When you are out on the road, you drive in an alert and conscientious way. Your goal is to arrive at your intended destination without incident. You follow all the traffic rules, and you are careful to indicate to other drivers your intention to turn or overtake them. Not everyone is as safe and courteous as you. Some drivers present a danger to themselves and to others. If you have been injured in an accident that owes to the negligent and reckless behavior of another person, it is right for you to seek justice.
7 Actions You Should Take Immediately After an Accident and Personal Injury
A car crash will leave you stunned and jolted. They are sudden and violent events, and you may not at first realize that you were in one. Once you understand what has occurred, you should take these important steps in response:
- Check for injuries
You should check yourself and your passengers for injuries. You may not feel any pain, but you should run your hands all over your body to ensure that you not bleeding. The shock of an accident can often make individuals numb to pain. You should verify the location and extent of your injury, if you have suffered any. The same goes for others in the car.
- Call Emergency Services
You should immediately call emergency services. The dispatcher will send fire, ambulance, and police services to your location. You should call emergency services even if you believe it has already been done by the other driver or people who witnessed the accident.
- Check the status of your car
Most cars made these days are in no danger of exploding upon impact. And although it is unlikely that any car made in the last decade will catch fire after an accident, it is not impossible. You should check for ruptures in your fuel line or any other systems that contain flammable liquid.
- Exchange information
If you have been badly injured, you should not attempt to move until emergency personnel have arrived. Doing so may exacerbate the injury and could even endanger your life. If, however, you are conscious, alert, and mobile, you should check to see if the other driver and their passengers are safe. You should also gather the name, address, insurance information, and other pertinent details from the other driver.
- Photograph damage and accident scene
You also want to take photos of the damage done to both cars. It is a good idea to get close-ups of the affected areas as well as wide angle footage. You should also photo the whole of the accident scene.
- Don’t admit fault
You should never admit fault. You may not know the entire story of how the accident took place until after the investigation, so you should not make assumptions. Even a verbal agreement or assumption that you were responsible for the accident can be used against you if try to file suit later.
- Protect yourself and your family
You will need to report the accident to your insurance company. But before you do so you should hire a personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will advise you of your rights as a policy holder. And you want to be clear on these before you speak to a claims adjustor.
If the accident was caused by the recklessness of the other driver, their insurance company will try to contact you. They may offer you a low settlement figure. You should make no commitments or sign any document until you have consulted with a lawyer and they have had an opportunity to look at the offer.
If the settlement covers your expenses and losses, then it may be wise for you to accept the offer. However, if you have been seriously injured, then you may need to pursue a larger sum.
The Impact of a Car Accident
A car accident can leave your world shattered and devastated. If you were severely injured in the crash, then you will need to spend quite a bit of time in the hospital. You may be forced to undergo a range of surgeries and procedures to save your life and make you well again. You may also have to undergo physical rehabilitation therapy as part of your recovery.
A severe accident may leave you without the means to pay your regular bills or the ones that will accumulate while you are recovering. Even when you are ready to go back to work, you may not be able to resume full-time. In the worst instance, you may be forced out of your livelihood altogether.
The stress and strain of dealing with the consequences of a car accident can be hard on you and your family. You should not have to bear the burden and responsibility all on your own if the accident owed to the recklessness of the other driver.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Hiring a lawyer, such as the ones found at Murphy’s Law Personal Injury Brisbane, can help you get the compensation and the justice that you deserve.
Your lawyer will go beyond the accident report filed by police. They will engage their own professional investigators to look closely at your case. They will examine the background of the person who hit you to see if they have previous citations and convictions for violating traffic laws. They will speak to witnesses of the accident. The police do not always interview witnesses in a way that gives them a full picture of how the accident unfolded. Your lawyer will. They will also get any footage taken by witnesses on their cell phones.
Insurance companies do not like trials. They do not like the expense and the negative publicity that come with them. Your lawyer may gather enough evidence to compel the respondent to offer you a larger settlement. If the insurance company sees that the facts are against them, your lawyer will be in a good position to negotiate a settlement that is fair and adequate.