Category Archives: Auto Accident

How To Get the Most Money From Insurance for Totaled Car
Auto Accident

Being involved in an automobile accident is always a distressing experience. Even if you were not injured, the crash could still lead to major inconvenience and expense. If the accident was so severe the insurance company says the cost of repair is deemed more than the cost of the vehicle itself, your car may be declared a “total loss.” If you do not agree with the insurer’s valuation of your vehicle or the settlement amount offered by the company, you need to understand how to fight the insurance company so you can obtain the compensation you deserve.

How Is the Value of a Total Loss Vehicle Calculated?

In the simplest terms, the total value of a totaled vehicle is calculated by subtracting the estimated repairs to the vehicle from its actual cash value, or market value. If the estimated repairs are greater than the market value, the vehicle is considered a total loss.

The Insurance Company’s Evaluation

A lot goes into the insurance company’s evaluation of a vehicle’s actual cash value before declaring it a total loss. The factors considered by the insurer include but may not be limited to: 

  • The severity of the damage. One of the most obvious considerations after a car accident is the severity of the damage sustained by the vehicle, which can range from mild and moderate to severe damage and total loss. 
  • The age of the vehicle. The age of the vehicle is also an important factor when considering the vehicle’s ACV, as certain replacement parts may be more difficult to find for older models.  
  • The brand and model. The brand and model of the vehicle can significantly affect its value.  
  • Mileage. Insurance companies take the vehicle’s mileage into account. As a rule of thumb, a vehicle loses on average around 20% of its current value for every 20,000 miles driven. However, there may be exceptions to this rule.  
  • Recoverable costs. Insurers also consider the vehicle’s salvage value after the accident, which means determining how much money the company could collect by either disposing of the vehicle or selling it at an auto auction.  

These and other factors can be taken into consideration before declaring a vehicle a “total loss.” However, just because the insurance company thinks your vehicle is a total loss does not mean you have to agree with this assessment. 

Do I Have To Accept an Insurer’s Settlement Offer on a Totaled Vehicle?

If you disagree with your insurance company’s settlement offer, you may be able to negotiate for a better settlement. Before you go this route, make sure you have supporting documentation, such as:

  • A list of your car’s features.
  • The estimated retail value from sources such as NADA.
  • Comparable sales for vehicles of similar year, make and model in your area.

If your insurer rejects your counteroffer and you cannot come to an agreement, you can seek help from your state’s insurance department.

Challenging the Total Loss Decision

If you disagree with the insurance company’s valuation of your car, you may be able to challenge the insurer’s decision by taking the following steps: 

  • Determine how much your vehicle is worth. If you do not think your vehicle is a total loss or you simply do agree with the settlement amount offered by the insurance company, you should conduct an independent appraisal of your vehicle. The assessment of your vehicle’s ACV should consider various factors such as the severity of the damage, the age of the vehicle, mileage, and many more.  
  • Negotiate with the insurance company. Once you have strong evidence to challenge the insurance company’s assessment, you can initiate negotiations with the insurer to change its mind on the total loss declaration or increase the settlement offer. The more evidence you must show that the insurance company’s assessment is unreasonable, the higher the chance of success.  
  • Hire an attorney. If negotiating with the claims adjuster proves unsuccessful but you still feel you have a strong case, you could hire an attorney. Although likely a last resort, litigation could help you get the settlement you feel you deserve. It could also help to relieve some of the stress surrounding total loss negotiations. An attorney will be more familiar with the process. It is important to point out that there will typically be a cost associated with hiring an attorney, though. And there is no guarantee that you will win a new settlement even if you hire one. As such, it may be a good idea to ensure that the attorney’s fees will not outweigh the potential increase in your settlement amount if your insurance company agrees to a higher payout.

Covering Legal Costs

When dealing with a totaled car and taking insurance companies to court, it can sometimes be necessary to seek legal action. However, if the car was insured, the cost of legal fees may be covered by the insurance company. Before any legal action is taken, it is important to check the car insurance policy to make sure that legal fees are covered. If legal fees are indeed covered, the insurance company will sometimes pay for an attorney to represent the claimant. In other cases, the claimant will have to pay for the attorney themselves. The insurance company may partially or fully reimburse the claimant if the court case is successful. It is important to remember that the insurance company may reject a court case, in which case the claimant would have to pay all legal fees out of pocket. Another option available to those seeking legal assistance is to hire an attorney that specializes in dealing with insurance companies. These types of attorneys are often familiar with the processes and may be able to provide more effective representation than a general attorney. This can be especially helpful in cases when the insurance company is unwilling to negotiate or offers an unreasonable amount. Having legal representation when dealing with a totaled car can be invaluable, as it often helps to ensure that all claims are fairly evaluated and that the claimant receives the compensation they deserve. It is important to understand the costs and coverage of legal fees associated with your insurance policy so that you can make an informed decision.

What Is the Average Payout for Soft Tissue Injury
Auto AccidentPersonal Injury

The amount of compensation you receive for a soft tissue injury will depend on several factors. The severity of your injuries is one of the most important determinants. More serious soft tissue injuries, such as severe whiplash that causes ongoing pain, radiculopathy, or muscle tears, typically result in higher settlements than minor strains or spasms. The length of your recovery and any permanent impairment or disability will also be considered. Your medical expenses and lost wages are considered. The more costs you have incurred due to doctor visits, physical therapy, medication, and time off work, the higher your settlement is likely to be. The circumstances of the accident itself play a role as well. If the injury was due to a car accident and the other driver was clearly at fault, especially due to reckless or negligent behavior, you have a stronger case. The insurance companies for the at-fault party will usually offer a fairer settlement in these situations. Your location can also affect your settlement amount. Compensation for the same soft tissue injuries may differ between states and counties based on the typical costs of living and healthcare in those areas. By thoroughly documenting your injuries, expenses, lost work time and the details of the accident, you can build a compelling case to recover fair compensation for your soft tissue injury.

