What to Do When You’ve Been Hurt in a Car Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault
Most people do not think they will ever file a lawsuit against anyone. Unfortunately, many people have to. Through no fault of their own, they find themselves injured and need financial help to pay their regular bills as well as those for their medical treatment. If this was not such an issue in the United States, there would be no need for anyone to retain the services of a personal injury law practice but people do just that every day.
In terms of motor vehicle accidents, in 2013 more than 21,000 people died in car crashes. Approximately 2.05 million people were injured that same year in car accidents. Someone is hurt every two minutes by another driver who is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Even sober people cause accidents. More than 3,150 people were killed by distracted drivers in 2013 and about 424,000 people were hurt. When people check a test message when driving, their attention remains on that text and off of the road for up to 30 seconds after they read it. That means it is not even safe to look at texts when you are stopped at a red light.
If you were in an accident that was not your fault and were seriously injured, there are steps you should take to protect yourself and your rights. Even before you approach a personal injury law practice, there are things you can go.
- Get medical treatment right away. Your first concern should be your safety and health. Most judges in personal injury cases want to see that the victim did whatever they could to help themselves and mitigate any injuries. If you do not seek out medical attention and then try to sue the other driver, it could look suspect. Also, your personal injury law practice will be able to use any and all documentation from the medical professionals who treat you and your injuries to get you a better settlement. The sooner you get treatment, the more effective it will be as well.
- Get documentation from the scene of the accident. Were the police called? Get the police report. This will have a number of things that will help your case. You will have contact information from all the parties involved. You will get a third party account of the accident. If there are witnesses to what happened, they can tell the judge that this was not your fault. Everything in that police report can be used by the personal injury law practice to help you.
- Write down your version of what happened. You may think that what happened was so bad that you will never forget it but the human memory is not perfect. Details fade. As soon as you can, write down everything that happened. If you cannot do that right away, talk to a friend of family member about taking down your account of the accident. The sooner you do this, the better. You need to get the details down while it is all fresh in your memory.
- Take pictures. Bruises fade. Swelling goes down. The physical proof of your injuries, other than the medical reports from your doctors, will become less apparent over time. Few things are as powerful as images from after an accident. You can even take pictures at the scene of your car and whatever ever you think will help. Take the photos with your phone if you have to. If you can, you can also get video of the scene.
- Hire the right lawyer. Find a good personal injury law practice to handle your case. You need to find yourself a good personal injury attorney who is experienced at cases involving car accidents. Like doctors, lawyers have different specialties. Even within a personal injury law practice, there may be lawyers who handle medical malpractice or workplace injuries. These are all different types of personal injury cases and are treated as such. You need to find someone who has experience with your kind of case.
Do your part and you will be in a much better position to get the best settlement for your case.