What Can a Lawyer Do For You After a Car Accident?


Car accidents can be a frightening and stressful ordeal.  Even if you walk away feeling unharmed, dealing with repairs, insurance companies, and slowly manifesting injuries can leave you overwhelmed.  This is where a car accident lawyer can step in and be your advocate. 

For a closer look at what a lawyer can do for car accident victims, continue reading below.

1. Investigate the Accident

One of the most important things a car accident lawyer will do is investigate all the circumstances and details surrounding your accident. This thorough process identifies all potentially liable parties and gathers the evidence needed to prove negligence and build the strongest possible case for maximum compensation.

Obtain the Police Report

While the official police report provides a starting point for understanding what occurred, attorneys know these reports can sometimes contain inconsistencies, omissions, or minimizations based on the officer’s perspective and initial findings. 

Your lawyer may order the complete police report and subpoena any additional materials like dash cam footage, 911 recordings, etc.

Review Photographic/Video Evidence

Most accidents today have some video footage captured, whether from security cameras, traffic cameras, cell phones, or even the vehicles themselves if equipped with dash cams. Your lawyer may examine all available photos and videos, which can reveal critical details.

Analyze Driving Records & Device Data

Handshake between male lawyer and female client after successful consultation and agreement. Legal cooperation concept.

In many cases, the accident may have been caused or worsened by distracted driving, intoxicated operation, excessive speeding, or other negligent driving behaviors.

Many attorneys will subpoena the driving records, cell phone records, data logs, and toxicology reports of all drivers involved to identify potential impairment or traffic violations that contributed to the crash.

Hire Accident Reconstruction Experts

In complex cases where the fault is disputed or physical evidence is limited, a car accident lawyer will hire specialized accident reconstruction engineers and animators to physically recreate the crash sequence.

These highly detailed forensic simulations can conclusively demonstrate vehicle movements, driver reaction times, visibility conditions, and other factors to calculate how the accident occurred.

2. Handle Insurance Companies

Some insurance companies are motivated by profits, not people’s well-being. They train their adjusters to devalue, deny, or underpay legitimate injury claims as much as possible.

Common tactics include:

  • Delaying responses
  • Questioning the severity of injuries
  • Deflecting blame
  • Pressuring quick low-ball settlements
  • Providing bad legal advice

With so many ploys used by insurers, having legal representation is important. A car accident lawyer takes over all communication and negotiation to prevent any missteps or coercion.

Additionally, attorneys calculate and demand the value you deserve, including often-overlooked damages like future medical costs, lost earning potential, emotional distress, pain, and suffering. They substantiate these demands with strong evidence, leaving no room for devalued offers. 

If an insurance company still refuses to make a fair settlement offer, your lawyer may take the case to trial and litigate for appropriate damages award based on proven economic and personal losses.

3. Build Your Personal Injury Case

To recover compensation after being injured in a car accident, your lawyer must establish and prove several critical elements:

Duty of Care

The first step is showing that the other driver owed you a fundamental duty of care to operate their vehicle in a safe, reasonable, and lawful manner. All licensed drivers automatically have this legal duty to avoid foreseeable risks that could harm others.

Breach of Duty

Your attorney must then demonstrate that through specific actions or inactions, the other driver failed to uphold that duty of care. This could involve proving their negligence by speeding, running a red light, texting while driving, or their recklessness, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other examples of breached duty include fatigue, road rage, vehicular violations, and failure to properly maintain their car.

Cause and Effect

Next, your lawyer has to draw a direct line between the other driver’s specific breach of duty and the accident occurring. Perhaps they ran a stop sign which then caused the collision. Or maybe their intoxicated state led to them drifting out of their lane into your path.

Proving this causation and that the accident would not have happened but for their negligent actions is vital.

Damages Suffered

The final element is showing that you did sustain legitimate economic damages like medical expenses and lost income, as well as potential non-economic damages like pain/suffering and emotional distress, as a direct result of the injuries you sustained in the accident caused by the other driver’s conduct.