What Is a Soft Tissue Injury?

Soft tissue injuries involve a broad category of injuries that affect the connecting and supporting elements of the body, including those between bones and internal organs. These injuries involve various components such as muscles, fat, nerves, blood vessels, tendons, and other fibers. Commonly, soft tissue injuries encompass sprains, strains, and bruising. It is often assumed that because these injuries do not involve fractured bones or harm to critical organs like the heart or brain, they might not be significant. However, there are numerous soft tissue injuries that can cause substantial pain and potentially lead to long-term consequences.

Common Soft Tissue Injuries You May Be Able To Receive a Settlement For

Soft tissue injuries that could lead to a settlement in a personal injury case, include:

  • Whiplash: Neck injuries due to sudden acceleration or deceleration.
  • Tendonitis: Inflammation of tendons often resulting from overuse.
  • Bursitis: Inflammation of fluid-filled sacs (bursae) causing pain.
  • Herniated Discs: Damage to spinal discs, often causing back or neck pain.
  • Concussions: Mild traumatic brain injuries resulting from head impact.
  • Soft Tissue Hematomas: Blood collection outside blood vessels, causing swelling.
  • Joint Injuries: Damage to joints, such as the shoulder or knee.
  • Muscle Tears: Damage to muscle fibers, causing pain and swelling.

What Happens With My Soft Tissue Injury Claim After I File It?

Insurance companies typically follow a specific process for settling claims with soft tissue injuries. The following is an overview of how it works:

  • Initial claim evaluation– after filing a claim with your insurance company, a claims adjuster will assess your damage and injuries;
  • Medical assessment– insurance companies may require a medical evaluation for soft tissue injuries to determine the severity and appropriate treatment;
  • Negotiation– the insurance company will offer a settlement once it assesses your injuries. This first offer is often low, so you will likely need to negotiate for a fair amount; and
  • Settlement agreement– if you settle, the insurance company will ask you to sign an agreement that releases them from further accident liability.

Average Settlement Amounts

  • Minor soft tissue injuries: These injuries involve minimal medical treatment, like a few chiropractic sessions or physical therapy. They typically heal on their own and recover fully within weeks to a few months. Average settlement range: $500-$10,000.
  • Moderate soft tissue injuries: These injuries might require more extensive physical therapy, pain medication, or other treatments. They can cause discomfort or pain for several months. They might not necessarily lead to permanent disability, but they can cause significant discomfort or pain for an extended period. Average settlement range: $10,000-$50,000.
  • Severe soft tissue injuries: These injuries can involve partial tears, require surgery, or lead to chronic pain. Recovery can take months to years, and there might be permanent limitations. Severe soft tissue injuries are those that involve significant damage, might require surgical intervention, or lead to long-term or permanent complications. They often have prolonged recovery times and can result in chronic pain or permanent limitations in mobility or function. Average settlement range: $50,000-$100,000.
  • Soft tissue injuries with complications: While soft tissue injuries with complications initially may not seem severe, they can lead to secondary issues or conditions that significantly affect a person’s health, wellbeing, or quality of life. These complications can exacerbate the injury’s impact, prolong recovery, and increase medical expenses. Average settlement range: $100,000-$200,000.
  • Soft tissue injuries with permanent damage: In rare cases, soft tissue injuries can result in permanent disabilities, ongoing pain, and severe limitations. These injuries do not just heal over time; instead, they lead to chronic pain, permanent limitations, or lifelong disabilities. Such injuries can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life, ability to work, and overall wellbeing. Average settlement range: $200,000-$500,000.
  • Soft tissue injuries resulting in death: While soft tissue injuries are typically not directly lethal, in rare cases, complications from such injuries can result in death. The death might be a direct result of the injury or arise from secondary complications. Average settlement range: Varies significantly but can exceed $1,000,000 in cases of wrongful death, especially when considering the loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, and other factors. 

How Long Could My Case Take?

The duration of a soft tissue injury case varies widely. Simple cases with clear liability may be resolved in a few months through negotiations. However, complex cases involving disputed liability or extensive injuries might take a year or more. Factors such as the need for extensive medical treatment, gathering evidence, and the court’s caseload influence the timeline. Settlement negotiations, pre-trial proceedings, and potential appeals contribute to the variability. A quicker resolution is possible with efficient communication and a clear presentation of evidence, but the intricacies of each case determine the overall time frame.

What Is the Average Payout for a Rear End Collision
Auto Accident

Determining who is at fault in a rear-end collision is the first step in the process of obtaining compensation. Generally speaking, the trailing car will be found at least partially at fault for the accident, as rear-end actions are frequently due to distraction of the rear driver. However, the driver of the front vehicle can also be partially or entirely at fault. If you have been involved in a rear-end accident, it is important to call the police immediately. In addition to ensuring everyone’s safety, law enforcement will create an official police report, which may be invaluable to your case if you decide to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. If you have been in a car accident where someone hit you from behind, you may be wondering how much money you can get. This really depends on the accident. If there were injuries or damage to property, it may take a while to settle because you will need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. They will investigate the accident and then decide on how much they are willing to pay. You will also need to get repair estimates for your car. If the other driver’s insurance company agrees that they are at fault, they should pay for the repairs. If your car is totaled, you will need to get an estimate of how much it would cost to replace it. The last thing you will need to do is figure out how much money you lost because of the accident. This includes any wages that you would have earned if you had not been injured, as well as any other income that you lost because of the accident. You may also be able to get compensated for pain and suffering, which is the physical and emotional anguish that you experienced because of the accident.

