In recent years, numerous factors have combined to create a safer environment for vehicle occupants. From advances in both active and passive safety systems to improvements in vehicle design and strict testing regulations, the vehicle often protects the occupant from serious harm. Unfortunately, even with all these protections in place, drivers and passengers still struggle with severe injuries and devastating conditions after a serious motor vehicle collision.
While some individuals might want to navigate the legal process on their own and work directly with the insurance carrier of the at-fault party, it is wise to seek guidance from an experienced legal professional well before the situation becomes overwhelming. Even though every situation is unique, there are several reasons that individuals commonly seek professional legal guidance, including:
- Detailed crash investigation: A police report might cover many of these factors and the insurance company might perform a cursory check, but it is important to have a team in place that can thoroughly investigate the collision. From witness accounts and crash reconstruction to weather elements and road conditions, the crash investigation can help develop a timeline and clearly identify the liable parties.
- Manage settlement negotiations: When individuals work with the insurance carrier, they often feel intimidated or pressured into making snap decisions. An attorney has experience negotiating a beneficial settlement in complex scenarios. Often, the insurance carrier will attempt to deny, delay or devalue a claim with inadequate reasoning. This is generally known as insurance bad faith and is not an uncommon occurrence. A lawyer can negotiate a proper settlement that protects your best interests. After all, the insurance carrier is a company that must protect its own financial best interests.
- Examining the potential sources of compensation: While an insurance carrier might simply focus on the resultant property damage and medical bills, an experienced legal professional can identify other potential sources of compensation after a crash. For example, if a defective vehicle part contributed to the accident, investigators could assign some liability to either the part manufacturer or the company in charge of maintenance of the vehicle. If a drunk driver caused the collision, an attorney could investigate whether the individual was overserved at a bar, club or sporting event.
After a serious motor vehicle collision, it is wise to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. Injuries can range from broken bones and lacerations to brain trauma and spinal cord damage. With the prospect of lost wages and mounting medical debt, injured individuals often face financial peril after a serious crash.