Car accidents change the course of someone’s life every minute of every day. Serious car wrecks can result in property damage, serious or permanent injuries, the inability to return to work, loss of wages, loss of future wages, mental health issues, pain and suffering, or even death. Fortunately, under the law, victims who are hit and injured by a reckless driver may have the right to take legal action to recover compensation for their injuries. If you suffered any kind of injury after a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed. Medical bills, doctor appointments, the inability to work, property damage, mechanic bills, and struggling to negotiate with insurance companies can leave a victim feeling unsure of their next steps. The experienced and dedicated Lexington car accident lawyers at Maze Law Offices can help victims understand all of their legal options and ensure that they receive justice through a fair settlement claim.
Millions of car accidents occur every year in the United States. In fact, nearly 100 people die as a result of car wreck every day, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over 730 people died in our state in car accidents in 2018. The costs of these deadly crashes was over $1 billion dollars, and nearly 800 lives.
Our top-rated local lawyers can provide dedicated legal guidance to individuals who have sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident. Because every victim’s car wreck experience is different, we apply customized legal counsel and personalized strategy to each case. We understand that this is an overwhelming time for you, and want to help ensure you receive justice.
There are certain steps you should consider taking after a car accident in Lexington. Knowing these steps before you are in a car accident can potentially help establish a foundation for a stronger case to receive compensation and justice.
The first step you should take after a car accident is to contact the police by dialing 911. Even if you are involved in a minor car wreck, having the police at the scene of the accident will preserve evidence, obtain witness statements, ensure that a police report is completed, and that medical attention arrives if necessary.
You should always attempt to obtain the contact information of all parties that were involved in the accident, or that were witnesses to the accident. Try not to say too much at the scene or apologize for any of your actions. Even simple words can be taken out of context, and used against you in your personal injury case at a later time.
Victims of car accidents should always receive a medical evaluation following a car wreck. Some seemingly minor injuries could potentially be life-threatening. In certain circumstances, internal injuries (aortic dissection, organ damage, internal bleeding, etc.) can take hours to exhibit symptoms. Other injures such as traumatic brain injuries can cause permanent damage if not immediately evaluated and treated. Always seek a full medical evaluation, either at an emergency room, urgent care, or at a minimum with a medical practitioner the next day, or as soon as possible.
Make sure to keep all of your records involving the car accident. You will want to keep all of your doctor’s invoices, doctor’s notes, medical evaluations and treatments, car repair receipts and estimates, property damage information, loss of wages due to an inability to work and any other document that was a result of your car wreck. Additionally, it is always wise to keep a daily journal. This can be introduced as evidence at a later time of your pain and suffering, and of the activities that you are no longer able to participate in as a result of your injuries due to the accident.
Any injury lawyer near you should offer a free consultation, whether it be over the phone or in their local office. Further, the best car accident lawyers in Lexington will work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you get paid. Connecting with one of the hardworking car accident lawyers at Maze Law Offices in Lexington can help you understand all of your legal options and help relieve any stress you may have. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to negotiate on your behalf and attempt to get you the full and fair compensation you deserve under the law. If the settlement that an insurance company wants to provide is not appropriate or fair, you and the attorney can decide to take the case to court by filing a lawsuit to receive the proper compensation.
With almost every personal injury claim, “negligence” is the legal principle that most successful car accident lawsuit filed in Lexington will be built around. In brief, someone is negligent if they directly cause or contribute to someone else getting hurt through irresponsible actions. More specifically, negligence as it is defined under Kentucky civil law has four main components. Each element must be proven true based on a “preponderance”—meaning majority—of available evidence:
Every licensed driver has basically the same “duty of care”—namely, to obey traffic laws, pay attention to their surroundings, and act rationally behind the wheel at all times. However, what qualifies as a “breach” of this duty can differ greatly from case to case.
For example, someone who swerves out of their lane on a highway because they were not paying attention and did not see traffic stopped ahead of them would likely be considered at fault for a collision. Things might get more complicated if that driver swerved because a tree branch suddenly fell right in front of their car, which is classified as a “sudden emergency.” Sorting out civil fault for a Lexington car accident is one of many things an experienced lawyer can assist with.
Every car wreck will have a different set of facts and circumstances. Many victims of car accidents naturally wonder how much their particular Kentucky car accident claim may be worth. While it is impossible to predict an insurance company’s actions, it is important to understand the types of damages that victims are typically awarded in car accident claims. Some of the most common settlement and compensation packages awarded to victims of Kentucky car accidents include the following:
In some cases, the court may award punitive damages to a victim. When the actions of a reckless party are deemed especially egregious, the court may offer additional compensation to the victim as a way to punish the wrongdoer. Certain cases such as street racing or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol may escalate to this level. A local Lexington auto crash lawyer at Maze Law Offices can help you understand if you have a right to receive punitive damages in your case when you schedule your free and private consultation.
Another thing a lawyer could do to improve a car crash victim’s chance of obtaining fair recovery is fight back against allegations of “comparative fault.” In brief, courts can assign comparative fault to injured people whom the court believes played a part in causing their injuries through their own negligent behavior. Many times, even when a party is clearly at fault, an insurance adjuster or insurance attorney may assert that you were driving over the speed limit, even if it is just a few miles over. If this is proven, the argument then is made that the damages would have been avoided all together, or at least been minimized, if you had been driving at a slower speed at or under the speed limit.
Any percentage of fault a person may hold for their own accident could be considered against them as a reduction from their final damage award’s value. In other words, if the injured person was deemed 20 percent at fault for their crash, then any damages they are awarded will be reduced by 20 percent.
Fortunately, the state follows a “pure comparative fault” approach to this concept. Unlike in some other states, a plaintiff can still recover some amount of compensation even if they were determined to be more than 50 percent at fault.
However, even if someone else holds all the fault for a particular accident, waiting too long to formally file a lawsuit, or settle your claim, may cause problems with another legal restriction called the “statute of limitations.” As any of the best car accident lawyers in Lexington can further explain in your initial consultation, anyone who waits more than two years to file suit after initially getting hurt—or in some cases, after receiving their last payment from Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage—will usually be barred from ever recovering a settlement for that specific incident.
There are many personal injury attorneys, and it may seem confusing to choose one you trust that will protect your legal and financial rights. Consider the following before you make your choice:
The most important thing to keep in mind is to make sure that you feel comfortable, that you are valued by your law firm, and that your case matters. At Maze Law Offices, we take pride in providing exceptional service to every client, leading with transparent communication, relevant questions, and personalized strategies for your case. Contact us today to get started.
At Maze Law Offices, we are client-focused and dedicated to the success of each on of our cases. Our top priority is to make sure you have a personalized strategy, and speak directly with lawyers about your claim when you are in need. We provide clear, transparent communication as a way to ensure that you understand all of your legal options. Our testimonials and 5-star reviews speak for themselves, and we would be honored to represent you and help you seek justice after your car wreck. We offer free consultations and same-day appointments to have your case evaluated and your questions answered. After you have been involved in an accident, our top Lexington car accident lawyers are here to answer any of your questions. Contact Maze Law Offices today to learn more about your legal rights and options and how we can help you recover a settlement for your injuries and losses.