We tend to think of automobile accidents as only involving drivers of cars, but there are many people who can be injured in an auto accident. Pedestrians hit by cars have been in an auto accident, even though they weren’t driving at the time. A bicyclist or motorcyclist can also be a car accident victim if they were struck by an automobile. Anyone who was in the car at the time of the accident is a potential victim as well. An auto accident attorney can help any of these people.
What does an attorney do that can help you after you’ve been in an accident? The first thing your lawyer will advise you on is whether or not you should attempt to file a claim in response to the accident. Some accidents do not warrant personal injury cases and you are better off not attempting to sue in the first place. If you were in an accident and it was your fault, for example, you will most likely not succeed in seeking damages from another party.
Lawyers also will help you figure out who to sue. It may seem to you that this is a simple thing to figure out, but in certain cases, it is really a very complex issue. If the accident in question involved two cars, one of which hit the other because it ran a red light, it is fairly obvious that the driver who ran the red light is responsible.
When an accident involves multiple factors and multiple vehicles, things get complicated. Consider a case wherein a semi-truck has overturned on the road in front of you. While you hit the breaks to stop yourself from hitting the truck, another car runs into you and pushes your car forward into the overturned truck. Which driver (you, the semi-truck driver, or the driver of the car behind you) is responsible for your injuries?
At this point, your attorney will help you figure out how much money you are owed in damages for the accident. Again, the complexity involved in calculating damages varies by accident. For cases where injuries were treated and resolved and where there will be no ongoing issues, it can simply be a matter of adding up the money you’ve paid in bills.
Injuries that make it impossible for you to work, or that require continuing care, are more difficult to place a dollar value on because the costs will continue as long as you live. Determining the value of your pain and suffering, that is, your non-economic damages, is also harder to do because there is no formula to assess the financial equivalent of pain or trauma. Your lawyer will help you get the money you deserve so you can get back to living your life.