If injured in a car accident, the immediate response should be to seek medical attention. For individuals uncertain about the costs of this (perhaps uninsured), visiting a local emergency room or medical professional as soon as your injuries are recognized, despite the costs involved, is essential in ensuring your legal rights.
In this sense, the immediate practical concerns following a car accident causing injuries relate to documenting the injuries themselves. Secondly, documenting the scene of the accident, including at the very least reporting the accident to law enforcement, insurance companies, and if feasible, documenting the scene of the accident photographically, are essential. Again, these tasks will only serve to ensure your legal rights, should your injuries sustained in a car accident justify future legal action.
WHAT TO DO IN THE DAYS FOLLOWING A CAR ACCIDENT, IF YOU ARE HURT
Following the immediate aftermath of the car accident causing injuries, individuals should additionally consider the following:
- Not all car accident injuries manifest immediately following an accident. Certain injuries, such as whiplash, soft tissue damages, concussions, and aggravation of injuries appearing at first to be relatively minor are common in car accident cases
- Settlement offers from one’s own insurance company, as well as the insurance companies of other drivers, should be viewed with significant skepticism, and in all likelihood, referred to an attorney for at least a cursory overview. It is in insurance companies best interests to settle claims by way of compensating victims early in a car accident case, as virtually all settlements will involve the victim forfeiting the right to future claims.
- Both unobserved and observed injuries following a car accident carry future costs that are highly difficult to calculate in the days following a car accident. Taking the time to document injuries, make a credible case for assigning fault in a given accident, and obtaining reliable estimates on the actual damages of your car accident injuries is almost always in the individual’s best interest.
- Passengers and pedestrians are entitled to compensation in car accident claims in a similar manner as drivers by way of a process known as third-party claims in car accident cases in most cases.
- In any instance of injuries requiring medical attention, individuals should consult with an attorney as soon as possible, while retaining all records of their existing medical treatment
WHAT COMPENSATION CAN I CLAIM IF HURT IN A CAR ACCIDENT?
Claims for compensation will vary depending on state-jurisdiction, but are relatively similar across the nation. Ultimately, the largest factor determining compensation claims amounts will be predicated on the perceived percentage of fault of the individual in causing the accident. For drivers, this will depend on the circumstances of the accident, as well as liability-assignment statutes for fault in personal injury cases per various state laws. For pedestrians and passengers, fault is likely to stand at zero percent in most reasonable cases. Common grounds for claims for compensation in car accident injury cases include the following:
- Compensation for medical expenses, including those incurred immediately after an accident, as well as anticipated in the future
- Compensation for lost income and future lost wages, if applicable
- Punitive damages in cases involving criminal liability of at-fault parties in certain instances
- Compensation for psychological distress and emotional suffering stemming from the accident itself, as well as coping with ongoing medical injuries
For more information on your specific case, consult with an attorney, who can explore and explain your legal options with you today.