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Personal Injury 2022
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What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?

Key Takeaways

  • Car accident cases often involve intricate legal challenges, including establishing fault through demonstrating duty of care, breach, causation, and damages, as well as navigating multiple insurance policies.
  • The role of a car accident lawyer includes meticulous evidence gathering from various sources such as traffic cameras, eyewitnesses, and medical records, critical for building a strong case.
  • Skilled negotiation with insurance companies is essential to ensure fair compensation, as insurers often aim to minimize payouts, requiring robust advocacy and strategic negotiation.
  • Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers bring over 45 years of combined experience, providing tailored legal assistance that covers courtroom representation and strategic case handling to secure justice and compensation.

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be a bewildering and life-altering experience. Such incidents not only bring immediate disruption to the status-quo of your life but can also have long-lasting repercussions, affecting your health, finances, and overall well-being. In these moments, understanding the role of a car accident lawyer and the support they can offer becomes crucial. 

Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers stand ready to provide the support and legal acumen needed by those affected. With over 45 years of combined legal experience, our team is committed to demystifying the legal process for you, focusing on your recovery by fighting for the justice and financial compensation you need and deserve.

Discover the difference our tailored legal assistance can make in your case.

Were You or a Loved One Injured In a Car Accident?
Our experienced attorneys will fight to get the full amount you deserve. We’ll listen to your story and explain your options for moving forward.

Roles and Responsibilities Of a Car Accident Lawyer

While you focus on resting and recovering after your car accident, the team at Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers will immediately get to work on the following pivotal aspects of your case:

Free Case Evaluation

A car accident lawyer from our Boston law firm initially takes on the crucial role of evaluating the specifics of your car accident case. This process involves a thorough review of the incident, understanding the legal standing, and identifying the potential for compensation or damages recovery. 

By meticulously analyzing the evidence, such as police reports, witness statements, and medical records, we can assess the strengths and weaknesses of the case. 

This foundational step is essential for developing a strategic legal approach tailored to your unique situation, ensuring you are well-informed of your rights and the viability of pursuing legal action.

Evidence Gathering

Following a comprehensive case evaluation, our team will immediately embark on a detailed evidence-gathering mission. This stage is critical for building a strong case. 

We will collect all potentially relevant information to be used as evidence, including:

  • Photographs of the accident scene
  • Video footage from traffic cameras
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Expert accounts
  • Police reports
  • Detailed medical records
  • Black box data

This evidence not only supports your claim but also plays a pivotal role in determining the compensation amount.

Establish an At-Fault Party

Establishing fault after a car accident is a critical component of pursuing a personal injury claim, as it directly influences the ability to secure compensation for damages incurred. This process hinges on demonstrating negligence, which consists of four key components: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. 

Firstly, it must be shown that the defendant had a legal obligation to act in a certain way towards the plaintiff. 

Following this, there must be evidence that the defendant breached this duty through action or inaction. Causation requires proving that this breach directly caused the accident and the plaintiff’s injuries. 

Finally, it must be established that the plaintiff suffered actual damages, such as physical injury or financial loss, as a result of the accident. These elements form the foundation of a negligence claim, guiding the legal strategy in proving fault.

In the context of a car accident, multiple parties can be potentially liable, not just other drivers. This includes pedestrians, cyclists, companies responsible for vehicle or part manufacturing defects, and even government entities tasked with road maintenance. 

Each case varies, with the specifics of the accident dictating the parties involved and the degree of their responsibility. A car accident lawyer’s role is pivotal in identifying all potentially liable parties, navigating the legal complexities, and advocating for their client’s best interests. 

By thoroughly investigating the accident, gathering comprehensive evidence, and applying a deep understanding of personal injury law, a skilled attorney can effectively establish fault, thereby enhancing the client’s chances of receiving fair compensation. 

This process underscores the importance of legal expertise in navigating the aftermath of a car accident and advocating for justice on behalf of those affected.

Negotiation With Insurance Companies

Negotiating with insurance companies stands as one of the primary responsibilities of a car accident lawyer. Insurance adjusters are often focused on minimizing the company’s payout, necessitating skilled negotiation to ensure fair compensation for the client.

