Find out why getting an attorney can help you through the trouble after a car accident.
Even though there is never a good time to get in a car accident, it is commonly known that increased travel times, more traffic at shopping areas and celebrations during the holidays can certainly make it more inconvenient, yet more likely to be involved in a fender bender or even a major collision. Did you know that compared to the average weekend night, the 12-hour window between 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 6 a.m. on Jan. 1 tends to have about 71% more crashes where alcohol or drugs are listed as a contributing factor?
If you were involved in a car accident during the holidays, whether you were at fault or not, here are a few reasons why your next step should be hiring an attorney:
An attorney will help you negotiate with insurance companies
Even though filing a claim after a car accident is something that some people choose to do for themselves, the process can be tedious and confusing due to excessive amount of paperwork, technical terms and harsh negotiations that will try to prevent you from getting the full amount you deserve.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Organization, “An accident attorney— especially a personal injury attorney—can help you go up against big auto insurance companies and their team of lawyers. Your attorney already knows the personal injury laws and procedural rules and can effectively handle all the legwork for you. He or she will act as your advocate throughout the entire case.”
If you’ve been injured, a personal injury attorney will help with compensation
In addition to the high expenses associated with a car accident during the holidays, if you’ve been injured you will also have to deal with medical expenses, potential follow up visits and even therapy, depending on the injury. All this could also lead to loss of wages and missed work. The good news? You could be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party.
By allowing a professional at law to take care of these negotiations and potential trials, you are more likely to get the compensation you deserve. Click here for more on personal injury attorneys.
An attorney will be fair and objective
After a car accident, it is normal to feel emotionally distressed and start receiving advice from multiple sources. Even though people mean well, it is hard for you to make the right decisions in a moment of vulnerability, so you are more likely to settle for less or take responsibility for something you shouldn’t. Luckily, if you find yourself in this situation, an attorney will have the right skills and experience to negotiate and help you out of an unfortunate circumstance.
Did you have a car accident after the holidays? Contact us today to find out how we can help you navigate the murky waters of insurance and legal negotiations.
On behalf of Perrotta, Lamb & Johnson, LLC posted in Car Accidents on Tuesday, December 15, 2015.
When it comes to finding the perfect new car, consumers are motivated by very different factors. For some, the size of the vehicle's engine and its overall performance will play a major role, while for others it may be appearance and amenities. Still others will put significant stock in an automaker's reputation for reliability.
There is at least one factor, however, that every new car buyer will take into consideration regardless of their underlying interests: vehicle safety. To that end, many prospective buyers will look no further than the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's ratings to see how many stars a particular model earned on the agency's crash-worthiness test.
Interestingly enough, the NHTSA indicated just last week that it was proposing major updates to its current crash test standards, which have not been updated for several years.
What exactly is the NHTSA proposing?
The NHTSA is proposing three major changes to its test protocol. First, it is seeking to use newer and more advanced crash test dummies designed to do a better job of measuring injuries. Second, it is looking to introduce a new frontal oblique crash test to account for a serious and frequently deadly kind of angled crash. Third, and perhaps most significantly, it's seeking to overhaul how crash scores are calculated by considering not just crash worthiness, but also crash-avoidance systems and pedestrian safety.
How would the assessment of crash-avoidance systems work?
The proposal indicates that the agency would examine how well a vehicle makes use of nine crash avoidance technologies such as lane-departure warning systems, auto-braking systems and collision warning systems.
Does this mean vehicles would be assigned three scores going forward instead of just one?
No. Vehicles would still be assigned a single overall score (one to five stars), but it would be based on the scores earned in all three categories instead of just the one. It remains undetermined, however, how much weight the agency plans on assigning to each of the three categories.
When would this new system take effect?
According to the NHTSA, the new ratings system, which will not be applied retroactively, would take effect in the 2019 model year.
Why is the NHTSA even doing this?
The primary justification for this shift is that it accounts for technological advances and could spur automakers to start making more crash avoidance systems standard equipment in order to earn higher scores and, by extension, make more sales.
It's encouraging to see the NHTSA taking safety ratings to the next level. Here's hoping it results in more people walking away from car crashes or avoiding them altogether.
What are your thoughts? Are these changes past due or entirely unnecessary?
On behalf of Perrotta, Lamb & Johnson, LLC posted in Car Accidents on Friday, April 8, 2016.
Many people who are injured in auto accidents wonder if they can afford to hire an attorney. A more important question is whether you need an attorney.
Personal injury lawyers typically use a contingency fee arrangement. This means you pay the lawyer nothing up front. Your fee will be will a percentage of the recovery the lawyer makes for personal injury. The contingency fee system provides access to our civil justice system to people who could not otherwise afford to hire an attorney.
The contingency fee is usually 30 percent if the attorney can resolve your case by negotiations. If your case has to go to trial, most lawyers charge a higher percentage. However, even by paying the lawyer a significant percentage of your settlement, you are likely to left with more money in your pocket at the end of your case than if you tried to negotiate with the insurance company yourself, especially if you suffered a serious injury.
A more important question is whether you need to hire a lawyer. If you suffered only minor injuries and you expect to recover fully in a few days, it may not make sense to hire an attorney. Most lawyers offer a free initial consultation and will give you a candid answer if they think you need legal representation. Most firms will also review your settlement offer and let you know if it is appropriate.
If you have suffered a serious injury, however, negotiating with the insurance company yourself can be costly. You may say or do things that will result in your case being worth less. If you plan to hire an attorney, it's better to so right away. The contingency fee will be the same percentage whether you hire a lawyer right away or later in your case. By receiving the advice of an attorney from day one, your personal injury case will likely be worth more.
Perrotta & Cahn, Attorneys at Law in Cartersville, Georgia, offers a free initial consultation to discuss attorney fees or other issues in car accidents involving personal injury.