Do you know what to do if involved in an accident? It is important that you know what to do if involved in an accident and are fully prepared to respond in the right way. Accidents happen all the time. About 3 million people a year are injured due to auto accidents.
If you know what to do if involved in an accident you can put yourself in a much better position should you ever find yourself in the center of an accident. Following some simple advice about what to do if involved in an accident can ensure your rights are protected.
At the Scene of the Accident
Let’s say you are rear-ended at a stoplight. You get out the other driver gets out, and the damage to your vehicle seems pretty limited, the other driver asks you not to call the authorities and offers to pay for the damage. Don’t do it.
Call the authorities. Wait for the authorities. Far too many times, people have been left holding the bag because another driver convinced them not to call the police. You should report that accident and get the police involved.
Do not argue with the other driver, and do not leave the scene. Stay put and wait for the cops to come. File a police report. Why? Insurance companies like police reports. They will ask you for your police report number. They will use that report to determine responsibility. Stay calm and just wait for the police.
Get Medical Care
If you have been involved in an accident, the first thing you should do is get medical attention. According to the most experienced accident injury attorney groups, getting medical care should be a priority, yet many accident victims do not get the immediate care that they need.
You can ask any accident lawyer about getting medical care right after the accident and they will tell you that from the minute the accident occurs, you have to start building your case. A visit to the emergency room or your local urgent care center can help you to quickly get the care that you need, and start a paper trail of what caused the injury.
A case in point is Bill, Bill was hit by a driver that was distracted and ran a stop sign. He felt fine at the accident scene, he even went to work the next day, but two days after the accident, his neck really started bothering him.
He went to the doctor to have it looked at, and began treatment, but the insurance company fought him because they were trying to pin it on his job. The battle was an intense one. He found himself in quite the pickle because most health insurance plans are not paying for accident coverage.
Luckily he had an accident lawyer that could fight for him, but it took a while to prove the case. The point is that avoiding the issue in the first place starts by getting some medical attention is just a better way of doing things. Bill did not know what to do if involved in an accident, and it almost cost him plenty.
Once you have gotten the medical attention that you need, it is time to hire an injury lawyer. Why? There are many reasons why hiring an attorney is an important part of the process. Let’s investigate what it looks like to not have an attorney first.
Moving Forward Without an Attorney
An accident injury attorney, is an expert in accident laws, compensation, and other areas that are directly related to accidents. They are the experts that you need on your side and here is why:
- Insurance companies are for-profit groups. Insurance companies do their best to minimize losses. Losses are from paying out insurance claims. They have shareholders to answer too. Keeping losses down is their primary goal, and it is typically at the expense of the insured. Dealing directly with the insurance company without specialized knowledge can cut your settlement down drastically.
- Insurance companies have teams of lawyers on their side. Insurance companies come to the table fully prepared to dazzle you with legal jargon. They have teams of attorneys on their payrolls that can find reasons not to pay for damages, medical care, and more. You need an attorney to
- You have rights and an attorney will ensure that your rights are not compromised. You deserve to be represented.
Unfortunately, many types of injuries turn into a permanent disability that can affect every area of your life for years to come. Not having an experienced neck injury law attorney that understands the potential long term damage from these types of injuries can have long term repercussions. The insurance companies want you and your injuries to go away as soon as possible, even when there is potential for long term problems.
Remember Bill who did not go to get checked out for a couple of days after his accident. The insurance company was trying to say that his injuries were not from the accident but were caused by his job as a truck driver.
If you are ever in an accident it is always best to hire the right type of attorney as part of your plan of what to do if involved in an accident. It is just the smarter way to approach the case and ensure your rights are protected from the start.
A very large percentage of accident cases never become court cases that go to trial. Around 90% of all accident claims are settled outside of trial when an attorney is involved. The reason that insurance companies do not like to take things to trial is because with the help of a good attorney on your side, they will lose, and they will lose badly.
The process from claim initiation to claim settlement can be a long one. The insurance companies will demand a boatload of documentation which can be overwhelming if you do not have an attorney on your side. Your attorney will handle all of the claim documents, and take some of the stress off your shoulders.
