There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005. The financial cost of these crashes is more than 230 Billion dollars. 2.9 million people were injured and 42,636 people killed. About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States — one death every 13 minutes.
* There is a death caused by a motor vehicle crash every 12 minutes; there is a disabling injury every 14 seconds.
* Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 33.
* The age groups most affected by motor vehicle crashes are 15-24 and 75+.
Although insurance companies and many lawyers consider auto accident claims routine, that just isn’t true. Every car accident and every individual injured in an auto accident is unique. Auto accidents may be caused by the negligence on the part of another driver, someone hauling a trailer, a trucking company, a motorcycle, or the design and condition of the road.I know that a wide variety of injuries can result from an car accident.
Insurance companies want you to believe that handling auto accident claims is a simple matter that does not require the assistance of a personal injury attorney that specializes in car accidents. But you should know that insurance adjusters are trained to reduce the amount that you are paid. The only way to make sure that you get a fair settlement or award is to have an auto accident attorney who understands the insurance system, is well prepared and experienced in trying these cases in court, and of course, will do everything possible to fight for your rights.
The insurance companies will do everything they can to deny or delay paying your claim. They can and will:
* Take a recorded statement of an unrepresented person so that they can obtain information that can be used against that person.
* Down-play any damage done to the vehicles in the accident and claim that it would be impossible for someone to sustain a personal injury in such a “minimal” impact auto accident.
* Fail to divulge all sources of insurance coverage or policy benefits that would serve to increase your total recovery or settlement.
* Insist that you sign a broad medical release so they can go fishing into your past medical history looking for anything to minimize your claim.
* Hire expert witnesses to testify that a person was not severely injured in an auto accident.
* Assert weak or unsupported liability claims or defenses to support extremely low settlement offers.
* Blame other potentially negligent parties to minimize the amount of pay out in settlement.
* Blame you for partially causing the accident and thereby lowering your settlement offer by 10, 20 or even 50%.
* Tell you that some or most of your medical treatment was “excessive” or “unreasonable” while having no medical training to support such a claim.
* Discourage you from working with a car accident personal injury attorney or law firm.
If you have been injured in a car accident take the time to research your case, find out about similar cases in your state, and research personal injury attorneys in your area before you accept an offer from the other party’s insurance company.
Christopher M. Davis is the managing partner of Davis Law Group. He brings over 15 years of practical yet innovative experience to personal injury cases. He practices law in Seattle, WA. You can learn more about Mr. Davis at http://www.InjuryTrialLawyer.com or http://www.seattleaccidentnews.com. Copyright 2007 Christopher M. Davis.
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