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Knowledge is Power: What Women Must Understand About Car Accidents, Personal Injury Lawsuits, and Settlements

Car accidents are a universally frightening and difficult process; however, like many things in our society, the experience is different for women than for men. Myths still pervade society regarding the trustworthiness of female drivers, and this can negatively impact how you recover and gain justice for your accident. However, knowing is half the battle, and these three facts can help you feel more confident as you move forward with your life and work to secure restitution for your injuries.

Your injuries may be different than a man’s, even in the same accident

You probably know that the driver of a vehicle will receive different injuries than the passenger, thanks to factors such as the steering wheel, the different locations of the airbags, and how close or far your seat has been put back. However, it might surprise you to know that even in perfectly controlled conditions, with the same circumstances for both passenger and driver, you might have different injuries than your husband or male relative.

According to researchers, women are more likely to receive lower body and abdominal injuries than men, who often receive head and neck injuries. It’s not exactly clear why this is, but a number of hypotheses abound. For lower body injuries, it’s possible that women’s footwear impacts their movement, as well as how close they place their seat to the steering wheel. The increased abdominal injuries could be explained by the different fat distribution between men and women, as women tend to store fat in their stomach and hips, meaning that seat belts fit differently and could possibly cause more harm.

You must file a personal injury lawsuit as soon as possible

Car accidents have a much shorter statute of limitations than other crimes, such as assault and murder. A statute of limitations ensures that these manners are dealt with swiftly and fairly: it prevents a person from being held responsible for something that happened decades after the fact, as well as protects the integrity of the case by guaranteeing that evidence has been collected close to the time of the incident.

Something to note is that the statute of limitation refers to the filing date, not the end of the lawsuit. The clock begins on the day of the crash rather than the end of the lawsuit, as some car accident lawsuits can last years for complicated cases. In other words, you have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit after the accident, but that doesn’t mean that the lawsuit is invalidated if it continues after the statute of limitations has passed.

Every state has a different statute of limitations for car accidents, but in most states, the deadline for filing a lawsuit is two years after the accident. This might seem like a long time, but the period after a car accident can be quite hectic, and you might be so focused on getting back to normal that you don’t consider this deadline. That’s why it’s essential that you reach out to a car accident lawyer and get the process started as soon as possible.

A qualified lawyer can ensure a fair settlement

It’s tempting to try to negotiate a settlement on your own with your insurance agency, but this can be a costly mistake. The other party’s insurance agency has a vested interest in reducing your settlement as much as possible to protect their own bottom line, and they won’t advocate for you. Similarly, your own insurance agency wants to get the claim processed as fast as possible, and they won’t have your best interests in mind.

This is why you need someone to advocate for you. An expert car accident attorney will take a look at your case from all angles and consider every party who might be at fault, including those who you might not realize may be involved. For example, your lawyer might consider how the vehicle manufacturer may be at blame for the accident if it’s determined that there was a serious flaw in your car’s construction. They might also examine the roadways and determine if the municipality in which the accident took place demonstrated neglect by not maintaining the roads.

Most importantly, they will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get you a reasonable and just settlement that will pay for your medical bills and the damages to your car. A great attorney will have plenty of resources at their disposal to investigate every component of the accident, and they have experience in working with insurance companies. As with many facets of life, having an expert on your side can mean the difference between a meager settlement that doesn’t pay for all your expenses, and a fair settlement that covers everything you need to move on.

Final thoughts

As women living in the modern world, it’s tempting to dismiss the differences between men and women, believing that we have similar experiences thanks to the advances in equality. However, this simply isn’t true, especially when it comes to traumatic injuries like a car crash. It’s important to understand our rights and reach out to professionals who can assist us in getting justice for our injuries so that we can get back to doing what we love.