What Should I Expect After a Car Accident?

What Should I Expect After a Car Accident?

You may find the days and weeks afterward particularly stressful, if you are involved in a car crash with another driver. You could be recovering from physical injury and mental trauma while also dealing with a range of third parties such as the police, insurance companies, and medical professionals. In times of stress, it can be challenging to think clearly and make the right decisions. After an accident, engaging personal injury attorneys at the Schwaba Law Firm to handle your case may alleviate pressure and help you navigate the case with a clearer mind

If you have been injured in an auto accident, or your life has been directly impacted by the loss of a loved one in a fatal accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Don’t agree to a settlement, sign any papers, or even talk to your insurance company until you speak with your Charlotte auto accident lawyer.

Contact at 855-SCHWABA or aschwaba@schwabalaw.com and talk to a seasoned Charlotte car accident attorney for a free consultation immediately.

Steps to Take at the Scene of the Accident

After an accident, many motorists are understandably shaken up. However, after first ensuring that you and everyone else involved in the accident are okay, there are a few necessary steps you should take.

At the scene of the accident:

  1. Call emergency helpline: Call immediately health care emergency help line and report the auto accident to the Police Department.
  2. Record Information: For every driver, use your cell phone to capture name, phone number, driver’s license number, insurance information; and License plate information.
  3. Record Witnesses: Get names and phone numbers for any witnesses to the car accident.
  4. Get Immediate Medical Treatment – This should be completed as soon after the accident as possible. In order to recover compensation, you must prove that the injury you sustained was caused by the accident, which can be difficult if you delay getting medical treatment.
  5. Track Your Expenses – Because you will be requesting compensation for all the expenses that resulted from the accident, you will need to provide receipts and bills. This includes items like medical bills, property damage, lost wages, transportation costs, etc.
  6. Contact Car Accident Attorney: The sooner you involve an attorney, the sooner they can get to work gathering evidence and building your injury claim.

When it comes to receiving medical attention, don’t turn down help. Even if you believe you are not injured, you should be checked by any medical personnel at the scene. With adrenaline surging, most people do not feel the full impact of the crash, and injuries can sometimes take up to a week to appear.

When police officers arrive at the scene, they will ask about the accident. When answering these questions, you need to be calm and provide truthful answers. Again, it is helpful to be brief, honest, and straightforward.

What Compensation you can Expect as a Car Accident Victim

Every vehicle accident case is unique, with different damages and losses survivors suffer. Seeking an appropriate amount can increase the odds of securing a successful insurance settlement. A car accident lawyer can review your case and calculate a fair amount to claim. Then, we at the Schwaba Law Firm help you fight to obtain this amount or greater from an insurance company or another defendant .

  • Hospital bills and health care expenses
  • Temporary or permanent disability accommodations
  • Existing and future lost wages
  • Vehicle repairs or replacement
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Lost enjoyment of life
  • Wrongful death damages
  • Punitive damages (considered punishment and are typically awarded at the court’s discretion)
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish

Retain a seasoned personal injury attorney from our firm to help you fight for the recovery you need to move forward in comfort and confidence. We can estimate the reasonable value of your case during a free initial consultation.

Contact Car Accident Attorney before You Contact the Insurance Company

Before you talk to the insurance company adjuster, protect your rights by consulting an experienced car accident attorney at the Schwaba Law Firm. Even if you decide to handle your case on your own, advice from a lawyer familiar with automobile accident cases and local laws can often help you avoid unintentionally weakening your claim.

A car accident attorney can also help answer your questions about getting medical treatment. If you were injured in a car accident, it is important to seek medical care and follow-up care immediately — rather than worrying about saving the insurance company money or hoping that you’ll get better on your own. Getting the proper medical treatment will give you the best chance of getting well, as quickly as possible and as completely as possible. It also serves as documentation of your pain and suffering — ultimately making your case worth more.

