After a car accident, your first concerns will be tending to your medical needs and overcoming the shock of the incident. Soon thereafter, you will need to begin assessing how to handle the associated legal and financial repercussions, including filing insurance claims or lawsuits. You might have to consider things such as:
- Paying for medical bills
- Dealing with lost wages while recovering
- Adjusting if you or a family member sustained a serious disability or life-altering injury
Naturally, you want to handle your case in such a way that gives you the best opportunity to recover maximum compensation for your damages. Consult with a car accident attorney at Willis & Toews to get a feel for what your options are. We handle car accident cases in Oregon and Washington, so call us today at 509-529-0908 and request a free consultation.
Do I have a valid car accident claim?
If you were at fault for your accident, you will need to file a claim with your own insurer. However, if someone else was at fault for or contributed to your accident, you are entitled to file a claim with his insurance company. In order to have a valid claim and win a settlement, you will need to be able to establish the following elements.
- The other party acted negligently or carelessly and breached his or her duty of care to you. For example, if the other driver was speeding and failed to stop at a stop sign, that constitutes negligence.
- The other party’s actions caused your injuries. In other words, you would not have suffered injuries or damages had it not been for the other party’s negligence.
- You sustained damages as a result. You can prove this with evidence such as medical records and expert testimonies.
What types of damages can I collect?
You can recover a wide range of damages when you file a claim after a car accident. Below are just a few examples of compensable damages.
- Hospital, physician, and specialist bills
- Current and future medical treatments
- Transportation expenses for medical appointments
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Lost current and future wages, lost earning capacity and lost benefits
- Emotional damages and pain and suffering
- Death benefits such as loss of comfort, loss of future income, and funeral expenses for fatal accidents
There are a plethora of damages you might be entitled to under Washington or Oregon law. Sit down with a lawyer at Willis & Toews for help creating a detailed and comprehensive list of damages. Then, we can calculate a good estimate for the value of your claim so that you are privy to what you stand to win should your case resolve successfully.
Do I need a car accident lawyer or can I file on my own?
With minor accidents with little to no injuries, you might be able to file a claim on your own. However, most car accident victims will benefit from having legal representation. There are so many complications and disputes that can arise when filing a claim, and we can help you address any issues that crop up during the legal process.
What to bring to my appointment
The following materials provide us with the best chance of properly evaluating
your claim on the date we meet:
- A copy of the collision report, if any;
- Names and contact information for any witnesses;
- Photographs of the property damage and/or injuries;
- Your insurance policy and declarations page for the period covering the collision;
- Your health insurance card(s), if any;
- Correspondence you have received from any insurance company connected to the accident; and
- A list of medical providers you have seen since the accident.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all of the information listed above. Bring what is available to you. The most important thing is to meet with an attorney as soon as possible.