We all know what to do to protect our families before an accident occurs. Three good ways are to make sure everyone wears their seat belts, ensure that your vehicle is in top condition, and focus on driving. But no matter what precautions we take, accidents are almost inevitable. The good news is that it is even easier to protect your family after an accident than it is before the collision.
One phone call to a personal injury lawyer representing clients to protect them is usually all it takes. The attorney can then take care of the rest, from the medical attention your family needs today to the financial compensation they need tomorrow.
These expenses are usually the largest ones in any personal injury case, as injury-related hospital stays cost about $20 billion a year. This figure does not include ancillary medical expenses, follow-up medical costs, and physical rehabilitation expenses.
A personal injury lawyer protects families from the negative fallout of these expenses — such as stress and even bankruptcy — with a letter of protection. This simple document, which only the victim’s attorney can write, guarantees medical providers that they will be paid when the case is resolved, so victims need not pay any money upfront.
The cost is only part of the story. Many car crash injuries, such as whiplash, are very difficult to diagnose and treat. A personal injury attorney can connect victims with quality, injury-related medical care, so conditions like whiplash are treated quickly before the morph into something even more serious.
Many people simply do not know what to do next after a car accident, and that’s okay, because an attorney knows exactly what to do. The next step in protecting injury victims is to establish a legal theory of recovery that’s engineered for maximum financial compensation: There are two possible approaches:
- Negligence: If drivers fail to live up to their legal duty, which is reasonable care, and that breach causes injury, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) is legally responsible for damages.
- Negligence Per Se: In many jurisdictions, if the tortfeasor violated a safety statute, the tortfeasor is automatically liable for damages.
Many car crash cases also include a responsible employer or other third party, because of such theories like respondeat superior (“let the master answer”).
All these protections mean very little without financial compensation. In most cases, victims are entitled to money for both economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
In many cases, additional punitive damages may be available. Essentially, the victim/plaintiff must establish that the tortfeasor intentionally disregarded a known risk and therefore endangered the safety or property of others. A drunk driver with a very high BAC is a good example of a punitive damages scenario.
To claim these additional damages, the victim/plaintiff must introduce clear and convincing evidence of the enhanced misconduct.
It’s very reassuring to know that just one phone call to an attorney sets all these things in motion, protecting your family in so many ways.
Thanks for stopping by today.
*This is a guest post