Every year, car accidents in the United States seriously injure more than two million people. Even if the police officer only gave one driver a ticket, fault is usually not easy to establish in court. Because liability is so uncertain, many health insurance companies do not pay for car accident-related hospital bills. Since these expenses could exceed $100,000 in a serious injury case, the victim might have to come up with a lot of money in a hurry. Once the case goes to court, people can handle their own claims. But the legal process is awfully intimidating, even for attorneys who are not seasoned litigators.
These are three very large areas of concern. They are also three of the areas where Buffalo MN lawyers help the most.
An Attorney Can Collect Evidence
The evidence in a Buffalo MN car crash case starts with the police accident report. This report is not always easy to obtain, depending on the department’s policies. Nevertheless, it is publicly available.
But this report is incomplete. First responders only speak to witnesses who voluntarily come forward at the scene. Furthermore, they usually do not collect supplemental physical evidence. Police reports hardly ever contain photos of personal injuries or property damage. Finally, the police report is usually incomplete. Unless neither party was seriously injured, the report usually only contains one side of the story.
A Buffalo MN lawyer uses the police report as a starting point. Then, an attorney moves on to even better items, such as the Event Data Recorder. Unbeknownst to many people, all new vehicles in the U.S. contain an EDR. This instrument captures and records information like:
- Vehicle speed,
- Steering angle, and
- Engine RPM.
So, a jury can hear from a witness who testifies that she “thought” the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was “going fast.” Or, the jury can review evidence from an onboard computer which states that the tortfeasor was travelling at 57.8mph. Which source is more compelling?
But before an attorney can review the EDR, an attorney must preserve it. To do so, a lawyer sends a spoliation letter to the insurance company. This letter creates an ironclad legal duty to preserve all physical evidence in the case, including the EDR. There are stiff penalties if the insurance company “accidentally” destroys such evidence after receiving such a letter.
There are other examples as well. Buffalo MN lawyers, sometimes working with private investigators, can canvass the area and find additional witnesses. These professionals can also review nearby surveillance video.
Buffalo MN Lawyers Make Medical Bills Easier to Pay
The letter of protection is another key piece of pre-suit correspondence. Lawyers send these letters to medical providers. They guarantee that the provider will be paid when the car crash case is resolved. Therefore, the victim pays nothing upfront.
A letter of protection also creates bargaining leverage. When the settlement check comes, an attorney can negotiate with the provider for a lower rate. If these talks are successful, and they usually are, that means that the victim gets to keep more of the settlement money.
An Attorney Knows the Law
People can serve as their own lawyers just like people can be their own doctors. In 2000, a Mexican woman performed a C-section on herself at home. Both she and the baby survived. The story is pretty interesting, although it’s not for the squeamish. We thought the most interesting facts were that the woman only stayed in the hospital for five days (!) and she then took the bus home (!!).
Serving as your own lawyer is not exactly like performing a C-section on yourself, but it is in the same ballpark. Buffalo MN lawyers know how to plug the facts into the appropriate legal theory. The two biggest ones are:
- Negligence: If the tortfeasor breached a legal duty, and that breach proximately caused injury, the tortfeasor may be liable for damages in accordance with the law. If you did not understand much or any of that, you are not alone.
- Negligence Per Se: Things are a little more straightforward if the tortfeasor broke a safety law, such as the DUI law. In that case, the tortfeasor may be liable for damages as a matter of law.
Buffalo MN lawyers are also ready to blunt some common insurance company defenses. These lawyers will use any means possible to reduce or deny compensation to the victim. They care nothing about what’s fair or what’s right. So, you need an equally assertive attorney on your side. Otherwise, a court battle is a one-sided fight that you have almost no chance of winning.
Call Today To Speak With A Buffalo MN Lawyer At Carlson & Jones
Even the strongest claims for compensation fall flat unless aggressive attorneys are there to push them forward. For a free consultation with experienced Buffalo MN Lawyers, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. Home and hospital visits are available.