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Your Top Car Accident Questions Answered: The Ultimate Guide to Winning Your Case

From fender benders to head-on collisions, any type of car accident can change your life. Car crash injuries make even the simplest aspects of daily life more difficult or stressful. Luckily, a trusted New Haven and Hartford car accident law firm like McCoy & McCoy can ease this burden.

Boasting over five decades of experience and millions recovered on behalf of car accident victims in Hartford and New Haven, our attorneys handle everything from medical bills to insurance complications and even preparing for trial as we guide you through the legal process. As a prospective client, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the unknowns, but you can rest assured that we’re here to help.

Keep reading to find the answers to several common questions about car accident cases in Connecticut:

What Should I Do Right After I Have Been in a Car Accident?

First, check that you and your companions are safe. Call 911 and seek medical attention promptly if needed. Don’t minimize apparent injuries; what seems minor could actually be the early signs of significant damage.

After you’ve ensured that you and all others involved in the accident are safe, document the crash’s aftermath. This evidence could help you increase your final settlement or verdict award.

Begin by seeking the names and contact information of any witnesses present during the crash. Make sure the police are called to the scene to document the accident and that they provide you with a case ID and any relevant documents. You’ll also want to take several pictures of the scene of the accident, your injuries, or anything else you think might be relevant to your case.

Most importantly, call a personal injury attorney to discuss your options and get started with the legal process. It’s important to understand your rights after a car accident, and the right lawyer will help you protect those rights and get the compensation you deserve.

When Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident?

The sooner you get in touch with a Connecticut car accident attorney, the better. Check that you and your companions are safe, then get in touch with an attorney who prioritizes your mental and emotional health. While these are just as important as physical wellbeing, they’re often ignored in the aftermath of car accidents.

Your lawyer can assist you in gathering evidence and dealing with multiple insurance companies to help get your medical bills paid out. This is crucial not only for improving legal outcomes but, more importantly, for helping you deal with the stress of the situation. The sooner legal representatives are involved, the better capable they are of shielding you from the emotional burden of this ordeal.

When Should I Contact My Insurance Company After an Accident and What Do I Tell Them?

While it’s important to get in touch with insurance representatives, this should occur after you’ve met with a lawyer you trust. Dealing with insurance is inherently stressful, but it helps to have a compassionate attorney in your corner.

Never give a statement without speaking to an attorney, as anything that is said can and will be used against you. Seemingly simple statements may be regarded as admissions of negligence. Your car accident lawyer can avoid such problems by consulting with insurance representatives on your behalf.

What Questions Should I Ask a Car Accident Lawyer?

Swift assistance from a car accident lawyer is essential, but due diligence is just as important. Attorney selection could have a considerable impact on your case and any damages you’re able to collect.

Therefore, you should thoroughly vet all potential lawyers to ensure that their legal approach matches your vision for your case. Questions worth asking include:

  • Are you board-certified?
  • How long have you practiced personal injury law?
  • Are you a dedicated car accident or personal injury attorney?
  • Do you regularly handle car accident cases that look like mine?
  • How many car accident cases do you settle – or take to trial – per year?
  • What kind of a financial settlement can I realistically expect?
  • How will you handle the emotional component of legal representation?

For more questions to ask a lawyer and information about how to choose the right lawyer for your case, check out our blog “What Questions Should You Ask a Lawyer After a Car Accident or Injury?

How Will I Pay My Medical Bills After an Accident?

Medical bills can climb rapidly during the months or years it takes to resolve your case through settlement or trial. Your attorney can help to ensure that these expenses are paid promptly by insurance.

If insurance doesn’t fully cover accident-related medical costs, a Letter of Protection (LOP) may be necessary. This document is sent to healthcare providers and guarantees that a future settlement or post-verdict award will cover your bills.

Will I Be Able to Get a Rental Car While My Vehicle Is Being Repaired or Replaced?

Rental cars can provide a helpful solution to your transportation concerns as your vehicle is repaired or replaced. Covering the cost of the rental, however, can prove complicated. A lot depends on the nature of your case and whether you currently possess rental coverage. It may be possible to get your provider to cover rental costs in the immediate future before seeking reimbursement from the other party’s insurance company.

If you’re forced to pay for a rental on an upfront basis, collect extensive documentation to ensure that the negligent party covers this expense once deemed at fault.

Should I Speak with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?

In short, the simplest answer to this important question is no. Even discussing the case with your own insurer can be tricky when you lack legal representation. The other party’s provider, however, will be far more inclined to catch you in a moment of weakness and argue that you were responsible for the accident – or to convince you to take a low initial offer.

What Is the Difference Between a Trial and a Settlement?

At the most basic level, the difference between trial and settlement involves the use of a courtroom. Settlements take place out of court, while claims that go to trial include judges, witnesses, and, often, juries.

Each approach has benefits and downsides worth considering. Settlements tend to take less time and are viewed by some as less stressful; however, the monetary awards achieved through settlements are often far lower than those available through trial. No matter your approach, your attorney can help you handle both the legal and emotional components of the process.

How Much Does a Car Accident Attorney Cost?

In general, car accident attorneys receive one-third of the damages from personal injury cases. This fee is paid out of the final settlement or verdict, so there is no cost to you unless you win. Keep in mind that the standard one-third fee has little bearing on how much you’ll ultimately receive in damages. The attorney’s fee will remain a similar percentage of the total verdict, no matter the amount. Of course, a skilled attorney with a strong case history can help you maximize your award while also reducing the burden of stress every step of the way.

What If I Am Injured in an Uber or Lyft Accident?

Personal injury cases involving Uber and Lyft accidents are complicated, as the blame may lie with multiple drivers. What’s more, several insurance companies could get involved. As a passenger, however, you’ll fall under the ridesharing company’s $1 million in liability and property coverage as soon as you enter the vehicle.

As a driver in a different car, you may also receive compensation under Uber or Lyft’s liability and property coverage – but only if the ridesharing vehicle was carrying a passenger at the time of the accident. Otherwise, your best bet will involve filing a claim against the other driver.

Will a Dashboard Cam Help My Car Accident Case?

Dash cameras can sometimes be a helpful source of evidence in Connecticut car accident cases. Footage from these devices may demonstrate that another driver was at fault.

Unfortunately, dash cams don’t always tell the entire story. A lot depends on the camera’s angle at the time of the accident and the quality of the footage. A car accident attorney will still be needed to gather witness testimony and take measurements at the scene of the crash.

How Long Does It Take for a Car Accident Lawsuit to Settle?

Timing in car accident cases varies considerably based on a variety of factors. The Connecticut statute of limitations gives you two years after the crash to file. After that, your case could extend months or even years, depending on the severity of the injuries and the level of recklessness displayed by the other driver.

Should I Take an Initial Settlement Offer from the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?

Do not, under any circumstances, accept offers until you’ve discussed your options with an attorney. Remember, it is in the insurance company’s best interest to settle as quickly as possible – and for the lowest amount available. It’s unwise to accept the first offer, especially as the full cost of your injuries may not be evident early on. A case can never be un-settled, so it’s crucial that you proceed with caution.

Why Should I Hire Your Car Accident a Law Firm?

Serving the entire state of Connecticut, the board-certified car accident lawyers at McCoy & McCoy have an impressive track record of success. We truly care about our clients, and our commitment is evident in the strong relationships we build with car crash victims. Our team understands the stress of this process, and we want to do our part to help. We’ll give your case the personal touch it needs, including going to trial if necessary. Plus, we offer free virtual and in-person consultations – and will not charge any fees unless you win.

We have offices in New Haven and Hartford and serve clients all over CT. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact us today to start building your case.