Idaho Car Accident Guide

The Idaho Car Accident Guide was created by Hepworth Holzer to help residents obtain maximum compensation for their claim.

Idaho Car Accident Guide

The Importance of Seeking Medical Care

We understand after a car accident you’re likely experiencing a lot of pain. There are some people who want to power through the pain and continue taking care of their other priorities in life. We strongly advise against this because of two factors. First, we don’t want you to delay medical attention because you need to seek treatment for injuries in order to get better.

As Boise car accident attorneys, we would like you to get to what we call maximum medical recovery not only for yourself but for your case. This brings us to our second point. Not seeking medical care can harm your case because we don’t know the full extent of your injuries. That means we don’t know for sure what you are owed by the insurance company. The insurance company will also take any opportunity to devalue your claim. If they see that you have not sought care, then they are going to claim that you lied about the severity of your injuries or that you didn’t get the injuries in this car accident.

How Car Accident Compensation Works

We understand that your injuries won’t disappear because you were awarded compensation. We want you to understand, however, that this is how you’re going to get justice. The insurance company who represents the viable party in your car accident will be responsible for your compensation. Your Boise car accident attorneys are going to hold this party accountable for the damages their insured has caused you.

Boise has comparative fault laws, which means that you can receive compensation even if you caused the accident partially. It breaks down into percentages. If you are less than 50% at fault for the car accident, then you can receive some compensation. It might be reduced if it’s above 0%, but you will receive something. If you were found to be 50% at fault or higher, then you will not be allowed to collect compensation.

Here is an example of how these rules might come in to play:

Let’s say that you are going down the highway. You are going just above the speed limit and someone in the right lane cuts in front of you and nicks the front of your car. You spin out and the car in front of you does too. In a case like this, the person who cut in front of you might be responsible for 90% of the accident because they didn’t use a turn signal or look before they merged. Maybe you get 10% fault because you were going over the speed limit. If you were to be awarded $100,000 in compensation it would have to be reduced by 10%. That means that you would be able to take home $90,000.

If You’ve Had A Car Accident Injury Call Us

We help people whose lives have been turned upside down by traffic accidents. There are the physical injuries, work issues and medical bills to face.

When an auto accident involves your personal vehicle, there are many other things to deal with.  For example, you must also find a way to replace or repair your vehicle so you can continue to get to work, take your children to school, and perform other necessary tasks.

It is true.  People hurt in serious auto accidents should hire skilled personal injury attorneys as soon as possible. There is often a need to take quick action following an auto accident.  Good attorneys know how to preserve and protect your rights as an injured person.

Hepworth Holzer Provides Winning Boise Car Accident Attorneys for Serious Injury Crashes

If you or someone you love has been involved in a collision, call us. You will talk to a car accident attorney at our Boise, Boise firm. We have investigated hundreds of car and truck crashes.  We have also recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured people and for the families of wrongful death accident victims.

We can help.  Our history shows we have taken a number of cases where the client knew they had a valid claim but other attorneys didn’t think they had one. Because of our knowledge and experience, we know how to look at things differently.

For example, in one case a stop sign was covered by trees and not maintained properly. Our client drove through the intersection and hit another car. Other attorneys said, “You hit them, there’s no case. It’s your fault.” That opinion, though, came without going to the scene or doing any investigation into the facts of the case. When these folks came to our office, we spent time learning the facts and undertook to investigate the true cause of the collision. Upon investigation, we learned the city had notified the homeowner numerous times and cited the homeowner for not clearing their tree. Based on our work, liability of the homeowners was established and we were able to protect our client.

Evidence at an Accident Scene and Elsewhere

Evidence such as skid marks can fade away shortly after the accident. Likewise, the extent of injuries sustained by the victim can fade over time. There may be a need to take photographs that can preserve crucial evidence, and a skilled trial attorney can recognize such needs and respond quickly. There may also be a need to interview witnesses while their recollections are fresh. Often, there will be a need to keep track of significant events, such as missed days from work.

