Car Accident Attorneys in Gillette
Even if you come away from a car crash with only minor injuries, the trauma can linger with you for a long time. When it was someone else's recklessness that harmed you or your loved ones, it is your right to make them pay for the damages they caused.
If you or a loved one was involved in an automobile-related collision (including a rideshare accident with a Lyft or Uber) through no fault of your own, you may have questions about what happens next. Often, insurance companies or adjusters will offer you a settlement that is far less than you need to cover the medical expenses, property damage, or potential lost wages you suffered because of the accident. After a collision, you should consider reaching out to our Gillette car accident lawyers at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C.
Were you injured by a negligent driver? Contact our Gillette car accident attorneys at (307) 257-7800 for a free case evaluation!
After any accident, make sure that you are out of danger from any other vehicles. Be careful not to move anyone who might have suffered a neck or back injury unless it is absolutely necessary, such as if a vehicle is on fire. Call emergency services right away and remain at the scene of the accident until police and other responders arrive. Answer questions any police officer asks you honestly, and provide your personal information, but do NOT take responsibility for the accident. Immediately following a crash, you do not have all the details about what happened, but if you say it was your fault to a police officer, then he or she can testify about that statement later.
Following a car crash, there is a lot that needs to be done to make sure that your interests are protected. If your accident was caused by a negligent driver, you will want to obtain a copy of the police report. Additionally, you will want to keep any documentation related to the accident, such as hospital bills, vehicle repairs, and any other relevant documents.
Some of the most common causes of car accidents in Wyoming include:
- Aggressive driving or road rage
- Unsafe roadways and road conditions
Many types of injuries can happen in a car crash, but certain injuries are more common than others, including:
- Bruises and scrapes: Serious bruises can be an indication of internal injuries, so you should seek medical attention if your bruise is deep or discolored. Scrapes from contact with the road, called "road rash," can also lead to infection and need to be properly cleaned.
- Lacerations: Cuts are also quite common after a car accident, especially when glass or metal breaks upon impact. Minor cuts need to be cleaned to avoid infection, while more serious cuts require stitches to heal. Extreme lacerations are considered catastrophic injuries and can result in the loss of a limb or require amputation after the collision.
- Internal injuries: Medical attention is required to detect and treat ruptured organs or internal bleeding, which can become life-threatening if not handled immediately.
- Broken bones: Although most broken bones are not fatal, they are painful, require medical attention, and take a long time to heal. Broken bones can make you miss work and limit your ability to move and perform daily tasks.
- Neck and shoulder injuries: Tissue in the neck and shoulders, including muscles and tendons, can be damaged in a car accident. It’s painful, can require months of recovery, and greatly limits your mobility afterward. In many cases, surgery is required to treat the injury, since the damage to the tissue is so traumatic.
- Spinal cord injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord are among the most serious injuries possible. Not only are they extremely painful, but serious spinal cord damage can result in partial or total paralysis. Recovering from spinal cord injuries can take a long time, if it’s possible at all.
- Traumatic brain injuries: Brain injuries are fatal in many crashes, and even minor brain injuries can greatly impact a person's lifestyle, personality, and relationships with others.
Insurance policies are a key factor when it comes to having your damages and injuries covered following a car accident. In the state of Wyoming, all vehicles operating on public roads must be insured with a liability policy. At the very least, each vehicle must have the following amounts of coverage:
- $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or the death of one person in an accident caused by the owner or driver of the insured vehicle.
- $50,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or the death of more than one person in an accident caused by the owner or driver of the insured vehicle.
- $20,000 liability coverage for property damage in an accident caused by the owner or driver of the insured vehicle.
Wyoming requires you to opt out in writing if you choose not to get uninsured motorist coverage for the same amount as the bodily injury liability limits above. Uninsured motorist does not include property damages. However, this is good coverage to have in the event you are involved in a hit-and-run, or the driver who hits you does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries and other losses.
