Suing For Injuries in an Automobile Accident
Automobiles are an essential part of daily living in the majority of the nation and this is also true in most of Washington state. To meet your personal and professional responsibilities being able to commute is a common activity. When driving you expect other drivers to practice caution and pay attention to what is going on around them. However, that is not always the case. Automobile accidents are sadly a common occurrence and often not your fault.
Automobile accidents can have many causes including not paying attention, driving when unable to safely do so, unsafe driving habits, and more. The growth of smartphones while having many benefits has created increased distractions for many drivers. No matter the cause of an accident if you have been wrongfully injured you have a right to sue for your injuries. There are thousands of auto accidents in Washington state every year (with October being the most dangerous month according to many studies) and if you have been hurt you should hire legal representation as soon as possible.
How A Lawyer Helps You
If you’ve been hurt through another’s negligence there are many concerns and issues you are likely dealing with. With so many items requiring your attention, it can feel overwhelming, and knowing where to start can be a challenge. Hiring a lawyer allows you to approach your accident clearly and with confidence. Here are some of the ways a lawyer can help you.
– Handles The Paperwork: when you’ve been injured in an automobile accident there is a lot of paperwork and communication that is required throughout the process. This includes legal paperwork, statements, discussions with insurance companies, and more. Your attorney deals with these common issues and keeps you updated on the status of any needed documentation fillings and where you are in the process.
– Deals With Insurance Companies: insurance companies are a needed part of the claims process and depending on the nature of your accident there may be multiple companies involved. When you’ve been hurt you should never take the first settlement offer from an insurance company even if it’s your own.
Insurance companies often seek to close claims as fast as possible and in many cases do not offer the level of compensation you are rightly owed. All communication with insurance companies should be filtered through your attorney.
– Collects Needed Data: when dealing with an insurance company or the legal system information collection is vital. Data such as witness statements, pictures of the accident scene, mechanic reports, police statements, and expert witnesses all serve a purpose in building your case. Your attorney collects this information to give clarity and support to your statements about the events of your accident and what exactly happened.
– Represents You In Court: not all automobile claims go to settle, while many do some do end up in the court system. If your accident is complex, involves multiple parties, or has a high finical stake this can increase the chances of legal proceedings. When you’re in court legal representation ensures that your argument is heard and soundly supported. This is also why hiring an attorney early on in the process is so practical. This means that if you do go to court your attorney is familiar with your case and other important information.
– Allows You To Focus On Recovery: finally, when you’ve been injured you have enough stress to deal with concerning your recovery. By having sound legal advice on your side you can focus on improving your health, dealing with any psychological issues, and spending time with your family. Having an expert deal with the daily concerns of your lawsuit means you can focus your attention on more pressing concerns.
What a Judgement Can Include
When the court rules in your favor various items can be included in the judgment. Naturally, material concerns such as damage to your property, lost wages, impact on your earning potential, medical costs, recovery, and long-term care will be given consideration. Non-material factors such as pain and suffering also count towards a judgment.
Pain and suffering can be a broad concept and includes several factors outside material costs such as healthcare and automobile damage. Pain and suffering can include but are not limited to the following. Physical pain due to injuries, long-term pain, psychological issues, mental anguish, reduction in the quality of life, emotional setbacks due to injury and its results, and a reduction in your expected lifespan had the accident and resulting injuries not occurred.
Pain and Suffering Defined
Pain and suffering cover different types of injuries and hurt and these factors will be taken under consideration when a judgment is being made. These can include:
– Physical Pain: physical pain is related to injuries to your body. Injuries such as broken bones, concussions, dislocations, soft tissue injuries, cuts, burns, and other such injuries are common in auto accidents. Physical injuries can be quite painful and depending on severity lead to a slow recovery and physical therapy. Such injuries can also negatively impact your career and make daily life less enjoyable.
– Psychological Pain: not all injuries are physical some concern your mental state and emotional wellbeing. Nightmares, lingering fear, anxiety, panic attacks, and depression are common psychological responses to a bad car accident. You may even fear being in a car at all and due to anxiety may not be able to drive at all. Psychological problems are taken very seriously and can impact your life as severely as any physical injury.
– Future Suffering: consideration will also be given for any future or long-term pain you may encounter. Some injuries do linger and can take a long time to fully heal. Some injuries may be permanent and physical or mental disabilities that will not heal are also considered in any monetary judgment along with any needed lifelong care.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
Calculating pain and suffering can be subjective however, there are several data points your attorney will make use of to assign a proper numerical value. These can include doctor statements about your pain and recovery, medications being used, psychiatric evaluations, how long it takes you to recover, your views on your recovery, daily limitations due to your injuries, and witness statements from your friends, family, coworkers, and associates about your recovery and what you are going through.
Why You Need Legal Representation
Automobile accidents and injuries are sudden, unpredictable, and can upend your entire life. When you have been injured through another’s negligence frustration and anger are common and understandable responses. However, you do have options and the right to have your voice heard, present the facts in a court of law, and receive finical compensation for your losses. Having an experienced legal team on your side ensures you receive that which is rightly owed to aid in your recovery and compensate you for your losses.