A car accident can cause injuries to various individuals. Among all involved in the incident, drivers are particularly vulnerable to injuries due to their position behind the wheel. They can sustain injuries such as whiplash, internal organ damage, head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones. Passengers sitting in the vehicle may also experience similar injuries depending on their position and impact. Likewise, pedestrians and bystanders can incur substantial losses in an auto accident. The collision can lead to injuries varying in severity from minor to life-threatening. If you become an injured car accident victim, you may wonder what to do. Read on to understand the steps to take following a car crash.
Injury-related car accidents can be an incredibly traumatic and overwhelming experience. Following an accident, your health and well-being should always come first. You should call for emergency services and summon an ambulance if your injuries are severe. As directed by your healthcare providers, adhere to the doctor’s advice and treatment schedule.
Even if you don’t feel pain or have visible wounds, get a medical evaluation to detect internal injuries. Early identification and treatment of hidden minor injuries like whiplash, skin bruises, or nerve damage are crucial. These health issues might progress, worsen, and affect your day-to-day life. If you are stable, check for other people on the spot for injuries and assist as much as possible.
Contact the authorities
The law requires people involved in an accident to stop at the scene till authorities do not arrive. On the contrary, you should notify the police immediately to report the accident. Even if the crash is minor, do not flee the scene because doing so may lead to legal action against you. However, if you want to get your car away from the oncoming traffic, you can move it to the side of the road, onto the sidewalk, or some other place. If your vehicle is not working, get yourself and your passengers to a safe location.
While you wait for the official investigation, keep calm and avoid engaging in a pointless argument with the other driver. The police will soon record the incident, gather proof, and write an accident report. For your records, request a copy of the police report.
Document the scene
After assessing any potential injuries and ensuring safety, gather crash evidence. This step will make it easier to pinpoint the primary or sole offender. Obtain witness statements, create videos, and take photos of all the involved vehicles and apparent wounds. It’s a good idea to take distant and close-ups from different angles. Include license plates, images of visible damage, pictures of the surrounding streets, debris, and road conditions. If possible, look for nearby security cameras that could have recorded footage of the incident. The documentation of the accident scene and injuries is vital for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
When a car accident occurs, many people stop and offer assistance. They might be occupants of nearby buildings, drivers of other cars, passengers, pedestrians, or members of the emergency services. They can provide valuable information as eyewitnesses, helping to explain how the collision happened and who was liable for the crash. It gives the jury and insurance companies an insight into the entire incident.
Even if you find no eyewitnesses, write down every detail that comes to mind for reference after some time. For instance, note the license plate numbers, vehicle make, and model. Additionally, exchange the names, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance information of all those involved in the accident. Avoid admitting fault or expressing regret because authorities can use your statement to reduce your claims.
Informing your insurance company
Most insurance policies require the injured party to contact the service provider after an injury or a car accident. So, one of the most important things you can do is to report the accident to your insurance company after attending to your injuries. However, be careful when providing them with accident-related information. Even though you partially share the blame, avoid taking official responsibility for it.
Do not discuss what you did before the accident and who you believe was at fault. The insurance company may use the given details against you and reduce the amount claimed. So, the point is to notify the authorities that a car accident occurred and you have a claim. You may have to reveal the names and contact details of the other parties involved. Follow their claim submission instructions and provide any requested documentation.
Follow-up care and recovery
A car accident injury can create stressful and overwhelming situations. In about 50% of pedestrian accidents, lower body injuries are present. They include leg fractures, amputated limbs, lacerations, hip injuries, ACL sprains, and tears. The neck, face, or head is the second most commonly injured body part in car accidents. When these body parts hit the hood or windshield, they suffer damage. In 38% of pedestrian accidents, victims bear neck, face, or head injuries. For instance, they could experience shoulder dislocation, jaw fractures, neck and vertebral injuries, brain stem damage, and concussions. Injuries to the upper extremities affect, on average, 27% of pedestrians. Numerous musculoskeletal injuries commonly affect the hands, wrists, and arms.
