Car accidents can disrupt your life and involve months or years of physical recovery. You may also be forced to deal with mounting medical bills, expensive repairs or replacement of a vehicle and lost income if you cannot work. It can be particularly frustrating to deal with the physical and financial consequences of a car accident when you are not at fault.
If you have been seriously hurt in a car accident that someone else caused, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your medical bills and other losses. The other driver’s insurance company could make it difficult to recover the full compensation that represents a fair settlement. The entire process can be complicated and combative, even if it seems clear that you were not to blame for your injuries. After a car crash, you should follow the steps outlined below to protect yourself.
Report the Accident to Police
The moments after the accident may be filled with confusion. Your first thoughts will likely be about your injuries and the damage to your vehicle. They will not be about documenting the accident or gathering evidence for an injury claim. However, reporting the accident to the police is essential. Having a police report documenting how the car accident occurred is essential, especially if you need to file an injury claim in the future.
Police reports will provide a factual record of the time, location, and nature of the accident. This information will help frame how the accident occurred. Insurance adjusters will rely on police accident reports when evaluating claims. Witness statements may be compared to the information contained in the police report to support the credibility of such statements. The data from the police report also may be used to reconstruct the facts of the accident if you end up taking your case to trial.
If the at-fault driver was driving recklessly or carelessly, reporting the accident to the police will help establish liability. If the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving without insurance, or engaging in other negligent behavior, the police may charge the driver with a traffic violation or criminal offense. The facts included in a police report (as well as any tickets or criminal charges) may be used to help you prove the other driver’s negligence or support your demand for higher damages in your injury claim.
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
It is important to assess whether anyone involved in the accident needs emergency medical care. If so, call 911 and inform the dispatcher how many ambulances are needed. Even if your injuries do not seem serious or require emergency aid, it is essential to go to a doctor and seek medical evaluation. Inform the doctor that you have been in a crash. Some potentially severe injuries including head injuries may not be noticeable immediately after a collision.
Many people say that they didn’t experience post-accident pain until days or weeks after an accident. It is important to receive prompt medical attention after a crash to get a proper diagnosis of injuries that may not be apparent at the scene, such as whiplash or internal injuries.
If you need to seek financial compensation after a car accident, the insurance carriers involved will want detailed documentation of your injuries. Having medical treatment records will be important if you need to file an injury claim.
Don’t Deal with the Insurance Company Alone
Talking to the other driver’s insurance company on your own is not a good idea. In fact, it is a common, but avoidable mistake that many people make after a car accident. Conversations with insurance companies are recorded. Anything that you disclose could be used against you later. Second, insurance adjusters are trained to get you to admit fault or to make other statements that can be used to minimize or deny your claim. The insurance adjuster may seem friendly, but the adjuster’s job is to minimize the amount the company pays you to settle the claim.
It is better to have an attorney represent you in dealings with the insurance company. If you have a personal injury attorney acting on your behalf, the other party’s insurance representatives will not be able to back you into a corner or trick you into undermining your case.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Your car accident attorney will handle all of the documentation from your medical visits and will help keep it organized. Furthermore, a knowledgeable attorney will help you present your case and explain the consequences of your injuries.
You need a legal team that will be able to track your ongoing medical treatment, test results, and expenses while you focus on getting better. Selecting the right attorney with experience handling injury cases could be the difference between receiving a small recovery and getting full compensation for all of your injuries.
Contact David Blackwell Law – Car Accident Lawyers
Car accident attorney David Blackwell and the legal team at David Blackwell Law have proudly advocated for injured people in Lancaster, Indian Land, Heath Springs, Kershaw, and surrounding communities of South Carolina for years. We understand those car accidents can be life-altering. Our firm believes in supporting clients from the earliest moments after an accident and maintaining a connection even after the case has been resolved.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at (803) 232-7274 or online today for a free consultation. We will review the details of your accident and explain your legal options. We are committed to representing the right people for the right reasons. If you have a valid personal injury claim, the legal team at David Blackwell Law will fight to take care of you, no matter the expense to us.
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