We understand how to collect crucial evidence at the beginning of a claim that makes all the difference in the end.

Handling Insurance Companies

The insurance company for the driver who caused the accident is guaranteed to be very experienced in dealing with claims related to motor vehicle accidents. They will be gearing up for the prospect of a claim being made by the injured person from the moment they are notified about the accident.

Recorded Statements

Insurance companies will often ask you to give a recorded statement. That statement is only for the benefit of the insurance company, not for your benefit.

Medical Releases

Similarly, many insurance companies will ask the injured victim to provide them with a medical release. That allows the insurance company to obtain any of your medical records, regardless of whether they are related to the accident or not. More often than not, the insurance companies of the driver that caused the accident will NOT pay for your medical expenses. They are under no legal obligation to do so until there is a resolution of the entire claim.

Medical Expenses

On the other hand, the insurance on the vehicle you were in may have medical payments coverage that insures the immediate payment of your medical expenses up to their limits of coverage, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. You should contact your insurance company to inquire about whether you have medical payment coverage.  If you do, submit your medical bills to your own auto insurance before you send the medical bills to your health insurer.

Vehicle Repairs

A question that usually arises soon after an accident occurs regards getting your vehicle fixed or being paid for the damage done to your vehicle in the accident.  Insurance companies typically address these property damage claims soon after the accident. Under Boise law, the insurance company is required to pay the lesser of two amounts: either the cost of fixing damage incurred in the accident or, if the car is totaled, the fair market value of the vehicle just before the collision occurred. The insurance company is not obligated to pay off any loan on the car.

Experience You Can Count On

At Hepworth Holzer, LLP, our attorney team has practiced car and truck accident law for well over a combined 100+ years.  We have handled car accident claims involving all types of auto accidents, including:

  • Head-on collisions
  • T-bone accidents
  • Rollovers
  • Rear-end crashes
  • Hit-and-run incidents
  • Side swipes
  • Accidents caused by drunk driving/DUI/DWI
  • Aggressive driving, negligent driving, and inattentive driving accidents
  • Poor vehicle maintenance

Car Accident Insurance InvestigationCar Accident Insurance Investigation

The insurance company for the other car that was in the wreck with you has called and you’re wondering if you should talk to them. The short answer is no, not without preparing for it completely. I often explain to people that when we’re in a lawsuit involving a Boise, Idaho car accident, the lawyer for the other side will get to interview you. That’s a process called a deposition. In preparing for that deposition, we’ll spend hours, sometimes days, getting the client ready to tell their story and talk about what happened. You don’t need to prepare at that level to deal with the insurance company, but you do need to be prepped about what they’re looking for.

What they’re looking for are things to use against you. They are looking for you to engage in behavior and use language about your Boise, Idaho car accident that they can twist in the future to minimize the amount of money that they have to pay so you don’t receive full and fair compensation for all the losses that you’ve incurred. That can be language that they twist to say you have some responsibility for a collision when you really have no responsibility, or that you have damages that are lesser than the damages you’ve actually incurred, or your injuries are different from the ones you’ve actually incurred. It’s just the way they ask questions and the way you answer those questions—they use these techniques against people with regularity.

You don’t want to talk to your insurance company or the other person’s insurance company after your Boise, Idaho car accident claim without preparing for it before you do so. In preparing for it, there’s a number of things that we will talk to you about, including what you should do, to think about and prepare for that discussion with the other driver’s auto insurance. The same holds true if your own insurance company wants to call you. Recognize that they will transcribe that statement, that discussion, and that may ultimately become a piece of evidence over the course of a trial against the person who caused the wreck, so you might cause yourself some problems even talking to your own insurance company.

Once again, the way to prepare for this is to give a lawyer a call. Give us a call. We’ll be happy to talk about your insurance company statement or discussion with you prior to you giving it.

