No one thinks that they will be involved in an accident going to work or dropping their kids off at school. However, if someone does hit your vehicle, you and your passengers could suffer significant injuries. Therefore, it is important that you know what to do after a crash, who to turn to for help and the type of compensation that you may be entitled to in its aftermath.
What Should You Do After a Car Crash?
The first thing that you want to do after a car accident is to make sure that you and everyone in your vehicle are alright. If you think that you can safely exit your vehicle, you can get out and attempt to survey the damage. If you are too injured to move, do your best to call 911 or ask someone to do so for you. You should also call 911 if you think that someone else in your car or in the other vehicle may be hurt.
In the event that there was a witness to the accident, you should ask that person if he or she would give a statement. In addition, ask that person for his or her phone number or other contact information. An attorney may want to get another statement or conduct an interview to learn more about what happened before, during or after the crash.
It is likely that a police officer will come to the scene and write an accident report. This report will have critical details such as how fast the other car may have been going or the officer’s opinion or who caused the crash. This report could contain pictures of the accident scene or other evidence that your attorney will want to gain access to.
How Does an Attorney Help a Car Accident Victim?
An attorney will ensure that an accident victim’s rights are preserved throughout the legal process. For instance, legal counsel will make sure that your case is filed before the statute of limitations in California expires. An attorney will also be the point person during any settlement talks, which means that the insurance company or anyone else looking to settle will have to talk to your legal counsel instead of you.
This is important because you may let your emotions talk you into a settlement that isn’t in your best interest. Legal counsel will use the facts in the case to ensure that you get everything that you are entitled to. Your lawyer will also work with your doctor or other medical provider to hold off on payment until after the case is settled.
In some cases, it may be necessary to hire expert witnesses or other outside professionals to bolster your case. An attorney will both find and pay for these experts as necessary to make it more likely that you win your case. Typically, the costs of hiring an expert witness or outside professional will be included in your settlement, which means that you don’t need to worry about paying these costs.
What Type of Compensation Are You Entitled To?
You are entitled to reimbursement for any costs or expenses related to your injury. This could be anything from medical bills to the cost of hiring a tutor for your child who suffered a head injury in an accident. You may also be able to win compensation for the cost of hiring a physical therapist or to pay for mental health treatment that you or your children may need after an accident.
If you are forced to miss work because you were injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to reimbursement for lost wages. Those who are never able to work again could be given money to make up for lost future earnings. Minors who are injured and never able to work will also be given compensation for lost earnings because of their injuries in a car accident.
Under the law, emotional pain and suffering is given equal treatment to physical pain and suffering a victim may feel. Therefore, you may receive a financial award if the stress of the accident makes it impossible to drive, hold a job or otherwise live a normal life. This may be true even if you don’t suffer any physical injuries in the wreck.
If you are hurt in a car crash, talk to an attorney right away. He or she will explain your rights throughout the legal process and how you can go about getting the compensation that you deserve. Whether you want to settle your case or take it to trial, your attorney will act as an advocate who will do whatever it takes to hold the person who hurt you responsible for his or her actions.