After a car accident, you’ll be in serious pain, likely confused and worried about what it means for your health. You’ll be out of work for a few days to recover at the very least. In severe cases, you can be out of work for weeks or months while recovering from the negligence and recklessness of another driver.
What to do After an Accident
There are steps to take after an accident that will leave you in a good position to bring a case against the other driver. The first thing you should do is stay as calm as possible and check yourself for injuries.
Take the Trip to the Hospital
Many accident victims will wave off medical help because they don’t realize the extent of their injuries. Adrenaline and shock can mask the pain and injury. Call an ambulance if you feel you might need medical assistance.
A severe accident should involve the police. You’ll need a police report to be filed for any future litigation. It’ll give weight to your claims.
Statements to the Driver or Police
Never make any statements apologizing after an accident. While it might be in your nature to apologize and take responsibility for your actions, a car accident might place the blame on someone else when you don’t realize it. For example, while you might the accident is your fault, you didn’t notice that the other person was driving erratically prior to the incident.
Witnesses to the Accident
Witnesses could have information you don’t have at your disposal. Make sure you are able to talk to and get information on anyone who is at the scene to have seen the accident.
Pictures of the Accident
Whether you’ve been taken away in an ambulance or not, you should get some pictures of the scene if possible. You might have a friend take them for you too. Take pictures of the damage to your car at the scene as well as the damage to the other vehicle. It can help your chances in court to have a before and after picture of your vehicle.
Notes and Record Keeping
Keep track of medical treatment as soon as it starts. Note the dates, procedures and diagnosis of any doctors you might see in the course of treatment including x-rays or physical therapy related to the accident.
Legal Consequences of a Car Accident
When a reckless or irresponsible driver causes an accident, they will be held responsible. Often, it can be tough to recover the damages you know you’re owed because the insurance company wants to blame you for the accident. It’s vital that you don’t talk to the other driver’s insurance company without speaking to a lawyer first.
The other driver should be held responsible when you’ve been out of work because they caused the accident. That means you’ll be able to recover those lost wages in a settlement due to their reckless, aggressive or distracted driving.
Type of Damages to be Recovered
You can recover money for wages lost as well as other damages like medical, pain and suffering and property damages. An experienced attorney will be able to look at your case and make a determination regarding damages and recovery.
What an Attorney Does to Help You
Fights the Insurance Company
Not many insurance companies are ready to hand over money after an accident. Even when you’re entitled to compensation, they’ll likely make a low offer that won’t cover your medical expenses or lost wages. In most cases, they’ll barely give you the cost of your vehicle. The lawyer you choose will demand the amount of money that is fair for your suffering.
The attorney you hire after a car accident will give you advice on what should happen next. They’ll often know exactly what you’re going through because they’ve seen it many times in their years as a lawyer. They’ll advise you not to talk to the insurance company or accept any low, quick settlements from the insurance company.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer?
While you could fight with an insurance company on your own, there are legal matters to consider like who was at fault. That might not always be clear at first glance while the other driver might deny they were at fault too. An experienced attorney will be able to take all the information given and make sure you’re receiving compensation that will cover your injuries, medical bills and lost wages.
It’s never a good idea to take on the insurance company on your own. You need someone well-versed in the laws regarding fault and knowledge of how to beat the insurance company.