Work With Experienced Car Accident Attorneys and Get Compensation for Your Injuries
Whether a car accident has left you or a loved one injured or claimed a life, the dedicated car accident attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP want you to know that you have legal rights that may entitle you to compensation for any expenses, losses, or injuries associated with your car collision. We believe that drivers who choose to disregard basic rules of safety and endanger others on the roadway should be held accountable for decisions that cause injuries, and our auto accident lawyers will work hard to make sure that that happens.
National Car Accident Statistics Show You’re Not Alone
Car crashes occur with frightening regularity in the United States, and more people die on the road, despite cars being safer.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- A total of 5,250,837 crashes killed 38,824 people and injured 2,282,015 in 2020. Compared to 2019, this represents a 6.8% increase in fatalities and a 16.7% decrease in injuries.
- These deadly crashes were more likely to occur in urban areas than rural ones: 21,650 fatalities occurred in urban areas (56%) while 16,665 occurred in a rural setting (43%) in 2020.
- One person was killed every 14 minutes and 4 people were injured every minute from crashes in 2020.
- 11,654 of the people killed were involved in alcohol-related crashes, including 229 children. 11,258 were killed in speeding-related fatalities.
- The highest fatality rate from motor vehicles was in South Carolina and Mississippi. The lowest was in Massachusetts and Minnesota.
- In 2020, 6,516 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, up 3.9% from 2019. An additional 54,769 pedestrians were injured.
- The economic cost of all traffic crashes in 2010 was $242 billion.
What these numbers cannot tell is the heartbreaking and unfortunate stories of the victims and surviving family members of these crashes. While some car wrecks are just fender-benders that do little more than dent a bumper or door, other crashes are true tragedies that cause serious injuries or claim the lives of innocent motorists and passengers who are simply trying to go about their daily business. Our personal injury car accident lawyers are dedicated to helping people in these types of situations find justice.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Offending drivers make many types of irresponsible decisions that can support a claim for compensation, including:
- Texting while driving or otherwise being distracted behind the wheel, whether the distraction is another passenger in the car, the radio, or something outside of the vehicle
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, even if the drugs are prescription medications that the driver is legally permitted to use or over-the-counter medications that are readily available for purchase
- Exceeding the speed limit or driving at so great of a speed that the driver is unable to safely control their car
- Failing to observe other traffic laws and unwritten rules of the road
- Failing to properly signal before making a turn or making an illegal U-turn
- Driving a car, truck, or other type of vehicle that is in a state of disrepair because its tires, brakes, windshield, or other necessary components are in a defective state
- Other careless, thoughtless, or reckless behaviors
When a car crash does occur, one of the most important first steps that you and your passengers can take is to seek help from emergency medical personnel by either calling an ambulance or proceeding to the nearest emergency room for evaluation and treatment. Not only does this help ensure that you and your loved ones’ health is safeguarded, but it also helps protect your vehicle accident lawsuit from claims that your failure to seek medical care was the cause of your injuries and losses.
Types of Compensation You May Be Awarded
An experienced car crash lawyer may be able to help you get compensation for:
- Medical bills that are the result of surgeries, treatments, rehabilitative services, and/or therapy sessions that are necessary following your crash to restore your health, mobility, and capabilities
- Wages that you were not able to earn due to injury, pain, and medical appointments
- Any income you will not be able to realize in the future because of your injuries. For example, if you were working at a physically demanding job and making $35 per hour but your injuries will not permit you to return to this position, you may be able to recover the difference between your prior wage of $35 per hour and the rate of pay of any new position you accept.
- The costs of prescription drugs, medical assistive devices, and/or home health services that may be ordered by your doctor
- Funeral and burial or cremation costs, if your loved one died as a result of their injuries
- Mental pain, anguish, and suffering that your injuries cause, including a loss of enjoyment of life because of not being able to participate in the activities you enjoyed before your accident
A successful car crash lawsuit can help you and your family avoid personal and financial ruin, so it’s imperative that you seek out legal advice and knowledgeable representation from an experienced attorney for auto accident lawsuits at Parker Waichman. We will help guide you through the accident recovery process and assist you in obtaining the maximum amount of compensation possible so you can begin to reassemble your life following the crash.