We will leverage the collected evidence and our legal experience to argue the client’s case, aiming to secure an equitable settlement that covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs. 

Through strategic negotiation, we are able to navigate the complexities of insurance policies and claims processes, advocating for our client’s best interests and striving to achieve a satisfactory resolution without the need for court intervention.

How an Attorney Can Help You Navigate Negligence

Navigating the intricacies of comparative and contributory negligence is a pivotal aspect of managing car accident claims, directly impacting the outcome and compensation possible for victims.

The attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help with the complex nature of accidents where you may have had some contribution to the overall accident. Comparative negligence laws allow for the allocation of fault among all parties involved in an accident, meaning that a plaintiff’s compensation is adjusted based on their percentage of fault. 

For instance, if a plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault for an accident, their awarded damages will be reduced by that same percentage. This system, which varies significantly between states, can either follow a “pure” form, where a plaintiff can recover damages regardless of their degree of fault (as long as it is less than 100%), or a “modified” form, which limits recovery to cases where the plaintiff’s fault does not surpass a certain threshold, typically 50%. 

On the other hand, contributory negligence represents a more stringent approach, prevalent in a few jurisdictions, where if a plaintiff is found to bear any fault for the accident, they are barred from recovering any compensation from other at-fault parties. This doctrine underscores the importance of thorough investigation and evidence collection to convincingly demonstrate the other party’s fault. 

Navigating these legal concepts requires not only a deep understanding of state-specific laws but also the ability to present a compelling case that minimally implicates the client. Our team has extensive knowledge and is able to leverage our experience to navigate the legal landscape of negligence, ensuring our clients are positioned to receive the maximum compensation possible for their damages and losses. 

When you attempt to handle a complex matter like this on your own, you can end up with a small settlement offer and shifted-blame, so it is best to contact our team today. 

What Types Of Damages Can an Attorney Help You Recover for Your Car Accident?

When you’re involved in a car accident, the impact can ripple through every aspect of your life, leading to a wide range of losses and expenses. Understanding the types of damages you can recover is crucial in ensuring you’re fully compensated for the hardships you’ve endured.

When you partner with a car accident lawyer, you are giving yourself the best possible opportunity of recovering the most compensation possible. Generally, damages awarded in car accident cases fall into three categories:

Economic Damages

Economic damages, also known as special damages, are compensation for financial losses that directly result from the accident. These damages are quantifiable and typically include medical expenses for treatments, surgeries, and ongoing rehabilitation. Lost wages are another significant component of economic damages, covering the income you’ve missed out on due to your inability to work following the accident. 

Additionally, you may be compensated for future lost earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from returning to your previous job or working at all. Property damage, such as repairs or replacement of your vehicle and other personal belongings damaged in the crash, also falls under economic damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages, or general damages, compensate for non-financial losses that are more difficult to quantify. These include pain and suffering, which covers the physical discomfort and emotional distress caused by your injuries. Loss of enjoyment of life is another non-economic damage, acknowledging that your injuries may prevent you from engaging in hobbies, sports, or other activities that were part of your life before the accident. 

Emotional distress compensates for psychological effects such as anxiety, depression, and trauma stemming from the incident. In cases where injuries are severe, compensation for loss of consortium may be awarded to acknowledge the impact on the relationship between you and your spouse.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are less common in car accident cases and are awarded in addition to economic and non-economic damages. These are not aimed at compensating the victim but rather at punishing the defendant for particularly reckless or egregious behavior and deterring similar conduct in the future. 

For instance, punitive damages might be considered if the at-fault driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if they were engaging in intentional misconduct that led to the accident. It’s important to note that the criteria for awarding punitive damages vary significantly by jurisdiction, and they are subject to specific legal standards.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Addresses the Statute Of Limitations In Car Accident Cases

Understanding the statute of limitations in car accident cases is essential for anyone looking to pursue legal action for injuries or damages incurred. The statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. 

In the context of car accidents, this period can vary significantly from one state to another, generally ranging from one to six years for personal injury claims and from two to ten years for property damage claims. In Massachusetts, personal injury law gives auto accident victims three years to file a lawsuit for damages. This timeframe dictates how long you have to file a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the accident. 

