A Guide To Auto Accidents And Injury Claims
by Arnab Dey Automotive 28 October 2022
Car accidents can happen anytime. It is because auto accidents are unpredictable and occur due to several reasons. You may encounter a drunk driver, have to hit the brakes because of a speeding driver, or get into an accident because of an inexperienced teen on the road.
The National Safety Council reported 44,338 deaths in 2020 due to motor-vehicle accidents. Approximately 17,400 deaths involved another vehicle, as opposed to pedestrians, fixed objects, bicycles, and animals.
Statista.com states that 9.1 million vehicles were involved in traffic crashes in 2020, with 2,282,015 road-traffic-related injuries that year. These numbers indicate that this tragic event happens more often than you think.
Collisions do more than injure you. They damage your vehicle, which may take thousands of dollars to repair.
Fortunately, if you know you are not at fault, the law will help you. If you have been in an accident, you need immediate help in the form of legal aid and an emergency check-up.
Here Are Eight Simple Steps To Help You With Auto Accidents And Injury Claims:
Here’s how you can file for injury claims and get your due right:
1. Why Do You Need Legal Representation?
According to the data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the leading cause of fatal accidents in 29 states, including Tennessee, is cars that do not stay in their lane. This swerving and shifting lanes, especially on highways, can lead to horrifying automobile accidents.
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Security, about 4,000 car crashes were reported in different cities in 2019. Knoxville has had over 43 fatal car crashes in 2019 alone. However, the aftermath is much worse.
Apart from injuries, you may get sued or need to file a claim against the other driver. You need to turn to lawyers in Knoxville Tennessee, and ask for their help.
This is not an easy process and requires documentation, evidence, and drafting a claim, which you cannot do on your own. This is why you need reliable legal representation. Your best chance of getting your due right is by getting solid legal representation.
2. What Do You Do After A Car Accident?
Generally, after a car accident, it is best you stay in the same area and don’t move. This ensures that the police also get your statement and don’t rely on one account. A police report will also help you if you decide to file a lawsuit.
It will provide concrete proof that you were not in the wrong but consider the other party’s culpability. However, if your car is totaled, leaking fluid, and is on fire, move away immediately. Your vehicle can explode, and you don’t want to be there when it happens. When you are in a safe place, call 9-1-1 and ask for the paramedics.
3. Take Photos and Make a Video
While at the crash site, take as many pictures as possible. This includes your injuries, the car’s condition, and if there are nearby landmarks or damaged infrastructure that can attest to your claim. If you see passersby, ask them if they saw the accident, and they can tell you what they saw.
This can help you establish an unbiased account of the car crash and give your story credibility. Try and capture the other driver’s information, too; this can fast-track the insurance claim and prevent a lengthy investigation.
4. Get Your Wounds Treated
You must seek medical attention after an accident to prevent your wounds from worsening. Hospitals will document your visit, which is another factor necessary for your injury claim. Make sure you don’t throw away any bills, reports, and prescriptions since these can legitimize your claim.
5. Contact A Lawyer
Before you make any insurance claims, you need to contact a lawyer. You must resolve the issue of payments right away before the guilty party tries to sue you. Insurance companies are not easy to deal with alone. Most will try to hold you accountable for their client, so you should have an attorney to represent you.
The success of every case lies in its credibility. Any question your lawyer asks about if you have been drinking, to wearing a seatbelt, answer honestly. Withholding information gives the other party an edge over you.
They may find information during the discovery period that they can use against you and cost you your claim. Once your lawyer takes over, you need to play by their rules and not try to settle your claim on your own.
6. Deadlines for Auto Accidents
Every state has its requirements for filing an auto accident claim. These are known as the statute of limitations. Once the prescribed term passes, you can no longer submit your claim. Tennessee has one of the shortest limitations, about a year after which you can no longer file your lawsuit.
7. What Damages Can You Get Compensated For?
An injury claim helps you get compensated for more than your physical wounds. Your lawsuit can cover all the details, including the property damages you sustained, the mental trauma you experienced, and your suffering.
Additionally, you can sue the other party for lost income if you could not return to work and needed time to recover or if you lost your job and your family had to go through difficulties because of your injury. After the settlement money comes through, the other party may get charged for punitive damages like driving while intoxicated that caused this collision.
8. What Happens During A Claim?
When you go to a lawyer with your case, they will review your situation first and submit a demand letter to the guilty party. If they reject your demands and file a counterclaim, you can file a lawsuit against them.
This extensive process involves drafting a claim, submitting your evidence, and showcasing proof that depicts you’re the victim here. You will need pictures, police statements, witness accounts, footage from the traffic camera, and how good of a driver you are.
During this process, you will get time from the court to discover and exchange information between you and the defendant, including the evidence you have against them. Likewise, they will show you what they gathered on the case. Once the time for discovery is over, the defendant has the option to settle the case. This involves you signing a deal and getting monetary compensation for all your losses.
Suppose they decide to take the case to trial and refuse settlement. You will need to go to court. Your trial can take place before a jury, or the judge alone will listen to both sides and pass a ruling. Unlike other cases, auto accident trials last about a day or two, and you will know the verdict immediately. In the end, you can receive up to $25,000 to $50,000 as compensation.
Car accidents are traumatizing. The lasting wounds and injuries you sustain can impact your life permanently. This is why if you are a victim of an accident, you need to get help right away.
This includes consulting a lawyer and getting your fair dues before the other party sends a lawsuit. Legal cases such as injury claims are lengthy processes. It would help if you got to work right away to hit the proper deadlines and ensure your statute of limitations doesn’t run out.
According to your injury claim, you can get compensated for your injuries, emotional suffering, and loss in income. To get to this stage, your lawyer will post a lawsuit on your behalf, negotiate a settlement, and, if needed, represent you in a trial. If it rules in your favor, the verdict can get you a fair compensation of about five figures.