Sadly, it’s an all-too-common scenario: you’ve just had a car accident caused by another driver, and you’re injured, scared, and feeling lost. Since you want to be smart about handling the aftermath of your accident, you wonder whether there’s a step-by-step guide on what to do after a car accident to keep yourself safe and demonstrate that you were not responsible for the crash.
What to do after you’ve been injured in a car accident varies greatly depending on the specifics of your case. This car accident guide applies to nearly any circumstances you could find yourself in after a car accident, from an accident with an out-of-state driver to a company vehicle accident, but keep in mind that it pays to discuss the details of your case with a personal injury attorney. This guide also applies to motorcycle accidents and the same steps should be followed.
First, Seek Medical Treatment
The very first thing you should do after a car accident is seek treatment for the injuries you’ve sustained. We recommend calling 911 directly after your accident. Law enforcement will respond and write up an accident report that can be very helpful in a future personal injury case. Additionally, emergency medical services will come to you right at the scene and help you determine whether you need immediate medical attention.
If you’re feeling anything that doesn’t seem right, it’s best to go to the hospital to get a complete examination. Too often, a lawyer for a “minor” car accident will find out that although their client has ongoing medical problems from the accident, they have very little evidence showing that they sought help for their injuries. Don’t treat your injuries like “no big deal” because what initially presents itself as stiff joints and soreness may end up being a significant injury.
Personal Injury Lawyer After Car Accident
Once you’ve received immediate treatment for your injuries, you can begin to think about hiring a car accident lawyer. If you are contacting an attorney on behalf of your injured or incapacitated family member, it’s fine to wait until they are in stable condition before you give us a call. But this doesn’t mean you should wait weeks or even months. If you can avoid prolonging your initial contact with a car accident attorney, you should. Involving us in the case from the beginning will make it easier for us to understand the full scope of your injuries, we will also be able to collect more compelling evidence, and we will be able to make sure your claims are set up appropriately with the insurance companies involved. Our lawyers are willing and able to assist injured people while they are still in the hospital or recuperating at home.
Decide to Pursue A Personal Injury Settlement
Many insurance companies will contact the victim right after the accident, offering them a settlement that they hope will make their problem go away. We urge accident victims not to accept the settlement – or even talk to the other party’s insurance – until after they’ve consulted a car accident attorney. It may be common for accident victims to be offered money, but it requires making an active choice to pursue a fair settlement instead of just “taking what you can get.” That’s why it’s so important to work with a car accident attorney who can accurately estimate the value of your case.
Discuss The Pros and Cons of Settlement Vs. Court
Most personal injury cases end in a settlement because the victim and the insurance company are able to come to an agreement – with the help of a personal injury lawyer, of course. However, it’s important to think about what you will do if the insurance company won’t budge and refuses to pay you a reasonable amount to cover your injuries. It is possible to take a personal injury case to court, but it will certainly drag things out. More than 90% of victims in car accident personal injury cases choose to settle, and some may not be getting the full amount they deserve. You’ll have to decide whether you’re willing to put yourself through the inconvenience of going to court to try to get a larger payout.
Questions About Your Car Accident?
If you’re looking for case-specific guidance on what to do after your car or motorcycle accident, contact Sieben Edmunds Miller’s experienced and compassionate personal injury attorneys. We’re happy to help you determine whether it’s smart to pursue a substantial settlement to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with your accident. Contact us today.