After a traumatic accident, it’s difficult to navigate insurance companies and legal claims without the right information. Don’t wait until it’s too late — learn the steps to take after an accident and throughout your personal injury case now to get the best outcome in the future.
Life comes at you fast.
No one knows that better than Jesus Moreno, a motorcyclist in Michigan who was struck and dragged by a city bus during a routine left turn. When this world-class triathlete was hit and injured by a distracted driver, he learned some valuable lessons about the legal process throughout his extraordinary comeback.
Jesus joined the Open Mike Podcast to talk about his life-changing accident and how he won his personal injury case — even after dealing with an unreliable legal team. Should this worst-case scenario happen to you, we’ve outlined exactly what to do after an auto accident that threatens your livelihood.
Read on to learn:
- What to do after a car crash with a distracted driver
- How to navigate a personal injury case after a traumatic accident and what to expect from your attorney
- How to make the best decisions for your personal injury case settlement
Been in an Accident With a Distracted Driver? Do This First
It was a beautiful summer day when Jesus and two friends decided to go for a motorcycle ride — little did he know, he’d wake up in a hospital a day and a half later because the city bus driver failed to stop at a red light.
Sometimes despite your best efforts and preparation, you can still wind up in a tough spot. But you’ll be in a better position to win your car accident lawsuit if you follow these suggestions.
The first thing to remember is this: After you’ve been in an accident with a distracted driver, it’s crucial to contact a lawyer as soon as possible for three reasons:
- Witnesses evaporate
- Memories change
- Insurance companies often try to manipulate witnesses to change their statements
It’s important to take early steps in these stressful situations, because you may not know it yet, but life post-accident will look a lot different than what you’re used to. Quickly finding a legal team takes the pressure off you and into the hands of your attorney’s office — which should also act swiftly to gather evidence to build your case.
How Your Car Accident Lawyer Should Handle Your Case
Between losing his dominant hand and having to relearn how to chew, blink, and talk, the last thing Jesus should have had to worry about was the handling of his motorcycle accident case. But, unfortunately, he did.
Before hiring the Mike Morse Law Firm, Jesus didn’t have much luck finding a reliable legal team. His first lawyer canceled multiple meetings and left him in the dark for weeks on end. Worse yet, he never even got to meet his lawyer once in the 11 months they worked together.
What are you supposed to do if an already nightmarish situation gets even worse because of the people who are supposed to assist you? Leave.
Recognizing if you and your motor vehicle crash attorney are a good fit is essential to a successful trial. It’s completely within your right to fire your lawyer if you don’t feel comfortable with them or if they don’t look out for your best interests.
That’s what Jesus did, and it was for the best: “From the moment I hired Mike Morse, I didn’t even have to call them. They would call me and update me with things, and then I could totally focus on healing — that made a world of difference.”
After you’ve been in an accident with a distracted driver, your lawyer should promptly:
- Gather witnesses
- Send experts to the scene to take photos
- Hire experts to do a full investigation
- Supply you with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions regarding your case
Your firm may take a few days to investigate the scene, but it should never take up to a year like with Jesus’ former firm.
Make the Right Decisions to Win Your Car Accident Lawsuit
In the end, Jesus and the City of Detroit were able to reach a fair settlement with the help of the Mike Morse Law Firm; however, things easily could have gone awry. Here’s why knowing your options before you determine arrangements is one of the best ways to combat a traumatic accident with a negligent or distracted driver.
At the time of the accident, Michigan’s No-Fault system determined that Jesus qualified for unlimited medical benefits, rehabilitation and care.
If you’re unfamiliar with no-fault laws, it means that after an auto accident, no-fault insurance pays for your medical expenses, wage loss benefits, replacement services, and damage to the other person’s property. (Be sure to learn the specifics of this policy for your state.)
Why does this matter? Well, as of July 1, 2020, reform is in place in Michigan that has changed the program to a choice-based system instead of one where the qualified automatically elect for unlimited treatment (To learn more about the changes to Michigan’s No-Fault law download our free guide here).
If, in this instance, Jesus was offered and accepted a settlement for $500,000, the compensation would have been exhausted in two to three weeks. He would then have to be on Medicaid and his quality of life would’ve drastically plummeted.
The specialized prosthetics that allow him to perform athletic activities would not be possible, nor would the 10 surgeries he needed on his hand.
This scenario is exactly why you should let a law firm that specializes in auto accidents handle your case — it’ll give you the peace of mind needed to recover. And to get through your recovery, Jesus advises one important thing: Take your doctor’s advice and diligently follow the exercises assigned to you.
Jesus is an inspiration and an example to anyone who’s recovered from auto accidents with unbeatable odds. With the right legal team and making the right choices for your recovery, winning your personal injury lawsuit is well within your reach.
This article is based on an episode of Open Mike, my weekly podcast featuring key Detroit figures and other guests discussing the topics you care about – we’re going to tell you the truth about the law, your rights, and current events both here in Detroit and nationwide.
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