Car accidents are frightening – in the moments leading up to the accident, at the moment of impact, and for weeks afterwards. The fear that comes in the aftermath is not necessarily related to the violence and danger of the crash; it can instead be caused by financial concerns as medical costs begin to pile up and lost wages impair your ability to pay bills. At this point, you might be considering contacting a lawyer to help you with your car accident injury claim. And hiring a lawyer will help.
Communicating with Insurance
The goal of an insurance adjuster is to minimize any payouts to you, and it goes without saying that they are very good at what they do. If you retain the services of a lawyer, the lawyer will make contact with the insurance adjuster assigned to your case and serve as your representative whenever communication with the insurance company is necessary. This is important, because the insurance adjuster controls who receives funds and when they receive them, so a solid professional relationship with the adjuster can prove invaluable. And it is best that you do not speak to any representative of the insurance company before you have talked to a lawyer.
Obtaining and Organizing Your Medical Records
If you were injured and are seeking reimbursement for medical bills and related costs, you will need to provide substantial proof that you were injured in connection with the accident along with evidence of the extent of your injuries. That proof will be based in your medical records, which are notoriously difficult to obtain. Many times, the guidelines for requesting them are very vague and can lead to multiple delays. Once the records are received, there is a good chance that key information will be missing from them. In addition, you may need a letter from your doctor using very specific language to describe your injury in a way that the insurance company will accept. If you hire a law office to help you with your claim, their staff will take responsibility for obtaining and organizing your records.
Determining What Kind of Damages You Are Eligible to Collect
Another way a lawyer can help you with a car accident injury claim involves determining what kind of damages you are eligible to collect. This goes beyond the medical costs involved with the accident and takes both skill and experience to develop a reasonable estimate. You may be due lost wages (which are based on the time you missed from work while either receiving medical care or recovering from the accident-related injury) as well as reduced earning capacity benefit (which results from your injury impacting the ability to do your job). You may also be eligible for the cost of medical bills that can be reasonably anticipated in the future due to the injury you received. Pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages, are other damages you may be eligible to be compensated for.
Organizing and Presenting Evidence on Your Behalf
Another key service that a lawyer provides is gathering, organizing, and presenting evidence on your behalf. This can include (depending on the complexity of the case) photos and video showing where the accident took place, accident reconstruction simulations, eyewitness reports, CCTV footage, traffic cam footage, and police reports. A skilled lawyer knows what kind of evidence is most beneficial to your case and can predict how the insurance company (or court) will respond.
Modified Comparative Fault Cases
Not all car accident cases are straightforward in terms of who is at fault. If you were partly at fault for the accident that led to your injury, then Pennsylvania law will follow “modified comparative fault.” According to modified comparative fault, the damages you are awarded will be reduced by your percentage of fault in the accident. And if you are 50% or more at fault, by law you will receive nothing. In cases of modified comparative fault, you need the assistance of a lawyer to make sure that percentage truly represents what happened. That is where a law office’s skill at putting together the evidence on your behalf is invaluable.
If you suffered an injury in a car accident, you really do need the assistance of a lawyer to ensure that you receive the correct amount of compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will take over communicating with insurance representatives bent on reducing the amount of your payout – and your lawyer will also be able to reasonably estimate the payout you can expect under the law. A law office will also help with requesting and organizing your medical records to prove the extent of your injury and track down evidence related to your case. For more complicated cases, such as modified fault cases, a lawyer will ensure that you are fairly represented and your fault in the accident is not exaggerated.
Contact Noel & Bonebrake
In 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported 128,188 car crashes leading to 80,612 injuries. At Noel & Bonebrake, we do not want you to be just another accident statistic in a state report. We want to see you get the compensation you deserve under the law. We will work tirelessly to gather evidence, track down medical records, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and represent you in court to protect your rights – and will do so on a contingency basis so there is no cost to you until you receive compensation. Contact Noel & Bonebrake today and let us fight for you!