A woman calling for help after a serious car accident left her car off the road.Car accidents frequently involve broken glass, airbag deployments, and impacts that can cause bruising or cuts. While a contusion or bruise may sound minor, some are severe enough to cause deep tissue damage.

Significant bruising can also indicate a more serious problem, such as internal bleeding or damage or a torn muscle.

Lacerations could be minor and easily treated with a BandAid, or they might be deeper cuts that require stitches. Getting prompt treatment will ensure the cut is treated appropriately and reduce the risk of permanent scarring.

However, some lacerations are large enough that even a healthcare worker’s best efforts can’t prevent significant scars. In the most severe cases, lacerations can even be disfiguring, especially if they involve the face.

What Can a Bridgeport Car Accident Contusions and Lacerations Attorney Do to Help?

After a car accident in which you suffer contusions and lacerations, you could be faced with medical bills, lost income from missing work, and other damages. Yet it can be challenging to collect the compensation you need from the at-fault driver’s car insurance company for several reasons:

  • The insurance adjuster thinks you’re at fault. The other driver may have blamed you, or the adjuster might have come to that conclusion on their own. Under Connecticut law, both parties can share fault in an accident, so they don’t need to prove you were entirely at fault to save money. We’ll talk more about proving fault later in this article.
  • The insurance adjuster undervalues your claim. This is often the case with contusions and lacerations because the adjuster may decide these injuries sound minor and inconsequential. They could reject your claim because they feel your treatment isn’t necessary or you shouldn’t be in pain anymore.
  • The insurance adjuster overlooks some of your damages. This is another type of undervaluing. If you’re lucky, the adjuster might offer to pay your current medical bills. But before you sign that settlement offer, please discuss it with an Bridgeport personal injury attorney. The insurance company may not have considered your future medical bills if you’re still in treatment. They could also have completely ignored other damages like your pain and suffering or lost income.

Your car accident attorney can help you with all these issues. First, we’ll thoroughly investigate your accident and work to show the other driver was at fault, or at least primarily at fault.

Connecticut laws allow you to obtain damages so long as you are less than 51 percent responsible for the accident. However, any percentage of fault assigned to you will be deducted from your final award.

If you were 20 percent at fault, for instance, you would lose 20 percent of your settlement but could still recover 80 percent of your damages.

There are two potential issues that many of our clients run into:

  • You made a small mistake that contributed to the accident in a minor way, but the insurance company is exaggerating your contribution. For example, they might claim that you are 40 percent at fault when you have maybe 10 percent of the responsibility in this situation. In some cases, they might even claim you are more than 51 percent responsible so they can avoid paying anything at all.
  • You actually had no responsibility for the accident whatsoever, but the insurance company claims you had some percentage of fault. The adjuster may not say you were entirely at fault but might instead suggest you were 10 or 20 percent responsible. They know many people will not fight them on such a determination, and they could potentially save thousands of dollars.

Who Actually Decides Fault in a Car Accident Case?

Often, people guess it’s either the police or a police accident report, or they think that car accident cases are always settled in court. Neither of these answers is totally correct, although a police report is critical, and car accident disputes are occasionally handled in court.

However, most car accident cases are settled out of court. We always try to negotiate with the insurance company to reach a fair solution rather than go to trial.

Trials make the process take longer, and they can be stressful and time-consuming for the client. If at all possible, we want to achieve a reasonable settlement without going to court, and in most situations, this is possible, as the insurance company also likes to avoid lengthy courtroom cases.

In rare circumstances, the insurance company may refuse to come to a fair agreement. If that happens, we are always fully prepared to fight for your rights in court.

What About the Police Report?

The police report is an essential piece of evidence in a car accident case, and we will study yours carefully. We may ask you about specific details to ensure they are accurate, or we may seek clarification if something is unclear.

The police report contains information on the drivers, such as their contact info and insurance status. There is also a section for the police officer to describe weather conditions and other factors that could have affected the accident.

Additionally, they fill out a section where they draw a diagram of how the accident happened and describe what they believe occurred. This opinion is based on their interviews with the drivers and other witnesses, as well as observation at the scene.

While a police report holds a lot of weight in court, it is not the final word on what happened. In most accidents, the officer wasn’t present when the crash occurred and can only make their best guess at how it happened based on witness testimony and evidence.

It would be unrealistic to expect that anyone could guess correctly 100 percent of the time, especially in situations where the available evidence may be limited. If we can find evidence that the officer’s version of events isn’t accurate, we can challenge it in court.

But as we discussed earlier, most car accident cases are resolved out of court. Still, the evidence we gather in your case can help us to resolve it with the insurance company.

Once the insurance adjuster learns about the evidence we have and how strong our case is, they are usually more inclined to reach an equitable solution. The insurance company does not want to go to court and lose.

What Kind of Evidence Is Helpful in a Car Accident Case?

It’s a good idea to take pictures after your accident—pictures of the scene, the damage to your car, the debris on the ground, and the area nearby. Take as many pictures as possible and try to get both wide shots and close-ups. We also recommend capturing photographs of your injuries in case they’re needed for insurance purposes.

There are other types of evidence that we will ask our investigative team to seek out. We’ll visit the scene of the accident and make observations, and we may canvas the area for witnesses.

Additionally, we’ll look for doorbells or security cameras, as these sometimes capture accidents that happen nearby. In some cases, the owner may not even know they have video of the collision.

While the proliferation of doorbell cams and other video capture devices has increased the availability of video evidence in car accident cases, there is a downside. These videos are often deleted frequently to free up storage space, so we may have limited time to contact the owner about them.

The sooner you contact us after your accident, the more options we will have for finding evidence, so please reach out to an attorney as quickly as possible.

Additionally, once we file a lawsuit, we can ask the court for permission to access the event data recorder or EDR logs from both vehicles. EDRs were designed to help car manufacturers improve vehicle safety, but it soon became apparent that they provided helpful evidence in many car accident cases.

We can use this data to learn each car’s speed, direction, and the driver’s actions during the crash.

If we suspect the other driver was distracted by their phone, we can also request their smartphone records. These may show us if the other driver was texting or using their phone during the collision.

How to Get Help From a Bridgeport Car Accident Contusions and Lacerations Law Firm

After your car accident, please contact Bert McDowell Injury Law for a free consultation about your case. We’ll review the accident, search for additional evidence if necessary, and explain your options for pursuing compensation.

There is no obligation, and if we take your case, you won’t owe us anything until we win or settle it.

Bert McDowell, Jr. is an experienced litigator who assists clients with a variety of personal injury cases. Featured in 40 Under 40 Connecticut Magazine, he was also named to National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40.

Additionally, he has been a Super Lawyers Rising Star four years in a row. Dedicated to community service, he earned the 100 Men of Color Award for his nonprofit work and stellar legal reputation.

The organization Black People Rocks also honored him with the Man of Excellence Award. Work with Attorney McDowell today by calling (203) 590-9169.