Car Accident Lawyer in Meridian, ID

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Meridian, ID is the second largest city in Idaho behind Boise and is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. With a population of just under 120,000 during the 2020 census, this means that there are a lot of cars on Meridian streets — and surely more to come.

As the population grows, so too does the number of car accidents. In 2019, there were 1,948 reported car crashes in Meridian, ID, an increase of nearly 10% from the previous year. There was a substantial decline in accidents in 2020, which is a trend that was observed nationally due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but in areas where more recent data has been published, accidents have returned to the historical trendline, and we can expect that in Meridian, as well.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you need an experienced Meridian car accident lawyer on your side to help you get the compensation you deserve. At Casares Law, we have helped many Idahoans injured in car accidents, and we can help you, too.

Casares Law — Here For You

Dealing with insurance companies is never easy, but it is especially difficult when you are trying to recover from injuries sustained in a car accident. The insurance adjusters will do whatever they can to minimize the amount of money that the company has to pay out on your claim, and if you don’t have an experienced Meridian car accident lawyer on your side, you could end up getting shortchanged.

At Casares Law, we know how to deal with insurance companies and successfully navigate insurance claims for our Meridian, ID clients. We will fight to get you the full compensation you are entitled to under Idaho law.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and are planning to file an insurance claim, read about the importance of working with a car accident attorney below. Contact Casares Law as soon as possible to request a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney today.

Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Meridian, ID

Many different factors can contribute to a car accident, but some of the most common include the following:

Distracted Driving

When we hear the term “distracted driving,” our minds usually go straight to using a cell phone while driving — which is a fair assumption considering how prevalent this issue is on America’s roadways — but a number of other distractions contribute to crashes every day.

Essentially, any behavior or activity that takes a driver’s eyes, mind, or hands off of the task of driving is a distraction, subdivided into three distinct categories:

  • Manual: Anything that takes a driver’s hands off the wheel, such as fumbling with a GPS device or adjusting the radio.
  • Visual: Any behavior that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, such as looking at something outside the car or rubbernecking.
  • Cognitive: Anything that takes a driver’s mind off the task of driving, such as daydreaming or being distracted by a conversation with a passenger.

All three types of distractions can contribute to serious accidents, but cognitive distractions are particularly dangerous because they cause drivers to “tunnel vision” and fail to see potential hazards on the road.

Speeding

Speed limits are set for a reason: to help keep motorists safe. When drivers exceed the posted limit, they put themselves at risk and everyone else on the road. Speeding makes it more difficult to control a vehicle, increases the distance needed to stop, and magnifies the force of a collision if an accident does occur — all of which can lead to catastrophic injuries sustained by innocent victims.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is never a good idea, and it is against the law in all 50 states. Drugs and alcohol can impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, and when drivers get behind the wheel while impaired, they not only put their own lives at risk but also the lives of everyone else on the road.

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense, and if you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk or drugged driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Fatigue

When we think of fatigue, we often picture someone who has been driving for hours on end and is starting to feel drowsy at the wheel. However, fatigue can also set in after a long day at work, low blood sugar, or even after a short nap. Fatigue impairs a driver’s ability to concentrate and make good decisions, and it can cause drivers to fall asleep at the wheel.

Even nodding off for a second can cause a driver to swerve out of their lane or hit the accelerator, leading to dangerous outcomes for everyone sharing the road with them.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving covers a wide range of dangerous behaviors, but it generally refers to any actions taken by a driver that shows a disregard for the safety of others, as well as a disregard for Idaho law. Some common examples of reckless driving include:

  • Tailgating
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Cutting off other drivers
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Driving in inclement weather without headlights
  • Speeding in school zones or neighborhoods
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Making illegal U-turns
  • Intentionally causing a car accident

Don’t See the Cause Of Your Motor Vehicle Crash?

Whether or not you see the cause of your motor vehicle accident in this list above, contact Casares Law today to speak with a Meridian car accident lawyer and learn more about how we can help you build a case.

Common Injuries From Car Accidents

The following are just a few of the many possible injuries sustained from a traffic accident. As with the causes of accidents listed above, be sure to contact our law firm as soon as possible whether or not you see your injuries listed below.

Whiplash

Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury in the neck that is caused by the head snapping forward, down, and back in a rapid “S” motion, tearing ligaments and muscles and causing inflammation. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in car accidents, particularly rear-end collisions, and it can often take weeks or even months to recover from. Many people fail to realize they have suffered this type of injury at the scene of the crash due to the latent onset of symptoms, making it all the more important to not comment on your condition until consulting with a doctor.

Head Injuries

Head injuries range from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and they can occur in any type of car accident. However, head injuries are most common in rollover accidents and frontal collisions. These accidents often result in a driver or passenger slamming their head against the steering wheel, dashboard, window, or another object inside the vehicle.

Broken Bones

Broken bones are very common injuries in car accidents, and they can occur in any type of collision. However, they are particularly common in accidents at higher speeds because of the impact required to break a bone. That said, fractures (and any other type of injury) can take place in any type of crash.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury can range from a mild concussion to a severe, life-threatening injury. Side effects of a TBI can include persistent headaches, brain fog, memory loss, increased agitation, changes in personality, and may even be fatal. If you suspect that you or a passenger has suffered a blow to the head, it is essential to see a doctor as soon as possible to get a scan and address any possible complications in a timely manner.

