More than 2.5 million people get injured in car accidents every year. While some of these injuries are mild or minor, the majority of the injuries are severe, permanent, or fatal. The more serious the injuries, the bigger the hassle the victim will have to go through.
That’s because these injuries will require extensive medical treatment that can involve surgeries and years of rehabilitation; the costs of which should be covered by the insurance company. Needless to say, insurance companies will do their best to avoid paying a huge settlement. If you were involved in a vehicle accident and have suffered injuries as a result, here’s what you can do to minimize the impact of the injuries and preserve your rights.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
The first thing you should do after getting into a car accident is to seek medical attention. Call 911 and, while you’re waiting for help to come, assess the severity of the situation. Stay still if you’re wounded, in pain, or unable to move. In case you can move, check the state of your fellow passengers and perform first-aid if needed. You should still call 911 and get medical attention even if you don’t feel ill. The emergency healthcare providers will be able to perform an independent medical examination to assess the severity of your and your passengers’ condition. You’ll need this professional assessment to strengthen your case down the line.
Report the Accident
Calling 911 is not only crucial to minimize the damage inflicted by the injuries, but it’s also required by law in most states. Once you call 911, they’ll also report the accident to the responsible authorities. However, you should also call the police and report the accident. Once the police arrive, they’ll assess the scene of the accident and file a report. This report will include your testimonial, as well as the testimonial of the other involved parties and any witnesses. You’ll need to be honest in your account, but never admit to any kind of fault or shoulder any blame.
Collect Evidence at the Accident Scene
While you’re waiting for help to arrive, it’s time to go around the scene and gather evidence. The evidence you collect should include clear pictures and videos of the accident scene, the damage is done to your vehicle, the injuries you’ve sustained, and the damage done to any of your belongings. There are many situations in which the other parties would try to tamper with the scene before the authorities arrive, so moving quickly is the only way you can protect the evidence. While you’re at it, be sure to exchange contact information with the other driver(s). This should include the phone number, email, driver’s license, and plate numbers.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Although you might feel that you can represent your case on your own, the smarter choice would be to hire a personal injury lawyer. Car accident laws vary according to state, so you’ll need to find an experienced local lawyer to represent you. For instance, Fredericksburg and other cities in the state of Virginia follow tort law. You’ll need to hire a personal injury lawyer in Fredericksburg, Virginia to help you prove the liability of the other driver(s). In short, tort law dictates that you can’t get any compensation unless you prove that the other driver(s) were driving recklessly and that their negligence has resulted in the damage you’ve sustained. Not only that, but the law entails that you’ll lose the right to compensation altogether if you’re partly at fault. Since the legalities of personal injury claims are complicated, you’ll definitely need a lawyer to help you preserve your rights.
Contact Insurance Companies
You’ll need to report the accident to insurance companies as well to get the compensation you’re entitled to. However, getting this compensation is much easier said than done. Insurance companies will investigate the accident and most of them will try their best to reduce the compensation amount or deny your claim altogether. That’s another reason you’ll need a lawyer who’s familiar with their tactics and uses the law to preserve your rights.
Getting into a car accident can turn your life upside down. In addition to needing medical care to treat your injuries and get your strength back, you’ll find yourself swarmed with the legalities involved in filing a personal injury claim. However, the fact remains that you’re entitled to fair compensation for the emotional, physical, and monetary damage you’ve sustained. Your best chance to improve your odds of winning the case is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to maximize the settlement amount.