Were You Injured In A Car Accident? Understand Your Legal Rights
Every year, thousands upon thousands are injured or even killed due to traffic accidents which result from someone’s negligence. If you have been involved in a car accident recently and suffered an injury, it is important that you understand your legal rights. So, here is a guide.
1. Hire a car accident attorney
There is nothing more critical than getting yourself a car accident attorney. You can find these professionals through referrals from family members, friends or work colleagues. There are also several lists you can check out online which specifically deal with injury lawyers in your locality. In most cases, an initial consultation with one of the listed attorneys is free of charge, so there’s no reason not to take advantage of it. Also, it is better to hire locally, so your attorney is familiar with all the traffic laws in that specific state. For example, if you live in Florida, you can hire a car accident attorney in Gainesville and so on. This will work to your advantage because they can help you file the necessary paperwork with the court right away instead of wasting valuable time.
2. Keep an accident diary
Keep a detailed diary or log of everything that happened from the moment of the accident until today. This will include all conversations you had with your attorney, doctors, and insurance company as well as specific events which took place during those times such as treatment sessions, medical examinations and so on. The more details you note down, the easier it will be for your car accident attorney to prove how badly you were hurt, so don’t leave any stone unturned. Also, keep receipts of every expense related to the car accident such as repair bills, taxi fares and laundry expenses. Remember that this is important because if you can show that there’s been a decrease in your income due to lost wages, then you may be able to claim additional compensation.
3. Take photographs of the scene of the accident
Taking photographs of the scene where your car accident occurred can be very helpful. If possible, these images should include pictures of the front and back of your vehicle, as well as any skid marks or other damage which may have been caused. You should also take photos if someone else’s property was damaged during the crash, such as a stop sign, sidewalk or another car. This will show how badly they were affected, so you can claim damages for their loss too. The key here is to think like a detective so every little detail counts, which could prove valuable later. Make sure to take photographs before leaving the scene because taking them afterwards can lead to complications in case you are blamed for causing the accident.
4. File a police report
If your accident occurred in a public space, you should talk to someone at the nearest police station and file a report. Having the official document means that there is an investigation into what happened, which may help if you are blamed for causing the accident or if no one else accepts responsibility. If you were hurt badly enough to go straight to hospital after getting hit, then ask them to provide you with an official letter confirming this fact. This will be important later on because it can show how much damage was done, so you can claim compensation for lost wages as well as pain and suffering damages according to laws.
5. Provide as much information as possible regarding the incident
If you were involved in an accident and someone asked for your version, provide as much information as possible. Make sure to take note of the date and time and anything which may be relevant such as other cars involved, weather conditions at the time and behavior of other drivers. Also, take down any names and contact details, so there’s a record of their car insurance company or attorney. If you feel that you were not given a chance to explain what happened, then ask them to write it down because this could help prove their negligence later on.
6. Discuss the right compensation only with your attorney
Getting the right amount of compensation is a complex process and shouldn’t be done without consulting a lawyer. You should talk to your car accident attorney about what options are available to you before starting negotiations with anybody else because this can save time and money in the long run. Your attorney will have experience dealing with insurance companies, so they know exactly how much you need for lost wages as well as pain and suffering damages, which is why it’s important to always speak to them first.
There are many factors which need to be considered when dealing with car accident claims after being hurt in an accident. Most importantly, you should always speak to a dedicated law firm because it’s their job to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Good luck!