Factors That Affect Rear-End Collision Settlements

Rear-end collision settlements could be worth anywhere from $0 to $10 million, depending on a range of factors. Here are some of the factors that affect rear-end collision settlements:

State Insurance Laws: Most states in America use a tort system for auto insurance, which means you are allowed to sue other drivers for personal injury expenses after an accident. 13 states, however, use a no-fault insurance system. You can still sue other drivers after an accident, but the scope of your lawsuit is more limited. Generally, you can expect significantly higher rear-end collision settlements in states with tort insurance systems.

Emergency Medical Expenses After the Accident: Rear-end collision settlements, at their most basic level, include compensation for any short-term medical expenses- say, expenses that occur immediately following an accident. If you received ambulatory care, for example, or were taken to a hospital for your injuries, then your settlement should cover these costs.

Anticipated Future Medical Expenses: Many rear-end collision settlements also include coverage for anticipated future medical expenses. If doctors recommend three months of physical therapy to recover from a whiplash injury, for example, then your rear-end collision settlement could include payment for these anticipated costs.

Other Healthcare Costs: A rear-end collision settlement could include coverage for all types of healthcare and medical expenses, including:

  • Ambulance rides
  • Hospital and doctor appointments
  • Surgeries
  • Medication
  • Medical equipment
  • CT scans, MRIs, and other diagnostics
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and ongoing rehabilitation
  • Counseling and mental health services
  • Any other healthcare costs incurred because of the rear-end collision

Lost Wages: Did the rear-end collision cause you to lose income? If you are unable to work for three months, for example, then your rear-end collision settlement could include the equivalent of three months’ worth of missed wages. If you usually earn $5,000 per month and are out of work for three months, then your rear-end collision settlement could include $15,000 in coverage for lost wages.

Loss of Future Income: Some rear-end collisions also prevent you from ever doing your job again. If a rear-end collision damaged your spine or neck, for example, then you may no longer be able to play professional sports again, leading to a loss of future income. A rear-end collision settlement could compensate you for lost wages in the near future andthe loss of future income.

Vehicle Repair or Replacement Costs: Your rear-end collision settlement also includes the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. If your vehicle sustained minor damage, for example, then your settlement may include $1,000 to $2,000 to repair the fender. A more serious high-speed rear-end collision, meanwhile, could lead to a total loss claim, where the cost of repairing your vehicle exceeds a certain threshold, and your insurance company pays to replace your vehicle instead.

Emotional Trauma, Pain, & Suffering: Many rear-end collisions also include compensation for emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and similar costs. You may need counseling or mental health services after a rear-end collision. Although some states (including many no-fault states) limit your compensation for pain and suffering, others allow you to receive significant compensation for emotional trauma.

Funeral & Burial Expenses: Rear-end collisions could include payment for funeral and burial expenses. If you or a passenger were killed in the rear-end collision, then this can significantly increase compensation.

Replacement Services (Like Housekeeping): After a rear-end collision, you may be unable to do laundry, cook, mow the lawn, or drive to the grocery store. Instead, you may need to hire replacement services to perform these tasks. A rear-end collision settlement could cover the cost of hiring these replacement services, assuming you can no longer perform these tasks yourself.

Modifications to Your Home or Vehicle: A rear-end collision could require you to make modifications to your home or vehicle. You may need a wheelchair ramp at home, for example, after a rear-end collision. Your settlement could include the cost of adding hand controls to your vehicle or ramps to your home, among other required modifications.

Punitive Damages: Some rear-end collision settlements include punitive damages. Punitive damages are not designed to compensate the victim; they are specifically designed to punish the at-fault driver for their actions. Although rare in rear-end collisions, a court may award punitive damages in severe rear-end collision situations- say, if the rear-end collision was intentional or if the other driver was driving recklessly at high speeds.

Final Thoughts

Should you decide to speak to a personal injury lawyer, they can help you can determine the best path forward for your case based on injuries, medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, and other expenses incurred after the accident. Most personal injury lawyers provide free consultations with no obligations. You can schedule a consultation to see how much you could be owed in a settlement, then decide if it is worth pursuing the claim. In fact, many personal injury lawyers do not charge anything until after you receive your payout (also known as a contingency fee). Ultimately, rear-end collisions vary widely in compensation. Some settlements are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, while others are worth virtually nothing. By speaking to a lawyer, you can ensure you are receiving fair value for your rear-end collision- including complete coverage for medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, vehicle repair costs, and other expenses incurred after an accident.

How Long Do Car Accident Settlements Take
Auto AccidentInjury claim process

After being wrongfully injured in a car collision, it is your right to seek compensation for the damages you have incurred. However, many accident victims often wonder how long it will take for their car accident case to be resolved. Well, that depends. The timeline for a personal injury settlement is affected by many things. The severity of your injuries, ranging from mild sprains or cuts to catastrophic spinal cord damage or brain trauma, all impact how long you may need medical treatment, which in turn influences court proceedings. Complicated matters involving multiple parties or insurance company disputes could also drag litigation out for years instead of months.