Common Mistakes During a Car Accident Case

People who have been in a car accident injury in Boise make some ordinary mistakes that come usually from being really decent folks. They don’t make these mistakes because they want to make these mistakes, they make these mistakes because they don’t understand the situation they’re in. For example, one is talking to that insurance company right away without having spent the time to understand what the person who caused the Boise, Idaho car accident, did and what that insurance company is trying to do to protect him. They’re not here to protect you when they represent the other person. Whether it’s one of the big insurance companies or the small insurance companies, whether it’s a commercial insurance company for a commercial carrier or just a private auto insurance company, they’re all trying to minimize what they pay you. When they talk to you, they’re looking for things to use against you. Talking to insurance companies without preparing is one of the number one mistakes people make in their Boise, Idaho car accident cases.

Another one of the mistakes that we regularly see people make is not treating their medical course of care as they should in a Boise, Idaho car accident case. You need to treat your medical course of care not just as medical care. It also amounts to a diary of what’s actually happened to you. The documentation in your medical records will be the most important straightforward documentation in the case. Recognize that insurance companies and insurance adjusters are big bureaucracies, and they need certain things. One of the things they need is documentation. If you have a problem, report it to your healthcare provider. Make sure it gets in your record. Otherwise, later, when you’re trying to claim that problem further on in your case, if you haven’t reported it, the insurance company will point to your medical records and say, “It’s not here, so we don’t believe it happened.” It doesn’t matter that you’re telling the truth. What matters is that you didn’t get it documented in time.

Another mistake involving medical care is not doing everything your doctor says. Sometimes people choose to not follow the course of care that their healthcare provider wants them to follow. You have a right to do that, but in a personal injury case you want to follow your healthcare provider’s direction and guidance to a T. Otherwise, the insurance company is going to try to use that against you and say, “See? If you had just done what they said, you would’ve been better sooner, so your claim doesn’t have full value; your claim has reduced value.”

Those are some of the basic mistakes. There are lots of other little things that people do wrong because they don’t understand the situation, because they haven’t been through a collision case or an injury case in Idaho before, but those are probably the big ones. We’re happy to talk to you about your situation, if you want to give us a call, at any time. We’re happy to give your case a review and give you our evaluation of your situation.

After a Car AccidentAfter a Car Accident

Bang! You’re in this collision and you’re wondering what you should do. The first thing to do is make sure that you’re okay and make sure the other people in the collision are okay. If somebody needs healthcare, you need to help them get that healthcare. You need to make sure nobody’s going to get hurt any further. Once these immediate issues are out of the way, you want to talk to the police. One of the mistakes we see people make is failing to report a collision. Frankly, there are statutes that make it illegal to fail to report a collision. If somebody has hit you and is trying to get away from the scene or leave without making sure that law enforcement has been informed, you need to understand that you need to deal with that.

Next thing you want to do is get the healthcare you need— emergency room healthcare. Make sure there’s nothing urgent going on. Plan for your follow-up care, as well. Recognize that the emergency room is not your family doctor who’s looking at your wellness completely; they’re looking at if there’s a reason we need to do immediate intervention. Is there a reason to admit you to the hospital to stop some bleeding or to set a bone? You want to follow up with your healthcare provider shortly after to make sure you get a more comprehensive evaluation of any injuries you’ve incurred.

You then want to call a lawyer. It’s always better to get a lawyer involved earlier in the process rather than later in the process so you can get some advice, guidance and direction on the right things to do in dealing with the injury claim itself. How do you deal with that insurance company that’s on the other side of your Boise, Idaho car accident? If you haven’t dealt with them before, you might not realize the things that they will try to do to minimize your claim and to reduce the amount that they ultimately have to pay you.

Obviously, another thing you should do is make sure your loved ones know what’s going on. You should probably call them before you call your lawyer but put the lawyer on that list because it’s better to deal with it sooner than it is to deal with a lawyer later. If you’re wondering what you should do right now, give us a call. We’ll be happy to talk to you, and provide you some guidance and direction, and help you decide the right course of action for you in your Boise, Idaho car accident claim.

