The list of things scarier or more overwhelming than being involved in a car accident is very short.
Fortunately, most accidents are minor, like fender benders in parking lots.
However, other accidents can completely turn your life upside down and cause emotional and psychological damage for everyone involved.
It's important to avoid these 6 mistakes after a car accident.
If you were recently involved in a car accident, you probably have thousands of questions racing through your mind.
Maybe you're concerned about paying your medical bills, the legal aspects of your claim, or how you're going to get back to work.
The first thing you should do after a car accident is hire an attorney that understands and appreciates the stresses and anxieties of being involved in a car accident.
Your lawyer should recognize the emotional aspect of any accident and provide you with the support and legal expertise you desperately need.
To ease your mind just a bit, we've compiled a list of 9 of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to being injured in a car accident.
Table of Contents
- What's The First Thing I Should Do?
- Who Pays For My Treatment?
- How Do I Get My Car Repaired?
- Should I Get A Lawyer?
- How Much Will It Cost Me?
- How Do I Take Care Of My Bills?
- What If A Defective Part Caused My Accident?
- When Do I Need To File My Claim?
- Do I Need To Go To Court?
- Your Questions Answered
1. What's The First Thing I Should Do?
Maybe your injury is minor, or maybe you don't think you've been injured at all.
Either way, you should always seek professional medical help following your car accidents.
Some injuries, like whiplash or internal bleeding, might now be immediately apparent after your accident.
That's why it's better to be safe than sorry and always have a proper medical examination after an accident.
Seeing a doctor right away will also help your personal injury case.
It's beneficial to have detailed medical records from right after the accident, and seeking medical attention immediately will help show that your injuries were severe.
2. Who Pays For My Treatment?
The person responsible for the accident will ultimately be responsible for paying for the damage to your vehicle and your medical treatment.
In some cases, like if the responsible party is uninsured or underinsured, your insurance will also be involved in paying your medical treatments.
3. How Do I Get My Car Repaired?
It's up to you to decide where to take your car for repairs.
Don't let the insurance companies bully you into thinking you have to take your car to the shop that offers the lowest bid.
You have the right to have your car repaired to the same condition it was in before your accident.
4. Should I Get A Lawyer?
There are very few circumstances, if any, in which having a lawyer would not benefit you.
It will be highly beneficial to you if you get a lawyer to explain to you your rights and responsibilities pertaining to the accident.
A knowledgeable attorney will review the facts of your case before deciding what course of action to pursue.
An experienced car accident attorney will recommend appropriate medical treatment, negotiate your car repairs or a replacement car, and negotiate a fair and full settlement with the insurance company.
His settlement will take into account all of your damages, including a loss of quality of life and pain and suffering.
Having a personal injury attorney representing you will also show the insurance companies that you are serious about your claim. You won't achieve all of that on your own.
5. How Much Will It Cost Me?
Your attorney is only paid if your claim is successful.
Your attorney's fee is simply a percentage of your damage award.
So, if you're awarded $0, you pay $0.
Bear in mind that using an experienced attorney typically increases the amount of financial compensation you receive in a civil lawsuit.
So even after you pay your attorney, you end up with more money than you would have if you represented yourself.
6. How Do I Take Care Of My Bills?
This is why it's good to have an attorney.
The first problem he tackles will be making sure all of your medical bills and car repairs are taken care of.
They can negotiate to have them paid by the insurance company directly, or in other cases, have them postponed until after your case has been resolved.
Don't let the bills worry you. Your lawyer will handle it.
7. What If A Defective Part Caused My Accident?
Automakers and parts manufacturers have a responsibility to supply the public with safe and effective vehicles.
If a vehicle defect caused or made your accident worse, you have every right to seek full compensation.
In this case, instead of filing a lawsuit against another driver, you would file a lawsuit against the company responsible for the defective part.
These cases fall under the umbrella of premises liability.
Product liability cases are often complex and difficult to litigate, but it's not impossible.
Corporations employ high priced legal teams to fight defective products claims, so they need to be handled carefully by an experienced attorney.
8. When Do I Need To File My Claim?
This will vary from state to state, but most states will have a statute of limitations on personal injury cases.
In other words, you will have a limited amount of time from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
For most states that window is two years.
Failure to file a claim within the statute of limitations means you lose your right to be compensated for your damages.
Knowing that, it's important to contact an attorney as soon as possible so you can get started on your claim.
It's in your best interest to be proactive and file a claim with an attorney as soon as possible.
The sooner your attorney gets started on the case, the better chance they have of preserving evidence and mounting a successful claim.
9. Do I Need To Go To Court?
Most car accident claims never see the inside of a courtroom.
Claims are usually negotiated and settled with insurance adjusters before a court date has to be scheduled.
In rare cases though, it's necessary to take a car accident claim through the court process.
Maybe the two parties can't agree on the exact cause of the accident, or maybe they cannot agree on what constitutes as fair compensation.
Whether your case goes to court or not, it's essential to hire an attorney who has trial experience.
This will make you stronger at the negotiating table because the insurance adjuster won't want to risk going to court and paying out even more money.
Your Questions Answered
These are just a few of the questions you will have after being involved in a car accident.
The two things to remember are to contact a personal injury lawyer right away and seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Your lawyer will be able to answer any questions you have, and your doctor or chiropractor will make sure you are okay physically.
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