Car accidents happen for a variety of reasons. A driver may be driving while distracted or intoxicated, causing an accident with one or more cars. Another driver might be too carried away in their thoughts and lose sight of the road and other motorists around them.
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident for one reason or another, you should get in touch with a Boise car accident lawyer to help determine your available legal options to help you recover damages for what you went through. We understand how stressful the situation could be, not to mention mentally overwhelming. Fortunately, Idaho law allows you to hold the at-fault party liable for your damages.
Our Boise personal injury lawyers can help you navigate through the entire process of recovering compensation following a serious car accident. We will work with you every step of the way and explore the legal options that will help you recover the maximum amount of compensation for your damages. Call Boise Personal Injury Lawyers Group today at (208) 793-6272 to schedule a free consultation with our car accident lawyers.
Car Accident Statistics for Idaho
Here are some nationwide statistics on car accidents:
- 1 in 3 car crashes in the United States involve intoxicated driving.
- About 1 in 3 accidents involve speeding.
- Aside from fatalities, over 2 million people get injured in car accidents.
According to the latest estimates from the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety, there is a traffic collision every 23.8 minutes on Idaho roads. A person loses their life in a traffic crash every 47.1 hours, and a person is injured in a traffic collision every 44.7 minutes. These are quite surprising figures for Idaho, considering the population is less than 1.7 million people.
How Much Does a Boise Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
For most personal injury cases, including car accidents, the victims don’t have to pay anything upfront to access legal services. Most car accident lawyers work on what is called a contingency fee basis. This payment structure entails that the attorney and the client agree on a certain percentage of the compensation award, which will be paid out to the lawyer. This percentage is meant to cover all the legal services.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
Being in a car accident is overwhelming, and you may be left wondering what to do. Here are the steps you need to take after a car crash in Boise, Idaho.
Stay at the Scene
Never leave the scene of the accident. Remember that leaving the scene of an accident could have you charged with a hit-and-run offense. Plus, you should be at the scene to collect the necessary evidence, talk to witnesses and get medical help.
Call the Police
It’s always important to call the police to the scene of the accident. They will not only file an accident report but also investigate the cause of the accident and help keep everyone at the scene of the accident safe.
Check on Others
Following the impact, you and other people on the scene might have suffered injuries. If you can do so safely, check on others to see if anyone is badly hurt. Give them first aid if you can.
Be sure to gather the contact information of the other drivers involved and of any witnesses present. Get details such as the full names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, insurance information, etc.
Record the Scene
You will probably have your phone with you while at the accident scene. Make the most out of it by taking videos and/or photos of the scene. Be sure to capture the damage to the vehicles, any injuries, any road signs, skid marks, road conditions, weather conditions, and any other details that could be relevant.
Get a Car Accident Lawyer
You should also consider hiring a car accident lawyer as soon as possible following the accident. This will help make sure that your rights are well protected, and that you have the best chances of recovering the maximum compensation for your case.
When Should I Get a Lawyer for My Auto Accident?
While deciding whether or not you should hire an attorney, there are a few things to consider. Will you be able to get the highest amount of settlement possible from the insurance company? Do you have the resources to fight a large insurance corporation in court? Do you have the time to fight a fierce legal battle by yourself if the insurance company refuses to settle for the amount you deserve?
If you answered no, then you should seriously consider getting in touch with our Boise car accident lawyers no matter the circumstances surrounding your case, we will be able to help. Plus, we work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t have to worry about the charges.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Your attorney will be responsible for a number of things during your case, including the following:
It’s the responsibility of your lawyer to conduct the necessary investigations into your case, collect the available evidence, and figure out the cause of the accident. Your attorney will also evaluate the available evidence and prepare a strong case on your behalf.
After building a strong case, your lawyer will calculate the suitable settlement amount based on their findings and the available evidence. At Boise Personal Injury Lawyers Group, we bring a wealth of knowledge and experience into your case and will make sure that the defendant and their insurance company reach an acceptable settlement amount. If this is unfruitful, the case will proceed to trial.
Trial Preparation & Representation
Most car accident cases are settled out of court, however, if the negotiations phase is not successful, your lawyer will file a lawsuit against the defendant in a state court. This is why you should work with a lawyer with varied experience and one that can ensure a favorable outcome. If your case goes to trial, you can depend on our car accident lawyers, who will be by your side giving you all the guidance and support you need, while also working hard to ensure a favorable outcome.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive for My Damages?
Settlement amounts in car accident cases are calculated once the defendant’s insurer or your insurance company starts the investigations. It’s almost impossible to calculate the precise amount of the potential settlement you will receive because every factor will be unique for every case.
Some of the most important factors in car accident cases include how the accident occurred, the injuries you sustained, any property damage involved, and the various insurance policies involved. Since every accident is unique, no two settlements will be alike. Your Boise car accident lawyer can help you calculate a range to expect in a settlement award.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
Depending on the circumstances, car crash victims can recover three types of compensation.
These are the monetary losses that can be objectively quantified to represent your out-of-pocket and tangible costs. They include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Rehabilitation costs
- Loss of earning capacity
These are subjective damages that are meant to compensate you for the intangible but still important non-monetary losses. They include:
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Anxiety and depression
Aside from economic and non-economic damages, the court might decide to award punitive damages as well. However, this is quite rare, as punitive damages aren’t meant to compensate the victim for their losses. Instead, they are meant to serve as additional punishment to the defendant for grossly negligent or malicious actions.