While the amount of money you receive in a car accident claim will vary depending on the size of the other driver’s insurance policy, it is important to account for every cost you have suffered because of the other driver’s actions. Traditionally, most people assume that an auto accident claim is only about covering the cost of the damage to your vehicle and your medical bills, but it actually includes a lot more than that.
After an accident, you will likely have to take time off work to heal and attend your doctor appointments. You may also have to reduce your work hours if your injuries limit the amount of work you can do. This will lead to lost wages, which you can also include in your claim If you are left disabled after the accident and have to change jobs, then that also can be included, as it is a direct result of the accident.
In total, a car accident claim can include several types of costs, such as:
- Medical bills and treatments
- Lost wages
- Lost career opportunities
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
While you may assume that your claim may lead to a sizable settlement or verdict, it is important to note that the state of Wyoming evaluates each claim on a comparative negligence basis. Comparative negligence means that both drivers can be found at fault for an accident. If your case goes to trial, the jury will be asked to assign a certain amount of fault to each side in the case. This means that if you did anything that contributed to your injuries, such as speeding, failing to replace damaged brakes, or another act of negligence, they may find you partially at fault for the accident.
This does not mean you cannot recover compensation. Instead, the jury will assign a certain percentage of fault to you and, based on that percentage, reduce the amount of compensation you can receive. For example, if the jury awards you $100,000 but assigns 10% of the fault to you, you will only receive $90,000. If you are found to be 50% at fault, then the court would bar you from receiving compensation.
While comparative negligence only applies to jury trials, it is important to be aware of how your claim may be reduced if settlement negotiations do not go well. That being said, the team at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. is made up of skilled trial attorneys who can use all their experience and skill to ensure you receive a sizable settlement offer or jury verdict if your case goes to trial.
Filing an auto accident claim on your own can be extremely stressful. You’re likely dealing with a great deal of pain, trying to work with your doctors to recover, and may be feeling shell shocked by the emotional trauma of the collision. Add on trying to figure out how to pay for your treatments, worrying about taking time off work, and trying to make heads or tails of the other driver’s insurance policy, and the whole process can be overwhelming.
Even when you do get ahold of the at-fault insurance company, you then have to watch out for their underhanded tactics. Insurance adjusters often try to chat up accident victims to make them feel comfortable and relaxed on the phone or in a meeting, but they really just want you to slip up and make a mistake. This can include everything from admitting some type of fault to saying you are feeling better or that your injuries are not as bad as they seem. In some cases, they may even ask you to make a recorded statement, but you should always refuse.
Adjusters are in the business of denying claims or paying out as little as possible. That means they will do everything in their power to convince you to accept a low-ball settlement offer. The first offer almost never comes the total cost of your accident and is designed to keep you from pursuing further legal action. However, there are ways to fight back and get you the money you need to recover.
The legal team at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. are well-versed in dealing with at-fault insurance companies who try to devalue accident victim’s injuries. If you choose to work with us, we will handle all of the legal burdens of your claim so that you can focus on healing and moving on from this terrible event. Throughout the entire claims process, we will handle all communications with the insurance company and keep you up to date about your case.
In addition to dealing with the insurance company, our Gillette car accident attorneys will:
- Review all available insurance policies
- Collect evidence of negligence
- Calculate the true costs of your accident so not a single cent is left out of your claim
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Fight for your right to compensation in a jury trial, if necessary
While only one in ten claims go to court, it is important to pick an attorney who has experience in a trial setting. The team at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. includes several skilled trial attorneys who know how to handle themselves in the courtroom and can convince the jury that you deserve proper compensation after an accident.
When you reach out to Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., our friendly staff will discuss the specifics of your case and provide you with a breakdown of your legal options. Unlike other firms that take your case and pass it along to a paralegal or an assistant, each and every case brought to our firm is handled personally by one of our car accident attorneys.
It can be extremely overwhelming dealing with the aftermath of a car accident in Campbell County, which is why are here to answer your questions, day or night. Rest easy knowing that our Gillette accident attorneys will take our time to discuss your concerns with you and provide you with the guidance you need to help you move on.
To find out more about our legal services, please reach out to our firm
by calling (307) 257-7800!
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