As a cautious driver, you make every effort to drive safely, no doubt. Still, the potential for an accident always exists. This is because other people can drive carelessly and negligently. Thus, knowing how to protect your rights after a car accident is crucial.
Whether your accident is minor or severe, your rights can be taken advantage of by at-fault parties or insurance companies. However, to prevent them from trampling on your rights, you can take steps to safeguard your interests. In the below article, we will explain these steps.
If you have been in a car accident due to negligence, contact Norris Injury Lawyers. Our Alabama car accident attorneys can help you protect your rights against a negligent driver and difficult insurance company. Call us at (800) 477-7510 for a free claim analysis or complete our free consultation form.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
A car accident is a harrowing experience. Nonetheless, the minutes just afterward can be crucial to the protection of your legal rights. Although it may be difficult to think clearly, there are steps that should be taken immediately after a crash to safeguard your legal rights.
Move to safety
Your safety and that of your passengers are of the utmost importance. A crash can put you and others vulnerable to further injuries. This is especially true if your vehicle is stopped in the middle of the road.
Therefore, if your vehicle can still function, move it off or to the side of the road. In the case that your vehicle is inoperable, you and any passengers should wait to exit until there are no oncoming vehicles. When it is safe, you can all leave the vehicle and go to a safe spot off the road.
Obtain medical attention
Following an accident, it is in your best interest to receive medical attention. Both your physical health and your legal claim can benefit. But how so?
First, receiving medical attention can be crucial to your long-term health needs. On the matter of your health, every second counts. Even if you don’t have any immediate pain, you should still seek medical help.
Pain and injuries may not be felt immediately, according to several scientific studies. Adrenaline and other physical chemicals released by your body because of the collision may cause you not to notice important physical injuries. At times, car accident injuries may take days or weeks to become apparent.
From a legal perspective, having a medical examination of your condition after an accident is key. Medical documentation of your injuries and physical state from the time immediately after the accident can serve as important evidence, which can be used to strengthen your legal case and determine the compensation you deserve and require.
Report the accident to the authorities
In Alabama, an accident with injuries or property damage in the amount of $250 dollars or more must be reported within 30 days of the accident. However, it is in your best legal interest not to wait that long. In fact, it is best to inform the police of the accident as soon as it is safe to do so after the accident.
While still at the scene, call the police and request an officer to come to the accident scene. The accident report created and filed by the police officer can be useful to you at a later time. The accident report, sometimes called a crash report, is an unbiased, professional evaluation of the accident.
The accident report will contain the analysis of the police officer with respect to the severity of the crash. The police officer will indicate whether the crash is mild or severe and mention the conditions and factors that contributed to the crash and existed at the scene.
Further, the accident report will mention the police officer’s assessment of the condition of the drivers as well as their actions. The report will also contain a diagram and narrative of the accident.
Be sure to obtain a copy of this report. It can be used in legal proceedings if necessary, or in conversations with insurance companies to establish fault and compensation.
Collect the contact information of all persons present
Who should you obtain contact information from? Anyone who was involved in the accident or witnessed the accident. Additionally, it would be ideal to obtain the contact information of the officer who files the police report.
You must collect the personal details of the drivers and pedestrians involved, if at all possible. It is advisable to get their names, addresses, driver’s license information, vehicle plate numbers, and insurance companies. Both eyewitnesses and involved parties should give you this information.
Take photos of the scene
Photos of the location of the accident and the conditions after an accident can be crucial to ensuring the protection of your legal rights. Clear, detailed photos that show the scene from all sides and angles can help prove fault and determine appropriate compensation.
If it is safe to do so after the accident, take photos that are close-up of the damage and accident debris, skid marks on the road, and objects that were involved in the collision. Additionally, photos of these same items and factors, but from a wider view, would be useful. Also, photograph any injuries of the persons involved, including yourself.
Contact a car accident attorney
After a car accident, one of the most essential steps to secure your rights is to contact a car accident attorney. Even if you hold on to photos, medical documentation, and official police reports, this information must be correctly prepared and submitted in the legal process. Otherwise, you will have only wasted the time and effort better spent on yourself and your recovery.
A skilled lawyer, though, can make good use of the collected information you have gathered. Experienced attorneys can present it in an appropriate and convincing manner to ensure you get justice.
Why You Need a Lawyer to Protect Your Rights Against Insurance Companies?
Why do we say that your rights need to be protected against insurance companies? Essentially because insurance companies have their own financial interest as their main priority. Thus, they often try to pay out the least amount possible.
After a car accident, one of the last things a recovering victim should have to confront is an obstinate and unreasonable insurance company. Having a lawyer on your side is the most effective way to protect your rights against insurance companies.
Let your lawyer handle the negotiations for your compensation. Insurance companies may attempt to confuse, frustrate, and just wear you down. The goal is for you to give up completely or accept reduced compensation. A capable attorney, however, can fight on your behalf and maneuver around any deception or avoidance attempted by an insurance company.
How Protecting Your Rights Gets You Fair Compensation?
A car accident can create significant unexpected costs. To make matters worse, you may not be able to work after the accident as you recuperate. Worse yet, your injuries could leave you permanently unable to work or only able to do so in a diminished capacity.
Facing mounting medical costs, needing to pay for damaged property, and having less income all cause additional stress. However, with your rights protected by the previously mentioned steps, a skilled car accident attorney can help you to secure compensation for your damages.
You can get money to cover:
- Medical treatment that is necessary to restore your quality of life
- Future treatment and care that is required because of injuries related to the accident
- Medical aids
- Medications to reduce and manage your pain
- Damaged or lost property
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy
- Lost past and future wages
- Lost employment opportunities
There may be other costs that you can recover money for that are not identified in the above list. Discuss your unique situation with an attorney at Norris Injury Lawyers. We can help you determine how to receive maximum restitution.
Norris Injury Lawyers Can Help Protect Your Rights
Car accidents, unfortunately, are a commonplace event throughout the US, including Alabama. However, your experience in a car accident is distinct. It is important that you collect the unique details of your accident after your accident. But that’s not all.
In addition, it is crucial that you get help from a car accident attorney who knows how to use these details to benefit your case. We at Norris Injury Lawyers understand how to take the facts of your accident and relate them to the law in order to protect your rights. Our legal team can put our skills and experience to work so you can get the compensation that your accident and injuries entitle you to receive.
Get the help you require to protect your rights today. Call us at (800) 477-7510 for a free claim analysis or complete our free consultation form to contact our Alabama personal injury attorneys with your personal injury cases 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.