3 ways an attorney can help you after a PA car accident

Car accidents can occur without warning but having an attorney can help victims in a number of ways.

In 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation states that 62,558 crashes occurred throughout the state. Those accidents resulted in injuries to over 79,000 people and 1,195 others died. Contributing causes included animals, road types, weather, driver behaviors and vehicle defects.

Dealing with a car accident can be almost as stressful as the accident itself. However, an attorney who is experienced in handling such matters can be of great assistance during this time.

1. Conducts an investigation

Regardless of how simple a car accident looks, there may be underlying factors contributing to the crash. For example, ABC News states that Toyota hid an acceleration problem with their vehicles, which led to several deaths and eventually a large recall. One man was convicted of vehicular manslaughter after the defect caused a fatal accident, but was released from prison after the evidence came to light.

One of the first tasks that attorneys undertake is to hold an investigation into what led up to the collision. This can involve using accident reconstruction techniques, talking to witnesses and having vehicles mechanically examined. Some attorneys have found that a road's design is what led to the crash, not the driver's behavior.

2. Negotiates with insurers

It is standard procedure for insurance companies to contact victims through an adjustor. However, while an adjustor may seem sympathetic and fair, they work for the insurer, not the victim. Therefore, they will always be under pressure to provide a low-ball estimate. According to Cars Direct, people should prepare themselves by having copies of all documents related to the accident and wait to accept any offer until they are sure that there are no additional expenses.

Having an attorney can help people make sure that the settlement they receive is appropriate to their injuries. For example, in cases where people have suffered a traumatic brain injury or a debilitating spinal cord injury, complications can later arise. Attorneys can use their network of medical professionals to assess victims' future needs and incorporate those into the agreement. Additionally, if the settlement offer is much lower than victims are entitled to, attorneys can pursue litigation.

3. Gathers evidence

From the moment that an accident occurs, it is important that all relevant evidence should be collected. However, if people are seriously injured, then this is an impossibility for them. An attorney can act on their behalf, gathering police reports, medical records, test results, doctors' statements, witness statements, truck company policies (if the accident involved a commercial vehicle) and photos of the scene. The attorney can then use this evidence to build a compelling argument that supports victims' claims for compensation.

When people in Pittsburgh are injured due to the negligence of another, they face a lot of mental, emotional, physical and financial challenges. Talking with an experienced attorney can help them begin to move forward as they slowly recover.