According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2020, more than two million Americans visited a hospital emergency department because of injuries sustained in vehicle collisions. Victims of these incidents may decide to bring a legal claim against those responsible for these crashes to hold them to account and possibly secure compensation.
If you have questions about how an auto accident attorney can maximize the compensation for these claims, or how a Texas personal injury lawyer can help fight for the legal rights of car accident victims, call Jason English Law at (512) 454-7548 to request a consultation.
Understanding Car Accident Compensation
Following a motor vehicle collision, an accident victim might file a legal claim to obtain compensation. If the case goes to court and the plaintiff wins, they could receive any of the three types of compensatory damages to recompense them for losses they sustained as a result of the motor vehicle incident.
- Economic damages: Victims receive these damages to cover the monetary losses they incurred because of the accident. Examples include the costs of vehicle repairs, medical expenses, and loss of income.
- Non-economic damages: This type of compensation aims to reimburse the victim for their pain and suffering. Such damages include emotional distress, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Punitive damages: The court awards these damages if the liable party's actions were intentionally harmful or extremely reckless, to degrees which may vary according to the seriousness of these actions. Punitive damages aim to punish the responsible party instead of simply compensating the injured person for their losses.
How Do I Get Maximum Compensation?
People who pursue a personal injury claim are typically interested in receiving maximum compensation for the pain, expense, and inconvenience they have suffered and in cases of life-altering injuries may be continuing to suffer. Below are several tips for maximizing the possible compensation for an auto accident claim.
Preserve the Evidence
Gathering as much evidence as possible helps strengthen a motor vehicle accident claim. While the precise type of evidence varies depending on the accident, typical examples include the following:
- Photos of videos of the accident scene
- Photos of the victim's injuries
- Witness statements
- Surveillance camera footage
- Police and medical reports
- Documentation of when and where the incident occurred and what happened
Seek Medical Assistance Immediately
Perhaps the most vital part of this process, seeking medical assistance as soon as possible after a crash enables auto accident victims to obtain a detailed doctor's report, stating the extent and cause of the individual's injuries, which the court may use to calculate compensation. Additionally, this report will often note the patient's chances of making a full recovery, and list suggested treatments.
Be sure to tell the doctor about every symptom experienced after the collision, even if it is minor, and provide the doctor with any information you think might be relevant information, even if that information is not solicited during the course of your intake interview. If you require multiple follow-up appointments and treatments, document those as well.
Record Financial Losses
When filing an auto accident claim, it is helpful for victims of these incidents to think about and record the financial losses incurred. This entails keeping receipts and noting all accident-related expenses, such as:
- Medical costs, including prescription medicine costs, doctor fees, and medical examination and treatment costs
- Travel expenses for hospital visits, including parking costs
- Cost of implementing access changes to the victim's vehicle or home, or purchasing assistive equipment for functioning independently following the incident
- Domestic help costs if unable to complete home and care tasks independently
- Financial costs incurred by friends and family members for helping the victim
- Property damage that occurred because of the incident
How Do I Get the Most out of My Whiplash Claim?
In addition to the above tips, consider the following advice for getting the most out of a whiplash claim:
- File the claim quickly: Since these types of cases have a filing time limit, typically three years from the diagnosis or accident date, be sure to promptly submit these claims. Otherwise, it might not be possible to get any compensation. Worth noting is that collating the necessary documents and evidence for these claims can take time, so consider starting this process as soon as possible.
- Create an injury journal: Effective journals highlight how the whiplash impacted the victim psychologically and emotionally. In addition to discussing the number of medical appointments attended and treatments undergone, they may outline the victim's pain levels, uncertainty about the future, and inability to complete specific activities.
- Avoid accepting initial offers: Concerning settlements, initial offers are typically lower than what liable parties are willing and able to pay. With this in mind, consider each offer carefully, keep in mind the financial losses record made earlier to identify an appropriate settlement amount, and prepare to negotiate aggressively.
Learn more about how an auto accident attorney can help those involved in car collisions by arranging a consultation with a seasoned Texas personal injury lawyer from Jason English Law.
How Do You Pursue a Personal Injury Claim?
Pursuing these claims involves two approaches, discussed below:
- Get a settlement: This entails negotiating with the insurer or responsible party to agree to a fixed amount of money to compensate the injured person for their losses in exchange for not taking the matter to court. Often, this step involves less risk than going to court and is usually faster and easier because the victim knows the precise amount of compensation they can expect to receive. However, it might mean potentially accepting a deal that falls short of what the court could award.
- Attend court: If settling is not possible, the other option involves attending court, presenting the case, and allowing the court to determine appropriate compensation if the claim succeeds. This step requires the injured party to collate the evidence and file the necessary paperwork, which may be done alone or with the help of an attorney.
What Can You Do With Compensation Money?
Auto accident victims can do whatever they wish with their compensation money. Typically, they use these funds to clear any debts accrued due to the accident. After this, they may place any remaining money into a trust or use it for investments, which can be particularly helpful for generating an income for the victim if their injuries mean they cannot work for the foreseeable future.
Contact a Texas Auto Accident Attorney Today
Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 40,000 people died in the United States in 2022 due to motor vehicle crashes, and many more sustained injuries. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision that was someone else's fault, consider contacting an attorney to learn more about your legal rights and how to maximize your potential compensation.
Find out more about how an auto accident attorney can aid victims of motor vehicle crashes by contacting a Texas personal injury lawyer from Jason English Law at (512) 454-7548.