What to Expect After a Car Accident

A car crash can be one of our most upsetting, stressful, and life-changing events. Car accident injuries can cause long-term or permanent disability. After the accident, you may not know how to pay for your losses. Not only do you have medical bills. You can’t work, so you need money and fast.

The following article explains what you can expect legally and medically if another party hit you in a car crash. One of the most important steps is to hire an experienced Tupelo auto accident lawyer to represent you.

Your attorney will represent your rights and ensure you get the most money for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. You will not pay out of pocket for your car accident attorney’s work, so there is no harm in talking to an attorney.

Legal And Insurance Expectations After A Car Accident

Insurance adjuster signing vehicle insurance claim form

After you have received medical treatment for your car crash injuries, it’s important to know what to expect legally and from any insurance companies involved.

Who Pays Your Expenses After a Car Accident

Let’s assume that another driver ran a stop sign and smashed into the side of your car. You broke several bones in your arm and leg on the impact side. You need to have someone cover your medical bills and other damages.

What are your options?

  • Your auto insurance: You can file a car accident claim with your own insurance policy. They will cover your medical bills, policy limits, and property damage. If another driver hit you, your insurance company will seek reimbursement from that driver’s insurance provider.
  • The at-fault driver’s insurance company: If the other driver is at fault, their insurance should ultimately pay for your losses. You can file a claim with their insurance company or work through it. Negotiating a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company may not be wise. It’s strongly recommended that an experienced auto accident attorney be retained to receive fair compensation. If the liable driver has no insurance, you might tap your policy’s uninsured or underinsured driver coverage if you have it.
  • Your health insurance: Your health insurance policy might cover your initial medical bills. After your initial treatments, you should speak to a car accident attorney about having the at-fault driver’s insurance cover the rest.

For most car accidents, filing an injury claim with your or the other driver’s insurance policy will compensate you for your losses. Most accidents have medical expenses, property damages, pain and suffering, and lost earnings. Your attorney will review any settlement offer received and advise if you receive enough compensation for your losses. If the settlement offer isn’t enough, your attorney will continue negotiating.

The last option in a serious accident where the insurance company won’t offer enough is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable driver and their insurance company. Only an experienced car accident attorney should handle this intricate legal process.

Medical Issues After a Car Crash

Medical Examination of car accident

You may not know the full extent of your crash injuries immediately. However, you may experience one or more symptoms that may reveal a serious injury. You should always proceed immediately after the crash to a doctor or hospital to be examined. Your health is on the line.

Also, receiving the most compensation for your injuries requires a medical diagnosis. The doctor will look you over and diagnose your injuries. They also will state if the injuries were caused by a car accident.

This is a critical statement that will affect the future of your claim, so see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident:

  • Headaches and dizziness: Brain injuries and concussions can affect your balance, gait, and ability to think and process information. If you have head injury-related symptoms after a car accident, you need to have medical treatment immediately. You should always be represented by a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
  • Nausea or vomiting: These symptoms are common after a serious accident from the stress of the crash. They also can be connected to a major head or abdominal injury, including internal bleeding. It is imperative to see a doctor after a crash when you have vomiting or nausea.
  • Numbness or tingling in your limbs: Feeling numbness or tingling in your limbs, including the hands or feet, usually means nerve damage from the car accident. The damage may never heal.
  • Chest pain or trouble breathing: You can have a chest injury from the seat belt hitting your chest, which usually heals independently. But damaged organs and major blood vessels can trigger chest pain and trouble breathing, so get immediate medical treatment.

All of these symptoms are possible signs of serious injury. You always need to have immediate medical treatment after any major car accident. It is also vital to follow what your doctor tells you carefully so that you recover as soon as possible. Following your doctor’s instructions will also be key to maximizing your compensation if you have a case.

You also should be aware of the following car accident injuries that can be hard to detect. You may not think you are injured at first, but a delay in medical care can be disastrous. Plus, the insurance company will probably fight any claim if you didn’t seek medical care immediately:

  • Herniated discs: Neck injuries are common after car crashes, including whiplash. But whiplash pain and discomfort may mask a more serious injury: a herniated or ruptured disc in the back or neck. This is a severe injury that can cause nerve pain and other consequences in the weeks and months after a crash.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: When your head hits something in the vehicle, you can suffer a brain injury. Not every brain injury triggers instant symptoms. You also could have slow head bleeding that you aren’t aware of until you are gravely injured.
  • Knee injuries: Your knee may slam into the dashboard in a crash and cause a broken patella or various ligament injuries.
  • Shoulder injuries: The seatbelt wraps over one shoulder, so it takes a large amount of force in a collision. You can suffer shoulder strains or tears that you don’t notice initially.
  • Internal organ injuries: The impact force can damage blood vessels and internal organs in the abdomen that you don’t feel at first. However, slow bleeding can cause severe or fatal outcomes.

