Each year in the US there are more than six million vehicle accidents. Whilst the circumstances of each crash differ, the consequences can be very serious. Traffic accidents can cause significant damage to vehicles and property, serious injuries, and even death. Traffic accidents cost more than 750 billion dollars each year and lead to almost 40,000 fatalities. There are several causes of vehicular accidents, including speeding, reckless driving, bad weather conditions, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Whatever the cause, it is important that people who have been in an accident, take the correct steps to make sure they are covered legally and that they can receive any compensation that they are eligible for. With so many things to consider, it can be hard to know what to do.
This article will explain the common mistakes that people make after a vehicle accident and what you should do if you are in a crash.
Mistake 1. Not hiring an accident lawyer
Many people who have been in a vehicle accident think that they don’t need an accident lawyer because they can just take care of it themselves. Accident lawyers, however, provide many services that are important for anyone who has been in a vehicle accident. First of all, accident lawyers will help to protect you if you were responsible for the crash. The responsible party is usually the one who will have to pay for the damage and injuries caused so your legal team will make sure that you are not taken advantage of. Likewise, if you were not responsible, accident lawyers will stop the other party from trying to blame you. Most importantly, accident lawyers will ensure that if you’ve been in a car accident, you will get the compensation that you are entitled to. Different states have different laws, so it is better to hire local accident lawyers to plan your legal case. Hawaii, for example, has a no-fault car insurance system which means in most cases, all injured parties are eligible for a compensation payout from their own insurance company, without anyone being held culpable. There are some situations, however, where that will not be the case, so it is necessary to have a local Hawaiian legal team to advise you in these cases.
Mistake 2. Not understanding what compensation they are entitled to
Another common mistake that people make after a vehicle accident is not doing enough research into exactly what compensation they are entitled to. Many people wrongly believe that they are only eligible to be covered for quantifiable costs like medical bills, or vehicle repairs but in fact, this is not the case. Typically, a person who was in a car crash can claim compensation for both economic damages and non-economic damages. Compensation for economic damages covers any medical expenses for the treatment needed for injuries sustained in the accident, loss of earnings, and the cost of repairing or replacing vehicles or damaged property. Compensation for non-economic damages covers non-quantifiable consequences of the accident like pain and suffering. Being in an accident can cause a huge amount of anxiety and emotional damage, so compensation for non-economic damages is very important.
Mistake 3. Accepting too little compensation
There are two ways in which you can receive money after a vehicle accident. One is to take the case to court and let the judge decide exactly who if anyone was responsible and how much compensation should be paid out. The other way is to settle out of court when a victim will accept payout from the responsible party without having to go to court. If you are thinking about settling out of court, you must know exactly how much compensation you are eligible for. A big mistake that many people make is that they accept an out of court settlement that is far below what they would be awarded in court. An experienced accident attorney will be able to advise you on how much you are entitled to but there is a generic calculation that can give you a good idea. The total compensation that victims of an accident should receive is typically three times the amount of economic damages sustained. This figure will cover all the costs that the victim has had to pay out as a result of the accident, as well as compensate them for any pain and trauma they have suffered.
A vehicular accident can be a really serious incident and the financial and personal costs can have a huge impact on people’s lives. It is really important to make sure you do the right things following a crash to protect yourself legally and maximize your compensation payout. It is usually advisable to hire a specialized legal team to ensure that all the correct steps are taken to help you recover and allow you to put the accident behind you and get on with your life.