Legal Roadmap: What to Expect After a Car Accident?
If the unexpected occurs, and you are involved in a car accident, the immediate aftermath is confusing. It can seem overwhelming, from making sure to get proper care and consider your safety to dealing with property damage, insurance claims, and a variety of other issues. But you are not on this journey alone.
Car accidents can result in many consequences: injuries, psychological stress, and financial problems. This is particularly important in the wake of such an event to help you understand your rights and responsibilities.
So, what to expect after a car accident is still a question that bugs a lot of people.
Immediate Steps to Take
After an accident, an accident attorney in Houston Tx says that when a car accident occurs, though the scene can be easily heated and tense, it’s extremely important to remain as cool and collected as possible. Here, we outline the crucial actions you should take at the accident scene:
- Ensure Safety: Your own safety and that of the others involved should take priority. If you can, get your car to a safe spot away from traffic in order to prevent any further accidents. Flash the hazard lights to warn other drivers.
- Check for Injuries: Evaluate yourself and others for injuries. Anyone injured should call 911 immediately to ask for assistance. Injuries may appear trivial, but it’s better to have them checked out by a doctor.
- Contact Law Enforcement: Generally speaking, one needs to call the police and report the accident. Law enforcement officers will show up at the scene to evaluate it, take information, and write an accident report. This report may be of use to insurance claims or lawsuits.
Later, after that, there are certain steps that can help immensely with the case.
Seeking Medical Attention
After a car crash, immediate medical evaluation and treatment are crucial, even if there aren’t any obvious injuries. Here’s why seeking medical attention is crucial:
- In some cases, injuries sustained in a car accident do not show their symptoms at first. Whiplash, concussions, and soft tissue injuries can have delayed onset symptoms. These hidden injuries can be detected and treated by a medical professional.
- When coming for treatment, you obtain a list of your injuries and treatments. Insurance claims and legal cases can benefit from this documentation. It establishes the injuries you received and the medical treatment obtained.
- Well-timed medical intervention can prevent small injuries from becoming serious. Early treatment eliminates pain and discomfort and speeds healing.
- If you choose to make a personal injury claim, having the relevant medical record of your injuries is very important. It links the accident to your injuries and shows that you took appropriate steps to address them.
Collecting evidence at the scene of the accident is necessary for giving an accurate portrayal of events and providing a basis for your claim. Here’s why gathering evidence is significant:
- Photographs: Photographic evidence is particularly compelling. Photograph vehicle damage, road conditions, traffic signs, and any visible injuries. Taking photos such as these can clarify and give background to the accident, later on.
- Witness Statements: You can find supporting statements from witnesses who saw the accident happening in their own accounts. Gather their contact information and have them report what they saw.
- Police Reports: An official document about the accident filed by law enforcement is an accident report. It can be an objective record of the incident, which can provide evidence for insurance claims or litigation.
Contacting Insurance Companies
After an accident, the first step is to report this to your insurance company. Here’s why it’s crucial and what you can expect:
- After the accident, contact your insurance company immediately. Many insurance policies specify that incidents must be reported immediately. If this is not done then your claim may become complicated, or delayed.
- The insurance company will guide you through the claims process when you report the accident. They will inquire about the specifics of the accident, the persons involved, and injuries or damages suffered.
- Your case may be assigned to an insurance adjuster. They will determine the extent of the damage to your vehicle and how badly you were hurt. This assessment requires accurate and truthful information.
- Coverage available for your particular situation will be determined by your insurance company when it reviews what the policy covers. They will tell you what is and isn’t included and how to go forward.
It is important to understand how liability is decided in car accident cases. Here’s what you need to know:
Liability is typically measured by the determination of responsibility. Insurance companies and legal authorities determine who is responsible for the accident. This might be going over evidence, witness statements, and police reports.
Some cases involve shared liability among several parties. Because states have different rules concerning comparative fault, the extent of your fault can affect how much compensation you receive.
But if you think another party was at fault and their insurance isn’t enough to cover your losses, then there may be the possibility of taking personal injury legal action to recover additional compensation.
Consulting with an Attorney
After being involved in a car accident, people should seriously consider going to see a car accident attorney for advice. Here’s an explanation of when and why individuals should think about hiring a car accident attorney for legal representation:
When to Consider Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
If you or any of the passengers in your vehicle have been seriously injured in the accident, it’s probably a good idea to talk to an attorney. The more serious injuries may cause a large sum of money for medical bills alone, as well as continued treatment and long-term effects. You need a lawyer to get the compensation necessary to cover such costs.
In cases where determining liability in the accident is complicated, involving many parties with unclear faults or disputes over who caused which losses, attorneys can prove very helpful. They are capable of conducting an exhaustive inquiry and accumulating evidence to determine liability.
If you have difficulties with your insurance company, such as a claim that is denied or an offer of settlement that fails to compensate adequately for your losses, an attorney can come to the rescue. The lawyer will negotiate with the insurer on your behalf.
Filing a Lawsuit
If the attempts to settle out of court are unsuccessful, then filing a lawsuit will likely be necessary.
Circumstances Leading to Filing a Lawsuit
Disputed Liability: If the question as to who was at fault for this accident cannot be settled by negotiations, then a lawsuit will have to establish liability before a court of law.
Inadequate Settlement Offers: If the settlement offered by the at-fault party’s insurance company fails to cover your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other losses entirely or adequately, you may file a lawsuit against the other side seeking fair compensation.
Uncooperative Parties: A lawsuit, however, is merely a way of forcing an uncooperative at-fault party or its insurer to come to the negotiation table and treat matters with proper seriousness.
Statute of Limitations: The legal time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit varies from state to state, but each has its own statute of limitations. If this period is about to expire or has already passed, you may have to file a lawsuit in order to protect your right to pursue damages.
Steps Involved in Litigation
Consultation with an Attorney: The first step is to talk to a car accident lawyer who can evaluate the strength of your case and decide if it would be worth suing.
Complaint Filing: Once you have decided to go forward with a lawsuit, your attorney will send a complaint outlining your claims against the at-fault person (or persons) and stating how much compensation you are entitled to receive.
Contact Mokaram Law Firm Today!
At Mokaram Law Firm, the best lawyers can help you get through your cases after they have occured. So, make sure to book your appointment with the most skillful attorneys today by dialing (281) 609-9224 now.