The First 5 Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Photo by  Westport News

Photo by Westport News

An estimated six million auto accidents happen each year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In fact, auto accidents are the leading cause of injury and death in the United States. If you have been injured in a car accident, make sure that you are following the proper steps, especially if you are thinking of filing a claim.

Main Causes of Car Accidents

Auto accidents are caused by a number of different factors. These factors include distractive driving, drunk driving, aggressive driving, speeding, driving while drowsy, auto defects and issues with road conditions.

Injuries From Car Accidents

Injuries from auto accidents can range from minor to severe to death, leading to financial and emotional burdens to the victim and their family. Lacerations, back injuries and whiplash are all common injuries that can be caused from a car accident. Whiplash being the most common, especially in rear-end auto accidents, is defined by the Mayo Clinic as a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back and forth movement of the neck.  A few serious injuries that can happen from auto accidents include traumatic brain injuries, amputations, permanent disabilities and spinal cord injuries. It is important to always report to a doctor right away after suffering injuries from a car accident. You also want to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to talk about your legal options and to start a claim.

Why Bring a Claim Forward?

When involved in an auto accident and it was someone else’s fault, you should highly consider filing a claim so that the responsible party is held accountable. If negligence was found by the other party, you could have a case where compensation will be awarded to help with medical bills and other financial strains caused by the accident. By filing a claim, you can compensation to help with your bills and get the justice that you deserve.   

Compensation can help with the following:

- Past and future medical expenses due to injuries from the accident

- Loss of wages due to missing work from your injuries

- Property damage

- Loss of companionship

- Disfigurement due to the accident

- Loss of enjoyment due to your injuries

- Emotional distress caused by the accident and injuries sustained

- Expenses directly related to your injuries 

Steps to Start a Claim 

1)   Medical assistance -  As soon as you have been injured in an auto accident, you should always receive medical assistance right away. Even if you haven’t suffered from severe injuries, you want to be examined by a doctor, as some injuries like whiplash may not appear right away.

2)   Choose the right lawyer – Next, talk with a lawyer that is experienced and skilled in the area of personal injury. The sooner you do this, the sooner you will be able to file a claim and receive the compensation you need to help with medical bills and other expenses that have piled up from the accident. A reliable lawyer will thoroughly investigate the claim by obtaining medical records for both parties and talking with witnesses, as well as speaking with experts. This will determine if you have a case and how strong it is.

3)   Negotiations - There will be a time where negotiations will try to be made to avoid the claim all together. This usually occurs during small injury claims. If you are not at fault, never settle for less than you deserve and make sure that the person at fault is held accountable. Insurance companies will try to pay you a smaller settlement to avoid the claim so that they don’t have to pay more in the end. Always seek legal advice to outweigh the pros and cons of the negotiations offered.

4)   The Discovery process - If you do decide to move forward with your claim, it is time to file a lawsuit with the help of your trusted lawyer. Once the lawsuit is filed, the discovery process will start. This is when your legal team reviews the claim and digs even deeper into your case. After all of the research is completed and evaluated, it is time for mediation. Mediation is defined when a third party assists in trying to resolve a conflict between two parties. Both parties are highly encouraged to participate in the mediation, which consists of communication and negotiation techniques. If both parties are unable to come to terms and a mutual agreement during mediation, the lawsuit could possibly go to trial.

5)   Be patient – Remember, filing a claim after an auto accident can be a long process. Be patient and have trust in your attorney that the process will be worth it in the end. Even though the process may be long, continue to fight and never settle for less.

  

Edelstein Law Firm

Edelstein Law Firm is home to experienced and competent personal injury attorneys. Our skilled attorneys will prepare a solid lawsuit so that you can focus on your health. Let us focus on your case by representing you while still offering compassion and understanding your needs. Filing a claim after an auto accident is a complicated process due to all of the paperwork and communication involved. We will be the first line of communication with the insurance companies while aggressively and effectively fighting for the compensation that you deserve.