A car accident can have a profound impact on the lives of those involved. Minor mishaps can be major nuisances that result in vehicular damage and increased insurance rates. More serious incidents could result in serious injury and disability that yield pronounced financial struggles.
Our firm of personal injury lawyers invites prospective clients and interested parties to read this brief blog highlighting the actions anyone involved in a car accident should execute.
There are numerous steps accident victims should take in the immediate aftermath of the accident and in the hours and days following the event in question.
Actions To Be Taken Immediately
There are several actions accident parties should complete in the minutes immediately following their dustup including:
Even following the most minor mishaps, involved motorists must stop. In many states, leaving the scene of an accident places said individuals in violation of traffic law.
Ensure The Safety Of Involved Parties And Vehicles
In minor to relatively moderate accidents in which damage is not extensive and the parties are not seriously injured, law enforcement officials and traffic monitoring professionals suggest that automobiles in question be moved to the side of the road or as far away from oncoming traffic as possible.
Such action reduces the risk of the accident escalating and protects the incident’s parties from sustaining further property damage or worsening injuries.
Contact The Authorities
The local police force should be notified at once. Law enforcement officials can listen to testimony given by all concerned parties, examine the damaged vehicles and investigate any other available evidence and author an accurate report offering an honest assessment of the events leading up to the incident. An official police report will serve accident parties better than “he said she said accounts,” especially during associated criminal or civil proceedings.
Beckon Medical Attention
Should any party sustain moderate to severe injuries, ensuring said parties receive immediate medical attention is of primary importance?
Take Close Personal Accounts
Should accident victims be able, said individuals are encouraged to take photos of their vehicles and of all other cars involved in the incident. Additionally, said parties should write down their account of the incident and try as hard as they can to remember everything leading up the collision.
Obtain Pertinent Information Of Notable Parties
Prior to exiting the accident scene, incident parties should obtain pertinent information about the others involved such as their names, contact numbers, addresses and auto insurance providers.
The Next Steps
There are several subsequent steps accident victims should also execute no later than a few hours to a couple of days following the event in question. Such responsibilities include:
Receiving A Thorough Medical Evaluation
All incident parties should receive a thorough medical evaluation no longer than a few days following the accident. Even minor mishaps can precipitate serious injuries. That said, such maladies might not immediately become symptomatic. Ergo, medical evaluation from a trained healthcare professional will be critical to diagnosing any such problems before potentially serious, debilitating and permanent complications arise.
In addition to the maintenance of optimal health, prompt medical examinations could prove critical should the party in question seek compensation from the other parties via civil action. Recouping funds will be predicated on being able to prove that one’s injuries were caused by the accident.
Contact Auto Insurance Provider
Accident victims are strongly advised to contact their insurance providers soon after the event in question. Delaying can not only significantly slow down the claims process but raise red flags from the provider regarding the severity of their client’s injuries.
Consult With A Personal Injury Attorney
In certain instances, the question of fault arises and accident victims may be able to recoup damages from the guilty motorists. That said, compensation will not be rewarded until the conclusion of a legal process known as a civil suit. It is important to reiterate that not everyone involved in a car accident will be entitled to compensation and not every civil action will yield favorable results.
Therefore, consultation with a personal injury lawyer can go a long way towards garnering a favorable outcome. Said legal professional can review the evidence associated with a claimant’s case and advise said party whether to proceed with a suit or not.
However, even in instances where the lawyer in question opines that their client has a legitimate case, success will hinge upon several important legal principles. The first important issue is a fault. To recover compensation, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the other accident parties were somewhat or completely responsible for the incident in question.
That said if an adjudicating party like a judge or jury deems the plaintiff shared some degree of the blame, said individual could receive less or possibly no compensation.
Furthermore, successful civil suits also hinge on the plaintiff’s ability to clearly demonstrate other key issues such as:
Demonstrated Negligence On the Part Of Defendants: The perceived guilty parties have to be found to have committed some negligent or malfeasance act that precipitated the accident.
A Correlation Between Injuries And Accident: The plaintiff must also prove that the injuries they claimed to have sustained were the result of the accident and cannot be tied to any other injury or illness.
A Correlation Between Injuries And Damages: The damages sought by the plaintiff must be related to the injuries said party sustained.