A woman contacting her attorney after a car accident.

Being involved in a Bellevue car accident can be a traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. Trying to deal with insurance companies while recovering from your injuries can be overwhelming. Hiring a car accident lawyer can provide you with the support you need during this difficult time. 

An accident lawyer can defend your legal rights and assist you in obtaining fair compensation for your losses. This compensation may include money for medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. 

This article will discuss what to expect – from start to finish – when working with a Bellevue car accident lawyer

The Initial Free Case Consultation With a Bellevue, Nebraska Car Accident Lawyer

The process of hiring a personal injury lawyer begins with the initial consultation. Most personal injury law firms offer clients a free case review. This allows you to meet with the lawyer and determine whether you feel he or she is a good fit for your case. 

The following are some questions you may want to ask an auto accident lawyer during your initial consultation:

  • How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
  • Can you provide references?
  • How long will my case take?
  • Have you won similar cases in the past?
  • How will you handle my case?
  • Can you estimate the value of my claim?
  • What is your fee structure?
  • Who will be handling my case?
  • Do you foresee any challenges with my case?
  • How often will you communicate with me about my case?

You want to choose a lawyer who has experience successfully handling car accident cases, but you also need a lawyer whom you trust and feel comfortable communicating with. 

Your initial case review also gives the attorney a chance to review the details of your case and assess the potential value of your car accident claim.

Offering Legal Advice

One of the key roles of car accident lawyers is to provide legal guidance for their clients throughout the financial recovery process. You and your attorney can work together to develop a strategy for getting fair compensation for your injuries. 

Your lawyer may suggest ways you can make sure your case is successful, such as refraining from giving recorded statements to the insurance company or posting about the accident on social media.

It is your attorney’s responsibility to safeguard your rights throughout the entire claims process. He or she will ensure that you are fairly treated and not back down until a fair settlement agreement is reached. 

Investigation and Gathering Evidence

You can expect your car accident attorney to conduct a thorough investigation of your case. Your lawyer will immediately begin to gather evidence to support your claim and version of events.

This may involve:

  • Obtaining copies of police reports
  • Photographing the accident scene
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Examining medical records
  • Assessing the extent of property damage
  • Requesting video footage from dash cams or surveillance cameras
  • Consulting accident reconstructionists or other experts

By carefully collecting and analyzing evidence, your personal injury lawyer can build a compelling motor vehicle accident case on your behalf.

Identifying All Liable Parties

Determining liability is an essential part of your car accident case. You have a right to pursue compensation from any party who caused or contributed to your car crash. 

When determining liability, lawyers will examine factors such as:

  • Driver negligence: Most accident claims are based on negligence. Behaviors that could deem a driver negligent include texting, running traffic lights or signals, speeding, or driving under the influence. 
  • Road conditions: Poorly maintained roads, debris, or construction site hazards can contribute to car accidents. In this situation, the government entity responsible for road maintenance could be liable for your accident. 
  • Third-party liability: Was the driver who hit your vehicle working for a delivery company or on the job at the time of the accident? If so, the company the driver works for could be liable to pay for your damages. 
  • Vehicle malfunction: Brake failure, tire blowout, or other mechanical issues could cause a motor vehicle accident. If a defective auto part contributed to your accident, the parts manufacturer or distributor could be liable for damages. 
  • Comparative negligence: When it comes to car accident claims, Nebraska is a comparative negligence state. This means that if more than one party is at fault, the level of negligence of each party will be taken into consideration.

Calculating Compensation and Damages

The insurance company may try to pressure you into accepting a low settlement offer. It is recommended to hold out on accepting a payout without first consulting with a lawyer.

Personal injury lawyers ensure that their clients receive the maximum amount of compensation they deserve following car accidents. Your lawyer will take into account your current and future losses resulting from the car accident.

The compensation you receive should cover the following:

  • Medical expenses: Car accident victims are entitled to recover compensation for all medical expenses incurred in the collision. This includes ambulance rides, tests, hospital stays, surgeries, prescriptions, rehabilitation, and any necessary future medical care relating to the injury. 
  • Lost income: If your car accident injuries prevent you from returning to work, you can pursue compensation for lost wages. This includes income lost during your recovery period, and future lost earnings due to temporary or permanent disabilities. 
  • Property damage: The cost to repair or replace your vehicle and any other property damaged in the accident is also factored into the calculation. This can include damage to personal belongings such as cell phones and structures or roadside fixtures. 
  • Pain and suffering: You also may be compensated for any physical pain and emotional suffering caused by the accident. The amount of compensation awarded will depend largely on the severity of your injuries, the duration of your recovery, and the impact on your quality of life. 
  • Emotional distress: Beyond physical injuries, a car accident can leave a victim with lasting emotional scars. A person may suffer from anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Compensation may be awarded for a person’s emotional distress brought on by the accident. 

Provide Support and Guidance

According to statistics, there were 2.1 million emergency room visits for injuries from motor vehicle accidents during one recent year. Serious injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident can leave you traumatized, stressed, and unsure of how to move forward with your life. 

A personal injury attorney will have experience assisting other accident victims. Your lawyer will understand the physical and emotional toll a car crash can have on you. His or her support can help alleviate some of the anxiety you are feeling during this time. 

Negotiating With the Insurance Company

Your lawyer can handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf. Insurance adjusters may try to trick you into admitting fault or saying something they can use to devalue your claim. 

Most auto accident claims are settled through negotiations rather than litigation in court. However, insurers will look for ways to limit or lower the amount the insurance company has to pay. It is your lawyer’s job to negotiate a higher settlement. 

Strong negotiation skills are essential to a favorable outcome. An experienced Bellevue car accident attorney will work to maximize your compensation while minimizing delays. 

Preparing for Trial

If your case fails to settle through negotiations, your lawyer may suggest filing a personal injury lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit can pressure the at-fault party to settle the claim. After filing the lawsuit, injury lawyers will continue to try to negotiate a fair settlement but will begin preparing for trial as well.

Trial preparations may include:

  • Filing all necessary documents
  • Gathering evidence
  • Deposing witnesses
  • Formulating a persuasive legal strategy

Throughout this stage, your lawyer should continue to keep you informed of any developments and address any concerns you have. 

Present Your Case in Court

In situations where the at-fault party denies liability or a settlement cannot be reached, it may be necessary to go to trial. Your lawyer will present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and deliver compelling legal arguments before a judge and jury. 

While trials can be emotionally taxing, having an experienced lawyer by your side can provide reassurance and guidance through the entire process. 

If the court rules in your favor, you may be awarded compensation for your injuries and damages. If such an outcome is unsuccessful, though, your lawyer may explore the option of filing an appeal. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Bellevue Car Accident Lawyers Today

There are many benefits to hiring a Bellevue personal injury attorney to represent you after a car accident. At Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf, and Lathrop, we have helped many victims of car accidents in Sarpy County, Nebraska, obtain fair compensation for their injuries. 

From dealing with insurance companies to representing you in court if needed, our lawyers can handle every step of your claim. Your rights and best interests are our main concern. We prioritize your healthy recovery above everything else. 

We take all personal injury cases, including motor vehicle accidents, on contingency. This means you will not pay any upfront fees. We only get paid if your case is successful and you receive a settlement or award. Call us today at 402-241-8214 to schedule a free consultation.

by Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop
Last updated on - Originally published on

Posted in: Car Accidents