Undoubtedly, life is unpredictable because you never know what happens next. You might be enjoying a thrilling motorcycle ride and get hit by a car. Similarly, a person walking on the road or driving carefully can also fall victim to accidents due to others’ negligent behavior. In this modern era, road accidents are rapidly increasing. Are you a cautious driver? You can drive as vigilantly as possible, but it won’t stop the other person from breaking the signal and crashing into your car. Therefore, you have to stay careful about other’s behavior and learn how to handle such situations.
After an accident, it is impossible to think since many things are going in your mind. As a result, many drivers make mistakes that limit their rights to get compensation. In addition to taking appropriate safety measures, prepare yourself for every unforeseen situation. If you have no idea how to go about it, have a look below. Here we are unfolding some necessary precautions to take after a road accident.
1. Ensure Safety & Call an Attorney
Before anything else, ensure the safety of other people who were riding with you. Exit the vehicle, turn on the emergency flashers, and call the emergency hotline if anyone got injured. Otherwise, if there are no severe injuries, contact your attorney and the insurance company. It doesn’t matter how big or small the accident was; it is essential to determine the repercussions. Therefore, get in touch with an accident lawyer.
If you are an active bike rider, make sure to look for a motorcycle accident lawyer as they have more significant expertise. They would be more familiar with vehicle damages and personal injuries that arise after a motorbike accident than a standard attorney. Once you have a lawyer by your side, brief them about the entire situation. Alongside helping you get fair compensation, they would lend you a hand in dealing with insurance companies.
Remember, even if you are not seeking any compensation, you need a lawyer. The other party might try to take you to court for involvement in the case. And retaining an attorney gives you enough time to prepare a case.
2. Seek Medical Help
Usually, people don’t seek medical after an accident if they don’t have significant injuries. However, it is vital to get a full evaluation within 2-3 days of your accident. Firstly, accidents create a rush of endorphins and adrenaline, putting your body in a flight or fight response. As a result, you don’t feel the pain until the event is over. If not external, you might have encountered internal injuries that will only unfold when you undergo a diagnostic procedure.
Moreover, accidents also lead to soft tissue injuries in muscles, tendons, and ligaments as it puts tremendous force on the body. Since these injuries don’t break bones or create blood, people fail to notice them until severe pain occurs. Most importantly, you have to put a medical evaluation on record. Hence, get your medical checkup with 72 hours of the accident; otherwise, the insurance company might add a value driver. The negligent party can use it against you in court, proving your injuries weren’t severe. Therefore, don’t delay your visit to the doctor.
3. Report the Accident
Irrespective of injuries and damage, it is always a good idea to report the accident to authorities. You can call the police and claim for the damage to your vehicle. Explain the entire incident to the investigating officer without misstating any facts. If you are unsure about your injuries, tell them you don’t know rather than exaggerating or lying about it. Was there anyone who saw the accident? If yes, ask those people to become your prime witnesses and tell the officers what they saw. Besides, some insurance companies ask for a police report to file a claim. Thus, instead of taking it into your hands, notify the authorities and let them handle it properly.
4. Assess the Scene & Gather Records
After an accident, people are too busy negotiating for compensation and forget about capturing the accident scene. After all, you never know when a claim or lawsuit hits your door. Gathering records and information will serve as evidence if the case goes to court. Begin by taking pictures of your vehicle to demonstrate the damage. Likewise, collect the damage reports that include repair estimates in it.
Moreover, gather all your medical invoices, bills, treatment records, and any chiropractors’ reports. You can also get information related to your income that reflects the time you have to take off time from the office to recover from injuries. All these details could be a great help for your lawyer, helping you get the best compensation.
5. Avoid Quick Settlement
Were you at fault in the accident? If not, then stay steadfast. Within some of the accident, the negligent party would call for a quick settlement. They would offer you some money in exchange for not filing any claims. No matter how much compensation they offer, don’t tempt to sign before consulting with your attorney. Likewise, wait until your full evaluation from the chiropractor to ensure no additional injuries manifest.
Usually, the negligent party offers settlement beforehand because it would cost them far less than taking the case to court. And once you sign the release, you can no longer seek compensation from an insurance company or file a lawsuit. Hence, carefully assess the situation with your lawyer while weighing the costs and benefits. If settlement seems unfair, feel free to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve.
6. Understand Potential Pitfalls
Although you are hiring a lawyer, it is crucial to understand the potential pitfalls which would arise after the accident. Have a look below.
- Every state has a time frame in which you have to file a lawsuit, meaning you can’t sue the negligent party after months. If you are not filing a case, you still have to settle your insurance claim in this time frame.
- If you settle and sign any agreement, you can’t ask for more compensation.
- The costs of road accidents go beyond injuries. Therefore, ensure the settlement covers repair costs and other expenses.
- If the negligent driver is uninsured, you have to sue the individual to get compensation.
Having a keen understanding of these things will help you protect your rights and get a fair deal.
No one wants to suffer from accidents, but you don’t know what life holds for you. Although controlling things and situations are not in your hands, you can always prepare yourself for it. Think about the essential precautions you would take after an accident. From hiring an attorney, filing a claim, seeking medical help, to avoiding quick settlements – you should know everything. It will protect your rights while helping you land a fair compensation deal.
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