Why Should You Hire an Attorney After Your Car Accident?

After a car collision, you will likely be confused, angered, and will have a multitude of questions.  Hopefully, some of the answers below will give you some peace of mind.

What do I do immediately after I’ve had a car accident?

  • Get medical treatment immediately. Your body is your number one concern, not a potential insurance claim.  As such, it is imperative that you take a self-evaluation to determine whether you need immediate treatment, an ambulance ride to the emergency room, or are able to wait for a friend or family member to take you to the doctor.
  • Call the police. If you are involved in an accident, contacting the local police department is necessary.  The police department will hopefully send an officer to the scene, who will gather all pertinent information, and draft an accident report.  This report will then provide a wealth of information to your attorneys, including the parties’ names and contact information, witness information and statements, whether a citation was issued, who was at fault, and the parties’ insurance policy information.
  • Take pictures before the vehicles are moved from the scene. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  More often than not, the attorneys at Frederick | Ganderton LLP will insert those pictures, along with Google Earth images, and images of your injuries, if any, into a demand package so that the insurance adjusters can get a clear picture of the incident and its effects.
  • Obtain witness contact information. While an officer on scene should do this, sometimes they don’t, and having witness contact information in order to obtain statements at a later date can be imperative.
  • Call an attorney immediately. Speaking with an attorney is something you should do prior to giving statements to the insurance company, and may be a valuable tool when considering using your health insurance for injuries, verses med pay insurance under your auto policy, versus taking on hospital liens.

Do I have to pay a retainer when hiring Frederick | Ganderton?

How Much Is My Claim Worth?

The answer is that it depends.  It depends on three broad factors:

The first thing to consider is what are your injuries and what are you medical bills? Insurance companies will look at the medical bills to put a value on your case. What your injuries are, how much treatment you have, and how much your medical bills are, will have a significant impact on how much your case is worth.

The second thing we look at when determining how much your case is worth is your loss of income, or how much time off work you had due to the accident. If you only had a couple of days off, this is going to be quite different than a person who can’t work for the rest of their life. The person who can’t work for the rest of their life will have a much higher valued claim than the person who just takes a few days off of work.

The third area that we look at to figure out how much a case is worth is pain and suffering. How bad were you hurt and how long does that pain last? Some people hurt very little after an accident while some people have chronic pain that lasts for years. Those two different claims will be treated quite differently by an insurance company. It is our job to put in our demand letters: how much a person hurts, what they can’t do now that they could do before the incident, and whether they have something like scarring or some other kind of physical disfigurement from the accident. We explain to the adjustor what pain and suffering our client has endured, and what they are going through, and have gone through because of the accident.

So those are the three factors that we look at when we are trying to answer this question for our clients:

  1. The injuries and medical bills
  2. The loss of income
  3. The pain and suffering

Oftentimes it is very hard to give a direct answer up front because of the many variables considered when valuing a claim. If you have any questions at all and want a better answer than “it depends,” give us a call. We are happy to give you a free consultation and talk about your case: (720) 588-9120, staff@frederickganderton.com.

What Damages are Available in a Car Accident Case?

There are two broad areas of damages that you can get in your personal injury or car accident claim. The first is economic damages, and the second is non-economic damages.

Economic damages

These are damages to which you can tie a specific dollar amount. An example is medical bills. A twenty thousand dollar medical bill is twenty thousand dollars plain and simple. Another example is your loss of income for taking a month off of work. However much you usually make for that month of work is an economic damage. Out-of-pocket expenses such as prescriptions also count in this category. These are all specific amounts to which you can tie a direct dollar amount.

Non-economic Damages

Now these is much broader. Often times they are called general damages because they’re just that, they are general. These are things like pain and suffering, permanent scarring, and disfigurement. They are things that you cannot do now that you could do before the accident. They interfere with your activities of daily living. They create loss of enjoyment of life. For example, if before a car accident you just love to go skiing or golfing, and now because of those injuries you can’t, you’ve lost your enjoyment of life.

Or perhaps, you’ve had surgery and you have scarring from that surgery. That permanent scar can be frustrating, it can be humiliating, and you can frankly just not like it. You now have a scar on your body that you didn’t have before, and that permanent scarring and disfigurement is a non-economic damage. You should be compensated for these things because the at fault driver caused you to have that injury and scar.

Other non-economic damages are things like depression or anxiety. These can actually be a mix of the two types of damages if you’re getting actual treatment for your depression, or even post traumatic stress disorder, due to the accident. In this case there can also be billing from your treatment providers. However just the depression that you’re suffering from potentially the anxiety of being behind the wheel and on the road, those things you might not be getting treated for, they are still a non-economic damage or a general damage.

Which Pays Out More

So as you can see there’s those are just a few examples of some of the non-economic damages that are out there. The big one is pain and suffering which is how bad you’re feeling now, and how much pain you’re in when you’re trying to do those activities of daily living. For example, if you’re having to walk up and down stairs in your house and you have a knee injury, that’s going to be very painful and you’re going to need to be compensated for it.

Simply, economic damages are things you can tie a dollar amount to. Non-economic damages are more general and you have to be compensated for them and oftentimes they can be worth way more than any economic damage in your case.

It is important that, if you’ve been involved in an auto accident or any personal injury case, you talk to an attorney. The lawyer can start collecting your records start talking to your family members, and get an idea of how you’re feeling after that car accident or personal injury. Your lawyer can figure out what both your economic and your non-economic damages are. So if you’ve been in an accident and you need to talk to an attorney and you think that you might have both economic and non-economic damages please reach out to us.

I’ve Just Been Involved in an Auto Accident What Should I do?

What to Expect from an Insurance Adjuster After an Accident (and what not to do).