What to Expect When You Consult a Car Accident Attorney

After a car accident it is normal to feel distraught and overwhelmed. Insurance companies may be trying to convince you of their view of the situation when you know the reality is quite different. Relying on a seasoned legal expert who can guide you through your case will help you find some calm amid a time of chaos. Your quality of life matters and your car accident lawyer will aggressively advocate for you.

The following discussion you can expect from your initial visit with a Charlotte vehicle accident lawyer at the Schwaba Law Firm:

  1. Did you face injuries? Can your injuries be proven and vouched for by a medical expert?
  2. Do you have auto insurance and have you spoken to your insurance company already?
  3. For medical expenses, lost wages, or another benefit, will you sue your car insurance provider?
  4. Will you bring a separate case against the at-fault person in your crash?
  5. Has your life been seriously or permanently altered because of the car accident? Has your ability to work been compromised?

The Schwaba Law Firm has been helping car accident victims in the Greater Charlotte area for over a decade.  If you would like to schedule a free consultation with our expert car accident attorney’s, call us at 855-SCHWABA or contact at aschwaba@schwabalaw.com

Accident between a car and a truck

Common Causes of Truck Accidents and Who’s Liable

If you are involved in a truck accident, you should know that laws are involved, and you should call a lawyer immediately. Truck accidents are different than usual ones. Hence, things can get more complicated. It is best to have a lawyer who understands the laws involved, the reason for the truck accident, and the relationship between the entities involved: the truck, the driver, and the load. These factors will help determine whether you are entitled to a personal injury claim because of the truck accident.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Car accidents happen because of big rigs. A lot can go wrong in a trailer truck operation which is why accidents happen. The most common reasons of accidents are:

  • drive error
  • driver fatigue
  • drug use
  • equipment issues

These are the common scenarios of truck accidents. Each has underlying factors, and there are different laws that applies, that is why it is recommended to have a personal injury lawyer that understands and has experience in truck accidents.

Truck Driver Errors

Usually, driving errors by truck drivers happen when they exceed the speed limit. Speed limits exist to minimize danger, driving too fast whether it be a truck or a car is dangerous to yourself as well as other drivers on the road. Another driving error is turning on a curve too fast. Riding on a curve too fast may end up losing control of the truck’s back wheels, hence, an accident. The other truck driver errors also include failing to monitor blind spots, which lead to collisions.

Truck Driver Fatigue

Fatigue usually causes drowsiness, and when a driver gets drowsy, they might fall asleep on the road and cause an accident.

The following actions are usually caused by fatigue or drowsiness:

  • significantly impair the judgment of the truck driver
  • lessen a driver’s ability to control the truck
  • reduces stimuli to react when something is happening
  • prevent the driver from making safe driving decisions

A driver who is overfatigue will likely fall asleep and cause an accident. He or she will also be inattentive and misjudge driving conditions.

Drug Use

It is no surprise that a drunk driver is not allowed on the road, which is the same case for a driver involved in drug addiction. There are federal regulations that require companies who are involved in trucks to test their drivers for alcohol and drug use. This should be done for employment purposes. There are also random alcohol or drug testing whenever drivers are on duty. If an accident happened, especially if it involves a fatality, alcohol and drug testing will be conducted to check if the truck driver is sober or not.

In that way, the victims will determine if they are entitled to compensation for personal injuries.

Tractor-Trailer Equipment Problems

One of the most common causes of the truck-trailer accident is mechanical failure. This might happen because of a defect in manufacturing or design errors. It might also be an equipment failure, whereas the driver forgot to check something before driving. Some manufacturing or design problems include:

  • defective tires
  • no backup warnings
  • design failure

These can lead to crashes.

