Disclaimer: If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, the subsequent information is not considered as actual legal advice regarding the matter. It only serves as a general guideline as to the legal aspect of sustaining injuries in an accident. To better understand the legal nature of being injured in a crash, communicate with a licensed attorney who has experience in the problem similar to yours.
You are severely injured in a vehicle accident. Your car is damaged, and you have sustained body injuries because of the crash. You cannot go to work because of your injuries – and you have paid an excessive amount of money for your medications and other treatment. When you’re facing these traumatic situations, the next question will be “How are you going to recover from the aftermath of the accident?” So, below are the things to consider legally if you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident:
1. Get Yourself Medically Treated: Remember that when you sustain injuries caused by accident, it is recommended that you seek immediate medical attention.
- Make sure that your doctor conducts a thorough medical assessment and provides treatment for your body injuries.
- Don’t forget to have yourself also mentally assessed for the trauma you may have experienced due to the vehicle accident.
- Take note to secure a medical examination certificate from your doctor. Remember that keeping your medical records intact can be of help when you decide to run after the offender.
2. Contact The Police: When you’re involved in a vehicle accident, calling for the assistance of a police officer is needed to get a police report of what happened.
- Check if the police officer has the authority to conduct a police investigation about the accident.
- Make sure that the police gathers all essential information regarding the vehicle accident including the following:
- Date, location and time of the accident.
- Full names, addresses and contact information of the persons involved in the accident.
- Photos of the damaged vehicles (front, back, and sides).
- Pictures of the actual accident scene.
- Profile of the witnesses including their addresses and contact numbers.
- Other things which are related to the accident.
3. Inform Your Insurance Company: Being injured in a vehicle accident means that you’re required to notify your insurance company about what happened.
- When informing them about the crash, consider the time frame provided by your insurer in filing an insurance claim. Take note that you have to know the time limits so that you’ll not be deprived of your right to raise your claims.
- Take time to read your insurance policy before filing an insurance claim with your insurance provider. Use the opportunity to talk to an insurance adjuster when there are things in your policy that you don’t understand.
- Ensure that when you submit your claim applications, you have all the following documents ready for submission:
- Police Report.
- Your medical records, including your bills and medical certificate.
- Photos of your existing physical injuries (if required).
- Testimonies and statements of the witnesses.
- Photographs which were taken from the accident.
- Records and other documents that can justify the wages you lost because of the accident.
- Make sure that you only provide the right information about the accident and remember to refrain from falsifying your information for the sake of getting a higher insurance claim payout. If you fail to do so, your insurance company will deny your claim.
4. Try An Amicable Settlement: Court litigation is time and money consuming. When you get the assistance of the court to run after the person responsible for your injuries, you’re also spending a lot of time, money and energy. So, why not try the idea of having an amicable settlement between yourself and the offender?
- Remember that an amicable settlement is an option you can take advantage of before resorting to court proceedings. You can use this opportunity to settle disputes without the intervention of a jury.
- Ensure that both parties agree with the settlement amount offered by the person at fault.
5. File A Personal Injury Case: Aside from seeking relief from your insurance company regarding the injuries caused by the accident, you also have the right to file a personal injury case in court. Keep in mind that in bringing a personal injury case against the offender party, the person who is at fault can be held liable for the injuries incurred by the aggrieved party.
- Consult and get an attorney: Ensure that you have talked to an experienced auto accident attorney about your particular issue and on how he/she can assist you in initiating litigation against the offender. Make sure that your lawyer is knowledgeable about the applicable laws of the place where you reside.
- Determine the damages you can recover: It’s important that before going to court to file a lawsuit, you and your attorney have already determined the damages you can recover as the injured party. Below are examples of damages you can get from the offender is she/he’s proven guilty:
- Emotional anguish.
- Loss of an extremity.
- Lost wages.
- Loss time to work.
- Loss of property.
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering.
- Physical inability.
- Punitive damages (if necessary).
- Other damages.
- Determine the negligence on the part of the offender party: When you’re filing a personal injury case, the presence of negligence in the accident is crucial. Since you’re the one instituting the case, the burden to prove the negligence on the part of the offender is vested upon you. This is where the documents mentioned earlier can help you win the case. It’s best when you have a good documentation of your pieces of evidence.
So when you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, take note of these things to consider legally. Although the recovery from the outcome of the accident takes time, you can still make use of your legal rights to seek for what you truly deserve as the victim. If you want to further understand the legal aspects of having injured in an accident, approach a qualified attorney who can help you with your situation.
Randolph Ferguson is a promising young law enthusiast working for the Law Offices of George Salinas. His pieces offer a youthful perspective on common law topics. Randolph is your go-to guy when it comes to sports, and he is often seen jogging when he has free time.