Essential Steps to Take After a Car Accident: How A Lawyer Can Help?

A car accident can be extremely horrifying, even if it’s just a minor fender-bender. Being in a collision can leave you feeling totally shocked and overwhelmed at the moment. But when accidents cause major damage or injuries, knowing what to do next is important for protecting yourself and your loved one with you in the car, both physically and financially. 

This blog will guide you with the essential steps to take post-crash. Also, you will learn how consulting a car accident lawyer early on can make a big difference.

1. Stay Calm and Ensure Safety

The moments after a car accident can be intensely stressful. Your top priority is to remain calm and ensure the safety of yourself and others involved. 

If anyone appears injured or in distress, call emergency services immediately. Turn on your hazard lights and set up roadside reflectors or flares if you have them.

2. Report to Authorities

In most states, you must contact law enforcement about accidents involving major damage, injuries, or deaths. 

Be cooperative with officers, but don’t speculate about who was at fault or make written or recorded statements without legal counsel present. Ask for a copy of the police report, which will be valuable later when filing your claim.

3. Seek Medical Care

Even if you don’t have visible injuries, see a doctor promptly after an accident. Symptoms of whiplash, concussion, and other issues often emerge hours later. 

A timely medical record also documents wounds and supports cause and effect if health problems develop. For major injuries, call 911 and avoid moving the victim until paramedics arrive.

4. Exchange Information

If possible, don’t move vehicles until police arrive and document the scene. But do exchange insurance and contact details with other drivers involved right away. 

Get their name, license plate, insurer name, and policy number. For multi-vehicle crashes, repeat this for every driver.

5. Document the Scene

Before moving your vehicle, if possible, use your phone to photograph the accident scene from multiple angles. Capture images showing the position of cars, damage sustained, skid marks, traffic signs or signals, hazards, and more. 

Also, photograph injuries to yourself or passengers along with contact info from the other driver and any witnesses. Thorough documentation protects against fraudulent claims and supports your version of events.

6. Hire an Attorney

Consult an experienced car accident lawyer as early in the process as possible. An attorney understands insurance regulations and can navigate tricky claim procedures. Where multiple parties share fault, they pinpoint every liable insurer to claim from. 

Lawyers also estimate settlement value based on damage documentation, push for fair offers and take cases to court when insurers lowball if needed.

7. Begin Paperwork

To start your insurance claim, contact your provider promptly with basic details about the incident, damage, and injuries. Keep records of this and all communications. 

Ask about the next assessments, repairs, rental reimbursement, and more steps. Thoroughly document expenses, missed wages from lost work, and other monetary losses.

How Can a Lawyer Help Your Case?

Speaking with a car accident lawyer is highly advisable. An attorney knows how to deal with insurance companies to ensure you get fully compensated – not just a quick, undervalued settlement. 

With the best lawyer, you’ll stand the best chance of recovering damages like:

  • Medical expenses from injury treatment
  • Lost wages from missing work
  • Costs of repairing your vehicle
  • Compensation for pain and suffering

Moreover, he/she will help you with the following:

  • Maximize Settlement Offers: A skilled negotiator’s lawyers collect every scrap of evidence to pressure insurers for maximum payouts. From crash analysis to medical reports, they demonstrate the extent of physical, emotional, and financial harm warranting higher compensation. 

An attorney also calculates future losses – upcoming medical care, lost income potential, and disability costs – adding substantially to settlement amounts.

  • Navigate Delays and Denials: Insurers facing big claims, commonly stonewall, deny responsibility based on fine print technicalities. They delay assessments, payments, and return calls, hoping frustrated victims will settle for less. 

Experienced in this game, personal injury lawyers know workarounds to avoid getting screwed. Leveraging accident recreation experts, they build an ironclad liability case insurers can’t easily dismiss.

  • Go After Multiple Parties: With multi-vehicle accidents, a single claimant contacting different insurers often gets ping-ponged around with finger-pointing over who pays what. By gathering all liable parties into one case, a lawyer forces companies to negotiate fairly based on respective fault levels. 

This unified front prevents insurers from dodging duties or shifting costs onto others involved but less legally savvy.

Act Quickly:

In most states, you have only 1-3 years from the accident date to file a claim before your rights expire under strict statutes of limitation. 

Therefore, hiring a lawyer shortly after a crash ensures plenty of lead time for building a systematic, well-documented demand for damages that leaves zero wiggle room for insurers to shortchange victims when settlements are finally negotiated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *