Every day, someone opens their eyes to the sight of smoke, crushed metal, and perhaps even blood.
Car accidents happen more often than you might think. In fact, about 6 million crashes occur in the US every year. About 3 million people are injured as a result.
Were you recently in a car accident? Having to pay for damages and medical bills alone can feel like added stress. Instead, consider building a car accident case and taking it to court.
Not all civil car accident cases are made to win. With these tips, you can gather the evidence you need to make the strongest case possible.
Interested? Keep reading to learn how to build your car accident lawsuit today!
1. Assess Your Safety
The steps you take while at the scene of the crash are essential.
First, make sure to prioritize your own safety. You don’t want to sustain additional injuries.
It’s normal to feel confused and disoriented. Try to take a breath and assess your surroundings. Don’t let adrenaline cloud your logic.
Complete a quick assessment of your injuries. Are you able to move? Was anyone else in the car with you?
If you’re able to move, move your car out of the way of incoming traffic. Make sure to turn your hazard lights on. If the car doesn’t seem safe to drive, don’t move it.
Instead, wait for the police to arrive. They can instruct you further.
It’s important not to leave the scene of the crash without filing an official police report first. In some states, you’re legally obligated to call the police. You could get charged with a hit and run if you leave the scene.
Once you’re in a safe place, assess your injuries. Do you need to call for medical help?
It’s normal for adrenaline to mask pain immediately following the crash. Getting checked out by a medical expert right away can help you avoid long-term damage. For example, you might have sustained a neck or back injury that could lead to disability.
2. Make a Statement
As you wait for the police to arrive, make sure to minimize small talk as much as possible. You don’t want to say anything that might impact your car accident case.
That includes apologizing. Apologizing to the other party could sound like an admission of guilt.
The police will determine who caused the car crash. Do not assign blame yourself.
Make sure not to skip this step. Remember, filing a police report is required in some states.
The police will consider the property damage, physical injuries, and any deaths. Get the name and badge number of the officer who arrives. Your lawyer might need to contact them later.
Otherwise, make sure to get a copy of the official police report.
3. Gather Evidence
It’s crucial that you gather evidence while you’re at the scene of the crash. The most successful car accident cases in court rely on tangible evidence.
Exchange contact information with the other driver, including their name, phone number, and address. You’ll need their driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information as well.
Next, take a look at the crash scene. Take photos of everything, including all vehicles involved in the crash.
Where did the crash occur? Can you see any street signs from where you’re standing?
What direction was the other driver moving in?
Write down the make, model, and year of both cars.
It’s normal to forget little details in the weeks after the crash. To build a strong car accident case, write everything down as soon as possible. Photo and video evidence, along with a written summary, will keep the information sharp.
4. Call the Insurance Company
It’s essential to call your insurance company while you’re at the scene of the crash, too. Your agent will walk you through the steps you need to take to file your claim.
Some insurance companies require you to use an app while you’re at the scene of the crash.
Consider downloading this app before the next time you’re in a crash.
5. Get Medical Attention
Remember, adrenaline might mask your pain. As you work through this car accident case timeline, make sure to schedule an appointment with a physician.
Only a doctor can truly assess your injuries. They might use X-rays or other imaging tests to check for bruising or broken bones.
Medical expenses can quickly stack up. For example, injuries and deaths from car crashes often exceed $75 billion annually.
Keep a list of every specialist you visit, along with their treatments and any medications you need to take. Your lawyer will use this information when building your case.
6. Contact a Lawyer
Don’t forget to hire a car accident lawyer! They’ll help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Look for a lawyer who specializes in car accidents. They’ll understand the situation you’re in and know how to build your case.
Your lawyer will conduct a medical and liability investigation to determine the severity of your injuries. Then, they can determine the monetary amount you deserve from the crash.
7. Make a Settlement Demand
Your civil car accident case might end with the settlement demand. At this point, your lawyer will send a demand to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The demand will specify details regarding the accident and your current treatment plan.
This step might take a while as negotiations occur.
8. Argue Your Case
You might decide to settle your case out of court or pursue it further. If you decide to pursue your case, your lawyer will start with discovery. This allows them to gather documents, evidence, and other records they need to discuss with the opposing counsel.
Mediation is an option as well.
If your case goes to trial, both sides will present their evidence in front of a jury. Then, the jury will determine who was negligent and therefore caused the accident.
They’ll also determine how much money the other driver will need to pay to cover damages.
How to Win a Car Accident Case: 8 Tips to Help You Receive Compensation
Ready to win your car accident case? Keep these eight tips in mind, first. By knowing how to proceed after a crash, you can build a strong case for yourself.
Then, your lawyer will help you present your case in court and win the compensation you deserve.
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