Liability for a Car Accident

Dealing with medical expenses after a car accident injury is a relatively complex thing, surprisingly. One of the things that people don’t often realize is that their own auto insurance, their medical payments coverage portion of their auto insurance, is the primary bill payer for medical bills incurred because of injuries in an Idaho accident. You have to have chosen to purchase medical payments coverage. It’s not automatic coverage that you’re required to purchase.

Once you choose to purchase it, it applies to the first $5,000, $10,000, or however much coverage you’ve purchased of your medical bills. After that, your standard health insurance will kick in. That means your deductibles, your co-pays, or those portions of that insurance that are out-of-pocket, are going to be out-of-pocket for you. Both your medical payments coverage and these other costs that you have to pay out-of-pocket and your health insurance pays are subject to reimbursement.

A subrogation right is one of the words that lawyers use in Boise, Idaho car accidents. Subrogation means the right to be re-paid. Sometimes medical care can be provided on a lien – that means a right to be paid the first time – where the physician or other healthcare provider says, “Alright, I’ll provide the care and wait and hold off, until you’ve resolved your personal injury claim, to be paid for the services I’ve provided.”One of the problems with that is, in a situation where your health insurance paid the bill, it may get billed $100 and only have to pay $75, whereas if a provider is providing a lien, they’re not going to provide that write-down, so you have that additional cost you may not have otherwise had.

It’s surprising how complex medical expenses can be. At the end of the day, the bad guy only has to pay once, so you have to manage your payment of expenses from the time the injury happens forward to make sure that you’re taken care of. That can be done through discussions with the billing offices and stuff like that to help them understand your situation. Good Boise, Idaho car accident injury attorneys will help you deal with these issues over the course of your claim. If you have any questions about this or anything else to do with a Boise, Idaho car accident, give us a call. We’re here to talk to you.

Choosing a Car Accident Attorney

Figuring out who you want your attorney to be for your Boise, Idaho car accident can be a daunting process. How do you make that selection? You make that selection by looking at the people involved. Don’t succumb to TV advertising and don’t succumb to billboards. Look at an attorney’s background. Today, on the internet, you can find out about people’s backgrounds. What have they accomplished? Are they real trial attorneys? Personal injury trial attorneys with a success in the courtroom is what you want for your Boise, Idaho car accident lawyer.

You want an attorney who’s had success, and you want an attorney who has experience and understands the scope of the types of injuries that you’re facing. You also want an attorney who has been recognized by one of the many rating agencies by his colleagues and his fellow attorneys. You want an attorney who teaches other lawyers how to go about the process of being a personal injury attorney. Look at whether they’re rated AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Are they ten-rated by Avvo? Are they members of the American College of Trial Lawyers? Are they members of AAJ? Are they members of the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association? You want attorneys who are involved in all of those types of organizations and have received accolades from those types of organizations for their successes.

You want attorneys who know what to do when it comes to the types of defenses that an insurance company throws up for a Boise, Idaho car accident case. You don’t want to cut any corners, and you want an attorney who you’re comfortable with. You want an attorney you can work with— somebody with whom you would have a good relationship that can last beyond meeting them as part of your car accident claim. You also want somebody you can call up later and ask questions, who wants that relationship to sustain over time.

Spend the time looking at the background of the attorney, spend the time looking at their accolades, and spend the time getting to know them when you interview them. That’s what you should do. You should interview your attorneys to make sure that they’re somebody you’re comfortable with. We’re happy to talk to you. Any one of us at this firm will be happy to have a conversation with you about your Boise, Idaho car accident case to help you understand whether we’re the right lawyers for you.

Car Accident Case ValueCar Accident Case Value

Wondering what damages you can recover or what the value of your case is when you’re in a car accident case in Boise or even up north or out east in Idaho is a difficult proposition. It seems like it should be easy.