While you undergo official formalities to file claims, don’t overlook your medical condition. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions if the accident caused critical injuries like organ damage, head trauma, or internal bleeding. Keep track of all medical prescriptions, diagnoses, treatments, and expenses related to your injuries. Even if your accident injuries are minor, continue with any recommended medical treatment, therapy, or rehabilitation.
Repairing your vehicle
Depending on the severity of the car accident, your vehicle may require auto repairs. Minor collisions sometimes only need paintwork fixes, like filling in dents and scratches. However, the engine, transmission, suspension, or other essential parts may sustain damage, necessitating costly repairs or replacement in severe crashes. Additionally, after deployment, safety features like airbags and seat belts may need to be replaced.
To ensure the safety and proper operation of the vehicle, seek a reputable auto repair shop. A skilled mechanic will assess the damage and perform the required repairs. Keep records of these repair expenses, as the other party’s insurance company must pay for them if the accident was their fault. If you have collision insurance, you can also get help with repair costs from your insurance provider.
Consulting car accident attorneys
Hiring a car accident attorney is highly recommendable for injured people. The attorney can defend your rights, offer legal counsel, and help you understand the sophisticated legal system. Your lawyer will assist you in determining the full extent of your losses, including hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any permanent disabilities. However, they will require comprehensive information about your car accident and injuries. Give them access to your medical records, bills, and expenses. Also, let them know if you had any communication with insurance companies or other parties involved. They will evaluate your accident-related file and seek the best recourse to strengthen your case.
Following up on insurance claims
Insurance companies often try to limit their liability by offering low settlement sums. Before accepting their offer, consider consulting with your personal injury attorney. They will correspond and negotiate with the company on your behalf. They will work diligently to obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. They will try to reach a fair settlement with the insurance company or, if necessary, take legal action.
If your case proceeds to trial, your lawyer will represent you in court, presenting evidence, questioning witnesses, and arguing your case. However, most car accident cases get resolved through out-of-court settlement negotiations. Your lawyer will evaluate any settlement offers and advise you on the best course of action based on the facts.
Why is hiring a car accident attorney beneficial?
The specific actions you should take following a car accident may vary depending on the circumstances. However, consulting legal experts is wise because they can offer tailored guidance based on your circumstances. Discuss your case with our car accident attorney Chicago at Phillips Law Offices. Our attorney specializes in personal injury law and has extensive experience handling car accident cases. We will diligently investigate the incident, gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf. To get free consultation contact us now at (312) 598-0917 and discuss your case with us. Here are some key reasons why hiring our attorney is beneficial:
The laws governing car accidents are complex and differ from state to state. Our personal injury lawyers have in-depth knowledge and understanding of these laws. We can help in exploring options and fight for your legal rights. We can bargain with insurance companies or file a lawsuit if they resist. In all ways, we work for the best interest of our clients.
Our skilled attorney can help injured car accident victim to seek maximum compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. We will assess the full extent of your injuries and property loss. We include medical expenses, lost income, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and future medical needs. In specific cases, punitive damages are applicable to deter the defendants from engaging in wrongful conduct. Depending on your case condition, we work to maximize your compensation claim.
Claiming a substantial amount requires proof showing you deserve the sum. Our proficient Car accident lawyers have adequate resources and networks to collect evidence. We can evaluate the car accident report, cross-examine witness statements, and pursue expert opinions. For instance, we can ask a skilled accident reconstructionist to regenerate the incident and determine liability. Likewise, we can seek medical experts to calculate your accident-related expenses, including future costs.
Peace of mind
Recovering from a traumatic experience like an auto accident can be physically and emotionally draining. With a well-experienced attorney, you can alleviate the stress of legal processes and focus on your recovery. We serve as advocates, providing support, guidance, and reassurance throughout the legal process. Knowing that a dedicated professional will handle your case will make you feel relieved and content.
Eventually, hiring an attorney is highly beneficial for an injured car accident victim. From evidence gathering to handling insurance matters, we assist with everything. With our contingent legal assistance, you don’t have to worry about your finances. Contact us for free case evaluation and guidance now!
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