10th May 2021
After you’re involved in a car accident, you may go back and forth about whether or not you want to file a lawsuit for your damages. If you have a case against the at-fault party, filing is always your best option.
You’ll not only get compensated for your damages. But you won’t have to pay anything up-front. Reputable car accident attorneys will take their fee from your settlement. Or if your case goes to trial, from the money won at trial.
Your attorney will also handle the entire process for you. While there are some key parts that you’ll need to be involved in, your attorney will work as hard as possible to ensure that they aren’t adding any extra stress to your life. Therefore, there’s nothing to lose when filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Common Causes of a North Dakota Car Accident
Each year, in the United States, there is an average of six million total car accidents. Because of those accidents, three million people end up with injuries, with two-thirds of those injuries causing permanent damage. 6% of crashes result in a fatality, meaning about 38,000 people die every year because of car accidents alone.
In North Dakota, there were 100 fatalities because of car accidents in 2019, with a death rate of 13.1 per every 100,000 people. As North Dakota’s population is much lower than others, this is still a significant amount of deaths.
For example, in the same year in Texas, a state with a population close to 30 million, had 3,615 fatalities because of car accidents, but a lower rate per 100,000 people than North Dakota, at 12.5. The national average falls around 11 deaths per 100,000 people.
According to Driver Knowledge, the top three causes of car accidents that result in death are alcohol (40%), speeding (30%), and reckless driving (33%). However, there are many more causes than just those three. Common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including texting, talking on the phone, looking for directions, finding a song or other entertainment, talking to someone in the back seat, scolding a child, applying makeup, or eating. Anything that keeps the eyes, ears, or mind off the road while driving can be considered a distraction.
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs. Drunk driving and driving under the influence can impair sight, decision-making ability, reaction time, and more.
- Speeding makes it hard to slow down when there are changes in traffic, often resulting in rear-end accidents or accidents in which the at-fault party runs a stop sign or red light.
- Aggressive and reckless driving often cause accidents because people are impatient or angry. They may side-swipe someone’s vehicle accidentally trying to cut them off or speed too fast to get around someone, causing a rear-end accident.
What types of personal injuries do car accident victims suffer?
There are many different types of injuries that one can sustain because of a car accident. Each accident is different and may cause injuries that range from mild to severe. Common personal injuries associated with car accidents include the following.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
When the head sustains a forceful or impactful blow, traumatic brain injury can occur. TBIs can range from mild to severe, encompassing all head trauma, including concussions, contusions, coup/contrecoup injury, and more. TBIs can be life-threatening and life-changing.
Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury occurs when the spinal cord or the surrounding tissue is struck. Spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis, permanent disability, and wrongful death.
After a car accident, you may experience internal bleeding or damage to organs. These injuries may not present themselves immediately, which is why it’s important to seek immediate medical attention even if you don’t believe that you’re injured. Internal injuries may worsen or cause death if left untreated.
Broken and Fractured Bones
Broken bones and fractures are common in car accidents. You may experience a singular break that’s clean or multiple breaks throughout the same bone (or different ones) that aren’t clean. When a break isn’t clean, surgery will be required to put it back into place before the healing process can begin.
Lacerations and Scarring
Lacerations because of broken glass or metal are common in accidents, especially high-impact accidents. You may require stitches, and especially deep lacerations may cause permanent scarring.
Crushing injuries can occur when the metal of a vehicle folds and crushes with a body part inside. These injuries are most common in the limbs, but abdominal crushing injuries may also occur. Crushing injuries may cause amputation at the scene of the accident, or amputation may be medically required if the limb can’t be saved.
Damages Related to Motor Vehicle Accidents
You can receive both economic and non-economic damages for your car accident claim. These cover both monetary losses and losses that don’t have a monetary value associated with them. You can receive compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability, disfigurement, and scarring
- Loss of consortium (in wrongful death cases)
- And more
Generally, how much your claim is worth depends on how severe your injuries are, how much your life has changed because of them, and how much the at-fault party has in available insurance coverage.
Overview of the Personal Injury Claims Process
Filing a personal injury claim may seem stressful and confusing, especially if you’ve never done it before. Don’t worry. Our talented team of attorneys will be able to walk you through the entire process. So you’ll know what you’re getting into before anything starts. Here’s a quick run-down of what the process will look like after you hire an attorney:
- Initial Investigation — Your attorney will do a small, initial investigation of your case by gathering documents and going over all information collected from the scene.
- Demand Letter — Your attorney will send a demand letter that summarizes their argument to the insurance company, including damages, injuries sustained, information about why the defendant is legally liable for the accident, and more.
- Filing a Complaint — A complaint lets the court know that a lawsuit is being filed and that you, the plaintiff, are seeking compensation for your damages.
- Discovery — Both sides will have a chance to investigate the case further, speak to witnesses, and question all parties involved in the case in a deposition. Both sides will have access to medical bills, police reports, and insurance reports at this time.
- Settlement — Approximately 95% of cases are settled before they go to trial. Your attorney will make a settlement demand. And the insurance company will return with their offer. This process will go back-and-forth until you reach an agreed-upon settlement.
- Trial — If your attorney and the insurance company are unable to come to an agreement on your settlement, your case will go to trial. This is where the judge and jury will determine the outcome of your case.
Should I hire a North Dakota Car Accident Lawyer?
Attorneys develop a reputation because they work with the same insurance companies over and over again. If your attorney is tough and demanding, unwilling to settle for a low settlement, insurance companies will remember that. Because insurance companies don’t want to spend too much time per case, they’ll likely offer higher settlements to the attorneys that they know will push hard to avoid spending too much time in negotiations.
If you were to hire a settlement mill law firm or an attorney that settles early, the insurance company will know this information and likely only offer low settlements, as they know these attorneys won’t take them to trial.
So yes, it’s important to hire an accident lawyer. That way they’ll get you the highest compensation possible. Still, it’s also important to hire an attorney that’s experienced and has a track record of getting high settlements for their clients.
The car accident lawyers at Sand Law North Dakota have that experience. Looking to hire an attorney for your car accident claim? We’re ready to help you get the compensation that you deserve.