Economic losses can include lost wages and medical expenses, but even medical expenses can be complex. Who paid for them? Are there write-downs? Are they actually causally related to your wreck? What about that lost income? It’s easy if you’re an hourly worker. It’s pretty straightforward that you’ve missed so many hours and it’s by the hourly rate, but maybe that caused you to miss out on some bonuses. What if you’re self-employed? What if you’re a small business person and you’ve lost the opportunity to be at your storefront? What if you’re a construction person and you can’t make some bids on some jobs that you think you probably would have gotten? Those things make even calculating that value difficult.

Then you get to the really complex things, which are the lost value of life. People don’t ask you, if you’ve been injured, how much your medical expenses cost. Your friends ask you how you’re doing, if you’re back to things yet, if you’re back water skiing after your Boise, Idaho car accident, if you’re back to snow skiing or running or driving your ATV – whatever those things are that you like to do. Did you miss out on a hunting season? Those are real losses, and those losses have to be evaluated and calculated, and they can only be evaluated and calculated based on your situation.

There is no formula, there is no chart, and there is no graph for us to calculate your losses. If you see somebody trying to do it that way, that’s somebody’s who doing it wrong. We need to understand you to be able to help evaluate your case. The way to help us start understanding you is to reach out to us. Let us have an initial conversation to see if we are the right lawyers for you to help you figure out what your case is worth, what damages you should recover, and what the value of your claim is.

Lost Wage Reimbursement in a Car Accident Case

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Boise, Idaho or a car accident anywhere in Idaho that prevents you from earning your income, that income flow loss can be one of the most painful parts of your damages claim. The problem is, in a third-party liability case where somebody else caused damage to you they don’t have to reimburse you pay-as-you-go. It doesn’t happen. There’s another form of injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, where that is the rule, where you’ll get some of your wages while you’re recovering from your injury. A Boise, Idaho car accident doesn’t happen that way.

You have to be careful about your resources, and we can calculate and ultimately recover and get you paid back the income that you have lost. In the short-term, you’ve lost those wages and you’ve lost that cash flow, and that can really impact what’s going to go on with your bills and your ability to pay your own medical expenses and all those things that are happening in your life. One of the things you get with good lawyers and your lost wage component is we can help sometimes with managing the collections side and let them know that those wages will be coming back. It can be a part of the representation the we provide in appropriate circumstances.

This is one of the most painful parts of a Boise, Idaho car accident case— figuring out how to manage financially when resources aren’t coming in that are expected. You’re welcome to give us a call to help us see if we can help you deal with those problems in your Boise, Idaho car accident injury claim

Car Accident Claim TimelineCar Accident Claim Timeline

Anybody who is involved in a car accident injury claim in Boise, Idaho or anywhere is always wondering how long it’s going to take and when a case will be over. That’s not just a valid question but an important question. The answer is that it depends. It depends on how hurt you were. What’s the scope of the injury care that you need? What are the medical processes you are going through? When have you recovered? It also depends on who the bad guy is who caused the injury and how they’re behaving. Who’s their insurance company? You can resolve claims relatively quickly, but they tend to be the smaller, easy-going claims, claims that are not hard to evaluate.

Bigger claims of greater magnitude, where the damages are larger and there’s long-term impairments and pain and suffering that that Boise, Idaho car accident imposed upon you, tend to take longer. If there’s a lot of conflict, the case can go to trial. We know those trials can be 18 to 24 months down the road from the time the lawsuit is filed. You don’t want to file your lawsuit until you’re ready to try to resolve your claim. You often try to resolve that claim before you file your lawsuit.

How long is it going to take? The answer is it depends on your situation. We’re happy to discuss your situation with you. Just call us or reach out to us, and one of us would be happy to discuss your case with you. Talk to a real lawyer here at a firm like this to figure out your situation.

Call Our Idaho Car Accident Lawyers Today

Contact our experienced Boise Car Accident Attorneys at Hepworth Holzer today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

We are committed to helping individuals and families throughout Idaho navigate the world of personal injury litigation as quickly and efficiently as possible. Let us get results for you and your family.

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