Experiencing a car accident is a nightmare, even if it usually happens to most people at least once in life. When it does happen, it disrupts your life immeasurably, often placing you in a quandary about how to handle the repercussions.
Along with medical bills to worry about, dealing with personal injuries from a car accident often leads to years of physical pain.
If you’ve just experienced a car accident, you might be in shock at the moment about what to do next. Take a look at our checklist below of what to do if you’ve recently gone through a car accident.
Contact an experienced Brownsville car accident attorney here today.
Step 1: Get Medical Help Immediately
Don’t wait to get medical attention after experiencing any kind of accident in a vehicle. Some people make the mistake of walking away from a car accident because they don’t feel any physical pain.
This is a mistake since you might have internal injuries you’re not aware you have. More than a few people have died from internal bleeding without initially feeling anything.
Once you get medical care, you’ll know you’ll be safe and get your injuries tended to. If your injuries are severe, you might have some major worries about future medical bills.
Your next step is to get legal representation since the person who caused your accident should be cited for negligence.
Step 2: Find Legal Aid
Never try to seek a settlement from the negligent person who caused your accident. Doing this alone could lead to major complications if having no legal experience.
Unfortunately, some people still attempt to seek settlements on their own, only to find themselves in trouble when negotiating with insurance companies. These companies don’t have your best interests at heart. They’re going to attempt to contact you and give you a lowball offer first to avoid going through a lengthy trial.
Most important is to seek legal help, not just for insurance company negotiations, but also to gather evidence. You might not be in any shape to gather evidence at the moment due to your injuries. Perhaps you can’t even talk on the phone because of physical impairment.
If not, have someone call an attorney on your behalf. They must come to the scene where the accident occurred and gather as much evidence as possible. This includes gathering any physical proof of what happened, taking photographs, and even obtaining traffic camera footage if possible.
An attorney can also interview witnesses who saw what happened when your car was hit.
Above all, you need to do one other vital step to prove your case.
Step 3: Compile Your Medical Bills
Another thing an attorney can help you with is gathering your medical bills so they’re in safekeeping. A medical bill paper trail is essential toward proving what kind of injuries you incurred. You could lose out on a sizable settlement without these, including any missing forms.
When you hire an attorney to represent you, they’ll compile any medical bills accruing while you’re in the hospital.
The recovery process is when you can get your life back in order. If you agree to let an attorney represent you, they’ll work on your behalf while you pick up the pieces.
Step 4: Negotiate with the Insurance Company
Always be sure to get insurance information from the person who struck your car. Sometimes people are uninsured, making it more challenging in knowing whether you’ll be able to get any form of settlement.
One way around this is to go through your own insurance and see if you have uninsured driver coverage. Having this is an invaluable way to get compensation back without having to sue the driver directly.
The problem with suing the negligent driver is they may file for bankruptcy due to the settlement, leaving you with nothing. We’ll help you work with your own insurance company to make sure you get compensation if the negligent driver had no coverage.
If they do have insurance, we’ll go to work negotiating with them to get you the highest possible payout you deserve. This is never an easy road and could take some time. Regardless, most insurance companies don’t want the expense of going through a trial. In most cases, they’ll eventually settle.
This is why you need legal representation when working with insurance. Only you decide whether you want to take the settlement they offer.
Step 5: Present Evidence at a Trial
You may choose to take your case to trial if the insurance company doesn’t agree to give you the settlement you need. It’s your right to do this, and it all comes down to the evidence you stored away.
Any photos, video footage, medical bills, and witnesses are brought to the courtroom for presentation in front of a judge. Again, as a major part of your checklist, make sure you’ve gathered enough evidence as best you can. Your attorney can always help gather more when you can’t.
During the trial, your attorney is there to help present the evidence you’ve accumulated. Undeniable evidence of your injuries usually leads to a faster outcome, sometimes without a necessary trial.
Contact a Skilled Attorney Today
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident, you may have the right to receive significant financial compensation from the at-fault party or parties. To learn more, contact an experienced car accident attorney today.