IDAHO CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER
(Johnna Johnson) You know no one plans on getting in an accident, but it still happens and what you do the days after the car accident can impact you for years. That is exactly why we have invited Attorney Matt Hansen, also the author of this awesome book, “The Idaho Accident” that you’re going to get the free copy of today. So we are excited to talk about some of the things that you need to know. Matt thanks for being here today.
(Matt Hansen) Thank you for having me.
(Johnna) Let’s say I am rear-ended by somebody, okay. I have done nothing wrong, so I assume everything is taken care of right, but that is a misconception?
(Matt) Yes Johnna, that’s actually a big mistake. I specialize in this area and many times people come to me months even years after an accident and they are really frustrated with the way that things are going. Either their car was totaled in the accident and the insurance company is offering them a lot less than they owe and are having to pay out of pocket for an accident that they didn’t cause or their medical bills from the accident have gone to collections and their credit has been damaged. So I’d say that making that assumption is a big mistake.
(Johnna) Wow, I think that is really scary. Now you’re telling me even if I did absolutely nothing wrong, if I don’t do the right things right after, it’s going to impact me for a long time?
(Johnna) Let’s talk about the 3 most critical mistakes, you mentioned in your book there are many mistakes that people make. What is the first mistake?
(Matt) I’d say that failing to collect evidence and protect evidence after an accident is the number one mistake. For example that could mean failing to contact the police after an accident, even if your car wasn’t too badly damaged. The police obtain a lot of information at the scene of an accident, which might otherwise expire. Another example of that would be failing to take photographs after an accident or receive medical treatment. A lot of times the people are in pain after the accident but they don’t go and see a doctor because they think it will eventually go away but the insurance company will argue that if you didn’t go and get medical treatment, you weren’t really injured.
(Johnna) Well I think that’s so hard. You’re talking about getting evidence and this exact scenario happened to me a couple of years ago and your so out of it that you’re not thinking properly, I wasn’t at least. So what happens if you forget to take the pictures or collect the evidence after the accident?
(Matt) If you do call the police sometimes they’ll take pictures and it’s just a matter of getting them at that point or if you car is towed and taken to a storage facility a lot of the times when your taking your valuables out of the car you can take pictures then.
(Johnna) Ok this is a really really big one. Number two mistake is when you assume that the adjuster is looking out for you.
(Matt) Exactly, You have to remember that this is a business. Insurance companies train their adjusters to settle claims for less than their fair value. They do it every day and while most claims are settled promptly the question is whether those are settled fairly?
(Johnna) Oh my gosh. So the third key mistake is, not knowing your legal options and rights when you get in this kind of situation, because I think you just believe, because you’ve never been part of this before, you believe what everybody is telling you, so what advice do you have for us in that scenario.
(Matt) I don’t mean that you have to retain an attorney immediately after an accident. Not every case requires one, but it is important to at least talk to an attorney or do some research after an accident. Keep in mind that many of us, myself included offer free consultations to people that have been involved in accidents. You’ve heard the saying that, “if you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will get you there.”
(Matt) For people that don’t speak with an attorney after an accident or do some research before signing an insurance document or proceeding along with their case they could find themselves at the end of a road that they never wanted to be on.
(Johnna) I think that is so important. Well Matt, you’ve literally written a book on all the mistakes that people make after a car accident and we’ve covered three of the mistakes. There is going to be more in the books and Matt you are offering this book to everyone for free today right?
(Matt) I am.
(Johnna) All they need to do is call Hansen Injury Law at (208) 996-3330. Thanks for being with us today.
(Matt)Thank you for having me.
Injured in an Idaho Car Accident?
The number of vehicles on the road has increased significantly in the last decade. While this has many advantages, it also makes it more likely that a person will be involved in a car accident at some time in his or her life. Car crashes can cause serious injury and even death, so if you or a loved one was involved in an accident, it is important to retain the services of an experienced Idaho car accident lawyer who can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Common Car Accident Causes
There are number of common causes of car accidents, including:
- Distracted driving;
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Poor weather conditions;
- Reckless driving;
- Improper vehicle maintenance;
- Mechanical dysfunction; and
- Road defects.
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THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF CAR ACCIDENTS
When it comes to single car accidents in Idaho, the most common causes are:
- The failure to maintain lane: 25 percent
- Speeding: 22 percent
- A Loose animal in the road: 13 percent
On the other hand, the most common causes of multi-vehicle accidents are:
- Following too closely: 19 percent
- Failure to yield: 15 percent
- Failure to obey traffic signal or stop sign: 9 percent
It is notable that different causes of accidents carry highly varying degrees of risk. For example, while “following too closely” is the single most common cause of car accidents in Idaho, it actually resulted in zero fatalities in 2014. In contrast to that, driver intoxication was only the 8th most common cause of auto accidents, but intoxication was by far the most frequent cause of deadly accidents. For additional information on Idaho car accidents causes, please refer to the accompanying infographic.
IDAHO VEHICLE SAFETY: BY THE NUMBERS
Car accidents still occur far too frequently in Idaho. In fact, in 2014 a car accident injury occurred in the state every 45 minutes. According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Idaho has an annual highway fatality rate of 11.4 per 100,000 residents. Based on vehicle usage in the state, this translates to 1.15 highway fatalities per vehicle mile traveled. Both of these figures are approximately 10 percent higher than the national average. Additionally, over the last decade Idaho has consistently had more DUI deaths per capita that the national average. It is clear that the state can still do more to improve traffic safety.
Whatever the cause of the accident, it is always important to identify the negligent party who caused the accident. Sometimes, when multiple vehicles are involved, this can be especially difficult. However, there are some steps that can help investigators establish who was at fault. For example, when a person is involved in a car crash, it is always important to obtain:
- Police reports;
- Any eyewitness accounts;
- Evidence of the vehicle’s damage; and
- Photographs of the scene of the accident.
Preserving this evidence can make the difference between establishing financial responsibility for the accident and being unable to obtain compensation.
Common Injuries from Collisions
Car crashes are dangerous for all parties involved, but certain individuals are more at risk than others. For example, older adults and children are more likely to sustain injuries in car accidents. These injuries can range in severity and permanence and may include:
- Broken bones;
- Spinal cord damage;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Nerve damage;
- Internal bleeding;
- Organ damage; and
- Psychological injuries.
Treating injuries sustained in car crashes can be painful and expensive. Recovery may require weeks of costly therapy, multiple meetings with specialists, expensive medications, and painful surgeries. Victims may need to take time off work and obtain help with childcare or transportation to and from appointments. Aside from the emotional toll this can take on victims and their families, this process can also be financially devastating. Other medical expenses may include:
- Ambulance fees;
- Medical equipment, such as crutches or a wheelchair;
- Psychiatric treatment; and
- In-home services.
Fortunately, victims may be able to obtain compensation to cover the harm they suffered as a result of another person’s negligence. Aside from medical bills, this could mean reimbursement for the costs of a number of expenses, including:
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Repair or replacement of damaged property;
- Future lost earnings;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Funeral expenses.
Injured in an Accident? Contact the Idaho Car Accident Attorneys at the Hansen Injury Law Firm
Sustaining an injury in a car crash can be emotionally, physically, and financially devastating for victims and their families. Fortunately, there are options for those who have suffered injury due to another person’s negligence or wrongful act, allowing victims to obtain compensation for their losses. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, please call Hansen Injury Law, at 208-922-6650, and a Boise personal injury attorney at our firm will help you schedule a free initial consultation.
Hansen Injury Law Firm
Meridian, Idaho 83646
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