Factors That Influence the Timeline of a Car Accident Claim Settlement

There are several factors that can affect the timeline of settling a car accident claim. One of the key factors is the severity of the accident. If the accident resulted in serious injuries or extensive damage to the vehicles involved, it may take longer to gather all the necessary evidence and assess the full extent of the damages. Another factor is the cooperation between the parties involved. If both parties are willing to work together and reach a fair settlement, the process can be expedited. However, if there is a dispute or disagreement, it may require legal intervention and prolong the settlement process. Additionally, the complexity of the case, such as multiple parties or legal issues, can also impact the timeline. Overall, the timeline of settling a car accident claim can vary depending on these factors and should be approached on a case-by-case basis.

Ways To Settle a Car Accident Claim

Reaching a settlement occurs in one of three ways, each with a different answer to the question, “How long does a car accident settlement take?” Direct negotiation, arbitration, or a lawsuit all carry different timelines.

Direct Negotiation: You begin the direct negotiation process by contacting the involved party’s insurance company to request a settlement. Negotiation can be done without any outside legal help and starts with a formal demand letter. A demand letter is a written communication explaining the amount of compensation you want and why, sent directly to an insurance company. It includes a reasonable settlement amount based on the estimated costs of medical bills and other damages you have suffered. Once the insurance company receives the demand letter, it sets in motion the negotiation process involving certain steps, including:

  • Insurer issues written acknowledgment of demand letter within 15 days
  • Provides start date of claim investigation
  • Issues request for additional documents
  • Sends written updates every 30 days when extensions are needed
  • Approval or denial is issued within 40 days of the final documents being received

Without a written explanation, an insurance company cannot deny or offer an unreasonably low settlement. Insurance companies are eager to avoid a court battle, making direct negotiation a promising option. Typically, direct negotiation will reach an agreement in 85 days, and you will receive payment around six weeks after that.

Arbitration: Some insurance companies have contracts requiring arbitration to settle claims. Arbitration has both sides meeting with a neutral party, the arbiter, and presenting evidence to support their position. Arbitration’s goal is to find a settlement acceptable to all parties. Arbitration is like direct negotiation but with a legal third party, helping the process run smoothly. This can be done without an attorney. You might want to look up legal specifics for your jurisdiction to prepare, which can easily be done over the course of an afternoon or two. Due to the low cost and minimum time requirements, arbitration is a favored form of negotiation and should take one to three months from start to finish.

Filing a Lawsuit: Filing a lawsuit in court is the final way to obtain a settlement for an auto accident claim. This is a legal action against the other party and involves discovery or information sharing, building a case based on evidence, and presenting your case in front of a judge or jury. The average car accident settlement timeline for a lawsuit is nine to 18 months, but it often takes much longer. This is more difficult to undertake on your own. You may consider getting advice from legal counsel or even hiring an attorney to help you through this process, though the self-help center at the courthouse may also be sufficient for you to proceed.

Factors That Influence Duration

Several factors can impact the duration of a car accident lawsuit. It is essential to recognize that each case is unique, and these factors interact in complex ways:

  • Complexity of the case: More complex cases, such as those involving severe injuries or disputed liability, can take longer to resolve.
  • Negotiations: The willingness of both parties to negotiate and reach a settlement can significantly affect the timeline. Quick settlements typically shorten the process.
  • Court Backlog: The caseload of the local courts can create delays. Overcrowded court schedules may result in longer waiting times for trial dates.
  • Legal representation: Experienced attorneys can streamline the legal process. Having skilled legal counsel can expedite your case.
  • Insurance company involvement: If insurance companies are involved, their processes, policies, and willingness to settle can affect the timeline.

How Long Do You Have To File a Car Accident Lawsuit?

If you decide to file a lawsuit, you must act within your state’s statute of limitations. While this can vary by location, it is usually within two to four years of the time of the accident. Waiting longer than this means your claim will not be able to move forward, so keep this in mind when considering your auto accident settlement timeline.

A Few Things To Remember So, how long does a car accident settlement take? Depending on the resolution process, anywhere from a couple of months to multiple years. No matter how you do it, everyone wants to find the quickest, most reasonable solution. How long your settlement takes can be affected by the complexity of the case, the clarity of the evidence, or an insurance company’s willingness to settle. 95% of all car accident settlements are solved without stepping foot in a courtroom, so it is very likely yours will be, too

airbags not deploying
Auto Accident

Airbags save lives every year. In fact, frontal airbags are estimated to have saved more than 50,000 lives since the late 1980s, when they were widely adopted by most commercial car companies, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

If you have been in an auto accident involving an airbag injury, you are probably wondering what rights you have when it comes to seeking compensation for damages caused to you or your loved ones. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against either the airbag manufacturer or the auto manufacturer. If any third party recently serviced or replaced your airbag, they may also be held liable for your injuries. Even if you are at fault for the accident, you might still be able to seek justice for a defective airbag. To successfully recover damages in this type of situation, you will need to provide proof that the airbags in your car did not work properly and that your injuries were a direct result of the defective airbags. Typically, a lawsuit of this nature would fall under the umbrella of product liability claims. However, circumstances may dictate that other legal claims come into play.

Why Don’t Airbags Deploy When They Should?

An airbag may function improperly if:

  • The vehicle’s crash sensor locations are calibrated improperly
  • The airbag design is flawed
  • The mechanisms that trigger the airbag to deploy are defective
  • The vehicle improperly overrides the airbag, perhaps because of a false reading of the passenger’s weight- airbags generally disable when the passenger seat occupant is under a certain weight limit
  • The vehicle seller did not replace the airbags after an accident

These are only some of the many defects and human errors that may cause an airbag malfunction. Experts in crash dynamics, vehicle design, and airbag mechanics can review your accident and identify the most likely cause of an airbag-related failure. 

