LawFuel check with a car injury lawyer to get the key tips required from those who suffer injury following a motor vehicle accident – what should they do and in what order, in an ‘ideal’ situation after a less than ideal circumstance – namely a car crash.
Road accidents have been described as an ‘epidemic’ – the Association for Safe International Road Travel talks about the epidemic and reports that 1.35 million people die in roach crashes annually with between 20 to 50 million non-fatal injuries resulting in long term disabilities.
Some make headlines, such as the death by car accident of actress Anne Heche, but many are just personal tragedies or events that impact upon tens of thousands of families annually.
In the United States, there are 4.4 million injuries from car crashes annually – so the issue really is an ‘epidemic’.
And for that vast number of people who are car accident victims it is important to know how best to get themselves prepared in the event that they face a negligent driver and become involved in car accident cases.
There are medical expenses, property damage, insurance coverage, fair compensation, emotional distress, financial compensation, non-economic damages and all sorts of other issues that confront those involves in an auto accident.
So let’s consider the key things anyone involves in an accident needs to do, as reported to us by personal injury lawyers at personal injury attorney fresno who provide the legal services relating to car accident cases.
Obviously in an injury situation a car accident attorney is also going to be a key port of call, but there are some other things to attend to before making any car accident claim or seeking legal representation.
1. Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention is obviously the first thing to do for anyone injured, or even for those who may not be aware of any injury or even if there are minor injuries involved.
There are both physical and emotional injuries.
In addition, seeing a doctor will help establish a “medical history” relating to your injuries sustained in the car crash. This can be helpful evidence if you end up having to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against another party involved in the accident.
2. Collect Information
Get contact information from all parties involved in the car crash. This includes the other driver (or drivers), passengers, and any witnesses. Collecting witness statements can pay huge dividends in terms of establishing proof as to the cause of the accident and identifying an at-fault party.
You will need this information for your insurance company and potentially for filing a personal injury claim in any event.
3. Gather Evidence
Apart from collecting information you should also take photos of the damage to all vehicles involved in the crash and any injuries you may have sustained. These photos will help support your claim with the insurance companies and help your case in the event that you are later required to establish driver’s negligence.
Get the information on the motor vehicles involves (make, model, color, license plat details etc) and also the insurance policy details from the other parties involved.
For instance, there may well be evidence relating to weather conditions, speed limit issues, car wreck images at the accident scene. Photographs and other information about the accident will assist with dealing both with insurance adjusters and any subsequent court case.
4. Contact the Cops
File a police report, even if the car crash was minor. This will create an official record of the accident, which can be useful if you need to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit later on.
Whilst many police departments now take information online, they will also often arrive at the accident and you should take note of the details of the officer and get a copy of the accident report from the officer (or obtain a report from their office or through the insurance adjuster, if necessary). A recent report on Forbes described details about obtaining a Police car accident report.
5. Call Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident and start the claims process. Be sure to keep track of all communications with your insurance company so that you have a record of what was said and when it was said in case there are any issues later on down the road.
You should have all the evidence relating to medical records, the accident scene information and other material, including the accident report, so make sure you provide that to them.
6. The Car Injury Lawyer
Frequently you will need to become involved with a car injury lawyer, in which case you should make sure you hire one who has experience in the sort of case that you were involved with (rather than simply Googling the ‘car injury lawyer near me’ term). You should make sure you are comfortable with who you hire, whether the accident happened in Cook County, Colorado or California.
Different state laws will have different requirements and legal standards whether it be Illinois law or California law or whatever, so getting competent legal advice relevant to the jurisdiction where the automobile accident occurred is vital.
A good lawyer will help you navigate the legal system, which can be overwhelming for many and can guide you through the necessary processes to let you obtain the insurance cover or compensation you need.
If you need to recover damages for injuries then an experienced lawyer can negotiate with more effectiveness than those who do not have the necessary level of experience. Holding the other party responsible where there is an at-fault driver is something that requires good, experienced lawyering.
When deciding on a lawyer, make sure you are comfortable with them and their ability (ask around, check with the local Bar Association, check reviews); and ask about their experience with similar cases, including asking about their success rate.
Finally, make sure you also understand what the fee structure will be for their representation.
A good car injury lawyer will help get your life back on track.
Get your life back on track
Life can get tough after a car accident. From paying debts to managing daily expenses, you may struggle to make both ends meet because you have sustained an injury due to the accident.
Being prepared, following these car injury steps and using a decent car injury lawyer will help you in what can otherwise be a fraught and difficult process.