Did you know that around two million drivers in car accidents experience permanent injuries every year? If a car accident left you injured, you might not know right away.
To protect your legal rights after being injured in a car accident, you need to follow the right steps. Doing certain things will ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Keep reading to learn what to do after a car accident where you sustain injuries.
Call the Police
The first thing you should do when you get injured in a car accident is to call the police. Whether the accident was a minor fender bender or a big crash, calling the police is usually legally required.
The police will file an accident report that is essential in protecting your legal rights. This report will be used to determine if you are eligible for compensation.
A police report will include driver information, witness contacts, and what the police believe happened to cause the accident. This document from the scene will go to your insurer when you file a claim.
While waiting for the police, it’s essential to tend to severe injuries. If your injuries aren’t detrimental, exchange contact information and insurance information with the other driver.
This is the most important information drivers need to exchange after the accident:
- Full name and contact details
- Driver’s license and license plate number
- Location of the accident
- Insurance company and policy number
- Type, color, and model of vehicle
Avoid discussing fault when going over accident details because this can come back to bite you during the claims process.
When you file a claim, the insurance adjuster working on your case will review the details and determine who is at fault. They do this by inspecting the vehicles, property damages, supporting documentation, and photographs from the scene.
Document the Accident
Before the insurance adjuster can review your auto accident case, you need to document accident details. These details will be in the police report, but it’s always recommended to get your point of view.
The more details you have to share, the likelier you are to receive the compensation that you deserve.
Once the police arrive, ask for their names and badge numbers. You’ll also want to ask them where to receive a copy of the accident report that they create because your insurance will likely ask for this.
Take thorough pictures of the accident from different angles. Show the damage that has been done to both cars. It’s also a good idea to get the license plate of the other vehicle as a photograph.
Write down the names of all involved parties, including any passengers from other vehicles. Talk to witnesses of the accident and ask them if you can write down their names and contact information.
Witness statements can come in handy at any point in the process, but they are especially beneficial to have if your case ends up going to court.
Notify the Insurer
To start an auto accident case, you’ll want to call your insurance provider. You can call them on the day of the accident or use a mobile app to get ahead on the claims process.
Insurance providers will tell you what they need from you in order to process the claim. They can also give you details about what you can expect from the claims timeline.
If your vehicle is damaged and needs towing, your insurance provider might be able to arrange a tow to send your car directly to a certified body shop.
After you file a claim, your insurance provider will get started on the above information. Depending on your policy, you might be reimbursed for the repairs or for your vehicle’s cash value if your car was totaled in the crash.
In some cases, you’ll want to file a claim through the at-fault party’s insurance provider, especially if major injuries occurred. This process can get a little more complicated as insurance is known to lowball customers.
To get the best chance at getting the compensation you deserve, consider hiring a personal injury attorney to work the case on your behalf.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
There are some car accidents where hiring a lawyer is not necessary to receive compensation for injuries. However, not all car accidents are cut and dry.
A personal injury attorney that specializes in car accidents will have knowledge of the law pertaining to your specific situation.
Liability in a car accident case is trickier than most people think. If an insurance provider believes you were at fault for the crash, you won’t be seeing compensation without the help of a lawyer.
When you file an auto accident lawsuit, a lawyer will work to prove these elements of fault or negligence:
- You were owed a duty of care by the other driver
- That at-fault driver breached this duty
- You sustained injuries from the accident
- You suffered losses because of your injuries
There are other factors that contribute to protecting your rights in a car accident lawsuit, but these are the main ones.
Were You Injured in a Car Accident?
If you were injured in a car accident, compensation is not guaranteed for your damages. If you have insurance, you can protect your legal rights to compensation by following the correct steps after an auto accident.
Always file a police report, exchange information, and get detailed documentation of the accident from your point of you. Most importantly, hire a personal injury lawyer that can help.
For more informative articles like this, check out the other posts on our blog.