Types of Compensation Available for Airbag Injuries

People who can prove that they have sustained injuries due to defective airbags may be able to recover compensation for any or all the following:

  • Related medical costs
  • Doctor visits
  • Surgical procedures
  • Prescription drugs
  • Physical therapy
  • Missed time at work
  • Potential loss of future wages
  • Both physical/emotional pain and suffering

Factors That Influence Airbag Settlement Amounts

The greatest factor in determining the seriousness of your case and, therefore, the settlement amount is the severity of the injuries you sustained because of the airbags failing to deploy in the vehicle accident. Usually, the settlement claim is greater if the injuries are more severe, and if the injuries are less severe, then the settlement claim will be smaller. Though it is not as simple as this, other factors are important in assessing your case, such as analyzing the impact functioning airbags would have had in preventing the injuries you suffered. After all, deploying airbags would mean there is no reason to claim as they have done their job.

The Seriousness of Your Injuries?

If, in the unfortunate instance, your airbags do not deploy and you suffered injuries that alter your quality of life, then your settlement will tend to be higher. Devastating injuries such as a loss of limbs, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries will each fundamentally change the way an individual is able to live, as they may become dependent on a carer or must highly adapt their lifestyle to keep their independence. This will not only increase medical expenses, but you are also likely to require longer-term care and a potential loss of income, which could all be caused if your airbags fail to deploy. If the car accident has resulted in a fatality and the airbag did not deploy to protect the passenger or driver, then a wrongful death claim by surviving family members may result in an increased settlement amount.

Strict Liability & Comparative Negligence

When liability exists without having to prove negligence, such as with a product liability claim, this is referred to as strict liability. With strict liability situations, there is no burden of proof, which can make things more straightforward. In some states, however, comparative negligence may affect your settlement. Comparative negligence is the principle that the fault of each party involved in an accident depends on their individual contributions to the accident. Damages may be awarded according to each participant’s degree of fault, thus limiting how much the plaintiff may recover. In other words, in a state where comparative negligence comes into play, the amount of your settlement may be reduced if the accident was your fault.

Proving Product Liability

Personal injury lawsuits that involve consumer products are different than regular car accident claims. These cases fall under the category of product liability law. You do not have to prove that the airbag manufacturer was negligent when creating the product in a product liability claim. Instead, the manufacturer is automatically liable for the injuries you sustained in a car accident, in this case, because of airbag deployment failure. However, you will still have to prove some parts of the claim, such as:

  • The airbags were defective. Typically, this requires expert testing to see if the same situation can be replicated and if they can find the root cause of the problem. This could be a faulty sensor or the electrical components in the airbag failing. 
  • The airbags should have deployed during the accident. For the airbag to deploy, your car’s speed change must have been greater than your braking speed. Expert testimony along with the details of your accident should be able to show that the airbags should have deployed but did not. 
  • There were no alterations done to the bag. You will also need to prove that neither you nor another person tampered with the airbags and that they were still within their usual lifespan. 
  • Due to the airbags not going off, you sustained serious injury and damage. A medical expert, such as a doctor, must have records and testimony that show your injuries could have been lessened if the airbags had deployed properly.

You could also seek damages from potentially liable parties involved in producing and maintaining the airbags, such as:

  • Designers
  • Auto manufacturers (Auto manufacturers can be held liable if the auto parts connected to the airbag were responsible for the airbag not deploying).
  • Distributors
  • Auto shops
  • Previous vehicle owners
What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident While Pregnant
Auto Accident

Every car accident victim has legal rights, but the situation becomes significantly more nuanced with the involvement of pregnant women. As a victim, you are eligible for damages for any harm another party inflicts upon you and your unborn child. You can seek legal recourse if someone else’s negligence or unlawful action caused the accident. Settlement values in cases involving pregnant women in car accidents can vary significantly. To establish those values, the following will need to be investigated: the woman’s physical injuries, the woman’s emotional injuries, and the harm to the baby. These cases are different from a standard car crash because: a pregnant woman can suffer unique harm in a car accident, the unborn child can suffer injuries as well, and some injuries to unborn babies do not show symptoms until later in life.

Pregnancy Complications Due to Car Accidents

Can a car accident cause a miscarriage? Here is the necessary information you need to know about possible pregnancy and car accident complications:

  • Contrecoup injury: This kind of injury happens when your body is forced in one direction before being jerked in another direction. This sudden movement, which often occurs when you need to brake to avoid a collision, can impact a fetus similarly to shaken baby syndrome. The fetus can suffer birth defects and developmental delays because of this injury.
  • Placental abruption: This condition happens when the placenta is prematurely separated from the uterine wall. Potential complications for the baby when placental abruption occurs include low birth weight, premature birth, and poor physical development. The pregnant woman can also suffer severe blood loss and need a blood transfusion.
  • Miscarriage: Miscarriage can sometimes happen during or after a car accident. Miscarriage is the accidental loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. If the fetus loss occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy, it is considered a stillbirth.
  • Premature birth: Premature birth can also sometimes happen after a car accident. Babies born before the 37th week of pregnancy are seen as premature. Those born before the six-month mark are more likely to be born with severe medical issues, including the inability to eat, stay warm, or even breathe on their own. Some babies born prematurely can develop cerebral palsy, cognitive impairments, or other long-term disabilities.

Even if none of these tragic complications happen, you might need to be treated by a doctor who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. These specialists, also known as perinatologists or maternal-fetal specialists, offer necessary treatment that can exceed the costs associated with a normal pregnancy.

