Automotive Injuries and Claims
Automotive injuries are very common in car accidents. Cars get damaged, and people get hurt, sometimes severely. Because of this, car accidents combine personal injury and traffic laws. An attorney hired after an automotive injury will negotiate fault and damage claims. To piece together exactly what happened, police reports, photos, and other evidence is used. The person at fault is usually responsible for compensating medical and property bills, as well as harm for pain, suffering, and lost wages. Sometimes both drivers are at fault and, as a result, must split the bills according to the amount each party is to blame.
Automotive Injuries and Auto Insurance
Luckily, a person’s car insurance will usually help pay for collisions, damages, replacement costs, and even medical expenses caused by automotive injuries. Sometimes insurance companies will hire an attorney to sort everything out.
At a minimum, motorists are required to buy liability insurance in order to compensate for automotive injuries and vehicle damage. “Bodily injury liability” is what your insurer will pay when others are hurt or killed (medical expenses or payment to deceased’s family when you’re at fault). “Property damage liability” is what the insurance will pay for damaged property (typically the vehicles) of others.
Other types of protection are “personal injury protection,” wherein the insurer pays for damages claimed by other passengers, and other automotive injuries. “Collision coverage” is dealt if the insured is at fault, and the insurance company will pay for vehicle and property damages. “Comprehensive coverage” covers more than just accidents, and includes damages from fire, vandalism, or theft.
Types of Automotive Injuries
While most accidents are minor fender-benders, other automotive injuries can range from bruises, to paralysis, to even death. Here are the most common injuries:
- Head and back: including concussions, brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and herniated disks.
- Neck and chest: include traumatic cardiac arrest, and whiplash (a blanket term for sprains, hyperextension in the spine, and strains).
- Arms, leg, feet, and hands: include torn ligaments, broken bones, and severed limbs.
- Emotional distress: automotive injuries can cause more than just physical injury. For this reason, emotional distress is common for those involved in the accident, and witnesses.
Damages Due for Automotive Injuries
Medical expenses, physical therapy, and special equipment that’s been damaged (such as wheelchairs) are the responsibility of an at-fault motorist. Additional damages are for a) lost wages, b) diminished employment opportunities, c) disfigurement, d) pain and suffering, e) loss of consortium (loss of affection).
Automotive Injuries and Settlements
The reason it’s important to have an attorney who understands automotive and personal injury law is because there are a multitude of claim types. Insurance companies settle most claims from automotive injuries, out of court. Still, a dispute between parties is usually negotiated by attorneys.
If you’re not satisfied with the opposing insurer’s estimates, lawyers can write a “demand letter.” This is a detailed explanation of your damages. Your lawyer might request a different monetary compensation. The other party’s lawyer will negotiate and dispute the claims. A third “disinterested” party might mediate if a settlement cannot be reached. Mediators are licensed attorneys. If they cannot get the two parties to agree to a settlement, the case proceeds to trial.
A knowledgeable attorney will understand the complex nature of automotive and personal injury law. He or she will know when to push, and when to pull back. Your lawyer brings your claim to court if a resolution is not made.
Place your trust in an attorney who not only will fight for you and do the job right, but also cares about what happens to you and your family.