Depending on its severity, a car accident can be either a hassle or a true tragedy. When you or someone else is injured in an accident, it can also trigger a confusing legal process. Your best course of action, of course, is to hire an auto accident injury attorney who can look out for your interests every step of the way. But to get you started, here’s the basics of what you ought to know about the legal side of such an accident:
- You Must Call the Police
It’s extremely important that you call the police from the scene of an accident. Not only do laws in most places require that any accidents resulting in injury be reported to authorities, the police report (and the officer’s assessment of which driver was at fault) will be a strong piece of evidence in most auto injury lawsuits.
- Auto Injury Lawsuits Take Time
If you have medical bills to pay or lost wages to compensate for, you may be forced to consider a lawsuit just to meet your financial needs. But it’s important you know that a lawsuit is not a quick way to get access to those resources. It’s not uncommon for a complex case to take several years to resolve.
- Commercial Vehicles Follow Different Rules
If you’re involved in a crash with a commercial vehicle (such as a trucking accident), there are some additional factors to take into consideration. The most important of these is a type of regulation called hours of service. These laws dictate how many hours commercial drivers can work without resting. A driver or trucking company violating these hours would in almost any case be considered negligent.
- Most Lawsuits Don’t End in Court
Only a small percentage of personal injury lawsuits (somewhere between 2% and 4%, depending on whom you ask) actually result in a trial. Normally, a settlement is reached before this is necessary.
- Auto Injury Lawsuits Aren’t Always Necessary
Many people think that auto accident injury attorneys only handle lawsuits. But in many cases, an attorney will simply help you navigate the insurance process to make sure your claim is expedited and you get a fair payout based on your coverage.
Do you have any other advice to add about the legal rights and responsibilities of people who have been injured in car accidents? Share your thoughts in the comments.