Most people want to know how long it takes for an injury claim to be settled. It can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years depending on how severe the injuries you sustained were, how conducive the insurance company is to pay out the claim, and when you reach maximum medical improvement.
A good attorney will move the case forward as quickly as possible without settling for less than you deserve in the case. They will completely manage the case, including communicating with the insurance company on your behalf.
What to Do If Involved In An Accident When It is Your Fault
Sometimes you are less the victim of the accident and more the perpetrator. What to do if involved in an accident when you have been blamed? You call a lawyer fast.
Let’s say you just left an office party, and you have been involved in an accident, and charged with DWI at the scene. Your first course of action after being charged with an accident that involves a DWI, should be to get legal advice from a DWI defense lawyer.
There are some myths that surround being charged with an accident. While technically, the insurance company can deny your claim if drugs or alcohol are suspected in the accident, typically they do not.
A good lawyer can help you fight back against the charge and force the insurance company to pay up. Of course, it is not the cost of the accident or even the potential cost of bail bonding that you have to worry about, you have to worry about the criminal charges. An experienced lawyer can help to defend you.
Here are some tips for what to do if involved in an accident that you caused:
- Don’t speak to anyone about the accident. Many ships have been sunk because of loose lips. Do not talk to anyone about the accident except your attorney. You may deliver the information that you want to deliver honestly, but your words can be twisted to fit the insurance company’s narrative. Don’t speak to anyone until you have spoken to your attorney.
- Be cooperative. Fighting back against law enforcement or arguing with the other driver is not going to help your cause. What to do if involved in an accident and it is your fault? Keep quiet and cooperate at the scene.
- Get medical care. If you were injured in an auto accident, even if the accident was caused by you, you should get medical care right away. You are entitled to medical care regardless of who’s fault the accident is.
Before you make decisions about whether or not you are entitled to receive compensation from accident-related injuries that you caused, talk to an attorney. You can get the answers that you need and the defense that you need.
How Much Will It Cost For Representation
Let’s say you were involved in an accident and you have decided to follow the advice of what to do if involved in an accident and hire an attorney. You like many other people, likely are concerned with costs. How much money will you have to pay upfront to get superior representation? In most cases, nothing.
Most injury attorneys work under a contingency agreement. What does that mean? It means that if you do not win your case you do not pay anything. If you do win your case, then you will pay a percentage of the proceeds to the lawyer.
That means there will be no out of pocket expense for you to worry about. Your attorney will take your case without charging you anything upfront. If you do not win, they do not get paid. It is a pretty good deal.
Of course, there may be some caveats, like if you were charged with a DUI or DWI at the scene, your attorney may charge that representation separately. However, some truck accidents lawyer and others will take the entire case on without charging you anything upfront.
You can see why so many people decide that what they will do if they are in an accident is to turn the problem over to an attorney. It does not cost you anything out of pocket in most cases, and it can help you to get a better outcome.
What to Do If Involved In an Accident That Results In a Fatality
Some horrific accidents result in fatalities. If your loved one was killed in an auto accident, work accident, or another type of accident, you deserve justice. An attorney can help you get the justice that you and your family deserve after a wrongful death.
A wrongful death suit can be filed on your behalf by an attorney that practices in this area. The death of your loved one should not go unaddressed, someone should have to take responsibility for the accident.
What to Do If Involved In an Accident Other Than Car Accidents
Unfortunately, car accidents are not the only potential danger. There is a bevy of incidents that can cause injuries that are classified as accidents. In each of these cases, the what to do if involved in an accident can vary.
For example, you are involved in a work accident that results in an injury may require you to go through your chain of command at work, visit a predetermined urgent care center, and even require drug testing to ensure that you are not under the influence when the accident occurred.
If you slip and fall on someone’s property, you may have to follow a different protocol. For example, you are visiting Walmart, you slip in aisle 19 where the laundry detergent is stored because someone dropped some laundry detergent and did not report it. In this case, what to do if involved in an accident, may involve reporting it to the manager on duty.
While each situation may be a bit different, in every case, regardless of the where and how of the accident, the accident will need to be reported to someone. Of course, what does not change is that part of what to do if involved in an accident is hiring that attorney. In all accident cases, you should make hiring an attorney a priority.