Who Pays Damages in a Three-Car Accident
A car accident occurs every minute in Texas. People are usually caught off guard when this happens to them. We never leave the house expecting to get into a car accident, so when it happens, we may feel shaken and frustrated, and we may even sustain serious injuries. Even when injuries are minor, medical bills can be extremely high, and dealing with the financial windfall of an accident may prove even more debilitating than your physical injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a car accident, you should retain an auto accident lawyer with the focus and experience to help you recover for your injuries. If you did not contribute to the accident, you shouldn’t have to pay any of the resulting costs. The right lawyer can help you maximize your financial recovery so that your energy is focused on your physical recovery.
The need for a car accident lawyer increases exponentially when more than one car is involved. The issue arises—which one caused the accident? Maybe more than one. And if that’s the case, who pays which damages for your injuries in a three-car collision?
Medical care is expensive, and paying for it may prove debilitating. Two-thirds of all bankruptcies filed each year in the United States result from medical bills, but don’t let this scare you away from seeking medical assistance.
When you work with a skilled car accident lawyer, he or she will attempt to maximize your compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship
- Lost earning potential
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Home renovation costs
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be out of work temporarily or even permanently. Even if you can return to work, you may lose the ability to do so in the same capacity as before your accident. This means, even though you return to work, your injuries may greatly reduce your earning capacity, which can place a large burden not only on you, but also on your family members who might have to find a way to earn extra income to make ends meet.
Financial stress adds insult to injury, and it’s something that we try to help all car accident injury victims avoid. Working with a trusted personal injury lawyer in San Antonio can help lift your worry about how you’re going to pay your bills.
Insurance Company Interests
Soon after your car accident, you might receive a phone call from the insurance company representing the negligent driver. When this happens, you might feel excitement and relief that this terrible experience is about to end. While we share in your hope that you can put this behind you as quickly as possible, we urge caution when considering an insurance company’s initial settlement offer.
Insurance companies do not have the same interests as you. Your interest is to heal from your injuries, and the best way to do that is to maximize your financial recovery. Insurance companies, however, want to keep as much money as possible in their pockets, not pay you what they owe you.
This is why we urge caution when you first receive a settlement offer, which is likely a lowball offer. Don’t think the insurance company is mistaken. It may know the true value of your case, but also knows that you are out of work and have medical bills piling up. Under these circumstances, insurance companies hope that you do not consider your future needs and simply sign the lowball settlement offer to put this traumatic experience behind you.
The problem is that, when you sign a settlement offer, you will likely waive your right to bring any future claims against the insurance company for this car accident. When you finally realize that the funds are not enough to cover your future medical needs, it’s too late.
If more than one driver caused the accident, you may not even receive a lowball offer—the insurance companies may try to fight and blame each other for your injuries rather than taking responsibility for their policyholders’ actions. They may hope that by giving you the runaround, you may just give up.
Do not end up in financial hardship or pay out of pocket for injuries you did not cause. The best way to avoid this situation is by working with a trusted car accident lawyer who can investigate your accident, determine the proportion of liability each driver bears you, then work with you to create an accurate estimate of your future medical needs. Doing this helps your car accident lawyer understand the full value of your claim and gives him or her a good place to start negotiations with the insurance company.
More than 3,000 fatal car accidents take place in Texas each year. While not every car accident results in death, many car accidents cause serious and life-altering injuries. These include:
- Broken bones
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
When you are the victim of a car accident injury, it may frustrate you that your life is changing. However, more than just your life may change. Depending on the severity of your injuries, the lives of your loved ones could change as well if they need to help provide you with care or perform some of the tasks you used to do before your injury.
When multiple cars crash, you can take more than one impact, increasing the number and severity of your injuries.
Consequently, after your three-car car accident, you may require additional care and attention to help you go about your daily life. Through no fault of your own, there is an additional burden placed on your loved ones because of your injuries. They may need to take time off work to care for you. You may not want them to, but it’s likely in your best interest.
None of this means that you should avoid bringing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. When you are the victim of a car accident, having a lawyer by your side, working to aggressively protect your rights, is one of the most important decisions that you will make.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Car accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, you will incur medical bills, but you should not have to pay any of them if you did not cause the accident. Rather, the at-fault drivers who caused your accident should pay.
To make sure you do not end up paying out of pocket for your injuries, you should retain a lawyer whom you can trust—someone with experience negotiating with insurance companies and aggressively working to protect the rights of injured individuals. Moreover, look for someone who has successfully resolved accidents involving three or more vehicles.