Thousands of people are affected by car accidents every day. Being in a motor vehicle accident can, at best, disrupt your schedule and prevent you from arriving at your destination on time. Serious auto accidents cause severe injuries that can affect your ability to work and enjoy routine activities. In some cases, car accidents claim lives.
Although millions of auto accidents happen in the U.S. each year, many people don’t know what to do when they’re in a car crash. Accident victims may also suffer from shock, undermining their ability to respond effectively after a motor vehicle accident. When you’ve been in an auto accident, use the information here to help you file a claim.
Contact the police
Most states require you to notify authorities if your accident causes injuries or when property damage is more than a predetermined minimum, often varying between $500 and $1,000. It’s a good idea to contact the police to ensure you receive a police report. The police report’s a vital piece of evidence you use to support an insurance claim or build a legal case against the at-fault party.
Talk to a personal injury lawyer
Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers specialize in representing people who’ve been injured in accidents. They understand factors that can affect insurance claims. Personal injury lawyers typically offer free consultations, enabling you to get legal counsel without incurring any expenses.
Since determining fault in an accident is a crucial part of any insurance claim or lawsuit, personal injury attorneys will prompt you to gather relevant evidence from the scene of the accident, such as the names of witnesses and license plate numbers. They may prompt you to take photographs or video footage, ensuring you have physical evidence you can use to verify the at-fault party and determine whether negligence contributed to the accident.
Your lawyer can prepare a case for trial or negotiate a settlement. Your legal team may help you deal with the at-fault party, their insurance company, and your insurance company. They’ll fight for you to receive appropriate compensation for your medical expenses and property damage stemming from your accident.
Pursue medical treatment
More than 39 percent of people who’ve been in an auto accident develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental health condition people develop after experiencing traumatic events. For car accident victims, PTSD can make it hard to travel in a motor vehicle again. People with PTSD also suffer various symptoms, such as nightmares and anxiety.
After their accident, car accident victims may benefit from seeing a mental health professional while processing trauma and developing effective coping strategies to reduce anxiety. Pursuing personalized therapy is an effective option because you’ll work with a therapist focusing on your specific needs. You can focus exclusively on intensive outpatient therapy, or you can combine outpatient therapy with family therapy, ensuring your family understands your condition and how to support your recovery.
Pursue medical treatment following your accident and complete all medical tests recommended by your physician. A comprehensive diagnosis ensures you receive immediate and appropriate medical care. You may need treatment from a licensed physical therapist (PT) or occupational therapist (OT). You may also need to see a neurologist or neurosurgeon if you’ve sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injury (SCI).
Although medical expenses can add up, your legal team will fight for compensation for all valid medical bills stemming from your accident. Documenting the nature of your injuries with medical tests strengthens your claims. Once you’ve hired an attorney, your attorney can help you file claims to receive compensation and negotiate a settlement.
Filing a claim after a car crash can be a stressful, confusing process. Hiring a lawyer who can walk you through the process while you focus on your medical treatment is an effective way to ensure your claim’s filed correctly.