Another factor that leads to accidents is the failure to maintain equipment properly. Here are the common failures that often lead to mechanical problems are:

  • removing or depowering the front brakes
  • failure to maintain the brakes of the truck
  • improper way of loading or securing the load or cargo (this may cause truck rollover)
  • defective steering wheel
  • failure to maintain tires
  • wrong attachment of the trailer

Other Causes of Truck Accidents

It is important to note that it is not always about the driver or the equipment. It can be other factors like traffic signal failures, weather conditions, or faulty roads.

Truck Accident Laws

There are federal and state laws regarding truck accidents, and these are the basis of personal injury claims after the accident.

Who Is Liable for a Trucking Accident?

A truck accident is different from a car accident or a basic car-to-car collision. There are usually a lot of parties involved during a truck accident. These parties are all legally responsible for a victim’s injuries and other losses, which are called damages. They are:

  • the truck driver
  • the owner of truck or trailer
  • the cargo loader
  • the manufacturer of truck parts
  • the contractor

Proving a truck accident is more complicated than a car accident. Hence, you should hire a lawyer that is an expert in this field. Multiple claims can usually be filed if there are a lot of parties involved.

Truck Driver Liability

Is the truck driver liable? It depends on the facts of the case. If the driver’s negligent behavior causes the accident or collision, you can sue the driver. You can also file a claim against the driver if he is distracted, speeding, or intoxicated. These are all against the laws.

The truck driver might also be liable if the accident is caused by cargo or truck maintenance. It is the driver’s responsibility to check the cargo or the mechanical parts of the truck.

Trucking Company Liability

Some companies are trying to shield themselves from truck accidents and let the driver pay for everything. However, most driver’s insurance is not enough to cover the expenses of the victims; hence, lawyers seek ways to get claims from the companies and make them liable.

What Should I Do If I Get in an Accident with a Big-Rig Truck?

If you are involved in a truck accident, it is important to check if you and other passengers are safe. Immediately call for help if you can. Call 911 and cooperate with the rescue team and investigators.

Call your lawyer immediately if you can. Their presence will help because they will be updated with everything that is going on. Get the names of the other driver and take photos if you can.

Talk to a Lawyer

Truck accidents are more complex than car accidents, so you need to talk to a personal injury lawyer who knows his way around accidents. At the Schwaba Law Firm, we are committed to ensuring that victims are compensated for their injuries.

Work with us, and you will get qualified and experienced attorneys.

Contact the Schwaba Law Firm and let us help you RECOVER.

Product Liability

What is product liability?

Product liability occurs when the manner in which a product is produced creates a hazard that causes injury to a consumer. Product liability law holds the manufacturers, distributors and sellers responsible for selling a product that creates the harm. Product Liability law is generally divided into two theories of liability: negligence and breach of warranty. Each theory of liability holds sellers of a product responsible for the harm they cause, but each is a complex field that requires particularized care to navigate.

Generally, products liability claims sounding in negligence proceed on one of three theories of liability:

1.  Design Defects – A design defect occurs when the product is hazardous in design, before the product is manufactured. The product itself, from its creation, is hazardous to consumers.

2.  Manufacturing Defects – A defect in manufacturing occurs when a mistake happens during the manufacturing process. For example, a part is missing or broken, the packaging is faulty, or the assembly of the product is incorrect.

3.  Warning Defects – Warning defects occur when insufficient instructions or improper labeling result in improper use of the product by the consumer.

Products liability claims may also be based on the theory of a breach of warranty. Breach of warranty claims are divided into two general avenues as well. An Express Warranty claim is a written representation made by the seller of a product that the product is guaranteed to work or perform in a given manner. An Implied Warranty is not written, but is an assumed understanding that a product will work or perform for its intended purpose.

 

Whether the product liability claim was caused by negligence or by a breach of warranty, or a combination of both, product defects create a significant hazard for consumers. In some cases, each of the links in the chain of production may be responsible for the defective product, including the product designer, component designer, product manufacturer, component manufacturer, product distributor and product seller.  Investigating each of these responsible parties can be an exhaustive, costly process that requires significant legal expertise.

