No matter how much we practice due diligence when driving, there is still the risk of getting involved in a car accident once or vehicles venture into the highway. The United States has a high motor vehicle accident rate, averaging yearly at around 6 million cases. Thus, with a number like this, there is a possibility that you may figure in a road accident at one point.
According to caraccidentattorneysa.com If you are involved in an accident where the fault is totally on the other driver’s side, you have the right to be compensated for the injuries and property damages you received. The most common way of compensation is through a settlement of your car accident claim with the erring driver’s insurance company. Another way is through a lawsuit.
One of the basic things you need to keep in mind before you pursue legal actions is to always protect your right to injury and damage compensation.
Make a documentation of the accident scene
Chaos and disorientation are the most likely aftermath of a car crash. Always have the presence of mind to assess your injuries first, because your involvement in the next courses of action will be crucial in winning your claim. If your injuries are not serious, make sure to document as much as you can about the accident scene and the events that led to the accident. Time is of the essence, so make the documentation of the accident scene as soon as possible. Good evidence can greatly help with your legal claims.
Interact with witnesses
Witnesses can provide effective corroborating information that can strengthen your claim. Interact with witnesses in a cordial way and get as much information as possible the witnesses of the accident. You will also be needing their contact information so ask politely. Request for their permission to make written or verbal statements if needed. A good interaction allows you to ask questions and gather information relevant to your accident.
Call the police
It is always a good practice to call the police no matter how seemingly minor the accident may have been or regardless of the vehicles involved in the accident. An article from adamsoncleveland.com states that an accident claim involving a motorcycle can be more complicated than those involving cars or trucks. The police investigation and report can provide an additional source of documentation for your claim and legal actions.
Most often, the party at fault will try to shift the blame on the other involved party in the accident to minimize what they have to pay on a claim. Having an authoritative source of a police report not only provides supporting documentation for your claim but also provides evidence of fault. Thus, never skip this step even if the other party insists that there is no need to call the police. Do not fall for this tactic in order to keep your claim strong and solid.
Secure photographic or video evidence
Taking a photograph or video of the accident scene is one of the immediate steps you can personally take. Use a camera or smartphone to document the scene, including the injuries you sustained and make sure that your camera or video has the date and time information for easy authentication. In the event that you do not have a cell phone or camera, request from witnesses to help take pictures or a short video and guide them on what images to take.
Basically, you will need a photograph of the entire accident scene, then proceed to specific details like the damages to your vehicle and the other party’s vehicle and the visible injuries that you sustained. Include other contributing factors to the accident, such as a faulty traffic light or lack of traffic signs.
Seek medical attention
Medical attention and accident documentation can overlap or any of the two steps can take precedence depending on the severity of the injury. Aside from having your injuries treated and preventing further injuries after the accident, the treatment records, doctor’s notes, and your hospital bills can provide substantial evidence of the injuries you sustained and the financial damage caused by the accident. A good medical documentation can not only reduce administrative costs of reviewing your case, but also provides irrefutable evidence of your physical condition, which further strengthens your settlement demand.
Follow your doctor’s orders absolutely while you are making a claim for your injuries. If your doctor explicitly orders you to keep away from physical exertion for a week, adhere to the restriction. This helps keep the injury claim valid and erases doubts from an adjuster or claims attorney in granting your claim.
Get repair estimates for your damaged property
With your accident scene documentation and medical attention taken care of, proceed with getting for any damage done to your vehicle. It is highly suggested that you at least two repair estimates in order to have a viable argument for the repair costs you need. Your insurance adjuster will require an independent inspection of the damage to your vehicle, it is best to be prepared with a solid presentation of your repair estimates to have your car properly fixed and restored.
Seek legal assistance from a lawyer
For your specific insurance or personal injury claims, you may experience some delay in the processing of your claims. Insurance adjusters, whether they from the other driver’s insurance provider or your own, will adhere to their insurance respective company’s policies to “adjust” the money that you’ll accept for your insurance claim. Like any business, insurance companies are established to make money and cut back as much as they can on your insurance claims.
However, if you feel that an insurance adjuster is taking too long with the processing of the payment of your claim, whether unintentionally or deliberately, it is always a good course of action to get legal assistance from an attorney. This can help stop the delaying tactics of insurance adjusters and help you get your claim as soon as possible.
There are many steps involved when it comes to legal actions to take if you are involved in an accident. Most of the time, your legal course of action can be settled in the form of compensation through insurance claims. There are three things to remember in effectively protecting your right for due compensation for your injuries and property damage: documentation, rationality and persistence. If you have solid support for your claim, the rationality to take all the appropriate steps to file a claim and the persistence to follow up on your claim, you can arrive at a satisfactory resolution to your car accident case.