What Do I Do When I Get Into a Car Accident?

By | September 16, 2013

No matter what your level of experience – from a teen on his first time behind the wheel to a seasoned veteran with decades of driving under your belt – getting into a car accident is a traumatic experience. Whatever else may have been on your mind or on your agenda for later in the day becomes an afterthought, as car crashes are immediate disruptions that must be dealt with before you can get the rest of your life back together. So what should you do if you’ve been involved in a car accident? First, it’s vital that you get out of harm’s way and get the proper medical care that you need.

If you’re still on the scene, it’s important to get contact and insurance information from the other drivers. Additionally, you should respond honestly and completely to any questions asked of you by law enforcement officers filling out their police report. Once the dust has cleared and you are free to leave, carefully make your way home. While the incident is still fresh in your mind, you may wish to make a note of any impressions you have of the accident or the other drivers involved.

While every car accident won’t produce litigation, there is a chance that a suit may result from your car crash. That risk multiplies when the number of drivers involved increases, and there is also a higher risk of litigation if anyone sustains a serious injury or aggravates a pre-existing condition because of the accident. Despite the fact that litigation is not necessarily guaranteed, it is always best to put yourself in a favorable position in case litigation does result. You can do so by being prepared. The best way to do so is by consulting an experienced personal injury and accident lawyer as soon as you can.

Contacting a lawyer soon after an accident will help ensure that you aren’t on the receiving end of any unpleasant surprises in the form of lawsuits. Additionally, an attorney can help you assess the situation and understand whether you have any legal rights or options in terms of securing compensation for any injuries you may have sustained. Depending on the situation, an attorney may be able to help you seek payment for missed work, medical bills, and pain and suffering. There is no risk associated with seeking a legal opinion, as many law firms offer initial consultations free of charge. By taking advantage of such an offer, you will be able to better understand your legal rights and remedies.

Speaking with an attorney early on can also help you gain insight into how to deal with any insurance companies that contact you. If you plan to file a lawsuit against another driver, you’ll likely hear from his insurance company or its lawyers, who will try to get you to dismiss your claim in exchange for a quick settlement. And while a quick payout may seem like a great deal, insurance companies tend to offer low amounts simply to make claims go away and avoid the risk of a bigger payout at trial. If you don’t speak with an attorney, you may not have any idea as to what your case is worth. However, an attorney will be able to provide you with the insight you need to make an informed and advantageous decision.

Finding a firm of experienced car accident lawyers is important, because such a team will have insight from past litigation they can use to your advantage. Be sure to research the firm before you reach out; you’ll want a team of car accident lawyers that focuses on that type of law, rather than a more general, jack-of-all-trades kind of firm. A narrow practice that concerns only car accidents promotes more awareness and expertise in that field of law, giving you the best chance of success in any suit resulting from your law suit.

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