Auto Accident Introduction to the Law
A basic explanation of auto accidents
Accidents happen to everyone: don't go it aloneThey happen to the best drivers among us. You're driving from one place to the next and then, crash--a car accident. Just damaging your car can be a pain but when you or your loved ones are injured, it can be a nightmare. Even if your injury doesn't seem that bad at first, it could become something that changes your life forever.
Oftentimes what adds insult to injury is dealing with the insurance company--what we call "the defense." You shouldn't have to deal with denial and delay for a situation that is not your fault. All too often, companies will drag their feet just to try and avoid or delay payment of claims. You don't have to go at it alone, you should get a skilled accident lawyer to help fight on your behalf. You have enough on your plate without having to deal with the defense. You also need to know that they have an entire team working against you, from the claims adjuster to field representatives, surveillance companies, investigators, lawyers, doctors, and hired experts. You need a skilled advocate in your corner to help level the playing field.
Even in cases where the other side is clearly at fault, the defense will often try other arguments to minimize your case. They will argue that you had preexisting conditions due to prior accidents or claims. They will routinely search your prior claims in a database that only the defense can access and that the insurance companies share with each other. Even if you don't have any prior claims, they may still argue that your condition is due to your age, weight, lifestyle, or any other reason they can muster--as long as it is not the accident.
What damages are covered by the law?If you were not at fault for the accident the law provides for you to recover the damages you suffered, even if it was an aggravation of a preexisting condition. In auto accident cases an injured individual is entitled to recover lost wages, loss of ability to earn money, medical bills, future medical costs, property damage losses, expenses not covered by insurance, and damages for pain, suffering and lost capacity for the enjoyment of life due to permanent injuries. In severe cases, individuals may also be entitled to recover for the emotional or psychological effects of their injuries. Additionally, if the injured individual is married, their spouse may also recover for the loss of support and consortium. This is best understood as the loss of companionship, the impact that the injury causes on the relationship. Having a partner in constant pain and suffering creates for tense situations that place extra strain on any relationship. In the unfortunate event that an individual dies due to another's negligence, the law provides for recovery by that individual's surviving spouse and children, and other dependents of the deceased.
Although a monetary recovery will never repair the damage that is done to the individual and his or her family, it can at least assist with the financial burdens created by the accident. I often explain to families that money damages are an insufficient remedy, but that it is the best method we have. Unfortunately we cannot turn back the clock and undo the event; we cannot wave a magic wand and take away people's injuries. If we could, we would opt for that choice every time. Instead we have to quantify the impact in dollars and cents which is not easy and takes a skilled communicator to convey the extent of your damages on your behalf.