Accidents are sadly a fact of life. They are by nature events that are unexpected. They come out of the blue and sometimes have long term implications.
It has been estimated that in America alone, there are six million car crashes every year. When it happens to you, it can feel like it occurs in slow motion. Suddenly you are in shock, and perhaps in physical pain. As a result, it can be hard to know what to do next. Perhaps someone else was responsible for the accident. This article has been written to provide six key activities you need to consider.
Employ A Personal Injury Lawyer
It would be the task of the attorney to prove negligence on the part of the other party. Perhaps they were disregarding the rules of the road or were tailgating. According to the professionals at Trollinger Law each case may have different injuries and varying circumstances. People need someone who can fiercely fight their case for financial compensation and justice. Many insurance companies try to deny or minimize such claims, so having an experienced advocate may be crucial.
If the matter ends up going to court, the victim will have a professional who is speaking on their behalf.
Be Assessed Medically
It may be tempting in some cases to dismiss this option. In reality, adrenaline and feelings of shock can mask pain. It’s therefore essential to have a medical check-up immediately. Some secondary symptoms take a while to manifest, so it may take time before you receive a full medical diagnosis. The doctor may recommend that you go for further tests (x-rays or scans) or to see a specialist. Medication may be prescribed for pain or to help you sleep in the meantime.
When it comes to seeking financial compensation, the medical aspect (the professional reports and costs incurred) may be key for a claim.
Notify The Police
There are a number of scenarios where it is illegal to leave the location of the accident before the Police have arrived. Such instances include where vehicles have to be towed away, a commercial car was involved, someone drove whilst under the influence of alcohol, physical injury was sustained or the repair bills would exceed $500.
It’s important to request the names of the Police who attend the incident site, and the crash report number. This will help with building the legal case.
Collect Contact Details
If a third party was involved in the accident, take their name and address. Also request their phone number. Obtain a copy of their driving license and insurance policy. Ensure they are the owner of the car, and if not, find out who is.
There may have been people standing nearby (or other drivers) who saw the accident occur. Their accounts (and opinions as to who was at fault) may be key. If someone is willing to be recorded on your mobile phone, let them recall what happened. Take their names, addresses and phone numbers for future reference.
Take pictures of each vehicle, including shots that reveal each car make and license plate. Take photos that show the full extent of the damage incurred. Pictures should also be taken of the injured parties.
In order to establish the location of the accident, take photos that show road signs, street lamps or any other distinguishing features.
It may be that no other car was involved in the accident, but the road was unsafe. It may be possible to hold the owner accountable for this. Photos that reveal the issue would be essential, such as trees that overhang the road (blocking light and vision), or untreated holes or loose stones.
Document The Expenses Incurred
This is essential in order to support your legal case for compensation. Provide proof of loss of earnings. Show transport bills incurred from attending medical appointments. Provide all medical bills. They should include doctors’ appointments, prescription costs, fees for physical or emotional therapy, bills for hospital stays or surgery etc.
The journey to physical recovery may take time, and the legal case may also be lengthy. When a legal representative is employed, some of the stress can be reduced. If the other party has admitted liability from the start, the attorney may be able to obtain some of the settlement money early to help you with your daily costs.
In time you will hopefully make a full recovery. If not, a compensation payment will help you as you find a new normal, and you will be content that justice has been done.