If you attempt to file a claim after the statute of limitations has expired, your case is likely to be dismissed, and you will be barred from seeking compensation for your losses. This makes it imperative for victims to act swiftly and consult with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after their accident to ensure their rights are protected and their claim is filed within the legal time limits.

Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers can provide invaluable guidance on the specific deadlines applicable to your case, taking into account the nuances that might affect the statute of limitations. 

For example, exceptions to the standard deadline may apply in cases involving minors or when the injuries sustained in the accident were not immediately apparent. Additionally, the clock on the statute of limitations may pause if the defendant is out of the state or if there are other rare legal circumstances. 

Understanding these subtleties and how they apply to your case is crucial for a successful legal outcome.

Were You or a Loved One Injured In a Car Accident?
Our experienced attorneys will fight to get the full amount you deserve. We’ll listen to your story and explain your options for moving forward.

A Car Accident Lawyer Will Represent You In Court

When car accident cases escalate to the point where out-of-court settlements are no longer viable, Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers provides robust legal representation in a court setting.

Our approach involves a meticulous preparation process where we strategically assemble and present a compelling case, utilizing all available evidence and robust legal arguments to staunchly advocate for your rights. This preparation is aimed at creating a clear and persuasive narrative that highlights the merits of your case to the judge.

Our firm’s presence in the courtroom is characterized by assertive litigation skills and a deep understanding of legal protocols, which are essential for maneuvering through the complexities of the judicial system. We are dedicated to addressing each legal challenge with precision and a commitment to achieving justice.

By advocating vigorously on your behalf, we aim to secure not just compensation, but also a sense of justice and closure for the hardships you’ve endured. This comprehensive and determined approach ensures that our clients receive the most favorable outcomes under the law.

The Benefits Of Partnering With a Lawyer from Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers

Hiring a lawyer for a car accident case offers numerous benefits, chief among them the ability to navigate the complex web of legal statutes, procedures, and paperwork that can be daunting for individuals unfamiliar with the legal system. 

Car accident lawyers possess in-depth knowledge of the laws and regulations pertaining to personal injury and traffic accidents, enabling our team to identify the most effective legal strategies for our clients’ cases. 

We are adept at handling the filing of claims, understanding the statute of limitations, and ensuring all legal requirements are met promptly and efficiently. This not only streamlines the legal process but also safeguards you from potential pitfalls that could jeopardize your case, thereby enhancing the chances of a favorable outcome.

Additionally, we are here to serve as a dedicated advocate for you and your family’s best interests throughout the legal journey. Statistics and experience consistently show that individuals who enlist the services of a competent lawyer often receive significantly higher compensation than those who navigate their cases alone. 

The combination of legal acumen, negotiation skills, and a commitment to the client’s well-being makes hiring a car accident lawyer not just a choice but a pivotal decision that can profoundly impact the outcome of a personal injury claim.

Schedule Your Free Consultation With a Dedicated Car Accident Lawyer Today

Discover how a car accident lawyer can guide you through the aftermath of an accident toward the compensation and justice you rightfully deserve. At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, we are devoted to empowering our local community, safeguarding your rights, and ensuring a brighter future in the wake of unforeseen events. 

Navigating the complexities of a car accident claim should never be a solitary struggle. Partnering with us means you’ll have the support of highly respected attorneys, including our co-founding partner Peter M. Merrigan, who brings an unparalleled track record and distinguished legal prowess to your case.

Take the first step towards your recovery and securing justice by scheduling a complimentary case evaluation and consultation today. Connect with us today by using our contact form or calling (617) 391-9001.

Were You or a Loved One Injured In a Car Accident?
Our experienced attorneys will fight to get the full amount you deserve. We’ll listen to your story and explain your options for moving forward.

Award-Winning Legal Team

Attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP have been recognized and honored by several of the top legal associations, including SuperLawyers, National Trial Lawyers Association, and Best Lawyers.

Over $500 Million Recovered

Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP is a highly successful personal injury law firm serving Massachusetts since 2011.

No Fee Until You Win

There are no fees or costs unless we win your case!

Meet the Personal Injury Attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP