It is a beautiful day, you’re safely and sensibly driving down the street, peacefully keeping yourself to yourself when, all of a sudden – ka-Boom! Someone runs a stop sign and smashes into your car. It’s not your fault. And your day’s already chock full of deadlines, personal multi-tasks and a maybe even concert tickets. What do you do?
Of course, the first thing is to exchange info with the other driver. But then, what? You need to hire a good lawyer right away. Someone who will stand with you from the beginnings of this horror show all the way to the successful conclusion and a happy ending.
Your lawyer should have at least 5-plus years of personal injury accident experience with a solid record of winning sizeable settlements. According to one of the top personal injury lawyers in Jonesboro AR, “Arkansas Car Accident Law protects your legal right to recover monetary damages to reimburse you for lost wages, medical treatment, pain and suffering, property damages and other forms of damages.” Getting the most respectable resolution that you can after a car accident is not only in your best interests – it’s the law.
Getting Your Car Fixed
Your car is likely to be un-drivable after the accident, but you’ve still got to get around. If the other driver is at fault for the accident, his or her auto insurance is responsible for covering repair costs and a rental car.
But, beware, if the at-fault driver’s insurance policy has a limit of $10,000 for property damage and this particular car accident caused $12,000 worth of damage to your car, the other driver’s insurance company will only pay up to the $10,000 limit.
So, you could be left holding-the-bag for another $2,000 in uncovered repairs for your car.
There are ways to protect yourself from a driver’s low-limit car insurance, or even a total lack of car insurance by the other driver. Those ways are called: uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage.
If your car insurance policy covers comprehensive and collision insurance, this coverage may also help cover the costs that exceed the at-fault driver’s car insurance limits.
Your lawyer can be a huge benefit in getting your wreck to the body shop and negotiating a rental car for you while it’s being fixed.
What about Your Personal Injuries?
It is not uncommon for a person, after a car accident, to feel okay – normal, even. Many injuries don’t present themselves until several hours, or even days, after an accident.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, commonly known as an “MRI”, is the best method of identifying potential soft-tissue injury. This is a non-invasive procedure in which you lay on a motorized bed-table and it passes you through a powerful magnetic field that scans the inside of your body. An MRI is like an X-ray but without the negative side effect of exposure to radiation.
A radiologist will read the results of your MRI and discuss potential trouble spots with you that may need treatment. She or he may even point out these injuries on a computer screen to you. These soft tissue injuries could take several months to be treated completely.
Your lawyer and doctor will need to partner and then convince your insurance carrier to financially commit to a complete and successful healthcare outcome for you. The main thing is – you do not want injuries from this car accident to come back and re-visit your life many years in the future – a not uncommon occurrence with many car accidents.
What if the Pain Comes Back?
But what if there’s no pain whatsoever after your car accident? Your car gets fixed and life goes on as if the accident never happened. Then suddenly, say one evening after a good gym work out, maybe even as much as six months after your accident, you feel a twinge in your back.
You try to ignore it but the next day; it’s still there – and maybe even getting worse? Could this be a long-term effect of soft-tissue damage that did not present itself in your initial MRI? This symptom, commonly known as chronic pain, is not unusual in persons who have suffered sudden deceleration trauma, like in a car accident.
You are going to have to re-contact your personal injury attorney and open a new case against the insurance company that you settled with many months before – a complicated procedure but not impossible task.
Which is why it is so important to hire a lawyer who’s been in the personal injury business for a while and plans to stay in that segment of the legal profession for the foreseeable future.