How to Protect Your Legal Rights After Being Injured in a Car Accident
It's important that survivors of car crashes know what to do after an accident
While Texas currently experiences the most fatal car accidents in the US, California follows closely with only 46 fewer accidents and 3,259 fatal crashes. It's important that survivors of car crashes know what to do after an accident, especially if they were injured in a car accident. No matter how safely you drive, there is the likelihood you could be involved in a wreck in the city of Fresno. Here is how to prepare yourself in the event of a car accident that was not your fault.
Move Yourself and Your Vehicle to Safety
Trauma is extremely common after a car accident. It may occur immediately or within a few days. It often involves emotional and mental distress. Despite this, you'll need to protect yourself if you're injured in a car accident... both physically and legally.
If your vehicle is in the middle of a roadway, one of the first things you should do is move it to a safe area. This helps you avoid further injury due to other vehicles. This will also prevent your car from sustaining additional damage. It also decreases the build-up of traffic and curious passersby.
If your vehicle is too badly damaged to move, then focus on getting yourself to safety. This is particularly important if the accident occurs on a busy highway or major road.
Next, you will need to collect relevant information from the other driver or drivers. This information is critical. You'll need to share it with your insurance company. If there are issues and you need to hire an attorney, they'll also need this information. Ensure you get the following from the other driver:
- License details
- Contact information
- Insurance policy number
- Insurance company's name and contact information
Take Photos and Speak to Witnesses
Other critical information should include the contact information of any witnesses. You'll also want to speak to them about what they observed when the accident occurred. Allow them to give you a statement and let them know you'll need their information to contact them later on.
You may also want to find out if they'd be willing to provide a statement to your insurance company. Also, photos can also help your case. Take photos of any damage to your vehicle as well as that of the other driver. Include anything considered a road hazard or danger. You should also document any visible injuries.
Don't limit yourself. Take snapshots of anything you think might be relevant or that can help build a case.
Report the Accident
You need to report any traffic accident that occurs on any highway or street in California. This is even the case for traffic accidents that occur on private property.
If you don't report your accident, it could result in the suspension of your driver's license. You do, however, have up to 10 days to do so if there's been property damage over $1,000, injury, or death. Not only is this a requirement by law, but it can also help when seeking fair compensation. You can use the police report as evidence.
Seek Medical Treatment Even if You Don't Think You Were Injured in a Car Accident
You may consider your accident a minor fender bender. You may also think you're not injured. There are some car accident injuries you may only feel days after the accident occurs.
This is why seeking medical treatment is important. Treatment can be with a paramedic on the scene or a visit to the emergency room. You may also be more comfortable going to your doctor.
Whatever you decide, it's better to do it sooner rather than later. A doctor will be able to perform the necessary tests to determine if you have any injuries. If you do, it means your treatment can start immediately.
Once you begin treatment, you'll have medical records, confirming you sustained injuries and that you are being proactive in getting better. This establishes how much is being spent on medical bills, and it indicates to insurance companies that you were injured in a car accident.
Call a Car Accident Attorney
After treatment, seek the advice of an attorney. You can provide them with all the information you've gathered. They'll then be able to tell you what options you have and your rights.
Car accident attorneys deal with insurance companies daily. They'll know what tactics they may use to limit their liability. Even if you choose not to hire a car accident lawyer, meeting with one can help you prepare for filing a personal injury claim.
Factors That Can Lead to a Car Accident Lawsuit
Several factors will determine if you should file a car accident lawsuit. If you're uncertain, a car accident attorney can determine if you have a case. If you do, they'll guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit. This is usually the case if one or more of the following occurs as a result of the accident:
- Serious injuries to you or one or more of your family members
- The death of a family member, resulting in wrongful death
- The inability to work due to your injuries
- An impact on your quality of life due to injuries sustained
Finding the Best Attorney if You're Injured in a Car Accident
If you're injured in a car accident, you'll want to protect your legal rights. One way to do this is by hiring a car accident attorney. But you shouldn't hire just any attorney. Hire one of the best at Central Valley Accident Lawyers. We have extensive experience helping injured victims. We can help you too. Contact us today to set up your free consultation.