Posted in Personal Injury on November 23, 2023
A car accident can be a very scary experience, and about 5.4 million people experienced car crash injuries in 2021 alone.
Despite that, it’s important to try to keep a clear head. The events following an auto accident can vary significantly depending on the actions you take. You may need medical care and it could lead to an auto accident lawsuit, so being ready is vital.
In this guide, we’ll explain the steps you should take immediately after an auto accident. Keep reading for more.
Seek Medical Attention
This is the first (and most important) thing you should do. A damaged vehicle isn’t ideal, but the injuries you can suffer in a car accident can be a lot more serious. Some car accidents can be very severe, so if you have any noticeable injuries, you’ll want a medical professional to take a look immediately.
It’s important to understand that some car crash injuries aren’t obvious straight away, and can even take weeks to notice. As such, it’s important to seek medical care as soon as you can even if you think you’re not hurt.
Report the Incident
If you don’t need to head to the hospital immediately, the next most important thing is reporting the incident to the authorities. Call the police and give them any important information such as the location and details of those involved.
When they arrive, help them by answering any questions they have. They’ll also want to speak to anyone else who was involved, as well as any witnesses if you can, try to get anyone who saw what happened to wait in the area so they can speak to the police.
The police will use all the evidence they gather to produce a report. You can ask them for a copy of it afterward.
On top of this, you should collect your own evidence. It could prove very useful if you need to file a lawsuit.
Picture and video evidence are incredibly useful here. Get as much as you can from the vehicles involved so that you can use it to support your case. Make sure you focus on vehicle accident damage as this can serve as very strong evidence of what happened.
Consult an Attorney
If you weren’t at fault in the accident, you could be entitled to compensation. Taking the right approach here is crucial, so you’ll want to get in touch with a car accident injury lawyer.
Look for a qualified professional with suitable experience. A divorce lawyer, for example, is unlikely to be your best choice for a car accident victim. An attorney who regularly handles cases like yours will be best.
They’ll be able to offer advice and guidance that will help you get what you deserve. The evidence you gathered after the accident will help them build a stronger case for you.
It’s common for people to be involved in accidents and think that the fault was entirely with the other driver. In some cases, however, people are at fault themselves (to some degree) and don’t realize it.
A skilled attorney will be able to look at the case and determine your liability. If they conclude that you’re partially at fault, it may affect how you should proceed. A resourceful lawyer will do what they can to prove that the accident and your injuries were a result of the other driver’s actions or negligence.
Negotiate a Settlement
With the assistance of your lawyer, you can discuss a potential settlement with the other driver’s attorney. A car accident settlement could be a good choice, or it could be a bad one. It all depends on the situation.
Bear in mind that a lawyer will always offer a Settlement that’s lower than what you’re fairly owed. Negotiation can help you get a higher settlement, but it’s hard to say how much.
An experienced attorney can be very helpful here. They’ll be able to negotiate effectively, giving you a much better chance of getting a higher settlement.
Eventually, the other driver’s lawyer will tell you the max they’re willing to offer. A settlement is the easier route, but you don’t want to take an offer that isn’t fair. Your attorney will then be able to advise you on whether it’s worth taking the settlement or proceeding with a Lawsuit.
Bear in mind that a fair settlement should take multiple aspects into account. This includes your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages (if you’re unable to work), and any other damages.
File a Lawsuit
Depending on the specifics of the situation up to this point, you may now want to file a car accident lawsuit. Again, having a skilled car accident attorney in your corner is vital here.
Car accident lawsuits are incredibly complicated, so the average person won’t have any chance of navigating one effectively. An experienced attorney will guide you through the whole process and ensure you don’t make any costly mistakes.
Trial and Resolution
The final step is the trial, and it’s often the most difficult. Most injury claims reach a settlement before this point, but this isn’t always the case.
If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will build up a strong case using all of the evidence at their disposal. They’ll present this to a judge and jury to show that the other driver was at fault and caused your injuries.
The court will then reach a verdict. If they settle in your favor, the court will determine the amount of compensation you’re to be awarded.
Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Auto Accident Lawsuit
As jarring as a car accident can be, keeping a clear head and taking the right steps can be incredibly helpful. Make sure you gather as much evidence as you can if you want to file an auto accident lawsuit. Finding a suitable lawyer is vital.
Heenan & Cook is a personal injury law firm in Montana. On top of helping you file an auto accident lawsuit, we can offer advice on workplace injuries, violent crimes, and even what to do in a hit-and-run. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.