What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Boise Car Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, there are two important things to consider:
1) Have you called a car accident attorney?
If not, you should. We offer a free consultation and can explain the process to you over the phone or in person. You may not need an attorney. If that’s the case, we’ll tell you from the very beginning. Most times than not, it makes sense to hire an attorney. A group of insurance companies performed their own study and found that people who hire an attorney recover 3½ times more than people who don’t. So, at the very least, why not call and discuss your case with the Boise car accident attorneys at Hansen Injury Law Firm for free?
If you hire our firm to navigate your insurance claim, we’ll handle everything for you and you’ll recover more money than you would on your own, even with attorneys’ fees. We won’t charge for our services until we win your case.
2) Have you signed the insurance company’s authorization forms?
Despite what the insurance adjuster may say, you should not sign an authorization form allowing them to collect your medical records. Insurance companies routinely use these authorizations to search through years and years of your private medical history to find a similar injury or complaint from the past so they can argue that, although they caused the accident, they did not cause all of your injuries you’re claiming.
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“Before working with Matt, I thought having to deal with a lawyer would be a nightmare and that I wouldn’t get anything out of it. But the settlement that they were able to get for me was amazing and exceeded my expectations. Going into it, I was afraid of suing someone, but Matt helped me understand that I wasn’t going after someone and their money. He explained that we would be working with the insurance companies to get things paid for and that the other person wouldn’t be losing anything because we had filed a lawsuit. Even when my case went all the way to trial, I learned I still wasn’t going after the person who hit me—that’s why the insurance companies are there. Matt was very helpful and always kept me up to date on my case. He did great research and the end result was awesome!”
When Can I Hold Another Party Liable for My Accident?
You can hold another party liable for your auto accident if you can prove that they were at-fault for the crash. Proving fault can turn into a complicated issue. In some cases, it will be very complex and could result in a contentious dispute. As a general rule, fault is proven by establishing another party’s negligence. In essence, negligence occurs when a person or entity fails to take proper action during the event under dispute. In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove each of the following four legal elements:
- Duty: You must establish the extent to which the other party had a legal responsibility to look out for your safety. This is known as establishing the standard of care.
- Breach: Next, you will need to show how the defendant deviated from that required standard of care. This is known as a breach.
- Causation: You will also need to prove that there is a connection between their breach of the standard of care and your injuries.
- Damages: Finally, you will need to prove the extent to which you sustained real harm.
If fault is disputed in your case, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can comprehensively review your claim and can help you establish liability.
What if I Contributed to My Own Accident?
You may still be able to recover compensation. This is because the state of Idaho uses the modified comparative fault standard. Under this type of system, assuming that you are at-fault for less than 50 percent of your accident, you are still eligible for legal compensation. However, your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of your fault. As an example, imagine that victim suffered a serious leg injury in a Boise car accident. In total, this victim sustained $50,000 in damages. Upon investigation of the accident, it is determined that the victim was actually at-fault for 10 percent of their own accident. The other driver was deemed to be responsible for the remaining 90 percent. In this example, the victim’s compensation would be required to be reduced in proportion to their 10 percent fault. Therefore, instead of recovering the enfire $50,000, they would only be entitled to recover $45,000. As this example clearly demonstrates, the apportionment of fault is extremely important in Idaho car accidents. It is critical that you are not blamed for a disproportionate share of your accident. Getting unfairly blamed will take money directly out of your pocket. You need a Boise car accident attorney by your side who can protect your legal rights.
What Compensation Is Available for Car Accident Victims?
In Idaho, injured car accident victims are entitled to seek compensation that fully covers their losses. Victims may seek damages for many different types of losses, including both direct monetary losses as well as intangible losses. Specifically, victims may be able to recover for:
- Property damage;
- Ambulances and emergency room fees;
- Hospital bills;
- Required medications and necessary medical devices;
- Any costs associated with rehabilitation, including mental health therapy;
- Lost income, including lost future earning power;
- Pain and suffering;
- Disfigurement and loss of life enjoyment; and
- Punitive damages.
How Long Do I Have to Take Legal Action?
Under the Idaho Statutes, you will generally have two years to take legal action after suffering an injury. Your case does not need to be totally resolved within that two-year period, but you must have initiated your claim within that time frame. The failure to take action within the statutory time limit will generally eliminate your ability to recover accident compensation. You need to act quickly to protect your legal rights. If you have been injured in a Boise car accident, the best thing you can do is to call an experienced attorney today.
I Am Not Sure That I Can Afford a Boise Car Accident Lawyer, What Should I Do?
You can afford a qualified car accident lawyer. At Hansen Injury Law, our lawyers take on all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. We do not require any upfront payment from our clients. We only get paid if we help you recover compensation for your car accident injuries.Our firm believes in our clients and we gladly take on all the risks involved in your case. You deserve full and fair compensation, let us help you get it. Additionally, our team also offers free legal consultations to injury victims. We will review your claim for free, with no further obligations.
At Hansen Injury Law, we have years of experience dealing with accidents just like yours. Because of the time we have spent helping many different individuals, we know how the system works and how to navigate the challenges to any car accident case. We will pay close personal attention to you and ensure that you always have what you need. Entrust us with your case and we will put all of our abilities into getting you what you need to recover and return to a normal life. Call us today at (208)577-5300 or fill out the form to the right to request a free consultation with attorney Matthew Hansen, the Boise car accident lawyer.
What if I’m not ready to contact a lawyer?
That’s why we wrote the Idaho Accident Book and offer it for free. This book will help you understand the insurance claims process and protect you from common insurance tactics, all from the comfort of your own home.
Common Questions after a Car Accident
Since we only practice in personal injury law, the vast majority of our cases involve car accidents. Chances are we’ve already successfully handled a case identical to yours—even against the same insurance companies.
How can I get a rental car?
If you’ve been in an accident, other than your injuries, one of your immediate concerns is probably how to get a rental car while you are waiting for your car to get repaired or replaced.
After an accident, you can typically get a rental car from either:
- Your own insurance company (if you have rental car coverage); or
- The at-fault party’s insurance company
If you have rental car coverage, your own insurance company can probably get you in a rental car faster than the at-fault party’s insurance. This is because the other insurance company will only put you in a rental car after they have completed their investigation of the accident and accepted responsibility.
If you don’t have rental car coverage, you have no choice but to wait for the at-fault driver’s insurance to finish their investigation and admit fault. If you are in this situation, it may take a few days or weeks after your accident for the insurance company to do so.
We know what an inconvenience it can be to not have access to a vehicle—especially when you didn’t cause the accident! We will do everything we can to make sure that the insurance company compensates you for the days that you did not have a car.
Do I have to give a recorded statement before I can get a rental car?
Sometimes, the other insurance company will ask you for a “recorded statement” before offering you a rental car. Be very cautious of doing a recorded statement for the insurance company—they will often use it against you later. For this reason, we recommend that you seek the advice of a lawyer before doing one.
Whether you decide to get a rental car from your insurance or the other driver’s insurance company, it is important to return the vehicle as soon as the insurance company tells you to do so—you are required to return the rental car as soon as your car has been repaired or your insurance has given you a fair offer to replace your vehicle. If you fail to promptly return the car, you will be responsible for the additional rental charges.
How do I get my car repaired after an accident?
While the at-fault party’s insurance is ultimately responsible for covering your repair costs, you typically have two options to get your vehicle repaired following an accident:
- Make a claim with your own insurance company (if you have collision coverage); or
- Make a claim with the other insurance company
There are advantages and disadvantages with each option. The main advantage to making a claim with your own insurance is that your car will likely get repaired faster than it would if you were to make a claim with the other insurance. Your own insurance company will also probably treat you better than the other insurance company would.
The primary disadvantage with your insurance company is that you will have to pay your deductible. This can be frustrating since you didn’t cause the accident, but your deductible will get reimbursed once the other company accepts fault.
The big advantage to making a claim with the other party’s insurance is that you will not have to be out-of-pocket for a deductible. However, like with a rental car, the other insurance company will not repair your car until they have taken the time to investigate the facts of your accident and accept responsibility. This will take some time, but we can often expedite the process by giving the insurance company certain information – including a copy of the full police report.
Who will pay for my medical bills after my accident?
Injuries from an accident can result in expensive medical bills that need to be paid or your credit could be damaged. This can be extremely frustrating since you didn’t cause the accident or ask to incur these expenses.
We will work with you and your medical providers to make sure that your bills are being submitted to and paid by the correct insurance companies (PIP, Med Pay or health insurance). Too often, a medical bill is unpaid and sent to a collection company because the doctor’s office sent the bill to the wrong insurance.
Unfortunately, the insurance company for the person who caused the accident will not pay your medical bills as they come due. If your Med Pay has been exhausted or you do not have health insurance, then we can help you find a doctor that will treat you and wait for payment until we settle your case. Sometimes this is referred to as “treating on a lien.”
Do I need to pay back my health insurance company?
This question may catch you by surprise! Like most people, you probably had no idea that if your health insurance pays for any of your medical treatment related to your accident, that they will expect to be reimbursed at the end of your case.
While reimbursement to your health insurance may seem unfair to you, it is the law. However, there are still certain benefits to billing some or all of your treatment to your health insurance company.
When we send a demand package to the at-fault driver’s insurance company at the end of your case, we ask the insurance to pay for the entire billed amounts of your medical expenses. In reality, if your health insurance has paid for your treatment, there have likely been contractual write-offs with some of your medical providers that will ultimately increase the overall value of your settlement, judgment, or award.
Unlike many other law firms, in order to maximize our clients’ take-home amounts, we often reach out to our clients’ health insurance companies and try to negotiate reductions in their reimbursement amounts.
How soon after my accident should I see a doctor?
The short answer to this question is: as soon as possible! While you may not think that your injuries are serious enough to require medical treatment, injuries can take some time to fully manifest themselves.
If your injuries do progress down the road and you decide at that point to seek medical treatment, the insurance will likely refuse to cover it. They routinely argue that the symptoms and treatment can’t be accident related because you didn’t see a doctor until weeks after the accident.
The best practice is to see a doctor as soon as you can after your accident, if nothing else to rule out the possibility of serious injury. Once you do that, follow your doctors’ recommendations exactly.
What do I bring to my free consultation?
If you can’t make it to our offices, we can talk to you over the phone or even come to you. A face-to-face meeting is preferred because that allows our attorneys to review any documents that may have.
Here is what you should bring with you to your consultation:
- Police report
- Driver’s exchange form or insurance information
- Record of any correspondence with the insurance company
- Contact information for any witnesses
We wrote the book on car accidents and insurance claims
Our attorneys, Matthew J. Hansen and Kenneth L. Christensen, authored the Idaho Accident Book. This book explains how insurance claims work and what your rights are when dealing with insurance companies after an accident. We offer this book for free so that you and your loved ones can get the information you need and make informed decisions in the comfort of your home before ever speaking with an insurance adjuster or hiring an attorney.
From the moment you call us or step into our Boise area office, you will feel how much we care for you. We will provide you with helpful information, take the time to answer your questions, and even point you in the right direction if we can’t help. Call us today for a free consultation and find out for yourself.
We want to help you and are waiting to answer all of you questions. Call us at (208) 577-5300 or fill out the form to the right with for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys.
Injured in a Car Accident? Contact the Boise Car Accident Lawyer
Meridian, ID 83646