There’s a lot to consider when you’re injured in a car accident. But first, you must deal with the physical pain, suffering from your injuries, and the emotional trauma of having your life turned upside down by someone else’s mistake.
A report by National Safety Council states that automobile crashes severely injured around 4.8 million people in 2020. In addition, around 42,060 fatalities were also reported due to a car crash in 2020. The NSC has therefore appealed to President Joe Biden and the Transport Secretary to aim for zero roadway deaths by the end of 2050.
Car accidents also make it difficult to focus on anything because there is another critical aspect of recovering financially after an auto accident. You may never see any money if you don’t seek compensation through legal action against the person or organization responsible for your injuries.
The article will discuss tips for ensuring your case is strong enough to succeed before taking it to court.
Remember That You Don’t Have Long to File a Lawsuit
In most states, you have limited time to file a lawsuit. It is called the statute of limitations (SOL), and it varies depending on the type of case. However, the general rule is that you must file your lawsuit within two years from when your car accident occurred.
In Texas, the SOL limit is set to a maximum of 2 years. Thus, a person has to file a lawsuit within 24 months from the time of the accident. This being said, if you met with an accident in Texas, be sure to file your Texas auto accident settlement claim within this set SOL to avoid any hassles.
However, in some cases, you may be able to extend this deadline if there’s a reason why you couldn’t file within two years after the accident happened. For example:
- You didn’t know about your injury until later, e.g., because it was hidden due to swelling.
- You weren’t aware that someone else was at fault for causing the accident until later.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
For the best chance of getting maximum compensation for your injuries, seek medical attention immediately. Not only will this help you understand what type of treatment you need and what medications are appropriate to take, but it will also help your medical providers document the extent of your injuries.
In addition, if you doubt whether or not you were injured in an auto accident, a copy of the police report can be used as proof.
Contact an attorney if you have questions about what to do after a car accident. They can help you understand your rights and explain how to proceed with your claim.
Contact the Insurance Company
You should contact the insurance company immediately if you have been injured in an accident. However, you should not wait to contact an attorney before contacting your insurance company. There are several reasons for this:
- You need to know how much money they can provide so that you can decide if it’s worth filing a lawsuit. If they offer a fair settlement, it might be best not to file suit. But if their offer seems low or unreasonable, then usually, it’s worth going forward with litigation.
- Filing a lawsuit will prevent them from denying responsibility for your injuries.
- The earlier you contact them after the accident, the easier it will be for them to understand what happened and who was at fault. In addition, it helps in providing evidence about this during court proceedings later down the road.
The earlier you contact your insurance provider and file for a claim, the better your chances of getting reimbursements soon.
For example, Texas law states that insurance companies have 15 days after receiving all the required documents to verify them and provide a reply for claim approval or denial. If your claim is approved, the insurance provider has to settle it within five days from the approval consent.
Gather Evidence for Your Case at the Accident Scene
Gather as much evidence for your case at the accident scene as soon as possible. It includes:
- asking witnesses to stay and provide their contact information,
- asking the other driver for their insurance information,
- taking photos of the accident scene and damage to cars,
- getting a copy of the police report, and
- if you are injured, get medical attention immediately.
The sooner you collect this evidence after an auto accident, the better off you’ll be at getting maximum compensation in a settlement or lawsuit.
Record Witness Statements and Exchanges
If you’re trying to collect witness statements or other evidence from the scene, it’s important to do so as soon as possible. Witnesses may forget details or refuse to cooperate if you wait too long.
Ensure that anyone who saw the accident, including police officers who responded and bystanders at the scene, can provide information about what happened before they forget anything.
Get a written statement from each witness detailing what he or she saw and heard during the accident. You should also request contact information for witnesses in case you need additional information later in your lawsuit. It will help you if you lose touch with them or because new circumstances arise that require further investigation by law enforcement or insurance adjusters.
File Your Claim
If you have been injured in an accident and need to file a claim, here are the steps you should take:
- Call your insurance company or your lawyer’s office right away. You’re entitled to assistance with your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injuries after an accident. Don’t wait to seek help from the people responsible for paying for them.
- Talk with several different attorneys about how much money you want from each party involved in the crash, including yourself. Also, what kind of compensation is fair and reasonable under these circumstances?
- Write down any information that could help build a strong case against another driver. It could include:
- witness statements and photos from where it happened;
- any texts or emails sent between drivers leading up to their collision;
- police reports documenting how fast one car was going compared with another;
- any eyewitness accounts;
- police reports about what happened after the impact.
Research and Hire an Attorney
Hiring an attorney is a smart decision. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and provide valuable insight into your case. They will also be able to advise you on what evidence to gather and what steps to take next.
However, it’s important to note that hiring an attorney does not guarantee that you’ll get maximum compensation for auto accident settlement. Rather, it increases your chances of getting the best possible outcome in your case.
After speaking with several attorneys about your claim, pick one who seems knowledgeable about personal injury law and has experience handling similar cases like yours. You should also choose someone with whom you feel comfortable working.
If you’re the victim of a car crash, do not wait to see if an insurance company will pay your medical bills. Do not try to negotiate with them or sign any documents from them.
Do not give them any information about your injuries or treatment plan until you have consulted with an attorney who can help protect you from unfair practices by the insurance industry.
For most people, an auto accident is a frustrating and stressful experience. The best course of action is to take your time and gather as much information as possible before deciding what to do next.
An attorney can help you determine your case’s best course of action, whether filing it yourself or hiring someone else to handle this important step.
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