Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and are unsure of what to do next, at Chaffin Luhana we understand. You may have questions about whether or not you should seek medical attention or if you can recover compensation for damages caused by the accident. View our car wreck frequently asked questions below to find the answers to questions you may have. If your question is not listed, please contact us and we’d be happy to help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
The simple answer is NO.
Do not delay a doctor’s visit or any other medical treatment. Even if you don’t notice an injury right away and are nervous to incur medical costs, you may think waiting to see a doctor is fine, but this is a mistake.
Diagnosis and treatment of injuries due to an accident play a very important role in you receiving the largest recovery possible from the responsible parties involved, typically an insurance company.
If you don’t seek medical advice immediately after the accident, it will appear to the insurance company—and potentially to a judge and jury later on—that you weren’t injured, and don’t deserve compensation.
Many injuries take time to show up after a car crash.
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that begin to hurt hours or even days later. Back and neck pain can also take time to develop, as can other injuries like concussions, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, or even post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Your doctor may not be able to diagnose any of these upon your initial visit, but you need to make an appointment anyway so you have it on record that you were concerned about injuries, and you did seek medical attention. Then, if your injuries develop later and you have to go back to the doctor, you have a record that supports your experience and proves you were diligent about treating possible injuries.
After an accident with a semi-truck, you should take the same basic steps as you do after a car accident, with the addition of one more: if the truck driver wasn’t seriously hurt, you may want to ask him or her a few important questions. In a truck driving accident, there are more parties involved that could be found liable in a car accident lawsuit.
The driver may have been speeding or distracted, but she also might have been on the road for too many hours without sleep. That could be at least partially the fault of the company she works for. Or it could be that she was a driver without a good safety record, in which case again, the company may be liable for that too.
Or perhaps the company didn’t keep up with maintenance on the trucks. If something went wrong with the truck right before the accident, investigators may find that adequate maintenance could have prevented that problem.
The truck’s cargo also adds another element to an accident with a semi-truck. If the cargo wasn’t loaded properly and that contributed to the crash, whoever loaded it could share in the liability.
All of these are factors that an insurance company may ignore, which is why it’s important to talk to an auto accident attorney, so you have someone looking after your best interests.
Meanwhile, ask the driver a few questions, such as:
- What company does he/she work for?
- What cargo is being hauled, who loaded it, and where he was going?
- How many hours had he already worked that day?
He may not be willing to answer your questions, but you can try at the accident scene, and later your car accident lawyer can help complete the investigation.
Guardrails are supposed to help protect drivers and limit the damage done in a car crash. They’re designed to absorb impact and to slow down a car when it makes contact, potentially preventing rolling or other more serious accident outcomes.
The end of a guardrail, called the “end terminal,” is that flat piece you see at the beginning of the guardrail. Most end terminals are marked with yellow and black stripes. The end terminal is designed to absorb impact by collapsing, sort of like an accordion, to help slow the vehicle down. The rail is also supposed to move away from the vehicle to lessen damage.
In some cases, though, guardrails don’t work as they’re supposed to.
Even if you’re in a single-vehicle car accident, if you hit a guardrail, it’s important to take pictures and make sure the guardrail performed as expected.
There have been accidents, for example, where a vehicle struck a guardrail, and the guardrail didn’t collapse, but rather, impaled the vehicle.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported in 2017 that at least four people died in Tennessee when their vehicles hit guardrails that instead of protecting them, caused their deaths. In every case, it was a Lindsay X-LITE guardrail that caused the issue. The manufacturer, Trinity Industries, is now defending a number of car accident lawsuits filed by plaintiffs who were injured by these guards.
Cases like this illustrate how important it is to have someone on your side.
A defective guardrail can cause severe injuries and/or death, but you and your family don’t have to face the consequences alone. A vehicle accident lawyer like Chaffin Luhana LLP also handles complex product liability cases will leave no stone unturned in examining your case to determine all the factors involved.
It can be very difficult to determine on your own if you can pursue a car accident lawsuit. As noted above, sometimes there are factors involved that you may not have thought about, such as a defective guardrail or a defective vehicle.
In other cases, it could be that the intersection was poorly designed, or the city did not take the proper precautions in making sure that important road signs were visible.
Meanwhile, if you or a loved one were injured, you will have enough to deal with addressing those injuries and the financial difficulty they may present.
It can be extremely difficult and complicated to try to deal with your insurance company at the same time you are dealing with the physical, mental, and financial impact of an accident, such that it is hard to even figure out if they are offering your family a fair settlement.
There are some benchmarks, though, that you can use to determine if you should contact a car accident attorney.
If you could get a ballpark figure on how much your car crash lawsuit was worth up front, it would help you make a decision about whether or not to pursue your case, right?
Discovering about how much compensation you could expect for your injuries and other claims would help you determine if it would be worth your time and energy to pursue a lawsuit.
Unfortunately, this is a question that is usually too difficult to answer before a thorough legal investigation of the case.
In addition to the factors about the accident itself, there are your losses that need to be calculated, and these losses usually include your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any future medical care you may need.
If you lost someone close to you in the accident (wrongful death), you may be entitled to loss of consortium, which further increases the complexity of determining the appropriate compensation for the case.
Your car accident attorney must also determine where the defendants stand as to whether they are disputing or accepting fault, what they’re claiming, and what evidence they have behind their claims, and if there are any limits on how much you can recover.
It takes time to get all of the facts together, after which your traffic accident attorney will be able to provide you with a better evaluation of your case. It’s important to talk to a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
As a plaintiff in a car accident lawsuit working with Chaffin Luhana, you will not owe any money up front. We work on a contingency fee, which means that we don’t receive payment for our work unless you receive a recovery.
If you are awarded compensation in a settlement agreement or in an actual trial, your attorney will get a percentage of that award to pay for its attorney’s fees, as well as receive their out-of-pocket costs.
During your initial free consultation with one of our experienced injury lawyers, he or she will help explain the fees, so you can understand exactly how much of the potential recovery you may receive.
Contact a Pittsburgh Auto Accident Lawyer
The most important thing you can do after you receive medical treatment is to contact an experienced car accident attorney in Pittsburgh, PA. The Pittsburgh personal injury attorneys at Chaffin Luhana will help you recover the money you need to obtain the best medical care and to achieve the highest quality of life.
To find out if you qualify to file an auto accident claim, contact us today or call us 24/7 at 1-888-480-1123.