A car accident happens suddenly and without warning, yet in a brief moment your life can be utterly devastated. Car accident injury victims often are uncertain of what to do following an accident. When negligence is involved, the defendant’s insurance company may make promises and act as if they are on the victim’s side, but they are not.
The Fresno auto accident attorneys at Champion Law Group have compiled the below list of answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions relating to auto accidents and personal injury representation.
- Can I pursue a claim if I was a passenger in a car? Absolutely! What you need to do immediately following the accident is obtain information from both the driver of the car in which you were a passenger and the other driver(s). Make sure to get the make and registration of the vehicles, note the time of the accident, and if possible, use your cell phone to take photographs of the scene. You should also obtain the names and addresses of any witnesses. You may be able to pursue a claim against the other driver as well as the person who drove the car you were riding in, depending upon who was at fault.
- The insurance company said I don’t need an attorney. Is this true? The insurance company is not your ally. They will tell you whatever they can to lure you into feeling complacent, but in actuality they will attempt either to minimize any compensation you receive or deny you altogether. It is much better to hire a personal injury attorney who has a true incentive to help you. After all, the attorney won’t get paid unless you receive an award.
- I don’t want to go to court. Do I need a personal injury lawyer? Most personal injury cases are not litigated in a courtroom. Often it is better for all parties if a settlement can be reached without going to court. A personal injury lawyer is experienced in working with insurance companies and getting clients the compensation they need to carry on with their lives.
- Who will pay my medical expenses? Payment for your medical bills may be made in a number of ways before your case settles. Your personal health insurance may pay all or some of the expenses, and you may obtain some compensation from your own auto insurance policy. If all else fails, you can contact the medical provider and let them know you are seeking compensation for the accident, and that they will be paid when the case is settled.
- What can I recover? You can obtain compensation for all your medical expenses, lost work time, and repair of your car. If you need to hire someone to help take care of your children while you recover, you may be able to receive payment for this as well as any other costs related to the accident. You also may be able to obtain so-called non-economic damages – pain, suffering, loss of consortium, etc.
- What if the at-fault driver is uninsured? A personal injury lawyer will discuss with you your options if the person who hit you was not insured. It is important to keep in mind that not having insurance doesn’t mean they can’t be sued. You may also be able to seek compensation from another party if their negligence contributed to the accident. For instance, if the road surface was eroded, and this was a factor in the accident, you may be able to sue the county.
- How much will I have to pay out-of-pocket to hire a personal injury attorney to represent me? Personal injury lawyers generally work on a contingency basis, which means that they don’t get paid unless you are awarded compensation. There may be a few incidental, minor expenses that you will be charged along the way, such as copying costs, but these are minimal.
Working with a Lawyer Is to Your Advantage
If you have been injured in an accident that was brought about by another person’s negligence, you are much better off working with a strong and experienced personal injury attorney who has a vested interest in your success.