation, but they don’t have the funds to pay for that legal representation.
We don’t charge you to see us. If you don’t have a case, we listen to your story and examine the evidence. If there is nothing there to indicate a lawsuit is a good idea, we’ll tell you upfront and charge you nothing. If you do have a case, we will look it over, determine our course of action, and we will come up with a fee. You will agree to the fee we charge, and you will only pay that fee if you win the case. Even then, you won’t pay until you receive the settlement from the at-fault driver you’re looking for. We want our clients happy, and that means not piling a financial burden into their laps before they even win a case. We only charge if you win.
Q: What To Do in An Accident?
A: Now that you know you can call us and speak to us about your case without paying anything, it’s time to discuss what you should do first. Call the police. Take photos of the car accident, and follow any instructions your 911 operator offers while on the phone. Check on the passengers in your car and the car that caused the accident to see if anyone requires medical help. Let the operator know, and wait for the police to arrive.
It’s all right during this time to gather any relevant information so you’re ready to provide it to the police when they arrive. You can exchange personal and insurance information with the other driver, too. Once the police arrive, you’ll tell them the facts of the accident, wait for them to investigate and speak to any witnesses, and provide you with a copy of the police report.
Then you will call your insurance agency to find out who handles your case, what to do next, and you’ll seek medical attention. It’s important you see a doctor even if you’re convinced you’re fine. You might not be as healthy as you think, and diagnosing health issues stemming from accident injuries right away is always preferable to your health and a potential lawsuit.