Video: Accident Lawsuits
Should I Get an Attorney for an Auto Accident?
If another driver’s careless behavior caused you to suffer from injuries and/or financial or physical losses, you should contact a car accident injury lawyer. Even if you’re not absolutely sure that you’ll need an auto accident lawyer, it’s always a good idea to consult with one to make sure that your rights are protected. At Parker Waichman, we offer free consultations with motor vehicle accident lawyers near you to help people determine whether they have grounds for legal action.
What Do I Need for a Successful Car Accident Claim?
A successful car wreck lawsuit requires evidence showing that one or more other people engaged in careless behavior and that this behavior was the sole or primary cause of your injuries. Unfortunately, it is not always clear whether the line between reasonable and unreasonable behavior has been crossed. If you fail to prove negligence in your case, then your claim for compensation will be denied.
Other factors that will affect the success of your case include:
- Negligence on the parts of both parties; in some states, if you bear any responsibility for your own injuries, this will affect your ability to collect compensation
- Failure to seek prompt treatment for your injuries, which can also be considered careless behavior
- Inability to prove the monetary value of your crash-related expenses and losses
- Whether you took legal action within the statute of limitations. If you waited too long to file your car accident lawsuit, a court may dismiss your lawsuit no matter how much harm you suffered or how clear the evidence of the other driver’s carelessness is.
Skilled legal counsel can give you a significant advantage in pulling together the evidence and testimony you need to prove your economic and non-economic losses. When you contact our experienced team, you can rest assured that you’re working with the best car accident attorney for your case.
Stages of a Car Crash Lawsuit
A top-rated auto accident attorney from our firm will guide you through this process, but it can put people more at ease when they’re familiar with the stages of an automobile accident lawsuit. Here’s a quick breakdown of how the process works:
Filing the Case
Every car wreck claim for compensation begins with you, the injured motorist, filing your complaint or petition in the appropriate court. This initial document briefly sets forth the facts that you believe demonstrate that the other driver acted carelessly, causing your injuries. The defendant then has the opportunity to admit or deny the allegations.
The defendant can make a few motions that might affect the case. These include:
- A motion to change the venue
- A motion to change the judge
- A motion of removal from state court to federal court
- A motion to dismiss
A case will next proceed to the discovery phase, in which you and the other parties involved in the dispute will formally and informally exchange evidence, documents, police reports, and information about any witnesses you intend to use to support your claim for compensation at trial. This process aims to enable all sides to have a fair opportunity to prepare their cases and encourage parties to settle disputes early if the evidence is clearly not in their favor.
A case that is not settled or resolved through some other means will proceed to trial. At trial, you must prove that the other driver(s) involved in your crash acted in a negligent manner and this behavior caused you to suffer a loss that can be compensated for through a financial award. If you satisfy this burden of proof, the judge or jury hearing your car accident case in court will return a verdict in your favor and decide how much compensation you should receive for your losses. If you fail to satisfy this burden of proof, no compensation will be awarded to you.
Once the trial is complete and a verdict has been returned by the judge or jury, the losing party may have a right to appeal the verdict to an appellate court. An appellate court will review the proceedings in the trial court for legal errors, and if any are found, they will generally send the case back to the trial court for a new trial or other remedial action. Otherwise, the appellate court will affirm the verdict and the verdict will become final.
Our car accident attorneys are equipped to guide you successfully through this entire process, so don’t hesitate to contact us today for help.
What Does a Car Accident Attorney Do?
While pursuing your car accident lawsuit, you can expect a Parker Waichman attorney to:
Prepare Your Initial Court Filings and Subsequent Motions
Documents submitted to the court that do not comply with formatting rules may be rejected by the court without being filed and without any ruling on them. Your attorney will be well-versed in these requirements and able to ensure that any necessary documents are properly formatted and filed in a timely fashion.