So, your first step away from the crash scene should be a trip to the doctor or hospital. If another driver hits you, you should always retain an auto accident attorney as soon as possible. They will review your case and inform you if you have a case that can lead to compensation.

Why You Need a Car Accident Attorney Immediately

If another driver hits and injures you, call a car accident lawyer immediately after getting medical treatment.

It’s common to assume that the liable driver’s insurance will pay all your losses, but that often isn’t true. The insurance company may promise to pay your medical bills, but that might be a fraction of what you are owed. The insurer also may quibble with your required medical treatments and refuse to cover them.

If you decide to forgo a lawyer and negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider, you can easily leave a pile of money on the table. You may not receive fair compensation for your losses, including future medical care, rehab, and pain and suffering. You should recover full compensation for your lost work hours if you lose income from the crash.

Most car accident lawyers offer a free consultation. They are paid by contingency arrangement, meaning they are only paid if they get money for you. So, the consultation is free while the attorney reviews your case. There’s no downside to speaking to an auto accident lawyer when another driver injures you.

Common Car Accident Insurance And Legal Myths

A Car Accident Lawyer

After reading this article, you should better grasp what to expect after a car accident. Now, let’s review some frequent misconceptions about insurance and lawsuits after a car accident:

You Can Always Sue The Insurance Company Directly

If the insurance company doesn’t offer a sufficient settlement for your losses, suing the insurer directly isn’t an option. Your car accident attorney will file suit against the at-fault driver. Their insurance company will usually hire an attorney to represent them.

If you win at trial, the insurance company may be liable to pay the award up to policy limits. If policy limits don’t cover your damages, your attorney may pursue the liable driver’s assets to pay the rest. Most at-fault drivers don’t have enough assets to merit the time and expense of a lawsuit, though.

That’s why many car accident attorneys recommend negotiating the best settlement and getting some cash in hand. It may not be worthwhile to spend months on a lawsuit that won’t produce additional compensation. However, your lawyer may advise you to go to court if the insurance company lowballs you.

The Liable Driver’s Insurance Company Must Pay Damages as You Incur Them

No. The liable driver’s auto insurance won’t pay your medical bills and lost income as they are incurred. The only time the liable driver or their insurer pays is if there is a settlement or verdict in your favor. Many auto accident victims must rely on their auto or health insurance to pay their initial expenses.

After the case is resolved, the insurance company can seek reimbursement from the other party’s insurance provider. This is another good reason to pay for uninsured or underinsured driver protection on your policy.

You Can Settle My Claim And Still Sue The Liable Driver

No. When the claim is settled with the insurance company, you will sign a legal release. It will bar any future claim regarding the car accident claim.

You Automatically Get Compensation When Hit By Another Car

The only way you get compensation when another driver hits you is to file a personal injury claim with the insurance company or a lawsuit against the liable driver.

You must also show strong evidence that the at-fault driver caused your injuries. Hiring an auto accident lawyer to prove the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries is strongly recommended. Proving fault in a car crash is tricky, even when fault seems clear.

You Only Get Medical Bills Covered in a Car Accident

On the contrary, you may be entitled to much more in a personal injury claim. Many car accident victims receive compensation for the following:

  • Past, current, and future medical expenses. You may have expenses for ambulatory care, hospital stays, surgeries, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and rehabilitation. An attorney will work with your doctor to calculate the full cost of your medical treatments.
  • Lost earnings: You can receive payment for lost past and future earnings. For serious injuries with disability, you can be eligible for lost ability to earn a living.
  • Pain and suffering: You can receive money for your mental and physical pain and suffering related to the crash. This compensation depends on many factors, and you should have an experienced and skilled car crash lawyer to negotiate for you. Pain and suffering from serious injuries can be worth six, seven, and even eight figures, depending on the case.

Speak to an Auto Accident Attorney Today

Being seriously injured in a car crash is often terrifying and intimidating. You have injuries and damages but don’t know how they will be paid. If another driver injured you and damaged your vehicle, you should promptly review the case with a licensed auto accident attorney.

Serious car accidents trigger many complicated medical, legal, and insurance issues that can be difficult to resolve without legal assistance. Speak to a personal injury attorney in your area today for a free consultation.