In recent years US Auto accidents and fatalities have been becoming more common. The National Safety Council puts the number of fatalities on US roads in 2015 at around 38,300, with a further 4.4 million people being injured or disabled. This upward trend in the danger levels facing American drivers is nothing short of terrifying. Deborah A.P. Hersman, president of the NSC has was quoted as saying:
Follow the numbers: The trend we are seeing on our roadways is like a flashing red light—danger lies ahead. As a safety professional, it’s not just disappointing but heartbreaking to see the numbers trending in the wrong direction
The facts are simple, no matter how careful and observant you are as a driver, the statistics show that you are likely to be involved in an auto accident sooner or later. We sincerely hope that when it happens, the suffering is minimal, but US roadways are dangerous places and if you are in an accident you will need a strong and experienced Auto Accident Attorney to protect the interests of you and your loved ones. Park Center Lawyers are here to look after you just like we would our own family.
Auto Accident Compensation
If you or a loved one have been injured or worse as a result of an auto accident of there are several types of claim that can be made. Medical expenses are the most common claim, but other claims may include damages, loss of earnings, pain and suffering and loss of affection in worst cases scenarios. Below we can examine these claims in further detail.
Injuries from an auto accident can range from minor cuts and bruises to permanent disability or death. In some cases injuries don’t produce immediate symptoms, but give after effects some time later which require expensive medical attention. It is therefore vital that you get a medical check up after any accident in which you may have sustained injuries of any form.
Medical costs arising from a auto accidents can include (but aren’t limited to) any of the following:
- Physical and/or cognitive therapy (if a brain injury
- Ambulance fees
- Consultations with healthcare professionals
- Accessories such as crutches or heat pads
- Disfigurement (see Pain and Suffering, below)
- Permanent disability
- In-home services (even if non-medical)
If doctors decide that you will need ongoing medical treatments or therapy at the time your claim is settled, your attorney will calculate the projected total costs. Doctors and medical experts will be called upon to give these estimates. If a driver is liable for a death as a result of their actions, the victim’s family members could file a claim for wrongful death, in addition to any medical costs incurred between the accident and time of death.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering in legal terms means mental or physical distress deserving of financial compensation. The amount of that compensation is decided by the type of injury, the levels and longevity of the pain endured and the prognosis for continuing pain associated with the injury and its after effects. Pain and suffering can also include mental / emotional damage as a result of the auto accident. This may include symptoms such as such as stress and anxiety. In some cases US states allow plaintiffs to include pain and suffering damages as general loss of enjoyment of life.
Loss of Earnings
Injuries sustained in an auto accident often result in a loss of earning capacity which may be in the short or long term. This can also include an inability to work due to physical therapy sessions, time spent in a hospital, problems with mobility, shock or distress and a range of other factors that cause a situation whereby you are unable to go about your work in the usual manner. You must be able to prove that the injuries have impaired or reduced your capacity to earn money in the future, based largely on your previous earning potential. Factors such as age, occupation, skill, experience, potential promotion and life expectancy will all need to be considered.
Loss of Affection or Companionship
A serious injury could deprive you and your partner of the ability to share affection, including a loss of sexual activity – referred to in legal terms as the “loss of consortium.” Unlike other types of damages, loss of affection, companionship, and/or consortium are claimed by the uninjured partner. However, these types of damages can’t be claimed if you don’t recover damages for the initial injuries.
If a loved one is killed as a result of an auto accident, surviving family members may claim loss of society and companionship damages. Considerations in these cases include:
- the loving and harmonious relationship the plaintiff(s) shared with the victim
- the previous living arrangements
- the general impact that the victim’s death has on the plaintiff(s)
What to do After an Auto Accident
- Safety: After a car crash, your vehicle will be damaged and may be obstructing oncoming traffic. If it was not a serious collision, the cars should be moveable, if so, drive your vehicle over to the side of the road where it will be out of harm’s way. If you or somebody at the scene off the accident are seriously hurt, or if it would be hazardous to move the car, then exit the vehicle as quickly as possible and move to a safe location that is a good distance from the scene of the accident.
- Police: You must call for police assistance. Even in minor traffic accidents, the police can help by redirecting traffic, if required, and to prepare a report of the accident which you may later rely upon. If anybody has been seriously hurt it will be necessary to request medical attention as quickly as possible.
- Exchange Information: Exchange names and insurance details with everybody involved in the accident and also get the contact details of any witnesses. It is also a good idea to photograph or note down the license plate numbers of all the vehicles involved.
- Photos. In addition to taking photographs of the plates of vehicles involved in the crash it will help you case later on to have pictures of the accident scene as a whole and of any damage to your vehicle.
- Make Calls: After you have received any needed medical treatment required, your next priority is to contact your insurance company and to provide them with all of the details you can regarding the accident.
Park Center Law Auto Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in an auto accident, do not hesitate to contact Park Center Law for a free consultation to discuss your options. Auto accident legal proceedings are subject to a limitations period, so it is imperative to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive what you are entitled to.
Remember: You pay nothing unless we win your case!