Help You Secure Witnesses and Evidence
Your claim for compensation will not be successful if the only evidence you can present is your own testimony. Other witnesses (sometimes including experts in accident reconstruction or other fields) and evidence like reports, diagrams, and photographs must also be presented in support of your assertions. Your vehicle crash lawyer not only will know the quantity and type of evidence most likely to help your claim prevail but can assist you in locating and securing the attendance of witnesses.
Equip You and Your Family With Information So You Can Make Good Decisions About Your Case
Your attorney can help you through the decisions that arise during a case, so you understand the ramifications of choosing one option over another. For example, your attorney can explain the terms of a settlement offer made by the other party and help you understand the positives and negatives of accepting the offer. We’ll be here to answer all of your questions in a timely manner, so you can rest assured that your case is in well-qualified hands.
Our experience and knowledge enable us to provide a real benefit to our clients in and out of the courtroom. With an attorney from Parker Waichman on your side, you’ll be better prepared to successfully resolve your case and address any challenges or obstacles that may prevent or delay you from receiving compensation.
Car Wreck Lawsuit Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Car Accident Considered a Personal Injury Case?
Motor vehicle accidents like car accidents are among the most common types of personal injury cases. Whether you’re a driver, rider, pedestrian, or innocent bystander, you can make a personal injury claim after a car accident if you were injured.
What Is the Most Common Injury in a Vehicle Collision?
The most common injuries from car accidents are:
- Bruising and contusions
- Neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
How Long Does it Usually Take to Settle a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Most lawsuits can be resolved through either a verdict or a settlement within several months to a year. Complex car wreck cases may take one or more years before a verdict is reached. The time it will take your lawsuit to resolve is dependent upon factors such as the strength of the evidence in your case, whether you and the other parties involved want to reach a settlement rather than go to trial, and the complexity of the facts leading to the crash.
Do You Always Get a Settlement From a Car Crash Lawsuit?
While the vast majority of car wreck lawsuits settle (some believe that as many as nine out of every ten cases settle), not all cases will. You and the other party or parties involved will ultimately decide whether it makes sense to settle your case. Settlement agreements generally offer you monetary compensation more quickly than if you had proceeded to trial, but you often receive less compensation than you would if you had won at trial. A car accident personal injury lawyer from our firm can advise you on whether you should agree to a settlement.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Minor Car Accident?
There is no one average settlement, as the details of personal injury cases can vary widely. Settlements can be as low as a few thousand dollars or as high as $30,000 for a case involving minor injuries.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident With Injury?
Settlement amounts from car accident litigation vary widely depending on the severity of the damages, ranging from $20,000 for less serious cases to far more if the injuries justify a higher damages award.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Car Accident?
To estimate pain and suffering, insurance companies look at the severity of your physical injuries and how permanent they are. Often, they’ll then multiply the amount of your medical expenses by a number between one and five to arrive at an amount for pain and suffering. The more severe and permanent the injury is, the higher the multiplier.
How Much Should You Get for Pain and Suffering From a Car Accident?
The typical payout is less than $15,000 for pain and suffering, as the majority of car accident cases involve relatively minor injuries. However, this amount is naturally higher for those who experience more severe injuries.
Who Pays Out the Settlement in a Car Crash Lawsuit?
Three sources can be tapped to pay out a car accident settlement: the other driver’s insurance company, the other driver’s personal funds, and your insurance company. The offending driver’s insurance policy can likely cover the settlement, but many insurers have settlement limits. If the settlement exceeds the insurance company’s limit or the driver wasn’t insured, the funds will have to come from the offending driver. Your insurer will only come into play if there is no possible way for the other driver to pay the settlement amount.
Who Is Liable in an Auto Accident? Do You Sue the Driver or the Insurance Company?
Most commonly, you’ll start by making a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, then proceed to suing the driver if needed. However, the answer to this question will depend on applicable state laws as well as the details of your specific case. That’s why it’s important to have a skilled car accident lawyer on your side to guide you through the process of pursuing compensation.
