You are a safe driver. When on the road, you make it your business to follow the rules and to watch for any sign of danger. Unfortunately, not everyone shares this attitude. Some people are so unsafe when they get on the road that they should not even have a driver’s license.
If you have been hurt in a car accident caused by the action or inaction of a reckless driver, then you should pursue a legal resolution.
What to do After a Car Accident
A car accident is a terribly shocking event. After an accident, it will take you a moment to realize what has happened. Once you have regained your bearings, you should do the following:
1. Check for injuries
The shock of the accident can leave you feeling numb to any pain or bleeding. You should rub your hands over your body to ensure that you are not bleeding. You should ensure that your passengers are alright.
2. Call 911
You should call emergency services immediately. Do not assume that others will. The 911 operator will ask you questions about the accident—its location and the injuries it has caused; they will at the same time dispatch police and ambulance to the scene.
3. Check the other vehicle
If you are up to it, then you should make your way to the other vehicle and check the status of the driver and passengers. If you are still on the phone with the 911 operator, they will ask you if there are any injuries in the other vehicle. You should give as much detail as possible.
4. Exchange information with the other driver
You should exchange personal and insurance details with the other driver. You should say nothing that puts you at fault for the accident. Nor should you assign blame for it. Keep your views to yourself. You will be able to share them with the appropriate persons later.
5. Take photos of the accident
You should take as many photographs as you can of the wreckage. Try to get pictures of the accident from different angles, and at least one photograph should be of the entire accident scene.
6. Get a thorough physical examination
Even if you are feeling okay, you should go to the emergency room for a thorough physical examination. The doctor may be able to detect things that cannot be seen by the naked eye. You should also take photos of any bruises and cuts before these are cleaned, treated, and bandaged. The medical staff will help you with this.
7. Call a lawyer
As you recover from your injuries, you should call a lawyer. In fact, you should call a lawyer before you report the accident to your insurer. Between the two the lawyer will be the only one with your best interests in mind, and they will advise you of your rights as a policyholder.
What Your Lawyer Will Do
Personal injury lawyers such as those found at Murphy’s Law Firm will help you get the compensation you deserve. If the insurance company of the person who hits you realizes that the negligence of their client caused the accident, they may offer you a sum of money to settle the case. You should not accept it until your lawyer has had a chance to review their offer. Indeed, you should leave all communication and correspondence regarding the accident to your lawyer. You don’t want to say anything or make any commitments that can undermine your case.
If the sum offered compensates you for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, then your lawyer may urge you to take it. If the accident caused damage and injury beyond that covered by the initial offer, then you will need to push for more. If the insurance company refuses, then you will need to sue.
Your attorney will be able to gather the facts, introduce the forensic evidence, and employ the relevant bits of law necessary to get fair and just compensation. The case need not go to trial. Your lawyer may be able to push the other side into proffering an offer that is commensurate with all you’ve been through.