If you were the victim of another driver’s negligence on the road, you may be entitled to recover for your personal injuries. Every driver on the road has a duty to act in a way that is reasonable under the circumstances. When another driver fails to act in a reasonable manner (for example, not tailgating you) and their actions result in a personal injury to you, that driver may be responsible for your injuries. Experienced personal injury attorneys can evaluate your case to see who might have been at fault and who should be responsible for the physical and economical injuries that result from an automobile accident. There is no need to fight this battle alone. Going up against insurance companies and other attorneys without a licensed personal injury attorney advocating for you could be a costly mistake.
Auto Accident To-Do List
Go to the Hospital
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, first and foremost get medical attention. It’s not unusual for your body to go into shock after an accident, and that can cloud your judgment. Let the medical professionals inspect your injuries and, if they feel it’s necessary, let them take you to the hospital for a full examination. Certain types of injuries might not be apparent to you while you’re in shock, so even if you feel like nothing is wrong, don’t take a chance with your physical health. A medical report also is a very good record of your condition at the time of the accident, and can help medical professionals track your recovery or identify setbacks.
Obtain a Copy of Your Police Report
If the police show up at a motor vehicle accident, they will prepare an accident report. An accident report identifies the vehicles, drivers and passengers involved in an accident, the location of the vehicles, the road conditions at the time and other information the police find relevant. Some reports may include details of citations issued for traffic violations and whether those violations relate to the cause of the accident. Some officers might even include their opinion as to the cause of the accident (although this is not conclusive proof of what happened and can be refuted if the case goes to trial). Once the accident report is complete, you can request a copy of the report, or your personal injury attorney can get it for you.
Understand the Type of Car Crash
There are many different types of car crashes. For instance, a rear-end collision is a relatively common type of car crash and carries with it the assumption that if you’re hit from behind, it is almost always the other driver’s fault no matter why you stopped. This assumption is more like an urban myth than a legal rule and may not apply to your case. Keep in mind, drivers who are following you should be able to stop safely without running into you. It is foreseeable that you might have to stop suddenly, so other drivers should be prepared to react safely if that happens. If you are rear-ended, don’t assume you have a slam-dunk case. An experienced personal injury attorney can review your case you and ensure that you are not taken advantage of.
Another common car crash is the side collision (sometimes referred to the T-bone). This usually happens when one car tries to cross a street and is hit in the side by oncoming traffic. This type of car crash requires a careful evaluation of the facts, road conditions and might even require experts who can determine the speed of the vehicles based on the damage to the cars. What might seem an obvious cause of the accident could be disputed by the other side with expert witnesses relying on scientific evidence.
Document the Scene if Possible
After medical attention has been provided to those in need, find out if the accident has been documented. If the police or medical providers are not called to the scene, make sure you (or someone you trust, if you are injured) record details of the accident and get the names and insurance information of the other driver(s). If you have a camera or camera-phone, take pictures of the accident, the road conditions, the other driver(s) and license plate numbers. In the unlikely event someone tries to leave the scene of an accident, do not endanger yourself or others by chasing them. Call the police immediately and record as much information as you can.