Product liability attorney in North Carolina

Our primary goal at Schwaba law is to protect your rights as a consumer and help you recover if a hazardous product causes harm. An injury award may include any costs incurred as a result of a product’s hazardous condition, including medical bills, wage loss and any pain and suffering caused by the defective product. Each product liability case is unique to each product and each individual, tailored to get fair compensation for the loss.

Need help with a product liability claim? Call us.

Understanding product liability is a complex and serious matter that should be handled by experienced product liability attorneys. At Schwaba Law, we have lawyers who are more than qualified to take your case. If you or a loved one need help with a product liability claim, call us. We are here to assist you

Automobile Accidents

What Is a Personal Injury Lawyer and When Do You Need to Hire One?

If you were recently injured in an accident, you might wonder what your legal rights are. A personal injury lawyer can meet with you and discuss this important information. He or she can also explain your legal options.

 

What Is a Personal Injury Lawyer?

A personal injury lawyer is a lawyer who concentrates on cases involving people who were injured due to the actions of others. This type of claim usually relies on a showing of negligence, that is, when one person acted in a manner that a reasonable person would not have acted and caused injury as a result. Examples of personal injury cases include:

A personal injury lawyer is knowledgeable about personal injury laws in the state and the deadline by which you must file a lawsuit to protect your rights.

Signs You Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are in a relatively minor accident and are not seriously injured, you might not need to hire a lawyer. However, you have the right to be represented by a lawyer if you choose. You may prefer to have a professional deal with the insurance companies and other legal aspects of your claim while you focus on recovery.

Some warning signs that you may need to hire a personal injury lawyer include:

You Were Injured

If you were injured in any manner, you may want legal representation. The insurance company will do everything possible to minimize or eliminate your fair compensation, including having you provide a recorded statement or sign an authorization for the insurance company to retrieve medical records to try to prove you had a pre-existing injury.

You Are Temporarily or Permanently Disabled

Some accidents permanently alter a victim’s life. If you were disabled for the short-term or long-term, it  is important that you have a lawyer who can accurately determine the full extent of your damages and how the accident has affected your life. You may need economic experts who can evaluate your lost earning capacity.

The Insurance Company Offered a Low Settlement

It can be difficult for the average person to understand the real value of their personal injury claim. If you received an offer from the insurance company that does not even cover your medical bills, it is likely that your claim is worth more. A personal injury lawyer can aggressively negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf.

Your Claim Was Denied

If your claim was denied, you do not have to simply accept the insurance company’s word for it. Their interests are directly opposed to yours. The insurance company may deny all claims, hoping that you will simply not fight it. A personal injury lawyer can fight for your rights. You are not charged any attorney fees unless your lawyer recovers compensation on your behalf.

To get started on your claim, contact Schwaba Law Firm.

workers Compensation

I Was Hurt at a Construction Site; What Are My Options?

It’s an understatement to say that construction sites are dangerous places. There are countless ways that a bystander can get hurt near one of these places. If you’re minding your own business and not doing anything wrong, an injury you suffer could potentially fall upon the shoulders of the construction company.

Getting compensation, however, requires knowing how to pursue the circumstances of your case and who to hold responsible. That’s why you should call for help from a personal injury attorney if you’re hurt at a construction site, to ensure you get the full compensation you deserve under the law.

Getting Hurt at a Construction Site

Getting hurt at a construction site can occur in a variety of ways. If it happens because you were doing something you shouldn’t, like sneaking through somewhere you’re not supposed to be, it may be difficult to collect damages. If on the other hand, the construction company did something wrong and didn’t fulfill their responsibilities, you may be eligible to collect significant damages for your injuries.

