What should I do after getting in a car accident?
If you were hurt in a car wreck or if your loved one was killed in a crash, you are not alone. Otway Russo, P.C., in Salisbury, is available to provide assistance and support as you seek just compensation. Car accidents (also called traffic collisions, auto accidents, road accidents, personal injury collisions, motor vehicle accidents and crashes) kill and injure thousands of people every year. After an auto accident, it is important to discover the true causes of the collision, which may have involved another automobile, a telephone pole, a building or a tree.
Getting in a car accident is a frightening and stressful experience, and it can be hard to think clearly afterwards. But there are several things you should do immediately after getting in an accident:
First of all, if possible, move your vehicle to a safe location, off the road or on the shoulder, where it won’t be in the way of oncoming traffic.
Next, call 9-1-1 to report the incident and bring the police to the scene, if necessary. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may give your report to a police officer in person, or over the phone. Either way, give as much detail as possible and be honest. The police report will serve as a basis for any legal action you take regarding the accident, and will inform any settlement you receive from insurance. Be sure to get the reporting officer’s name, as you may need to contact him or her later on for details about the incident, especially if you decide to go to court.
If necessary, call an ambulance, or if your injuries are more minor, visit an emergency care center immediately after leaving the scene of the accident. Even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured, you should visit a care center to find out if you sustained any injuries. Often, these don’t manifest until later.
It’s important not to talk about the accident with anyone other than police, medical providers, and your lawyer. Giving a statement to your insurance provider before consulting a lawyer could greatly damage your case.
Finally, before leaving the scene of the accident, ensure that you’ve collected all the contact information for everyone involved, including witnesses to the incident. Get their names, phone numbers, emails, addresses, and the names of their insurance companies.
Starting a claim
There are many reasons why you may not receive a sufficient settlement after a car accident. Most of the time, it’s simply because the at-fault driver’s insurance company will try to settle for as little as possible, which often means that the settlement they offer won’t be enough to cover all your expenses related to the incident. The at-fault driver may not have insurance at all, or he or she may not have enough insurance to offer a sufficient settlement. Whatever the case, consulting an attorney is the best way to ensure you receive the necessary settlement for your accident. In some cases, an attorney may advise you to negotiate a settlement without taking your claim to court. In other cases, they may counsel you to file a lawsuit.
How is a settlement amount determined?
A settlement must compensate victims of a car accident for all relevant expenses. This can include the price of medical treatment for accident-related injuries, wages lost for time taken off work resulting from the accident, lost earning ability due to injuries sustained in the accident, and, of course, damage done to the vehicle, which may require repairs or replacement. Carefully recording all of your expenses related to the accident will help you settle for the right amount.
What are common car accident injuries?
Injuries from car accidents can be temporary, long-term, or even permanent. They may be minor and heal quickly, or they may be heavily debilitating and cause pain for years to come. The most common injuries sustained in car accidents include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, neck and back injuries, burns, lacerations, and traumatic brain injuries. Car accidents can also cause psychological trauma.
How do I know if I have a case?
If you or your loved one was injured in a car accident, and the accident was caused by someone else, you may have a case. Whether or not you do depends on a variety of factors, including:
What caused the accident?
Whether or not you have a case depends in large measure on what caused the accident. A common cause is distracted driving; another is driving drunk or driving under the influence of drugs. Car accidents may also be caused by unsafe roads or vehicle malfunctions. If your accident was caused by any of these factors, you should file a personal injury claim after consulting a lawyer.
What is the extent of the damages?
In general, greater damage sustained in an accident means a higher settlement amount. Settlement also depends on the amount of losses you sustained and how effectively you can verify them. As mentioned above, damages can refer to both past and future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How quickly did you act after the accident?
If you are considering making a claim, you should act as soon as possible, since personal injury lawsuits must be filed within a certain period of time following an accident.
Contact an Experienced Salisbury Car Accident Attorney
A personal injury lawyer at our Maryland law firm can help determine the cause of your car accident. Was another driver inattentive? Was he or she distracted by texting while driving? Did an air bag or seat belt malfunction and turn a minor fender bender into a serious accident? Our attorneys are prepared to look hard for the key to success in your case.
Did the crash involve someone from a rural area driving in Salisbury or a big city? Unfamiliarity with the roads and conditions has caused quite a few car and truck accidents involving out-of-towners. Certain areas, such as the intersection of Carroll Street and Route 13 in Salisbury, see more than their fair share of crashes. Traffic congestion is often cited as a factor, but human error is to blame more often than not. Confirming and documenting the cause can help build a strong injury claim or lawsuit.
If you or a loved one was injured as a pedestrian, a bicyclist, a passenger or a driver, contact us by email or by phone at (410) 983-6799. Learn about the process of obtaining a personal injury settlement or verdict after an auto injury. We are here to help and advocate for you.