Increasing Car Accident Claims
One would think that constant improvement of safety technology would also mean being on the road is safer each day, too. But auto accident lawyer Aaron Crane from Cantor Crane states “A surge in auto accident claims and deadly accidents over the past year indicates this is not the case.”
Being behind the wheel is a big responsibility. It is critical that this responsibility is taken seriously and that motor vehicles are operated lawfully with constant care. As the number of accidents and fatalities increase, the importance of employing safe driving habits are becoming more clear.
Why Car Accident Claims Have Increased
Although car accident claims declined for years prior, in 2015 accident claims surged upward. The National Safety Council reported that fatalities in motor vehicle accidents also increased by 14 percent.
But why was 2015 such a bad year for being on our country’s roadways? Experts believe economic recovery leading to more personal travel was partially responsible, in addition to lower gas prices after years of higher costs. People could afford to drive recreationally and more often, so they did. In turn, accidents increased.
2015 was also a year of particularly inclement weather. Storms in some parts of the country increased the number of fatal accidents.
Insurance Premiums Are on the Rise
Accident claim increases over the past year mean that insurance providers will also be increasing premiums, if they have not already done so. Allstate and Geico have already increased their rates, with Allstate raising premiums by an average 3.9 percent.
Experts believe that these increases will continue over several years, despite the past decade of steady reductions. From 2003 to 2011, insurance prices for the average American dropped from $1,076 per year to only $846. But with accident claims surging, those days are over.
When an Accident Attorney Can Help
When you are in a car accident and don’t know what to do after a car accident, you may wonder if an attorney can provide help, or whether you should deal with the insurance companies on your own.
A car accident lawyer can help in the following ways:
- Communicate with the other driver’s insurance company
- Obtain evidence of the accident for proof of liability
- Organize your accident-associated medical bills and records
- Communicate with healthcare professionals to gain needed records
- Ensure doctors have provided complete information needed for the claim
- Present evidence to prove damages and liability
- Negotiate on your behalf with lien holders on your health insurance, disability insurance or workers’ comp claim
- Negotiate a satisfactory settlement with insurance companies or defense attorney
Some of these things that the attorney can help you with can be explored in greater detail. Some of that detail is below:
Communicating with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Your car accident lawyer will communicate with the insurance company or companies of other drivers in the accident. The lawyer understands what is needed to ensure you receive the highest possible claim, as well as how to communicate with the insurance company so they understand their obligation to provide this compensation.
Obtaining Liability Evidence
A personal injury lawyer will know what evidence is needed for your car accident claim, as well as how to get that evidence. Your lawyer will develop knowledge of the accident location, situation and other elements. He will acquire accident reports from the police and will probably speak with the scene investigators and witnesses.
Obtaining Evidence of Damages
The lawyer will follow facility or clinic procedures to obtain medical documentation, ensuring the most timely response possible. When those documents are received, the attorney will verify that the healthcare provider used required language to establish causation in your case, along with prognosis and any disability. He or she will verify that medical evidence established:
- Precise injury, disability or physical limitation
- That the defendant’s negligence was the cause of this injury
Medical professionals often neglect to mention causation and injury extent in their notes. When this is the case, the lawyer will correspond with the doctor in writing, asking for appropriate documentation needed for your case.
Negotiations for the Settlement
Perhaps most important to accident victims is the final settlement. Your lawyer will work hard to negotiate your car accident case settlement using tactics and skills honed over years of representation of clients in cases just like yours.
If you have been in a car accident and suffered injury or property damage because of a negligent driver, a car accident lawyer can likely help you with your case.
Special thanks to our friend Aaron Cantor, of Cantor Crane, Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, Cantor Law Group, for providing some insight into auto accident practice in Phoenix, AZ.