It is estimated that around 5.2 million car accidents happen every year in the United States. Of these accidents, millions of people are left not knowing what next steps to take after their accident and spend time researching their options. Instead of spending time researching what should be done, there are some steps that everyone should have memorized for use later on.
What to do Immediately After Your Car Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident, you should follow a series of steps depending on your particular situation. Additional steps may need to be taken if the circumstances surrounding your accident are unclear. However, those who have been involved in a car accident should keep in mind the following:
- Make sure that no one is injured- In many instances of light hits, there may be no injuries to report, but all involved parties should check themselves and their passengers over to ensure that no one has severe injuries that need to be addressed right away.
- Call emergency services- If you find that yourself, one of your passengers, or a member of one of the other vehicles is injured, it is imperative to call 911 and get emergency vehicles on the scene as soon as possible. If no one is hurt, it is still beneficial to alert the police to the crash and ask them to help block off the road.
- Remove all involved vehicles out of traffic- If possible, remove all vehicles off to the side of the road so that they don’t block traffic. If it isn’t possible to remove the involved vehicles from the road, then the police will assist in blocking off part of the road until one or more vehicles can be towed from the scene.
- Exchange information with the other parties- Exchanging information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident is important. Some information you may want to get includes pictures of their driver’s licenses, car license plates, and insurance information. Exchanging phone numbers may also be beneficial.
- Document the accident- After exchanging information, you should also take pictures of the accident for your insurance company. Take pictures of both vehicles, the area of the crash, and any injuries that you have sustained so that you can turn them in to your insurance company when you file a claim.
- Alert your insurance company- After gathering all the photos and information you need, report your accident to your insurance company and turn the information in. If you plan on filing a legal claim against the other driver, you may want to speak with your attorney before contacting your insurance company.
- Seek medical attention if you notice injuries after the accident- Some injuries take time to develop, and you may not know that the accident caused you any harm. If you notice pain in a particular area of your body, you may want to go to your primary care physician and have them assess it.
It is also important to remember that this is a stressful situation and not get tied up in roadside arguments about who caused the accident. Try to speak to the other driver as professionally as possible and avoid discussions about the accident.
Filing a Lawsuit After Your Accident
Many people who have been involved in a car accident may wonder if they have any grounds to file a claim against the other driver. Cases that have significant damages are the ones that should move forward with a claim. Some damages that may warrant a claim include:
- Cases that have caused physical damages that warranted medical intervention- If you were injured and had to be medically treated for those injuries, you may have the right to be reimbursed for your medical bills.
- Cases that caused loss of income- If you were injured due to the accident and were unable to work for a period of time and were not getting paid, you can add this into your case to get reimbursed for the money that you would have regularly received if you hadn’t been injured.
- Cases that caused emotional distress- If the car accident caused you or a loved one to become stressed, fatigued, or had any other mental or psychological problems, you might be able to include it in your claim.
Pain and suffering may also be included in your claim if your attorney believes it would be wise to add them in. In order for your claim to be as successful as possible, you want to include key evidence from the case, including:
- Photos of both cars
- Photos of the accident area
- Eyewitness testimony
- Your injuries
- Your medical records after the injury
When putting together your case, you may want to hire an attorney to handle it for you. There are many reasons why hiring an attorney is in your best interest.
Why You Should Contact an Attorney
If you are putting together a case, hiring an attorney is a great option. Hiring a personal injury attorney to handle your case comes with a variety of benefits, including:
- They will collect their own evidence- After hiring an attorney, they will look at all of your evidence and go on to collect their own to strengthen your case. They may see additional evidence that could benefit your case.
- They can devote their full attention to the case- While you may have other responsibilities, an attorney can devote a large sum of their time towards your case because it’s part of their job. This can also ease your stress and allow you to relax because you know that your case is being handled by someone that you trust.
- They are experienced- An experienced attorney should have handled cases like yours a multitude of times so that they have the experience necessary to competently handle your case and make sure that they are aware of every deadline and piece of documentation needed.
It is important to meet with a variety of different attorneys before selecting the right one for you and for your case. With so many personal injury attorneys to select from, find an attorney specializing in cases like yours and cares about the outcome of your case. Contact The Eichholz Law Firm today for a free case evaluation!