Liability in Car Accidents Involving Pregnant Women

In personal injury law, establishing liability is critical for obtaining a positive outcome on a claim. This fact remains true in car accidents involving pregnant women. When another party’s negligence or reckless behavior causes an accident, they are often responsible for any harm or damage you incur. Typical scenarios where another party could be liable in a car accident involving a pregnant woman include drunk or distracted driving, speeding, failure to comply with traffic rules, and defects in the vehicle or road design. In these situations, the other party could be financially responsible for injuries and damages the pregnant victim sustained. Establishing liability in these cases involves proving that the third party was at fault, their behavior directly caused the accident, and the pregnant woman and her unborn child suffered harm. Car accident evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and medical reports can establish causation.

Compensation for Car Accidents During Pregnancy

Pregnant women in car accidents face unique physical trauma and mental stress, which are factors in compensation claims. Victims can seek compensation for various economic and non-economic damages. These include medical expenses for the mother and unborn child, loss of income if the mother can no longer work due to injuries, and compensation for physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Parents can seek compensation for their loss in severe cases where the unborn child does not survive.

Damages for a Pregnant Woman in a Car Accident

Because a pregnant woman can experience different and more severe injuries in a car accident than someone who is not expecting, the damages in these cases can vary from those of a typical plaintiff. For example:

  • Hospitalization: doctors often admit a pregnant woman to the hospital for observation and monitoring after a car accident. Sometimes the person will be in-patient for only a day or two, but she might need to stay in the hospital for much longer, possibly even until she gives birth.
  • Repeat hospitalizations: after being in a car crash, the pregnant woman might have ongoing complications with the pregnancy, landing her in the hospital several times.
  • Monitoring equipment: the patient might need to rent monitoring equipment for her doctor to be able to assess her condition and the status of the fetus remotely. The expenses can include the rental of the equipment and monthly fees for monitoring services.
  • Multiple emergency room visits: after being in a car accident, the pregnant woman’s doctor will likely instruct her to go straight to the emergency room if she experiences any symptoms like bleeding, fluid loss, pain, or decreased fetal movement.
  • Loss of income: while the patient is receiving medical treatment and evaluations, is hospitalized, or is at home on bed rest following a collision, she can miss time from work. Her lost wages may be significantly higher than expected due to extended time out of work because of the added care necessary for the pregnancy.
  • Help in the home: if the doctor puts the pregnant woman on bed rest or restricts her activities after a collision, she might incur extra costs to pay someone to provide childcare and other assistance in the home. These services can be included if they are necessary because of the injuries from the crash.
  • Additional damages: a pregnant woman might also be eligible for damages related to obstetric issues, non-obstetric injuries, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
how long can whiplash last
Auto AccidentPersonal Injury

Whiplash is a neck injury that happens when the head is forcefully thrown backward and then forward (or side to side), like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash is a colloquial name for this condition. The correct medical terms are “cervical acceleration-deceleration” (CAD) to describe the mechanism of the injury and “whiplash associated disorder” (WAD) to describe the symptoms.Depending on the severity of the whiplash injury, healing can range anywhere from a few days, a few weeks, or even multiple months. Neurological issues linked toa whiplash injury can take longer to heal (which can last several months of years after the initial injury).

Is Whiplash a Serious Injury?

If you are asking yourself, “Is whiplash dangerous,” the short answer is “sometimes.” The overall significance of the injury will depend on a variety of factors, such as your age, medical history, and the amount of force your neck sustained in the accident. Neck injuries in general have the potential to be incredibly serious or even fatal because they may impact your spinal cord. Even if you think you only have whiplash, you could have suffered from a spinal fracture in your neck, which can lead to complete paralysis or even death. If a fracture in your neck goes untreated, a sharp piece of a broken bone could sever your spinal cord, leading to catastrophic or fatal results. For that reason, it is critical to receive medical attention promptly after an accident. Additionally, your whiplash injury may make you more susceptible to future neck injuries, and the longer you wait to receive treatment, the more serious your condition may become.

Common Immediate Symptoms of Whiplash

The symptoms of whiplash usually manifest themselves within hours of an injury, but some may take several days to appear. Some immediate symptoms include:

  • Pain or stiffness in the neck when sitting, standing, or moving 
  • A loss of flexibility and range of motion of the neck
  • Shoulder pain and upper back pain
  • Facial pain and discomfort
  • Headaches and migraines starting at the base of the skull
  • Pain or tenderness at the base of the skull
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in the arms and hands
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Dizziness and balance issues
  • Fatigue

How Is Whiplash Diagnosed?

To diagnose whiplash, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and the event that caused the injury. They will do a physical examination that will probably involve asking you to perform simple tasks to test a range of motion in your neck and shoulders. Your doctor may also try to determine the location and severity of your pain and look for tenderness in your neck, shoulders, and back; check your reflexes; and evaluate the strength and sensation in your limbs. They may also order scans, including:

  • X-Ray: Your doctor may order X-ray imaging right after your injury if they suspect you may have a fracture or damage to the spine. X-rays may also be used in patients whose symptoms do not improve several weeks after the injury.
  • MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, may be used to look for injury to the spinal cord or discs.
  • CT scan: A computerized tomography, or CT scan, can show detailed images of your bones and muscles, and can help doctors diagnose neck pain.

