What to Do if You’re Injured in a Car Accident

There are over five million car accidents in the U.S. every year, which is more common than we think.

Knowing what to do in a car accident is essential for taking the right legal steps and helping you file a claim. But, if you’ve never considered what to do, you could end up with legal issues. Maybe that’s why you’re here; you’ve been involved in a car accident and aren’t sure of the next step.

Sounds like you? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what to do if you’re injured in a car accident.

Don’t Leave the Scene 

Regardless of whether you or someone else has suffered car accident injuries, never flee the scene. But because you have, get to safety and call the emergency services immediately. They will either treat you at the scene or take you to a hospital where you’ll receive medical help.

Check Others for Injuries 

If you’re able, check that everyone else in the car accident is fine. Again, if anyone is injured, call 911 so that each individual can get checked. Note, never move anyone or interfere because you could be doing more harm than good.

Exchange Contact Information 

The only way you can agree on a car accident settlement is by exchanging contact details. Make sure you note down the other driver’s full name, phone number, and license plate. You should also record their insurance company and policy number to streamline the process.

It’s also wise to tell your insurance company the vehicle’s model, color, and the location of the accident as evidence.

Call Law Enforcement 

Although you’ve called emergency services, you should contact law enforcement, too, especially if you’re planning to file a car accident lawsuit. A police officer will interview everyone involved, connect with witnesses on the scene, and decide who was at fault.

The problem of not having a police report is you’ll be stuck in a “he said, she said” situation where neither party can be proved or disproved.

Document the Accident 

If you can, document the incident. Snap photos of the damage and even of your injuries. This will serve as your evidence if this situation gets taken to court. Plus, if you’re seeking car accident compensation, your insurance provider will need as much information as possible.

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Record Your Expenses If Necessary 

Car accident victims should also record their expenses. Detail any time you’ve missed from work and if you’ve dealt with co-pays or prescriptions. It’s important to note that cases can take several years to get into court, so recording this information straightaway can help you, especially if you can prove the dates.

Call a Tow Truck If Needed

Depending on the severity of the accident, you may need a tow truck to remove both cars from the scene. This is essential if your car is damaged and needs to be repaired immediately. The most cost-effective option is contacting your roadside assistance company so that someone can help you in a timely fashion.

Tell the DMV 

Every state has specific requirements for reporting accidents, so take this into consideration. The DMV will likely want to know about the severity of the damage, potential repair costs, and if you were injured in the process. To get started, contact your local DMV and ask for their guidelines on reporting accidents.

Don’t Share Any Statements with Your Insurance Company

Don’t fall into the trap of sharing statements with your insurance company, even if you’re not in the wrong. In many cases, the agent won’t be on your side and that could impact your chances of landing a large settlement. Remember that insurance companies prefer collecting premiums and paying out as little as possible when claims are made to keep their shareholders happy.

Search for a Car Accident Attorney

Anyone involved in an accident won’t go far in their case without reaching out to a local car accident lawyer. This is crucial because you’ve suffered injuries and your vehicle is likely damaged. But make sure you don’t sign anything provided by the other driver’s lawyer as it could affect your claims.

Not sure where to find a lawyer? 

Start by asking friends and family members whether they have any recommendations. Or, you may have a neighbor who has recently suffered injuries from a car accident and they can give you a referral. The beauty of word-of-mouth is that you’ll get honest feedback about the lawyer and whether it’s worth your time.

Another effective method is entering “car attorney lawyer (your location)” to see the top hits.

Only choose firms that have at least 4 stars, plenty of positive comments, and a clean website. Spend time reading through each firm’s reviews and note any negative reoccurring comments. If that’s the case, continue your search as that’s a major red flag.

But if you’re already working with a firm, ask whether they have any recommendations. For instance, your real estate attorney may know a reputable personal injury lawyer in your area who will take your case.

You should also conduct your search in Enjuri’s lawyer directory, where you can connect with a personal injury attorney. Simply choose your state and a list of reputable lawyers will appear, so you have a starting point.

Know What to Look For 

Not all car accident attorneys are created equal, so know what to look for.

Check out the team and see who acts as the public face of the firm. It’s wise to visit each firm in person and note how welcoming the team members are. Choose a firm that has had several years of experience and has received awards because it indicates that they’re experts.

Further, check whether the personal injury attorney has good judicial connections, such as contributing to campaigns and participating in the local bar association. And you mustn’t forget to research how many cases go to trial and their success rate for peace of mind.

Ask the Right Questions

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of candidates, come equipped with questions to learn more about their services.

Ask the lawyer how they’ll handle your case and if it’s possible to win. Reputable lawyers know their limits and will be honest about whether they have the relevant experience. Lawyers should also believe in you and feel passionate that they can help you win.

Although it sounds obvious, ask each lawyer whether they’ve worked on similar cases. If the answer is no, continue your search because you don’t want to be a case study.

Further, ask lawyers what they charge and if there are any hidden fees to prevent any nasty surprises. Ideally, the lawyer should take a fixed percentage of the money you’ve received when you’ve won the case. Note, this will be anywhere between 20% and 40%.

And don’t forget to ask if you’ll be charged in the worst-case scenario. You don’t want to lose; only to find that you owe thousands in legal fees that you can’t afford. Even if the lawyer hasn’t mentioned it, thoroughly read through the contract before signing the dotted line.

Know the Mistakes to Avoid 

Even if you’ve hired a reputable lawyer, victims of car accidents may make unnecessary mistakes.

One of the worst ones is not seeking immediate medical care, regardless of how you feel. You never know if you’re suffering from internal bleeding or a concussion, which puts your life at risk. To be safe, contact emergency services and they’ll give you a thorough medical examination.

You should also avoid waiting for your insurance provider to make the right move. If you spend months waiting for a response, you could damage your case even further. Because of this, preserve evidence and don’t say anything to the driver as it could be used against you in court.

Further, don’t accept quick cash offers. For instance, an insurance company may offer you fast money before you’ve received adequate medical treatment. Regardless of your financial situation, don’t cash the cheque because you could have symptoms later on that you can’t be reimbursed on.

Or, an insurance company may withhold money until you’re so desperate that you’ll take any fee. If you feel like this is happening, contact your attorney ASAP.

What to Do When Injured in a Car Accident

Hopefully, you now know what to do when injured in a car accident.

There are many steps to take, such as seeking medical help and exchanging contact information with the other driver. Victims should also spend time finding a reputable personal injury lawyer and never contact the insurance company first. Good luck with your case!

If you’re interested in more posts like this, check out the rest of our blog for more legal advice.

Article written by admin

By Profession, he is an SEO Expert. From heart, he is a Fitness Freak. He writes on Health and Fitness at MyBeautyGym. He also likes to write about latest trends on various Categories at TrendsBuzzer. Follow Trendsbuzzer on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.