Many people who have been hurt in a Burlington area car crash ask: “Is it better to get a lawyer after a car accident?”
We get asked this question a lot. Most people rightly want to know whether they can benefit from a lawyer, especially if they are not the kind of person who is anxious to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Getting compensated when you are hurt in a car crash is not easy. Insurance information, medical records, witness statements and a hundred other things need to happen quickly and correctly in order to make sure you get what you are entitled to.
We recently worked with a client who was seriously injured in car crash outside of Burlington more than a year ago. All this time, he was under the impression that there was nothing he could do because the driver who hit him head-on had the minimum required insurance of $25,000.00. Just before giving up, he gave us a call as a last hope. We did some research and uncovered two additional insurance policies which provided an additional $500,000.00 in coverage for his claim. Had he not called us, he never would have known.
That’s an outcome we love.
We have systems in place to quickly and effectively investigate and assemble your legal claim so you are fully compensated as soon as possible.
Do You Need A Lawyer If the Car Accident Wasn’t Your Fault?
Careless driving can be extremely dangerous. An accident can occur in a split second, and just like that, your life may change forever. Common causes of Burlington car accidents include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk or intoxicated driving
- Reckless maneuvers
- Failure to obey traffic laws
- Driver inexperience
If a driver engages in any of these behaviors, whether because of inattention or inexperience, the law considers it negligent, and our legal system demands that he or she be held civilly accountable by compensating you for all of the harms and losses caused by the careless or negligent behavior.
Many people believe the insurance companies will treat them fairly and compassionately when they are hurt and it’s not their fault. And while the law requires them to handle claims in good faith, insurance companies have a financial interest in keeping your money by paying as little as they can get away with on a claim.
Having a skilled Burlington car accident lawyer on your team can make it more likely that you get everything you deserve as soon as possible. We know what the investigation requires and what insurance companies are looking for when it comes to paying top dollar for settlements. We also know when settlement is going to be unlikely or impossible; in those cases, we move to get those cases to court right away so the civil justice system can do its job and make you whole.
Recovering Compensation for Your Damages
The value of a car accident claim in Burlington is measured by what the law calls your “damages.”
After a Burlington car crash, an injured person may seek compensation for damages either by negotiating an insurance claim or by filing a civil personal injury lawsuit.
The recoverable damages may include the costs of medical expenses. In the case of pre-existing injuries or illnesses, the injured person must show that the car accident, rather than a previous injury, necessitated the treatment. Compensation includes the present cost of future medical care needs as well. This is one area where an experienced Burlington car accident lawyer can make a real difference in the eventual outcome of the claim.
Lost income is also available under Vermont law when a person must take time away from their job as a result of the injuries. This figure is the amount of wages or income they should have earned during the period of injury.
An injured person may also be entitled to future lost income if they are unable work, or to earn the same livelihood as before the accident. This amount varies from case to case, depending on the injured person’s age and remaining years in the workforce, their education, occupation, and experience.
The most important element of damages, in our opinion, is the compensation for the human losses suffered, what is commonly known as pain and suffering. The law considers compensatory damages – including pain and suffering damages – as available to car accident victims. If the case goes to trial, a jury will look at the evidence presented as to the severity of your injuries and how much they have suffered and continue to suffer.
Compensatory damages can include compensation for the physical pain you have had had to endure, mental anguish, or loss of the ability to perform daily activities. Finally, if a victim perishes in a car accident, their estate and surviving family may be able to bring claims on behalf of their loved one.
How a Burlington Car Accident Lawyer Could Help?
Usually, when someone is hurt in a car accident in Burlington, we will immediately evaluate whether the case can be handled as an insurance claim. There are times, in fact, when it must be: if the person who caused you harm did not have insurance at all or did not have enough insurance to fully compensate you. These are considered uninsured or underinsured motorist claims and can be tricky to handle.
With proper care and attention, a settlement proposal can be crafted that reflects the full and true value of your claim. In many cases, after some negotiation, a settlement can be reached for most or all of the money available to compensate you for your injuries from the car accident. My job as an injury lawyer, is to build your case – collecting records, talking to witnesses and evaluating the important legal issues involved. In many cases, we must work with medical and other expert witnesses to prove your case.
Sometimes, however, the insurance company does not believe their insured was at fault; or that the injuries you claim were caused by this accident; or that the harms you suffered are worth as much as they are.
In those cases, the civil justice system gives you the right to file a lawsuit so you have the chance to prove your case in court. If that is necessary, our job is to file the case and fight for you in and out of the courtroom.
There is no downside to speaking with an experienced Burlington car accident lawyer. And there may be a lot of upsides. Let us know how we can help you get what you deserve after your car accident.