In the United States, there are over six million car accidents every year. Almost a third of these accidents involve permanently disabling injuries requiring ongoing medical care that result in a loss of earning potential.
When you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to bear the financial burden alone. At Fletcher Law Office, we have handled hundreds of cases representing people who have been injured by another driver’s negligence. We understand the frustration and anxiety that you’re faced with, and our primary goal is to take the daily burden of this accident off your shoulders so you can focus on healing.
Why You Need to Hire an Attorney
An experienced car accident attorney will have a great deal of experience specifically with the personal injury claim process. There are many components involved with a car accident injury claim. When an injured car accident victim attempts to proceed with their injury claim on their own, often the insurance company will employ tactics that will ultimately diminish the injured victim's ability to obtain compensation. An insurance company will often seek a recorded statement with an injured driver immediately after the car wreck. This statement may then be used against the injured driver during their claim with the insurance company to dispute liability and their damages.
By hiring an attorney to represent them in their personal injury claim after an accident, the injured individual can seek protection against these tactics that we see insurance companies using. An experienced car accident attorney can guide the injured victim through the claim process to ensure that the claim is proceeding properly towards a favorable result. Severe impacts in car accidents can cause catastrophic injuries.
When you’re injured and have no previous experience with the legal system, you need a strong advocate to guide you. Hiring an attorney will ensure that each pitfall is avoided and that your case is strengthened throughout the litigation process.
Car Accident Case Factors
No two car accidents are the same. There is a wide array of factors that may completely transform the trajectory of any case. With each case, the specific host of details that led to the accident will change the approach that an attorney must take to proceed. It is vital to locate an attorney that has the breadth of experience to handle your specific car accident as it relates to the type of accident or scenario that occurred.
Common types of car accidents we handle at Fletcher Law Office include:
- Rear-end collisions
- Stalled vehicles
- Drunk driving accidents
- Multi-vehicle accidents
- Uninsured motorist (UM) accidents
- Underinsured motorist (UIM) accidents
- Bike accidents
- Uber or Lyft accidents
Car Accident Damages
Hiring an attorney that comprehends the damages you are dealing with following an accident is crucial. Car accident damages include, but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses. All costs related to treating your injuries should be reimbursed in a settlement, including emergency care, hospital stays, follow-up visits, physical therapy, medications, and medical equipment such as crutches or a wheelchair. Medical expenses may be more substantial with heightened damages such as burn injuries, broken bones, or brain injuries.
- Future medical care. If your condition requires ongoing medical care, we will locate relevant experts who can estimate your healthcare costs so you will continue to have access to the treatment you need.
- Lost wages. We help hourly workers, salaried employees, members of the gig economy, and self-employed business owners accurately calculate their lost earnings, so they receive the maximum possible compensation.
- Loss of future earning potential. If you’ve suffered a permanent disability that will limit your ability to return to work, we will obtain expert testimony to accurately calculate the effect on your future earnings.
- Pain and suffering. A recovery diary can be very beneficial in proceeding through your claim for damages for physical pain and suffering, as well as your emotional distress related to the accident.
- Vehicle and property damage. You are entitled to compensation for the repair or replacement of your vehicle, as well as damage to valuable items inside your car at the time of the accident.
- Transportation costs. We will help you receive full reimbursement for a rental vehicle or other transportation expenses related to the accident.
What is The Law On Car Accident Damages and Compensation?
After a plaintiff has been injured in an accident, they will often be treated for their injuries at a hospital, and many times they are transported to the hospital immediately by ambulance or other means. The initial efforts after a car accident injury are focused on first ensuring that the injured car accident victim's safety and immediate health are secured. Often car wrecks can result in catastrophic and life threatening injuries. Once the condition is stabilized and the injured person's life is not in immediate danger, the next step often focuses on initial efforts for recovery, and how to ensure that the body is recovering properly.
Throughout this process, the injured individual is also incurring significant medical expenses. As soon as the injured individual begins to return to a sense of normalcy, the stress and pressure of these medical bills begin to build. This is especially true of those who may have been injured while they did not carry health insurance. Medical bills however are only one of many of the damages that begin to mount after an accident in which someone has been severely injured. They also may be losing wages at work or a complete loss of their ability to earn wages.
In Missouri, for example, an injured plaintiff may seek full compensation for their damages after a car accident. In Swartz v. Gale Webb Transp 215 S.W.3d 127, 130 (Mo. 2007), the Missouri Supreme Court reflected on the standard of proof for damages in Missouri:
"It is Missouri's well-settled rule that a plaintiff is entitled to full compensation for past or present injuries that the plaintiff has shown by a preponderance of the evidence were caused by the defendant. See MAI 4.01. In accordance with this basic damage instruction, when an expert testifies to a reasonable degree of certainty that the defendant's conduct placed the plaintiff at an increased risk of suffering possible future consequences, Missouri courts have long held that such testimony is admissible to aid the jury in assessing the extent and value of the plaintiff's present injuries, even if those future consequences are not reasonably certain to occur."
Swartz v. Gale Webb Transp 215 S.W.3d 127, 130 (Mo. 2007)
This discussion from the Swartz case in 2007 provides an accurate explanation of the overall approach to damages in Missouri today. It is clear that as with other states, courts in Missouri will place weight on evidence provided from expert witnesses regarding the damages suffered by plaintiff and whether or not they were actually caused by the defendant's action or inaction.
In Wiley v. Homfeld, 307 S.W.3d 145, 153 (Mo. Ct. App. 2010) the Missouri Court of Appeals encountered a more recent application of this standard as it relates to future damages.
"Dr. Scowley testified to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that Ms. Wiley had a permanent condition that would require continued treatment and that this condition was going to worsen with age and require more extensive treatment. He described the various forms of treatment that might be required and the costs associated therewith. His testimony also reflects a minimum amount of medical treatment that she would require.
Although he could not testify with certainty how much treatment Ms. Wiley would ultimately require because it would be dependent on her ability to tolerate pain, the speed with which her condition deteriorated, and the success of more conservative treatment, all of the testimony offered by Dr. Scowley on the subject of future medical treatment was properly admitted to allow the jury to assess the nature and extent of her injuries."
Wiley v. Homfeld, 307 S.W.3d 145, 153 (Mo. Ct. App. 2010)
It is clear that the standard by which a plaintiff may seek compensation for future damages, in addition to that damages already incurred, will often require testimony from an expert witness in regard to the threshold for certainty. Courts in Missouri and many states turn to a reliance upon expert witnesses from both the plaintiff and the defendant to accurately depict the nature of the plaintiff's damages as they are alleged.
Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Your Case
The attorneys at Fletcher Law Office have a wealth of experience in car accident litigation that they employ for each and every client, regardless of the size or severity of the case. Contact us today to request a free, no-obligation initial consultation.