If you or a loved one suffered harm in a car accident, you probably have many questions about the legal next steps. Will filing a claim really get you compensation? Can you afford a lawyer? What factors determine your settlement amount?
Questions like this are particularly important to Bostonians. Boston saw 2,965 car accidents in 2020, out of which 775 caused some kind of injury. If you’re injured due to someone else’s negligence, consult a Boston car accident law firm to get the guidance you need.
This article answers seven questions we hear the most from victims seeking advice after a car accident.
- Do I really need a lawyer?
After a car wreck, contacting an experienced attorney should always be your first call. Auto insurance companies have teams of adjusters meticulously trained to minimize what crash victims recover in claims. Without legal representation, you can easily be manipulated into accepting far less than what you deserve.
- Who pays my medical bills now?
Your own auto insurance policy’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage will cover initial accident-related medical expenses, regardless of fault. However, this coverage has limits, after which you must use your health insurance. Your attorney will make sure any out-of-pocket medical costs beyond what your insurance covers are included in your liability claim against the at-fault driver’s insurer.
- How is fault determined?
Police reports, eyewitness accounts, video evidence, insurance investigations, and crash scene forensic analysis help assign relative fault percentages to the drivers involved. An experienced attorney will use all resources to prove the at-fault motorist’s negligence caused the collision. Comparative negligence laws in most states allow for partial recovery even if you share some minor fault.
- What are the damages I can recover?
Documented accident-related expenses like medical bills, lost income, and vehicle repair costs make up your “special” damages.
Intangible losses such as pain and suffering are covered under “general” damages.
Your attorney will retain experts to accurately calculate and prove both damage categories. Tallied together, these losses comprise your total claim value.
- How long will my case take?
Every personal injury case has its own timeline based on factors like
- Injury severity
- Challenges proving liability
- Insurance company cooperation
- Whether a lawsuit is filed
Most straightforward cases settle within a few months, while complex litigation can take over a year. Your attorney will continuously update you on the best and worst-case time frames.
- How much is my case worth?
While your lawyer cannot quote an exact settlement amount initially, they will draw on experience with similar cases, injury severity, and special damages to estimate an expected settlement range.
The top end represents the maximum jury verdict if the case went to trial. As details emerge, your attorney can better calculate the potential case value.
- How do I pay legal fees?
Most car accident attorneys work on a contingent fee basis, meaning they only collect if they recover compensation for you. Their fee percentage then comes out of the total settlement amount, at no upfront cost to you. So you have nothing to lose by hiring an experienced attorney to maximize your recovery.
Recovering After an Auto Accident
The aftermath of a traffic collision leaves many accident victims confused and overwhelmed. But contacting a knowledgeable car accident law firm quickly for guidance takes the guesswork out of seeking maximum compensation.
With an attorney’s help in filing insurance claims, documenting evidence, proving negligence, calculating damages, and negotiating your best settlement, you are in good hands.
Focus your energy on healing while your lawyer tirelessly pursues the justice and financial recovery you rightfully deserve.