There are very specific damages that you can sue for when it comes to a car accident. Most accident claims are handled through negotiation between insurance companies before they reach the trial phase. If you are involved in a minor car accident, you might be able to recover your damages without the need to hire an attorney. However, there are limitations. If you are involved in a more serious accident, it might behoove you to hire an attorney to make sure that you are recovering for all you are entitled to.
Pain and suffering
When it comes to car accidents, pain and suffering are defined as any physical or mental distress that you encountered as a consequence of the accident. Pain and suffering damages are determined by the amount of suffering that a person has to endure, and thus are subjective. In most states, pain and suffering damages fall under “noneconomic damages” or “general damages.” This refers to any damages that are intangible and instances where a dollar amount is difficult to discern. Economic damages are those damages that are straightforward, like medical bills and loss of wages. Pain and suffering awards aren’t as easy to put a price on.
When you should escalate the claim and hire an attorney
It is always a good idea to consult an attorney if you are in a car accident. Sometimes injuries are immediately apparent – like broken bones – but there are also times when the symptoms of an injury won’t surface until well into the future. To make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries and pain and suffering, having someone evaluate your case is always an excellent idea. Your choice of whether or not to hire an attorney should be based on:
The seriousness of your injury
If you were in a minor accident, an insurance company will typically be able to offer you a fair settlement to cover your medical expenses and any property damage. If you are in a more serious accident, however, there may be consequences that might not show right away, or damages that an insurance company might not want to pay. If you have suffered severe pain, or your injury is long-term, it is always a good idea to have an attorney to ensure that your medical costs, and any other monetary damages for the future, will be covered.
How much evidence you have
If you don’t have a good record of your pain and suffering, or the facts revolving around the case (such as eyewitness testimony) aren’t clear, then it is a good idea to have an attorney cover you. The insurance carrier will not have your best interests in mind. They will seek to minimize their costs, which means denying you the recovery you deserve if you don’t have sufficient evidence to prove your case superficially.
If there is a question about who is at fault in a car accident, then it is always a good idea to get an attorney involved. There are times when determining who is at fault in an accident might not be as simple as you think. Sometimes drivers will counter sue and allege that they aren’t at fault. You never want to leave yourself vulnerable.
If you want to recover for your pain and suffering, it is always imperative to get an attorney involved. Since pain and suffering need to be calculated and are subjective rather than objective, you will need someone to help you prove your case and to get the amount you deserve. Some California bus accident lawyers will use the “multiplier” method. This calculates pain and suffering by using the amount of medical expenses you have. Others may use different values to determine a reasonable price. Again, since the insurance carrier isn’t on your side, you will want to have someone who is.
If you are in an auto accident, there are times when you can settle without having representation. But before you sign anything, it is always an excellent idea to consult a lawyer who specializes in auto accidents to make sure that you aren’t left vulnerable and that you receive fair compensation for your damages.