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Motor vehicle accidents change one's life dramatically especially if there are physical injuries involved. The aftermath of plane, train and automobile accidents can be intimidating and obscure and most victims do not know what steps to take thereafter. Awareness of one's rights and the law before agreeing to sign documents handed over by respective insurance companies is an absolute necessity because it insurance companies will ensure that every single detail is thoroughly examined and scrutinized.

Most insurance companies tend to complicate matters by insisting on meetings and filling of various complex forms and documents. Getting through these complicated procedures when trying to recoup or mourning a loss of a family member or loved one is often too much to cope with, without external aid. Although the process of claiming insurance is tedious and complex, it is of the utmost importance.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Accidents in planes, trains and automobiles are due to various reasons and in many cases it is hard to pinpoint who is at fault. It is not necessarily a person who commits an error resulting in an accident. Many times it is the technology and machinery involved, weather conditions or other external factors that cannot be controlled. Whatever the reason may be, financial compensation can be claimed for personal injury by the injured parties or their families.

Rights and Law

It is commonly misconceived that an injured party who does not possess any insurance will not be able to get any legal help when facing trauma from the effects of the accident. It is a myth that the only avenue to gain financial compensation is the injured party's own insurance policy. When accidents involve multiple parties, the injured party can claim compensation from the insurance company of the party at fault for causing emotional, physical and psychological adversities.

Parties involved in motor vehicle accidents, whether planes or automobiles or trains, possess two basic rights that they must be fully aware of:

1. Physically injured parties in the accident can file a lawsuit for personal injury against the at-fault party and claim for financial remuneration that will take care of several tangible and non-tangible expenses that will occur in the course of recovery, like:

- Reimbursement for injuries causing pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Reimbursement for inability to earn future income due to recuperation and rehabilitation, reduced ability to work and loss of career opportunities due to the physical injury.
- Reimbursement for medical expenses incurred during the recuperation period.
- Financial settlement for family members/loved ones affected by injured party's loss in earnings/future income and ability to care for and guide them.
- Reimbursement for housekeeping services, home maintenance, vehicle and house accessibility modifications etc.

2. Motor vehicle accident benefits are provided no matter whose fault the accident was, ensuring that all the parties involved in the accident and sustaining physical injury receive medical attention and financial compensation. The benefits include:

- Non-Earner benefits for income replacement if the injured victim can no longer work due to the accident.
- Medical treatment for recuperation, include counseling, psychological therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic services, medication, vocational training, medical equipment and so on.
- Nursing care and attendants to take care of the injured party.
- Housekeeping benefits to maintain an injured party's home due to loss in ability to perform basic household chores.
- Caregivers are appointed to look after those injured beyond recovery.
- Funeral expenses are taken care of and any items that may have been damaged in the accident are compensated for.

Thus, it is important that all parties are aware of their respective rights and the laws governing their actions. The bottom line is that no matter whose fault the accident might be, compensation of some form can be claimed.

Settlement Amounts for Motor Vehicle Accidents

The amount claimed through insurance is not merely the sum of the total damages incurred during the accident. It is almost always higher. To approximately calculate the personal injury amount to be claimed by the injured party, several calculators using specific formulas can be used.

The compensation received by the injured party depends upon the severity and scale of physical injury and emotional trauma. However, proof of pain and suffering needs to be given to secure this compensation.

There are two types of injuries that can be incurred in plane, train or automobile accident - soft and hard injuries. As the name suggests, soft injuries are not life-threatening or permanent. They can be healed easily and do not affect quality of life very badly. These injuries may include muscle tears, damage of soft tissue, sprained backs, knees, ankles, whiplash and so on. Soft injuries generally do not fetch large amounts of financial compensation because they are not very serious. Soft injuries make it harder to secure financial compensation because they are subjective, impossible to be quantified and spelled out in a medical report. The only way to prove the pain in a court of law is through a description by the injured party, which may or may not be convincing. Insurance companies are well aware of this fact so will typically decide to hand over a small settlement.

Hard injuries are severe, can be permanent and life threatening. They have adverse impacts on an injured party's quality of living and are generally very painful and difficult to cope with. If the injured party's condition is life threatening, insurance companies will try settling on the compensation amount as quickly as possible in order to avoid delays that could result in the risk of more expensive medical diagnoses and treatment. Examples of hard injuries are fractured bones, spinal or head injuries, internal organ injuries etc.

Choosing the Best Lawyer

Train, plane and automobile accidents are tricky to deal with by oneself especially in the case of hard injuries in which case it is best to hire a lawyer with expertise in motor vehicle accident personal injury law. The experienced local personal injury lawyer will be able to negotiate and strike a better deal with the insurance company to give the injured party a higher compensation.

Injured parties must remember that insurance companies are like any other business - they aim to grow and maximize their profit. Thus, they will try to settle on the lowest compensation amount as quickly as possible. A good lawyer will prevent this and ensure that a good financial settlement is rendered to the injured party.

Personal injury law for plane, train and automobile accidents is constantly changing so a good lawyer will keep up to date with all the latest trends and changes. It is useful to hire a lawyer to explore all the available avenues for compensation when dealing with post-accident trauma. It helps lighten the burden, which would otherwise be extremely heavy.