After a car accident, you may be at a loss as to what to do for the sheer shock of what you have undergone. If you are concerned about your legal rights, getting medical treatment, filing a police report, and hiring a lawyer can help protect your rights after a car accident.
Catalog Your Injuries and Seek Medical Treatment if You Need It
First and foremost, take your own well-being into account. Determine whether or not you are injured, what kind of injuries you may have suffered, and how severe those injuries may be. If you have been hurt during a car accident, you will want to seek medical care as soon as possible. You can attend to other responsibilities regarding your accident after you have been seen by a medical professional.
Reach out to Local Law Enforcement
Whether or not someone suffers a serious injury after a car accident, you will want to reach out to the local law enforcement representatives or affiliated services in your area. This way, emergency services can respond to passengers, bystanders, or drivers in poor conditions who need assistance. It will also be safer for professionals to attend to drivers who are under the influence or otherwise impaired than it would be for you or another person to try and reach out.
Talk with the Other Drivers Involved
If the other drivers involved in your accident look to be aware of themselves and otherwise unimpaired, reach out to them and share insurance information. You should not, however, accept a settlement at the scene of an accident. It is best to instead wait until you have a chance to calculate your potential compensation on your own time. This way, you will not get stuck with an insufficient settlement as you attempt to recover.
Take Pictures of the Scene of the Accident
You will want to document the scene of your accident as well as you can. This means taking pictures of the damage done to your property while also gathering the names of any witnesses who saw the accident take place. With this evidence on hand, you can better establish liability if you choose to pursue a suit against the other parties involved in the accident.
Catalog Your Losses
If you are able to, take what kind of damage you have suffered into account. Note what has happened to your car or any other property you had on you at the time of the accident. It may be possible for you to seek compensation for these losses later down the line.
Share Your Contact Information with Nearby Witnesses
As mentioned, you will want to speak with the witnesses who saw your accident take place just in case you need to call one forward in your claim. Exchange contact information and names as you do so, but do not ask the witnesses who they believe to be at fault for the accident while still at the scene. You will want to leave that kind of communication to a car accident lawyer, should you choose to work with one.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Clarify Your Rights and Legal Standing
Even if you manage to just take photos of the scene of the accident or to care for yourself after you have been injured, you will have taken the first necessary steps towards protecting your rights after a car accident.
If you choose to work with a car accident lawyer, you can better understand what your post-accident rights may look like and how the evidence you gathered while still at the scene of the accident may help you in the long run.
For example, car accident lawyers who look through the data you gather can help identify which party involved in the accident may be liable for the damages you endured. With this information at hand, you can better begin to file a complaint against that party. A complaint, consisting of the liable party’s identity, data behind that claim of liability, your proposed compensation, and that compensation’s calculations, will give you the documentation you need to pursue a suit for a settlement in court.
Understand What Compensation You May Pursue
Depending on your state’s statutes regarding liability on the road, you may have the legal right to pursue compensation for the losses you faced during a car accident. Your avenues for compensation after a car accident may include:
- The cost of medical procedures you already sought out to restore your previous quality of life
- The cost of future procedures you may need to restore your previous quality of life
- The cost of medical aids
- The cost of prescriptions that can ease your pain or otherwise restore your previous quality of life
- The cost of property lost or damaged, including your car and any materials you had in the car with you at the time of the accident
- Physical therapy
- Psychological counseling
- Pain and suffering
- Lost opportunity for employment or wage
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 36,000 people died in car accidents in 2018. If a loved one died in an accident, you might also be entitled to wrongful death benefits.
Again, it becomes simpler to determine what avenues for compensation, including those noted above, may be available to you if you are able to take action at the scene of the accident. If you are not, however, you can collaborate with a car accident lawyer to start gathering what data you need to establish liability.
You Can Take Action with Help from a Car Accident Lawyer
Recovering from a car accident takes time, but that does not mean that there are not things you can do in the moment to make the process simpler. If you find yourself involved in a car accident and lose property or suffer a personal injury, as a result, you may pursue compensation against those parties deemed liable by a court of law.
The team with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you do just that. Together, you can better understand what compensation to which you may be entitled and how best you can pursue it. This may mean filing a complaint with a local justice or negotiating for a settlement one-on-one.
To jump-start your recovery after a car accident, you can reach out to the team with Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 598-7557.