Construction Mistakes and Liability

Construction managers and companies have a powerful responsibility, or duty of care, to protect the public from harm given the dangerous nature of what they do. If they violate this responsibility, those who are injured as a result can hold them liable for damages. The kinds of mistakes that can result in such claims include:

  •         Fencing, barriers, and barricades are required for all construction sites to keep pedestrians at a safe distance. If they aren’t sufficient to do so, the company can be held responsible for accidents that result.
  •         Warnings and signs must also be posted to alert passers-by of the potential dangers. Failure to do so can result in liability for the construction company.
  •         Improper inspection of equipment which leads to failure and resulting harm can see the company held responsible for such incidents.
  •         Improperly secured equipment and tools can result in injuries due to objects falling from heights. Keeping such equipment properly tied down is essential to avoiding responsibility for accidents.

Pursuing a Lawsuit

Whether your injury is caused by equipment malfunction, tripping, or falling objects, in order to pursue a case, you need to prove that the construction company violated its duty of care to maintain a safe environment for pedestrians and passers-by. You must also prove that this violation or breach of duty was the cause of the harm you suffered.

This also means knowing exactly who was responsible. Someone is generally in charge of safety issues for a site, and it’s important to identify who this person or people is.

Successfully getting compensated when you’re hurt at a construction site involves a great deal of knowledge and experience in pursuing such cases. That means securing the services of a qualified personal injury lawyer. At Schwaba Law, we’ve tackled many such cases and we’re ready to help you as well. Read a bit more about our firm, and give us a call to discuss your case today. There’s no fee for the consult and no obligation. Let’s talk about your case and start on the road to getting justice for your injury.

A two car accident.

Why You Need to Have Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Getting into a car accident is stressful enough. You’re hurt, angry, scared, and you know the other party needs to be held responsible for what’s happened to you. It gets worse, however, when you get your settlement only to find that it’s more than their insurance policy will cover. Suddenly, you’re left high and dry with no way to pay your medical bills, recover lost wages or any of the other damages you’ve suffered.

There is, however, a means by which you can cover that difference. Unfortunately, all too few people carry this kind of security on their insurance policy. Explore the reasons why it’s important to carry underinsured motorist coverage, how it helps pay damages, and why you need a Charlotte car accident lawyer.

What Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Underinsured coverage is additional coverage on your insurance policy that exists specifically to help make up some of the difference when you get into an accident with a person whose insurance won’t cover the damages. Insurance policy maximums are one of the most important limits on how much you can recover from an accident.

Consider, for example, that you’re in a catastrophic accident that leaves you out of work for years, with serious emotional trauma, damages to your personal relationships, and years of lost earnings on top of mounting medical bills. You might get a settlement from the courts amounting to over a million dollars.

Unfortunately, the defendant’s insurance policy only covers up to $300,000. Technically the defendant still owes you the rest of your settlement, but if they don’t have the money to pay it, you probably won’t see it. If you have underinsured motorist coverage, it can kick in to cover some of that lost award.

How Coverage Works

There are a number of limits placed on how much underinsured motorist coverage you can carry. First, it cannot be greater than the limits of your primary coverage. Thus, if your policy covers you for up to $500,000, you can only carry $500,000 worth of underinsured coverage.

Second, underinsured motorist coverage will cover only up to the total limits offered—that is, the difference between the defendant’s policy and your coverage. For example, in the above accident with a million-dollar settlement, let’s say you have $500,000 underinsured coverage. If the defendant’s policy covers $300,000, your coverage would kick in up to its maximum, so you’d get an additional $200,000 for a final total of $500,000.

Hiring a Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer

Of course, as unfortunate as it is, insurance never works the way it should. Providers don’t make money by paying money, so they’ll often go to great lengths to avoid paying the full amount you deserve. Having an attorney in your corner is your best bet to negotiate with insurance companies and get the maximum value for your settlement.

For many years, people in need of a Charlotte Car accident lawyer have turned to Schwaba Law Firm for help getting the settlement to which they’re entitled under the law. If you find yourself in this situation, give us a call for a free consultation to learn how we can help your case.