The Financial Impact of a Serious Car Accident
Your main concern after a car accident should be your health and safety, but it is hard not to worry about finances following an accident. The average cost of a three-day hospital stay in the U.S. is approximately $30,000. For a broken leg, you can expect to pay upwards of $7,500. If you are in a serious accident, it is impossible not to see these costs quickly add up and worry about how those bills will get paid.
Having the financial resources you need after an accident can be critical to your recovery. A car accident case aims to help you recover the costs associated with your accident so you can focus on yourself. Every case is different, and there is no way to guess the exact amount your case is worth.
Common damages include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
In severe cases, you may also sustain the following damages:
- Future medical costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Damage to your relationships with loved ones
- Wrongful death
A Closer Look at Why Car Accidents Happen in Grand Rapids
There were more than 245,000 vehicle crashes in Michigan in 2020. In 2021, that number rose 15% to more than 282,000. About 20,000 of those crashes occurred in Kent County, which ranks as the fourth highest county in Michigan for motor vehicle crashes. This is far too many crashes.
Common causes of car accidents include:
Year after year, speeding is a contributing cause of approximately one-quarter of all traffic fatalities. In 2020, 26 percent of all fatal crashes in the United States and 9 percent of all injury crashes were caused at least in part by speeding.
One of the dangers we face in Grand Rapids is the combination of high speeds and cold weather conditions. A speeding car takes longer to come to a complete stop under normal conditions. Combine this with ice and snow on the roads, and a driver can completely lose control of their vehicle.
Driving under the influence
Driving under the influence is dangerous and selfish, yet it continues to be a serious issue across the United States. In Michigan, recent data counted 311 fatalities caused by alcohol-impaired driving in one year, compared to 656 motor vehicle accidents that did not involve alcohol. This means alcohol contributed to over 32 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities that year. The national average for alcohol-impaired fatalities during that same period was only 29 percent.
Poor weather can make driving treacherous. In Grand Rapids, we have our fair share of unfavorable conditions. Snow and ice are typical during the winter months. This means drivers on the road need to take extra steps to prevent an accident. Failure to take the appropriate safety measures could make the driver negligent.
Things we see drivers do that contribute to bad weather accidents include:
- Inappropriate use of headlights
- Inadequate or missing traction devices
- Not knowing the weather conditions
Grand Rapids is a beautiful destination for outdoor lovers. While our wildlife is an enjoyable aspect for residents and visitors, it also contributes to a large number of accidents every year.
According to recent numbers from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, there were 51,103 deer-involved motor vehicle collisions in 2020. That is one out of every five accidents that year. Kent County had the second-most deer crashes with 1,712.
Anyone who lives and drives in Michigan knows we share the road with wildlife. Accidents do not only happen when a driver collides with an animal – they can also happen when a driver serves or otherwise reacts to avoid a collision with a deer, raccoon, rabbit, possum, or other wildlife.
Drivers should always drive at a speed and following distance where they have enough time to react. If an animal darts out into the road, a driver should be traveling slow enough that they can come to a stop without swerving into another lane. In the same regard, if a driver comes to a stop to avoid a collision, the driver behind them should have allowed enough following distance that they also have enough time to stop.
Common Questions We Hear From Our Clients
If you were in an accident, you likely have many questions. Our job is to help our clients understand their rights and answer any questions they may have. Below are some of the most common questions we hear from our clients:
What should I do immediately following an accident?
As an accident victim, you need to protect your rights. Here’s how.
- Stay at the scene: If you were just in an accident, do not leave the scene. Unless you reasonably fear for your safety and drive straight to a police station, this is illegal. It will also hurt your legal claims for compensation. Move your car to a safe location, and check your surroundings to ensure there are no other dangers.
- Exchange insurance information: The law requires all drivers to exchange insurance information after an accident involving damage or injury. The more information you get, the easier it will be to process your case. At a minimum, you need the other driver’s name, phone number, name of the insurance carrier, policy number, and contact number for the insurance provider.
- Gather evidence: Photos are the best way to preserve evidence of what happened. Try to get pictures of both vehicles, including any damage, and the other vehicle’s license plate. If witnesses saw what happened, get their contact information as well.
- Go to the doctor: Your health should always be your number one priority. If you know or even suspect that you may have any serious injuries, call 911 right away. If you are injured but do not need immediate attention, go to your doctor or urgent care immediately after leaving the scene.
- Contact a car accident attorney: An experienced attorney can help you combat the aggressive tactics of the insurance company and help you plan your next steps moving forward.
Do I need an attorney if I want to recover damages after a car accident?
The law does not require you to retain an attorney if you want to recover damages after a car accident. You can make claims to the various insurers on your own. However, insurers routinely delay or deny claims, and it is incredibly difficult to represent yourself if litigation becomes necessary. In many situations, it is difficult to even determine which insurer is responsible for paying your benefits in the no-fault system.
At Gruel Mills, our legal team is familiar with insurance companies’ tactics, and we know how to combat them. When we take on a car accident case, our first objective is to provide our clients with a safe space and advocate for their rights. We will help you get the care you need and make sure you know what to expect every step of the way. And because we work on a contingency basis, you do not have to worry about paying hefty legal bills up front. Do not let worry about the cost of litigation keep you from contacting us.
Gruel Mills Nims & Pylman PLLC: Your Trusted Local Car Accident Attorney
Dealing with a car accident is difficult. At Gruel Mills, we make the process easier for you. With over 35 years of experience, we know what to expect from the insurance companies and how to fight for the compensation our clients deserve. Reach out to a Grand Rapids car accident lawyer.
If you or a loved one have been in a car accident, do not wait. Contact Gruel Mills at (616) 235-5500 or email us for a free case consultation.
Grand Rapids Office Location
Campau Square Plaza Building
99 Monroe Ave NW #800
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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