Treatments for Whiplash

  • Pain management: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can help manage mild to moderate pain. In more severe cases, prescription medications, including muscle relaxants or narcotics, may be prescribed for a limited duration under medical supervision.
  • Physical therapy: Targeted exercises, stretching and manual therapy techniques prescribed by a physical therapist can help reduce pain, improve range of motion, and restore muscle strength and function in the neck and surrounding areas.
  • Heat and cold therapy: An effective approach to whiplash injury self-care includes applying heat or cold packs to the affected area to help alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation of muscles.
  • Neck immobilization: In some cases, a cervical collar or neck brace may be recommended, to limit neck movement and promote healing.
  • Injection therapy: Corticosteroid injections may be administered directly into the affected areas to reduce inflammation and ease pain.
  • Alternative therapies: Techniques like chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage therapy or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may be used as complementary treatments, to manage pain and promote healing.
  • Psychological support: Addressing the emotional and psychological impact of whiplash is crucial. Counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, or relaxation techniques can help manage stress, anxiety or depression associated with the injury.

Whiplash treatment focuses on alleviating pain, reducing inflammation, promoting healing, and restoring normal neck function. Initially, conservative measures such as rest, ice or heat therapy, pain medication and gentle neck exercises are typically recommended.

What Is the Whiplash Grading System?

The whiplash grading system was first created in 1993. There are 4 grades of whiplash, and they are as follows:

  • Grade 0 Whiplash: While victims in this category may not exhibit immediate symptoms or injuries, it is important to remember that they could still be harmed. 
  • Grade 1 Whiplash: May not present physical signs initially, but many individuals in this category experience neck pain weeks or months after the accident. It is crucial to address these delayed symptoms.
  • Grade 2 Whiplash: Individuals in this grade are likely to encounter neck pains and show signs of musculoskeletal injury. Prompt attention to these symptoms is essential for proper care.
  • Grade 3 Whiplash: People with grade 3 whiplash commonly experience neck pains. Unlike grade 2, grade 3 are often physically impaired. Seeking medical assistance is crucial to address these more severe symptoms.

How Long Can Whiplash Last?

So, how long can whiplash last? That depends on the severity of your symptoms. Mild cases of whiplash typically last a month or less. Meanwhile, severe whiplash cases last more than six months. Sometimes, you can continue having symptoms for years after the initial accident. However, treatment can usually shorten your recovery time significantly. 

What To Do if You Are in a Bus Accident
Auto Accident

If you were involved in a bus accident, it is important to understand that bus accident lawsuits are typically negligence cases. This means you will need to be prepared to prove each element of common law negligence, including duty, breach, causation, and damages, to prevail in a bus accident personal injury case. Typically, private and public bus operators have higher insurance policy coverage than passenger auto insurance policies. If you were injured in a bus accident; whether you were involved in an accident as a pedestrian or a passenger, then you may be entitled to financial restitution for your harms and losses.

Do You Have a Valid Bus Accident Claim?

Many bus accident victims have valid questions that need answering. However, the most important question that needs to be answered sooner rather than later is  whether they have a viable personal injury claim. This is an understandable question- because a wide variety of factors can directly affect the answer. For instance, imagine a city bus crash that was caused due to faulty brakes when a group of cyclists entered the roadway without looking. In such a scenario, it could be argued that the driver, public transit authority, cyclists, or manufacturer of intercity buses could be responsible. However, it all comes down to liability. The issue of liability is established by showing that a party had a duty of care, that they violated that duty, and that the violation resulted in damages. In such a situation, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation. However, this will not always be necessary if liability is clear and an insurance provider wants to avoid litigation. 

Determining Liability in a Bus Accident

Bus companies and their drivers (or anyone who transports people for a fee) are known as Common Carriers and have an even greater responsibility than typical drivers. All drivers are held to the standard of a “reasonable degree of care” when on the road. Bus drivers owe their passengers the “highest degree of care.”

There are three rules for proving a bus driver was negligent:

  • The driver owed the passenger the highest degree of care.
  • Their failure to drive with the highest degree of care caused the bus accident.
  • The passenger’s injuries were a direct result of the accident.

According to the legal principle called the Common Carrier Doctrine, others besides the driver in the accident can be held responsible. The bus company, the bus owner (including government entities), and even those who maintain the bus can share liability. This means that victims of a bus accident have several avenues to pursue when seeking damages, making bus cases more complex than those of a typical two-car crash.

Notice of Claim

If you are suing another driver, a manufacturer, or someone other than the bus driver or their employer, you can follow the usual procedures of a motor vehicle collision claim. If the bus driver caused the accident, and a government entity owns or operates the bus, you may need to file a notice of claim with the appropriate government agency. You should be aware that these notices must be filed within a relatively short period, so you should take action as soon as possible. Each state or local government provides a specific time limit for submitting the form. You will need to file a notice of claim regardless of whether you were a bus passenger or someone in another vehicle that was hit by a bus. The notice of claim usually will describe the events leading up to the accident, including when and where it happened. It will state the claimant’s belief that the government or its employee was at fault for the accident, and it will outline the damages that the claimant suffered. It should also include the contact information of the claimant. If the notice does not include all the required information, it will be deemed invalid, and the claimant likely will need to file a corrected version before the notice period expires. If the government accepts your claim, you will not need to file a lawsuit. However, if the government rejects your claim or part of it, you can proceed with going to court (if that is the route you choose). Even if you think that the government is unlikely to accept your claim, you need to follow these procedures because your right to pursue compensation in court hinges on complying with the requirements.

Statute of Limitations

Once you file a notice of claim, your injury suit does not have to begin immediately. Nonetheless, statutes of limitations exist in every state and may bar you from filing a lawsuit. These laws vary greatly depending on the jurisdiction of the crash and whether the bus company is privately or publicly owned.

