Road traffic collisions are scarily common. On US roads, there are approximately 6 million car crashes per year. That’s around 16,500 accidents per day. These numbers are staggering, so it would hardly be surprising to find yourself the victim of such an accident.
Even worse than being in a crash is the potential after-effects. Injuries are very common in car accidents due to the sheer speed, force, and weight of the mechanics involved. If you get injured in a traffic crash, you need to know what to do next. Make sure you follow the following steps to make sure you protect yourself and your rights after an injury caused by a collision.
1. Stop & Call the Cops
When at the scene of an accident, it is vitally important that you - and hopefully the other driver(s) - stop at the scene. Failing to do so could result in felony charges and seriously hamper your ability to claim on your insurance or for damages further down the line. You must stop, safely, at the scene of the accident.
In this situation, the cops are indeed your friends. They will not only secure the scene and assist you away from any dangerous situations, but they will likely also come in extremely importantly later down the line. Police will record their own impartial evidence from the scene, as well as take statements from witnesses and details of all involved drivers. Their involvement from the start is crucial if you want a fair and accurate case to be reported on later in the process.
2. Take Photos and Videos
The police will record evidence - and that’s great - but you should record your own evidence if at all possible. Of course, if your injury is severe, you probably won't be spending much time thinking about taking photos. But, if you are able to, you should record as much evidence as possible.
Recording your own videos and taking your own photos of the scene could come in very handy later on. Your own evidence could end up forming crucial arguments in any legal battle to follow. So, if possible, safely take photos and videos from the scene.
3. Seek Legal Representation
At this point, you may be beginning to consider the likelihood of compensation or personal injury claims. This is where a great injury lawyer comes in. Search for someone local to you, a personal injury attorney in Kentucky, for example, and reach out to them as soon as possible. By searching for a personal injury lawyer, you are looking for someone who specializes in this field.
A great personal injury lawyer or law firm will help you from the moment you walk through the door. Firstly, they’ll likely have a meeting with you for free, with no obligation to commit to choosing them as your lawyer. Secondly, they are experts in this specific field. Any questions you may have, they will have heard before. Look for a lawyer with a proven track record, who can clearly do everything you need them to do during the process.
4. Get Medical Help
Whatever else you do post-accident, make sure you get all the medical treatment you need. There are many reasons to do so. The most important reason is to simply make sure you are looked after properly. No matter what the injuries may be, look after yourself first. Seek adequate medical help immediately to be sure that you are healthy.
The other main reason to seek medical help is for evidential purposes. If you’re going to make an injury claim, you need to prove that you were in fact injured. Seek the advice of however many doctors and specialists you need, keep copies of all their letters and notes, and undergo any treatments required. Don’t worry about paying the medical bills, either, as these will be covered in your eventual claim.
5. Build Your Case
With the help of your lawyer, you’ll need to start building your case. What you want to do is to prove that someone else’s negligent driving caused your injuries. There are many types of evidence you can collect to help prove your case. Medical records are, as previously mentioned, important to prove your injuries, but you also need to prove who or what caused them.
Your lawyer will work with the police to gather any evidence taken from the scene. Alongside this, they will look to gather any other evidence they can. They may seek witnesses or try and gain access to any CCTV or imagery from the scene. Your lawyers will do everything they can to help you build a solid case.
6. Contact Your Insurer
Even if you aren’t looking to make a claim through your own insurance, you will still need to let them know. Many insurance policies require immediate notification in the case of an accident, and they will likely require plenty of information and cooperation throughout the process. In the end, the goal may be to recover all costs from the opposition in your case, but you may well need to use your insurance along the way, especially for medical purposes.
7. Seek Settlement
After all the above is done, your legal team will seek damages from the third party in your case. This may be another driver who caused your injuries, a faulty vehicle manufacturer, or whoever else caused your injuries. Not many cases like this get to trial. Instead, you and your lawyers will likely agree on a settlement amount. This settlement should fully repay any medical and insurance bills, as well as awarding you any personal damages to help deal with the short and long-term effects of your injuries. Your lawyer will help you to understand how much your claim is worth and aim to get you as much of it as possible.
Following these seven steps after an accident will help you ensure your rights are protected and any possible damages are paid to you. It is essential to complete each and every point to be in with a chance of a good settlement. Hopefully, you can receive an adequate payout for the pain and suffering your accident will have caused you.
Posted 1 month ago by Allen Brown