Internal Bleeding

Internal bleeding is another serious hidden danger after a car accident. While some types of internal bleeding are obvious — such as if you are coughing up blood — other types may not be as easy to spot. If you experience abdominal pain, lightheadedness, or feel faint after an accident, it could be a sign that you are losing blood internally and there is a serious issue that must be addressed.

Seatbelt Injuries

According to the NHTSA, seatbelts have saved an estimated 374,276 lives between 1975 and 2017, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t secondary risks associated with this essential life-saving device. Seatbelt injuries arise when the webbing or other parts of the restraint system dig into your body during a collision. While the force of a seatbelt is what keeps you from being ejected from the vehicle, it can still cause bruising, lacerations, and even broken bones in some cases.

Airbag Injuries

As with seatbelts, airbags are designed to save lives by keeping you from being ejected from the vehicle or slamming into the steering wheel, dashboard, or other parts of the car. However, airbags can also cause injuries, ranging from minor burns and abrasions to more serious injuries like broken bones and facial damage.

Emotional Distress

While it may not be a physical injury, the emotional distress that can come after a car accident can be just as debilitating. Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression are all common following a traumatic event like a car accident. If your emotional distress is severe enough to affect your daily life, it is important to seek professional help to get the treatment you need to recover.

Idaho Car Accident Statistics

In 2020 there were a total of 22,528 crashes and 214 fatalities. Total crashes declined by 16.6% compared to 2019, while fatalities decreased by 6.5% in the same period. Per the report by the Idaho Transportation Department’s Office of Highway Safety that these statistics are from: “Much of the decreases in 2020 may be due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in people traveling less.” 

Regardless of why these numbers have changed, the critical thing to remember is that you are not a number. And you should not be treated like a number when you are going through the auto accident claims process to recover damages — the ID car accident lawyers at Casares Law will make sure of it.

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Calculating Damages in an Auto Accident Case

When you file a claim with the auto insurance company after a Meridian car accident, an adjuster is assigned to your case to review your situation before they make a settlement offer. The problem with relying on an adjuster is that they are not on your side, and their job is to settle your claim for as little money as possible.

To calculate a fair settlement offer, your Meridian car accident lawyer will need to consider a multitude of losses you’ve suffered — referred to collectively as “compensatory damages” — and will make a counter-offer that will likely kick off a series of aggressive negotiations before hopefully reaching a fair final agreement. These damages are subdivided into two distinct categories: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the financial costs you’ve incurred and losses you have experienced as a direct result of the accident and your injuries. This could include things like:

  • Medical bills (both past and future)
  • Lost wages (both past and future)
  • Property damage
  • The cost of any necessary home or vehicle modifications to accommodate your injuries
  • Assistive devices
  • The cost of services to help you while you are injured

These are just a few of the many different damages that an experienced car accident attorney will be able to identify and calculate as they seek comprehensive repayment for your involvement in a Meridian car accident that someone else caused.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify because they do not have a direct financial cost associated with them. These could include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium (the loss of companionship or spousal support)
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disfigurement or scarring

As you can imagine, finding an appropriate dollar amount for something as abstract as “loss of enjoyment” can be difficult, and the insurance company will work hard to deny or devalue these types of claims. This is why it’s so important to have an experienced attorney on your side who knows how to calculate and communicate the full value of your losses.

Understanding Punitive Damages

In rare instances, a judge or jury will award punitive damages to a personal injury plaintiff at the end of a trial. These damages are not intended to compensate the victim but rather to punish the at-fault party for their negligence and send a message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.

To recover punitive damages in Idaho, the judge or jury must believe that the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious — such as drunk driving — and that they resulted in injuries that deserve punitive measures in addition to the compensatory damages already awarded. Punitive damages are capped at $250,000 in the state of Idaho.

Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Accident Cases

Is the insurance company’s settlement offer worth taking?

It’s difficult to know whether or not an insurance company’s settlement offer is fair without first speaking with an experienced attorney. The insurance company will likely try to lowball you, and if you accept their offer, you could be left struggling to cover the true cost of your injuries.

Do I need a lawyer for car accident claims?

While you are not required to have an attorney for car accident claims, it’s highly recommended that you do. An experienced lawyer will be able to navigate the complex legal process, gather evidence to support your claim, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

How long will my case take?

The length of your case will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries, the insurance company’s willingness to negotiate, and whether or not you can reach a settlement agreement. In some cases, car accident claims can be resolved relatively quickly, while others may take months or even years to resolve — especially if they are bogged down in the court system.

Will I need to go to trial?

The vast majority of Meridian car accident cases are resolved through negotiated settlements between the parties involved. However, sometimes an insurance company will refuse to offer a fair settlement, and in these instances, your attorney may file a lawsuit with the Idaho courts. However, even filing a lawsuit does not mean that your case will go to trial, as there are a number of opportunities for direct negotiations before the actual trial begins.

Contact Our Firm For a Free Consultation With Meridian Car Accident Lawyers

The team of car accident attorneys at our firm has a history of success with personal injury cases and will be happy to discuss your situation during a free consultation. Personal injury law is complicated, and victims of motor vehicle accidents have little time to make sense of these complex laws when they file an auto accident claim on their own.

If you have suffered injuries and are planning to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance, request a free case evaluation at our Idaho office to learn about the benefits of hiring experienced legal representation.

Dale G. Casares

Colorado, Idaho, and Montana
Personal Injury Attorney

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We won’t charge a fee until
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