4. Handle Medical Treatment and Bills

Car accident injuries can be severe, even life-altering. You may need ongoing treatment and rehabilitation from multiple doctors and specialists to recover your health as fully as possible. However, this level of medical care also leads to staggering expenses most families can’t afford to pay out-of-pocket.

Your lawyer will not only fight to ensure the at-fault party’s insurance covers all your past and future healthcare costs related to the accident but they’ll also work with your medical providers to negotiate down excessive billing rates and charges. This ensures your settlement or award stretches further.  

They can also help locate respected, specialized doctors who will treat you based on a lien for later payment from your settlement proceeds. So you never have to put off crucial medical care while waiting for your case to be resolved.

5. Calculate All Your Damages

The damages from a serious car accident go far beyond just medical expenses.

A lawyer takes a comprehensive approach to account for all financial, physical, and emotional hardships, including:

  • Lost Wages – Income missed during recovery, plus diminished future earning potential if injuries prevent returning to the same work.
  • Property Damage – Costs to repair or replace your vehicle at its full value.
  • Home Health Care – Nursing services, residence modifications for new disabilities.
  • Pain/Suffering & Emotional Distress – Compensation for physical pain, PTSD, anxiety, depression, and diminished quality of life.
  • Lost Enjoyment – Inability to participate in previously enjoyed activities/hobbies.
  • Permanent Disabilities/Disfigurement – Damages for lasting physical impairments or bodily harm like scarring or loss of limb.

By thoroughly calculating the total value of both economic damages like lost income and non-economic damages like pain and suffering, an experienced attorney ensures you receive fair compensation for your accident’s full devastating impact on your life and future.

6. Deal With Comparative Negligence 

In some cases, both parties may share some portion of the blame for causing the accident. Most states have comparative negligence laws that affect your ability to recover damages in these situations.

Under pure comparative fault, you can still receive compensation minus a deduction for your share of negligence. Pure comparative negligence rules tend to favor injured victims over the more strict contributory negligence policies that can bar you from recovering anything if you hold even 1% responsibility.

7. Expedite Your Case

The longer it takes for your car accident case to work through the legal system, the more financial hardship and upheaval it creates in your life. You may be unable to work, facing medical bills, and falling behind on other important payments and expenses.

Car accident lawyers know how to move your case along as efficiently yet thoroughly as possible. They prioritize recovering the maximum compensation for your immediate financial relief and long-term security.

An experienced legal team also knows the local court procedures and operations to navigate the process smoothly. Having a tough, respected litigator by your side takes delay tactics off the table for the insurance company.

Questions You Can Ask a Car Accident Lawyer

A male lawyer reviewing a contract, seeking clarification on vague information. Law consultancy concept.

Before you talk to a car accident lawyer, make sure you gather all the info about your case. Get things like police reports, medical papers, and any letters from your insurance company.

It might be tough if you’re hurt, but try to get as much as you can. This will help your first meeting with the lawyer go smoothly.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • How do you structure your attorneys’ fees?
  • What successes have you had handling cases like mine?
  • How much time will you spend on my case?
  • Does your practice handle more than injury matters?
  • Am I responsible for any initial costs or expenses?

The answers to these questions will help you decide if the lawyer is right for you. 

Schedule Your Consultation with a Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, don’t try to navigate this process alone. Having the right law firm advocating for your rights and best interests from the very start can give you a vastly better chance of being fully compensated.

At Wilshire Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys committed to treating each client as family and delivering personalized, compassionate service through every step of the process while fighting for maximum compensation.

We’ll handle all aspects of your case, from gathering evidence to dealing with insurance companies to filing all necessary paperwork and pursuing your claim through court if needed.

Contact Wilshire Law Firm today for a free consultation to start exploring your legal options and rights after a car accident.

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By submitting this form, you agree to receive telephone calls and text messages at anytime, which include hours outside of business hours (8:00 a.m. PST - 9:00 p.m. PST). This is so that we may reach you as soon as possible in order to consult on your potential case.