Types of Damages You Can Recover in a Bus Accident

As a victim in a bus accident, you may be entitled to pursue a claim for  damages, including economic and non-economic harms and losses. Economic damages are your tangible losses, including medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages have no corresponding financial loss and are more subjective in value. They include things such as your pain and suffering and loss of consortium.

Factors That Influence a Bus Accident Settlement Calculation

There is no straightforward way to determine how much your bus accident injury compensation claim is worth. Many variables come into play when determining the settlement for such cases. Given that each bus accident is unique, it is impossible to put a specific value on bus accident compensation claims. At-fault and no-fault state laws, as well as insurance policy limits, play a crucial role in these types of cases.

Can You Get Compensation Without Suing?

It is possible that you can get financial compensation without suing. Usually, after an accident, an insurance company agent will contact you to gather information about your bus accident injury. Later, the insurance company may make you a financial offer or settlement amount. If you accept that offer, you will be asked to sign a settlement document stating that you understand this is all the money you will be receiving on your personal injury claim. You may want to consider hiring an experienced attorney to review this document, as you may be barred from filing a lawsuit or other claims in the future after you sign it.

woman after auto accident
Auto Accident

After being injured in a car crash, you may be left with unexpected expenses. You could have medical bills, lost income, property damage, and other notable harms and losses. Fortunately, you may be able to recover financial restitution for these harms and losses through an accident injury claim. If you were injured in a car crash caused by another person’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation by filing an insurance claim and/or a civil suit. There are several types of damages you may claim in a personal injury lawsuit if you have sustained injuries in a car accident. Economic recoveries such as medical bills are chief among these types of compensatory damages, property damage, non-economic damages like pain and suffering or emotional distress, punitive damages for particularly egregious acts of negligence on the part of a driver responsible for an accident, and even funeral expenses when applicable.

Types of Damages You Can Claim:

Economic Damages

  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Funeral expenses (in the event someone died in the collision)
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Diminished value of property
  • Vehicle rental fees
  • Legal fees

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Disfigurement or scarring
  • Mental anguish/trauma
  • Loss of reputation or stature in the community

Wrongful Death Damages

  • Loss of future income or benefits
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of companionship, comfort, guidance, and advice
  • Pain and suffering endured by the deceased before their death
  • Mental anguish suffered by surviving family members due to the loss of a loved one
  • Loss of inheritance caused by premature death
  • Medical bills incurred because of the fatal accident

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages serve as a type of punishment for egregious behavior that may have been committed by the negligent motorist (e.g., drunk driving, traveling at an excessively high rate of speed, and so forth). Punitive damages can be imposed on top of any other forms of recoveries available. These types of damages are meant to deter similar conduct in the future and hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions. In some cases, punitive damages may even exceed economic losses incurred by a victim due to the severity of an offender’s behavior. It is important to note, however, that these awards are handed down in specific circumstances and are not generally recoverable.. It is important for those seeking such relief after a car accident to consider seeking legal counsel to determine if they qualify for a punitive damage recovery.

How Do I Calculate How Much I Am Owed After a Car Accident?

To calculate a rough estimate of how much you may be owed after a car accident, you will need to consider a few different factors:

  • Determine the Value of Your Vehicle. First, you will need to determine the value of your vehicle. This can be done by researching the Kelley Blue Book value of your car or getting an estimate from a local auto body shop.
  • Calculate the Cost of Repairs. Next, you will need to calculate the cost of any necessary repairs. Again, you can either research this information yourself or get an estimate from a local auto body shop.
  • Factor in Lost Wages. You would need to factor in any lost wages if you could not work due to your injuries following the car accident.
  • Determine Medical Expenses. You will need to determine how much you spent on medical care and costs over several months. Along with this, you need to accurately determine if you will require future medical care due to your injuries. This includes gathering medical bills, out-of-pocket medical receipts, medication receipts, and future medical procedure costs.

Once you have all this information, you can begin to calculate a rough estimate of how much you may be owed. However, it is important to remember that this is only a rough estimate, and the actual amount you are owed may be different.

How To Collect Damages for a Motor Vehicle Accident?

When recovering damages from a car accident, the amount and types of compensation available will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your particular case. To collect car accident damages, you need to prove that the other person was at fault for the accident. This means showing that they breached a duty of care and that their negligence caused your car accident injuries or property damage. To do this, you will need to provide evidence such as eyewitness testimony, photos from the scene of the accident, police reports, medical records and bills related to your injuries or property damage.

To collect damages and claim compensation from a car accident, you must typically show the following:

  • The other party owed you a duty of care;
  • The other party failed to fulfill their duty of care;
  • The accident was caused by the other party’s breach; and
  • Your injuries and financial losses were because of the accident

If you can prove these points, you can prove that the other party is negligent.

How To Maximize Damages in a Car Accident Claim

While there really is no way to guarantee the amount of damages you will receive in a car accident claim, taking certain steps when building your case can help maximize your compensation.

  • Preserve evidence at the scene. Take pictures or videos, if possible, to provide visual evidence of the accident scene that could be used when presenting evidence.
  • Seek medical attention right away. Do not wait until days or weeks after an accident to be evaluated by a physician as it could be easier to dismiss an injury as not being due to the accident. 
  • Document all injuries. Keep all documentation describing the extent of your injuries and expected treatments. 
  • Consider consulting with an experienced attorney. Those who specialize in car accident cases can help you determine everything you need to present your case.
  • Communicate effectively with insurance. Clear communication with your insurance and that of the other party can help keep things moving. Your attorney should help facilitate those conversations for better results.