The Financial Impact of a Serious Car Accident
After a car accident, your health and safety is the most important thing you should worry about. But the truth is, it is hard not to worry about the financial considerations 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 were in a serious accident, it is impossible not to see these costs quickly add up.
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. However, we can look at previous cases to gauge a typical recovery.
Common costs include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
In addition, in severe cases, your case may provide extraordinary costs, including:
- Future medical costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of relationship
- Wrongful death
A Closer Look at Why Car Accidents Happen in Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids is a beautiful destination for outdoor lovers. The snow, the wildlife, and the abundant supply of recreational activities make the area enjoyable for residents and visitors. But these unique features also contribute to a large number of accidents every year.
A recent report found there were 245,432 crashes in Michigan over one year. The good news is that this is roughly a 2 percent decrease from the prior year. However, it is still too many. Common causes of car accidents include:
Year after year, speeding contributes to approximately one-quarter of all traffic fatalities. In a recent year, 26 percent of all fatal crashes in the United States and 9 percent of all injury crashes resulted from speeding.
One of the dangers we face in Grand Rapids is the combination of high speed and cold weather conditions. A speeding car takes longer to come to a complete stop. Combine this with icy road conditions, and a driver can completely lose control of their vehicle.
Driving under the influence
Driving under the influence is not only dangerous, it is selfish. But it continues to be a serious issue across the United States. In Michigan, recent data counted 311 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities during one year, compared to 656 motor vehicle accidents that did not involve alcohol. This means, that year, alcohol contributed to over 32 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities. To put that in perspective, 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
According to recent numbers from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, there were 51,103 deer-involved motor vehicle collisions during one year. That is one in 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 the wildlife. These accidents do not just happen when a driver collides with a deer. They can also happen when a driver reacts to avoid a collision with a deer.
Drivers should always drive at a speed and following distance where they have enough time to react. If a deer darts out in the road, a driver should allow enough time to 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 distance to where they also have enough time to stop.
Common Questions We Hear From Our Clients
If you were never 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?
The insurance companies would like you to believe that the first thing you should do after an accident is to call them to file a claim. So many of us were indoctrinated to believe this is the only thing we can and should do.
However, 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. Not only is this illegal, but it will also hurt your case. 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, any property damage, and the other vehicle’s license plate. If witnesses saw what happened get their contact information.
- Go to the doctor: Your health should always be your number one priority. If you have any serious injuries, contact 911 right away. If you are injured but do not need immediate attention, you can wait to go to your doctor or urgent care after leaving the scene.
- Contact a car accident attorney: One of the most important things you can understand is insurance companies are not on your side. They are in the business of making money. An experienced attorney can help you combat the aggressive tactics of the insurance company and help you plan your next steps moving forward.
I already received an offer from the insurance company. What should I do?
First, if you received an offer from the insurance company, it knows what your case is worth. And chances are, your offer is far less than the actual value of your case.
If you receive an offer, do not sign or accept anything. The best thing you can do is contact a car accident attorney. At Gruel Mills Nims & Pylman PLLC, we have handled thousands of car accident cases. Our legal team knows how to value a case and can tell when an offer from the insurance company is inappropriate. Contact our office to set up a free case evaluation if you have questions about a settlement offer.
How long do I have to recover damages after a car accident?
Most states limit the time a plaintiff has to recover damages from a negligent party. In Michigan, the statute of limitations for car accident claims is three years from the date of the accident. After three years, you will likely forfeit the right to make any legal claim through the Michigan court system.
While you should prioritize your recovery, you should not wait too long to contact an attorney. Your attorney needs time to gather evidence and review your case. Additionally, the longer you wait, the more likely the insurance company is to question the severity of your injuries.
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. However, it is usually a good choice, especially if you sustained serious injuries. The insurance company does not have your best interest at heart. They will look for opportunities to lower the value of your case.
At Gruel Mills Nims & Pylman PLLC, 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 connect with care providers and make sure you know what to expect every step of the way. And because we work on a contingency basis, we do not get paid unless you get paid. So cost should never be a prohibiting factor.
Gruel Mills Nims & Pylman PLLC: Your Trusted Local Car Accident Attorney
Dealing with a car accident is difficult. At Gruel Mills Nims & Pylman PLLC, we make the process easier for you. With over 35 years of experience, we know what to expect from the insurance companies and fight for the compensation our clients deserve.
If you or someone you love were in a recent accident, do not wait. Contact Gruel Mills Nims & Pylman PLLC, Attorneys and Counselors at (616) 235-5500 for your free case evaluation.
Grand Rapids Office Location
Campau Square Plaza Building
99 Monroe Ave NW #800
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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