Being involved in a car accident is one of the most terrifying situations you can experience. That’s not to say this will ever happen to you, but car accidents happen all the time. Each time you get into a vehicle, you assume a serious risk of being involved in an accident. While you never want to find yourself in this situation, it never hurts to prepare yourself for the unexpected. Since it can happen anytime, anywhere, and with anyone, knowing what to do can ease some of your fears. Here are the proper steps to take if you are involved in a car accident.
Call For Help
The first and most important thing you should do if you are involved in a car accident is call for help. While you might want to call an auto injury lawyer from one of the car injury law firms you see on television, you should first call the police. You want to report the accident. If you decide you want to file a personal injury lawsuit down the road, you need your police report to help with your case.
A police report is a great way to document your accident so the other party cannot argue it didn’t happen the way it did. If you’re involved in an accident, call 9-1-1 and share with the operator your name, location, and what happened. They will dispatch the police to your accident, and you will speak to the officer on the scene. The officer will file a police report that involves witness statements, a report of what happened, the condition of the cars involved, and more.
Get Out Of The Road
If you can safely move your car out of a busy road, it’s important you do this once you call the police. If you can, take a few pictures of the accident prior to moving any cars. Many major roadways are equipped with signs along the road asking for drivers to move accident vehicles to the median or the side of the road to help with the flow of traffic.
If you’re unable to move your car because of the damage, it’s imperative you get out of your vehicle and get away from it. You never know when another driver might not see the accident in time and cause further damage. You do not want to be in or near the accident if this happens.
Do Not Speak To Anyone
You should absolutely see if you can help anyone else get out of their vehicle, but do not say a word about the accident to anyone. The problem with speaking to anyone following an accident is that what you say can be used against you. For example, if you are the kind of person who apologizes when something bad happens regardless of fault, your apology could be misconstrued as an admission of guilt. This might mean you are partially blamed for the accident, and you might not get the compensation you deserve following the accident. Ask if people are alright or if there is anything you can do to help them if they are not, but do not say a word about the accident.
See A Doctor
Do not refuse medical help following an accident. If you refuse medical help, your auto injury lawyer will tell you this is detrimental to your personal injury case for two reasons. The first is that injuries are not always visible. This means you cannot see them, and you might assume you are alright. As your injuries become apparent in the coming weeks, it’s easier for the at-fault driver to argue that your injuries weren’t bad enough for you to see a doctor right away. They may even argue that your injuries were caused by something that occurred after your accident, but you saw a chance to file a lawsuit for monetary gain.
Additionally, seeing a doctor following your accident means you diagnose injuries faster. If you cannot see them right away, they have time to get worse if they’re left untreated. You want to diagnose your injuries before they have a chance to get worse. Untreated injuries may require more advanced medical care. They can even grow so serious they cannot be treated after a certain point. You must see a doctor right away. Some injuries cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
Car injury law firms are here to help you with your questions. If you aren’t sure what to do following your accident, a car accident personal injury lawyer can help. They can answer any questions you might have, help you with paperwork, and even help you determine whether you can file a personal injury lawsuit. While a car accident personal injury lawyer can help you file a personal injury lawsuit, it’s not required you file one.
Never Accept The First Settlement Offer
One thing your auto injury lawyer will tell you about what to do following a car accident is never accept the first offer. Insurance companies are notorious for offering settlements that are far below the amount you want or need to help you with your recovery. You can negotiate this amount, and you can file a personal injury lawsuit if you want to seek further compensation.
– Medical bills
– Future medical bills
– Pain and suffering
– Loss of consortium
– Funeral expenses
– Lost wages
Diminished Earning Capacity
These are all damages you can seek in a personal injury lawsuit. If you have serious injuries that require visits to your doctor, surgery, recovery time, therapy, or counseling, you can ask for compensation from the at-fault driver to help you cover the cost of those bills. If you cannot return to work because of your injuries, you might need help with your expenses. Your attorney will help you make decisions about this.
Never Sign Anything Without Approval
If you’re asked to sign anything by the at-fault driver’s attorney, do not sign it without first consulting your attorney. They can make it seem like you’re required by law to sign things to speed up the process of your situation, but you’re not always required to do that. Some forms are not required. For example, if the other insurance company asks you to sign a medical release form, don’t do it. This gives them access to all your medical records from birth forward. They can use past injuries to explain your current injuries to help their client get off the hook for causing them.
Car accidents are terrifying, and they’re all so different. Even a minor car accident can cause an injury that leaves you unable to work for the rest of your life. Some people can walk away from a serious accident without a scratch, and other people suffer the rest of their lives. You don’t need to file a lawsuit or a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver to call an attorney. You have questions, they have answers. Ease your mind by allowing someone else to help you with your questions and your concerns. You have legal rights when someone else causes a car accident, and you should find out what those are.
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