Is it Worth Suing After a Car Accident?
If your losses amount to significantly more than the other driver’s insurer will pay, it’s worthwhile to consider filing a lawsuit. Not all drivers carry adequate insurance to fully compensate you following a crash. Qualified car wreck lawyers can help ensure that you get the full amount of compensation you need for your losses. In some states, your own automobile insurance carrier is responsible for paying for your expenses and injuries, but even in these no-fault states, you may still be able to file a lawsuit if your injuries are significant.
Is it Worth Getting a Car Accident Lawyer?
Yes: At a minimum, you should consult an attorney after a crash to get a professional opinion on whether you should file a legal claim. If you do decide to take legal action, you’ll greatly improve the odds of being fully compensated with an experienced lawyer on your side.
When Should I Hire an Attorney for a Car Accident Claim?
Any time you are injured or your property sustains significant damage in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as you can after the crash. The sooner you act, the fresher and more reliable the evidence supporting your claim will be and the more time you’ll have to build a strong case before the statute of limitations runs out.
How Do I Choose an Attorney for My Car Accident Lawsuit?
When you need to find the best automobile accident lawyer for your case, follow these steps:
- Research personal injury lawyers near you to find firms with a solid reputation and a track record of success.
- Meet with the most promising options to get a case evaluation. This will give you an opportunity to see how easy they are to communicate with, get answers to your questions, and judge whether they seem capable of handling your case.
- If any of the lawyers you meet with seem pushy, unprepared, or unprofessional, cross them off of your list. Also beware of anyone who makes promises they may not be able to keep: While a good lawyer will fight hard for the best outcome possible, the results of any case can never be guaranteed at the outset.
- Choose the attorney you feel most comfortable trusting with your case.
How Much Does a Car Accident Attorney Cost?
The hourly rate for a car wreck attorney varies depending on the skill and experience of the attorney, but when you work with Parker Waichman, you won’t have to worry about the cost of representation: We work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that we get paid out of a portion of your jury award or settlement, not out of your pocket. If you do not get compensation, we don’t get paid.
Who Pays for the Attorney in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
When you work with Parker Waichman, the defendant and/or their insurer will pay our costs: We get paid from a portion of the compensation awarded.
How Long Can You Wait to Sue for a Car Accident?
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases will determine how long you have to file a lawsuit, and this amount of time will vary from state to state and depending on the specific circumstances of your case. A skilled auto collision lawyer near you, like the attorneys at our nationwide law firm, should be able to accurately calculate the deadline for your claim.
Can You Sue if a Car Accident Is Your Fault?
The answer depends on the laws of your state. Some states follow the contributory negligence rule, which means you can’t be awarded any damages if you share a portion of the blame for the accident. Other states follow the comparative negligence doctrine, which means you can sue the other driver for damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident.
Should I Speak With the Other Party and/or Their Insurance Company Directly?
No. If you retain the services of our car accident law firm, we will handle all communications with the other parties, their attorneys, and/or their insurance carriers on your behalf. If you choose to handle your case on your own, you will need to communicate with these individuals and entities yourself, and you could end up saying something that weakens your case. Certain statements (even those made with the most innocent of motivations) can dramatically and negatively impact the viability of your car wreck lawsuit.
What Happens When a Car Accident Goes to Court?
If your case goes to court, the jury will be presented with all of the evidence collected during the discovery period, and they will decide who is at fault for the crash and how much money should be paid out.
Talk With One of Our Car Crash Injury Attorneys Today
When you have been hurt in a car wreck caused by another careless driver, you do not need to remain in the role of a victim. You can take charge of your life and your future by acting swiftly to protect your legal rights. When you hire a car crash attorney at Parker Waichman, you can feel comfortable knowing that we have a record of success: We’ve obtained more than $2 billion for our clients through verdicts and settlement agreements, and we’ll work hard to help you win so you can get the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been searching for “the best car accident lawyer near me,” you need look no further: Call 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or contact us online today to get a free consultation.
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