Police respond to millions of motor vehicle car accidents every year. These accidents can lead to relatively minor injuries. They can also lead to injuries that create devastating long-term consequences for victims. After a car accident, you may need to build a successful personal injury or wrongful death claim. A car accident injury attorney may help you get the compensation you deserve for your harm and suffering.
The basics of a personal injury claim
The other driver and their insurance company will likely take vigorous steps to prove their insured party is not at fault. They don’t want to have to pay money to claimants like you. You must prove several things to get a fair settlement, including:
- The other driver caused the accident
- The accident triggered your injuries
- Proof of your medical care costs, related expenses, and pain and suffering
Car accident liability claims are based on the other driver’s wrongdoing and fault. If they were negligent and caused the accident, they are liable for your damages.
Receiving compensation for damages
Damages include the costs associated with personal injuries or property damage.
- Personal injury damages include your medical bills, lost wages and earning potential, out-of-pocket expenses, and pain and suffering.
- Property damages include your vehicle repair costs or the current value of your car if it’s a total loss, and the value of personal items lost in the crash, like eyeglasses, computers, or anything else in the vehicle that was damaged.
What you should do right after the accident
Call 911 first thing after the accident. If you are seriously hurt and not physically able, have someone else call for you. Report your location and injuries to yourself or others. Don’t let the other driver prevent you or talk you out of calling the police. If anyone is injured or there was property damage, always get an official accident report. The police accident report can be a significant building block for your personal injury claim.
You should never refuse medical treatment from paramedics at the accident scene. If emergency responders want to transport you to the hospital, go with them. If you aren’t asked to go to the hospital from the accident scene, see your primary care physician as soon as possible, or go to the hospital ER or an urgent care center. Tell your treatment providers your injuries were from a car accident.
Make sure to gather evidence at the accident scene, including EMS and police reports, names and contact information of witnesses, weather conditions, accident diagrams, insurance information, etc. Use your phone, tablet, or camera to take photographs and video of the accident scene, then notify your insurance company even if the accident wasn’t your fault. Call the at-fault driver’s insurance company as well.
Get representation from an attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered severe or permanent injuries in a car accident, speak with an experienced car accident injury attorney. You owe it to yourself to find out what an experienced attorney can do for you. A monetary award for damages cannot undo what happened, but it can make your future more secure.