How Is Fault Determined?
The law of negligence usually controls almost every aspect of car accident cases. When someone is found to be negligent, it means they were reckless, careless, or failed to use reasonable care or caution on the road, putting the wellbeing of other road users at risk. A person can be negligent through an act or a failure to act.
In order to prove negligence, the injured party must prove certain elements, including:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care at the time of the accident
- The at-fault party breached their duty of care in one way or another
- The breach of duty was the direct cause of the injuries and damages to the injured person
- The victim suffered damages that are legally recognized
When the person filing a claim is unable to prove any one of these elements, their case will likely fail, meaning they will be unable to recover compensation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Just as with most states, the statute of limitations for car accidents in Idaho is the same one as the one that applies to all forms of personal injury cases, where a person’s (or entity’s) negligence leads to injury of another.
This statute of limitations stands at two years from the date of the accident. For accidents that only involve property damage, you’re given three years from the date of the accident. Failure to bring a claim within this time frame is considered forfeiture of your rights to bring a lawsuit later on.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me File My Insurance Claim?
You might be wondering exactly how a lawyer will help you with your case. Before we get into detail, we should mention that at Boise Personal Injury Lawyers Group, we offer all our clients free consultations. When you come to meet us, we will want to know the following:
- Exactly what happened
- The damages and/or injuries you sustained
- Who you think was responsible
- The evidence you were able to collect
- Any communication you might have had with the other party or their insurer
With these details in mind, your Boise car accident attorney will get to work and file a claim with the appropriate insurance company, and immediately start investigating your case.
Your lawyer will start by obtaining a copy of the accident report from the relevant authorities. They will then collect the evidence they can find to build your case. The evidence your lawyer might be able to obtain include:
- Surveillance footage at the scene of the accident
- Videos or photographs of injuries and/or property damage
- Police reports
- Medical bills and hospitalization expenses
- Documents highlighting lost income or earnings
Negotiations With the Insurance Company
Insurance adjusters will independently review the case and conduct their own investigations. They will then offer an initial settlement. Since they are in it to make money, most initial settlement offers are super low, with most not accounting for long-term damages.
Before you accept any offers or sign any papers, have your car accident lawyer review the details. Accepting an offer means you will be unable to reopen the claim later to get more compensation. In that case, you should have your attorney handle the negotiations, as having a lawyer is often enough to get a serious offer from the insurance company, as opposed to going on without one. If the negotiation stage is unfruitful, your lawyer will proceed to file a lawsuit.
Filing a Lawsuit
The lawsuit starts when you and your attorney file a complaint in court, claiming that the defendant is responsible for your damages. Your lawyer will file the complaint along with its accompanying paperwork in a county court, where the defendant will be compelled to initiate a response or a counterclaim within a set deadline.
Next is the trial stage, which typically takes a few days. The judge or jury will review the case and the available evidence to determine if the defendant is liable for the plaintiff’s damages and injuries, and how much they should pay out as compensation.
Once the trial is complete, either party will have the option to file an appeal, which when complete, a defendant who loses the case will be required to pay the damages the court decides at trial or in the appeal.
What Can I Do If Insurance Denies My Claim?
If you file a claim in Idaho and the insurance company denies it, you can appeal the decision in court, file a lawsuit, or even file a complaint with the Insurance Commission. Appeals are usually an internal process, and your lawyer can help you appeal the decision by providing the supporting evidence and documentation to demonstrate the extent of your injuries, damages, and the defendant’s negligence.
Do I Have a Case?
Many people find themselves wondering whether they have a case when dealing with a car accident case. To be really sure, you should consider contacting an experienced car accident lawyer to help find out if you really have a case and how much it’s worth. At Boise Personal Injury Lawyers Group, the initial consultation with us is free of charge, so you have nothing to lose talking to us.
What If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
If an uninsured driver is found to be liable for your damages, what happens next will largely depend on the kind of insurance coverage you have. For instance, if your policy includes underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, then your insurance will cover your damages up to a certain limit.
In case you don’t have this coverage, you will probably have to file a civil suit against the other driver to try recovering damages. Our experienced car accident lawyers can help you navigate the complex process of pursuing compensation from underinsured and uninsured motorists.
How Can I Obtain an Accident Report?
There are three ways to obtain an accident report in Idaho, these are online, phone, and in person. Of course, the quickest and easiest way is to complete a request online, provided you have all of the relevant information about the crash. Phone requests and in-person requests are also good alternatives. Keep in mind that requesting accident reports in Idaho isn’t free, and you may have to part with about $9 to $20 depending on your location and the means with which you made your request.
Reach Out to a Boise Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or your loved one was injured in a car accident through no fault of your own, you will likely need an experienced advocate on your side. The car accident attorneys at Boise Personal Injury Lawyers Group have decades of experience in helping victims of car accidents to recover the maximum amount of compensation possible for their losses. We will handle the negotiation process for you and ensure you get the maximum compensation possible.
Our lawyers are always ready to guide you through every step of the way so that you can focus on making a full recovery. Don’t hesitate to contact us. Get in touch with us at (208) 793-6272 or fill out the form below. Feel free to also use our Live Chat to schedule your free consultation with us. You deserve the best!