Injured In A Car Accident? Here’s How To Preserve Your Rights
Getting injured in a car accident is a frightening experience both for you and your family members. It can be very stressful on all levels, not only physically, but mentally and financially too. There are many things that you can do to protect yourself and fight for your rights if you find yourself injured in a car accident, and here are some of the main ones.
1. Know Your Rights
In order to protect yourself, you should try to obtain all the information about your rights that you can. This includes knowing what exactly are your options in terms of filing a claim or perhaps taking legal action against the other driver if they are at fault. As a general rule, not every car accident falls under personal injury law. In order to qualify, the accident has to be caused by third-party negligence that resulted in relatively serious injuries. According to a Santa Fe personal injury lawyer, in most cases, as long as the accident wasn’t your fault – or at least wasn’t mostly your fault – you are entitled to compensation. The amount of which you can receive is based on the severity of the injuries, what the cost of your medical care was, and possibly other factors relating to your pain and suffering. For example, if on top of all the expenses and the injuries themselves, you’re experiencing serious emotional distress over the accident, this is to be taken into consideration as well.
2. Get Legal Representation
One of the most important things you should do, if possible, is to get legal representation right away. While it’s true that there are situations in which having a lawyer isn’t strictly necessary, a personal injury case falls under those kinds of situations where you need to hire an attorney in order to rest assured your best interest is being protected and fought for. A lawyer will be able to fight for your rights and make sure you get the compensation you deserve, as well as make sure everyone is working together in a quick and effective manner. This means less stress for you, without having to worry about all the legal nonsense that might come up along the way that could prolong things. The earlier you get an attorney involved, the better. Having representation right away allows for easier evidence collection and faster processing of things like insurance claims – all in all, it moves things along much faster than if you were to go at it alone.
3. Preserve Evidence
In order to have a strong case, you need to preserve all evidence relating to your car accident and injuries. While not every piece of evidence is admissible in court, there are certain things that are absolutely crucial to have in order to build a strong case. You should always take photos of your injuries or anything else pertinent, immediately after the accident. This will be used as evidence against the other driver if you go through with legal action, so don’t hold it back. The most important thing is making sure you collect witness names and contact info if you have it. It’s helpful to write down everything – every detail – that you remember about the accident and your injuries, even if it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. This might come in handy later on while you’re waiting for medical treatment or while going through the legal process of filing a claim or taking legal action.
4. Don’t Rush Into Decisions
You should never rush into decisions or accept anything right away – this is how mistakes get made, and important rights get missed. This also includes signing documents you don’t understand and accepting settlement agreements, as well as signing things like medical releases. You should never sign anything without reading and understanding it first, especially if it means giving up your rights to take legal action against the negligent party. For example, if an insurance company asks you to sign a release that states that you will not be taking legal action against them, you should stand your ground and insist that they consult a lawyer. In some cases, paperwork might be offered to you in order for you to get the medical help you need – while this is helpful in terms of getting quicker care, you should always read the fine print if the situation allows for it at all.
When you’re injured in a car accident, the last thing you want to deal with is all the legal aspects of it – but recovering from your injuries isn’t just about pointing fingers at who’s responsible. Aside from dealing with medical bills and pain, emotional stress can be something that takes its toll on your well-being without even realizing it. Getting the compensation you deserve after an accident isn’t always easy, but it’s not impossible if you follow the steps above.