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What You Need to Know About Car Accident Compensation

Our San Luis County Accident Lawyer Understands That You Need Compensation

A car accident can turn your life upside down for months or perhaps change your life forever. Even comparatively minor car accidents can result in serious injuries that leave you unable to work or take care of your family. As a result, the financial impact can extend far beyond your medical bills. Unfortunately, too many victims don’t understand what their case is worth and decide not to pursue a claim and then later discover that they were entitled to compensation that they can no longer pursue. If you have been injured in a car accident, a San Luis Obispo County accident lawyer can help you understand what your claim may be worth. 

Medical Expenses After a Car Accident 

When estimating the value of your car accident claim, the first component your San Luis County accident lawyer will consider is your medical expenses. This includes the following:

  • All doctors’ and hospital bills
  • Ambulance expenses
  • Costs incurred for medical equipment such as crutches or wheelchairs
  • Physical therapy costs

Your medical expenses should include any expenses that were covered by insurance but especially your uncovered expenses such as deductibles and copays. Covered expenses will be deducted from your settlement, but they are included to understand the total value of your claim. 

Lost Income

Another important component of your claim is any income that you have lost as a result of your accident. Whether you are paid on an hourly basis or as a salaried employee, any time that you missed work should be accounted for. This includes both short absences to go to doctors’ appointments as well as extended periods where you were unable to go to work. If your injuries require you to work only part-time or to miss overtime opportunities, these amounts also need to be calculated. Determining your lost income can be complicated, but a skilled car accident lawyer can help. 

Miscellaneous Expenses

You should also carefully consider what other expenses you have incurred as a result of your accident. For example: 

  • Increased transportation costs because you cannot drive
  • Expenses incurred that allow you to work from home (purchasing a laptop or desk chair)
  • Expensive property that was destroyed in the accident such as your smartphone 

Your San Luis Obispo County accident lawyer can help you catalog the expenses that you can include in your claim. 

Pain and Suffering 

You are also entitled to be compensated for any pain and suffering you experience as a result of your car accident. This is the most difficult component of a car accident claim for non-lawyers to calculate because it doesn’t come with a bill. Instead, this portion of your claim places a value on your physical pain and mental and emotional anguish that you have experienced in recovering from your accident. Pain and suffering are subjective but very real for accident victims. In order to accurately estimate this portion of your claim, you need to understand the methods for calculating pain and suffering claims and what the courts and insurance companies will find persuasive. 

How Much Will It Cost to Hire a San Luis Obispo County Accident Lawyer?

While you are not obligated to hire an attorney, people who are represented by lawyers are much more likely to be successful. One reason is that most non-lawyers underestimate the value of their car accident claims. Another reason is that if you hire a lawyer, the insurance company is far less likely to offer a low-ball settlement. Finally, a San Luis Obispo County accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal system if your claim does not settle. 

Without a doubt, lawyers are expensive. Many lawyers are unaffordable for most people under any circumstances, charging hundreds of dollars for every hour that they work on your case. If you’ve been in an accident and facing significant medical bills or can’t work, hiring a lawyer may seem like something you simply can’t afford. Fortunately, you have options that allow you to hire a San Luis Obispo County accident lawyer to get the legal help you need. 

Contingency Fees Explained

Most, if not all, auto accident lawyers work on what is referred to as a contingency fee basis. This means that you will pay legal fees on the contingency that they recover compensation. In other words, you pay no legal fees unless you win. You will not have to pay any legal fees out-of-pocket or pay up-front fees such as a retainer fee. 

Contingency fees are usually calculated as a percentage of the compensation you recover. One-third is a fairly common contingency fee for many personal injury lawyers. Using that percentage as an example, it would work like this: if your San Luis Obispo county accident lawyer is able to settle your claim for $150,000, they would take $50,000 as their fee from your settlement and you would keep the remaining $100,000.  

Schedule a Free Consultation with a San Luis Obispo County Accident Lawyer to Understand What Your Case is Worth

The good news is that you don’t have to figure this out on your own. San Luis Obispo County accident lawyer Earl A. Conaway, III helps clients understand the value of their case so that they can decide whether or not they should pursue a claim. With skill, knowledge, and experience, he helps his clients get the compensation they need to get their lives back. Call us today at  (805) 546-8797 or send us an email to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and how we can help.

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"Best criminal law lawyer in town! Earl has been helping me for the last few years and has made a huge difference. I highly recommend him, if you want a sophisticated and intelligent lawyer, then Earl is your man."
Posted By: Amy Guing

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