Auto Accidents continue to be the leading cause of death for Americans under 30. In 2015 approximately 35,000 Americans lost their lives in auto accidents, a number which has steadily declined from its peak of over 50,000 in 1979. Safer vehicles and tougher laws for drinking and driving are primarily responsible for the decrease in fatalities. However, today, just as in 1979, most deaths could be avoided. Over 2 million Americans are injured in car wrecks each year. Most of these injuries could likewise be avoided. Tough new laws and lawsuits made our roads safer. The positive effect of lawsuits in creating safer highways is illustrated from the fact that 90% of the world’s fatalities come from low to middle income countries which have less than half of the world’s drivers. Auto accidents are typically a result of someone’s negligence and almost always create some injury to an innocent victim. At Mehaffey & Watson we hold drivers and their insurance companies accountable to their victims. Mehaffey & Watson represents people in all types of auto accidents to include 18-wheeler, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents.
Injuries may be physical, emotional, financial, or any combination of the three. Many of us have been both a victim and a cause of an auto accident in the past and therefore are reluctant to sue. However, it’s important to remember that the insurance company representing the negligent party is trained to pay as little as possible and avoid litigation rather than offer an objectively reasonable settlement. It’s also important to remember that typically the insurance company will pay the entire settlement and rarely will drivers be expected to pay anything out of pocket for your injuries.
Legal claims for damages, or money for injuries, includes past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, lost earning capacity, disfigurement, pain and suffering, emotional distress/mental anguish, and prejudgment interest, and post-judgment interest. Other injuries include damages for the pain caused for losing a loved one, the loss of consortium or relationship that may come when a loved one is severely impaired, and in some instances punitive damages. See wrongful death.
The most important thing you can do to improve your chances of a fair settlement are see an attorney quickly. You should consult with an attorney before making any statement to the insurance company. The insurance company will try to get you to admit that the accident might was partially your fault and that your injuries were more minor than they actually were. This tactic may be used even if the other driver is clearly at fault.
It’s also helpful to walk into your initial consultation with your attorney with your insurance card, drivers’ license, a copy of the accident report, and contact information for any known witnesses to include anyone in the vehicle with you.