Articles Posted in Insurance Claims

Lyft logoAt 9:30 p.m. on March 21, an accident occurred in northwest Atlanta involving a semi-truck and a Lyft driver. The accident occurred at the intersection of Perry Boulevard and Johnson Road when the semi truck smashed into the passenger side of the car. Tragically, the passenger in the Lyft vehicle, an unidentified Atlanta woman, died as a result of her injuries. Police have reported that the Lyft driver was at fault and charges are pending. The accident raises a number of questions surrounding car accidents involving Lyft or Uber ridesharing services.  

Why Uber and Lyft Accidents are Complicated

Uber and Lyft accidents present unique challenges that aren’t present in an accident between privately owned vehicles or even accidents involving taxi cabs. First and foremost, Uber and Lyft, at their core, are software companies – they have developed apps that connect drivers with riders. As a result, their drivers are considered independent contractors, who own their own vehicles, are responsible for maintenance and insurance, and basically handle all of the obligations that would typically be handled by a taxi company. In addition, Uber and Lyft have been slow to provide protection of their drivers and their passengers, and this is an area of the law that is still developing.

A doctor holding a chartWhen someone is injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, they deserve to be made whole. In many accidents, covering the medical bills and lost wages may not be enough – the victim has had their whole life turned upside-down. The victim is entitled to be compensated for their non-economic losses. Damages awarded for pain and suffering are how the law attempts to make victims truly whole.

What are Pain and Suffering?

Damages for pain and suffering fall under the category of general damages since you can’t easily assign a specific value to it. It is an attempt to compensate victims for the physical, emotional, and psychological injuries sustained in an accident.

A man turning out his pocketsIf your injury leaves you unable to work, you will be facing lost income and the possibility that you may not be able to pay your bills. You may therefore be entitled to compensation that includes both your lost income and future income, regardless of whether you are a full-time employee, part-time employee, or work on an hourly or salaried basis.

Basic Lost Wages

For this part of your claim, it’s important to emphasize that you are calculating the income you actually lost. As a result, it’s important to carefully track the exact number of days and hours that you miss work, even if it’s just a couple of hours off to go to a doctor’s appointment. This is a straightforward calculation if you are paid on an hourly basis – you simply multiply the number of hours that you missed by your hourly wage. For salaried employees, the calculation is pretty much the same, but you may have to document your claim a little differently.

A pile of one dollars bills.In every personal injury case, the parties are trying to work out whether or not one party should be held liable for the injuries and losses of the other party. If the other party is found to be at fault for the accident, then the question becomes how the injured party should be made whole. Because you can’t undo the damage that was done, the only viable option is to award monetary compensation to the victim. The amount of compensation that the victim is entitled to receive is referred to as “damages” in the legal context.

If you are injured in an accident and meet with a personal injury attorney, one of the first things your attorney will do is try to estimate the damages that you may be entitled to. A discussion of the components of your claim may be helpful in determining how your attorney calculates this amount.

General vs. Special DamagesThe first thing to understand is the distinction between general damages and special damages.

A judge's gavelIf you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be tempted to try to handle your claim without an attorney. In our experience, however, non-lawyers who handle their own claims typically wind up with a less favorable result. And once you settle your claim, that’s it – you can’t go back and ask for more. Hiring a personal injury attorney can make sure that you get a fair result and that all of your losses are covered.

1. A Lawyer Can Help You Evaluate Your Claim

Determining what your claim is worth is not as easy as you might think, and it can therefore be difficult to know what a fair settlement amount is.

Law booksMost people may never hire an attorney, typically because the need never arises. But if you’ve recently been injured in an accident, you may be asking yourself whether you should hire a lawyer.

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to that question, we would encourage you to not rule out hiring a lawyer right away. For most accident victims, it’s at least worth talking to a lawyer to help you understand how they can help you with your case. To help facilitate that discussion, we thought we would devote some space on this blog to raise some points for you to consider when making this very important decision.

What are Your Out-of-Pocket Losses?

A doctor holding a chartAccidents happen every day. Thankfully, most of them are minor, but many can result in life-changing injuries. If you’ve been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may have a legal claim against them in order to receive compensation for your injuries. However, there are first five things you need to do in order to protect your rights.

Seek Medical Treatment

Your health is your most important asset. If you didn’t see a doctor right after the accident and are in pain, go get checked out. It’s not uncommon for some injuries to manifest themselves days or even weeks after an accident. Your symptoms could signal a more serious injury, and you’ll need medical treatment in order to make a full recovery.  

Red car with dented door and front fenderIf you’ve been involved in a car accident, witness statements can be vital to successfully recovering compensation for your injuries. A detailed, credible statement can help you settle your case or prevail at trial. They can also help confirm facts and prove details, as well as establish who was at fault in the accident. In order to make the most of your witnesses, it’s important to get them to provide a thorough and detailed statement. In this post, we’ll go over some suggestions to help you assemble a strong set of witness statements.

Get Their Contact Information

It’s really important that you get all of your witnesses’ personal contact information. You may need to contact them for follow-up questions or clarifications as your case proceeds. More importantly, you may need the witnesses to testify in the event that you have to file a lawsuit. As a result, be sure to carefully write down the following:

The Georgia Supreme Court buidlingMost non-lawyers are very hesitant to go to court, hoping that their case will quickly settle. We previously wrote about when you should consider settling in your personal injury case. But what happens if settlement isn’t an option? Why do you have to go to court, when other claims simply get paid? In this post, we’ll discuss some of the situations where going to court may be your only option.

The Parties Cannot Agree on Liability

The first step in any personal injury case is determining who was at fault for the accident. In some cases, liability is obvious – someone who ran a red light and caused an accident because they were texting on their smartphone was obviously negligent. In other cases, it can be a lot harder to determine who was at fault. This may be because the facts are in dispute, people don’t know what really happened, or both parties believe the other to be at fault. It may ultimately require a judge or a jury to decide who was at fault in the accident.

Gavel, law book, and paper with the text "personal injury"Maybe you’ve been in an accident and you’re hurting. It’s a difficult and harried time – doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, you’re missing work, and the bills are piling up. Unfortunately, many people struggle through instead of getting the help they need. A personal injury attorney can help you through this process and give you peace of mind so that you can focus on your recovery and your future. In this post, we’re going to discuss exactly how a lawyer can help you move forward.   

Claim Evaluation

The first thing a personal injury attorney can do is help you evaluate your claim. In some cases, it’s clear that your injury is the result of someone else’s negligence, but it can be difficult to sort out in most cases, especially when you’re in pain. In fact, many people don’t realize that they they should pursue a claim until it’s too late.  An experienced personal injury attorney can clarify the factors that caused your accident and determine whether or not someone else’s carelessness was the cause. From there, your lawyer can then determine the likelihood of success if you decide to pursue the at-fault party.

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