Maybe you’ve seen commercials on TV for a personal injuries lawyer and wondered if you might have a case. Generally speaking, if you were involved in an accident caused by another person’s actions or negligence, you might be entitled to financial compensation.
According to the National Safety Council, 5.4 million people suffered injuries significant enough to consult a medical professional in 2021, and the associated costs of motor vehicle accidents, like loss of wages, medical expenses, and vehicle repairs, reached an estimated $498.3 billion. Car accidents and personal injuries happen often, and people frequently don’t know what to do in the aftermath.
The following is information about what to do after an accident, how to find a personal injuries lawyer, and how they can help you.
What To Do After A Car Accident
Depending on the accident’s severity and location and how many vehicles were involved, you may need to prioritize some of these steps over others. Use your best judgment, but try to accomplish each of the following:
- Make sure everyone is physically safe – your priority should always be to ensure the immediate safety of everyone involved in the accident, a crucial step if your accident occurred on a busy road. Confirm everyone is in a safe location before contacting emergency services or law enforcement.
- Determine if anyone needs medical attention – assess everyone for injuries and seek medical attention (i.e., call emergency services) even if an injury initially seems minor. People can experience shock after a traumatic event and not realize the extent of their injuries.
- Document as much of the scene as possible – law enforcement will likely document the scene, but you should also take your own pictures of the vehicles. Make special note of any visible damage, injuries, license plates, and the surrounding area, including road conditions and weather. Be as detailed as possible. If there are witnesses, try to get their contact information if they are willing.
- Contact law enforcement, if warranted – for minor fender benders, it might not be necessary to contact law enforcement. You and the other driver involved can determine whether this step is needed. If it is, report the accident to the police. Be sure to get a copy of the police report for your records. You will need this report for insurance claims and your personal injury case.
- Exchange information with others involved – all parties should exchange names, contact, and insurance information. Again, try to get contact information from any eyewitnesses.
- Notify your insurance company – it’s always a good idea to let your insurance company know when you have been involved in an accident. Be truthful, detailed, and accurate, but do not admit fault until you have sought legal advice. When it comes to insurance claims, don’t be afraid to ask questions about your insurance coverage and the claims process itself. Accepting the first settlement offer is not always in your best interests since it might not cover all your repairs and expenses.
- Compile and preserve records and evidence – keep copies of your police report, all pictures and written statements, medical bills and records, repair estimates, insurance statements and letters, car rental bills, prescriptions, etc. Anything related to the accident that might help establish liability should be kept together in one place.
- Consult a personal injuries lawyer – if you believe that the other person involved in your accident was at fault, either through direct actions (e.g., drunk driving) or negligence (e.g., distracted driving), it’s a good idea to talk to a legal expert. Through an initial consultation, they can help determine the viability and strength of your case, provide guidance on whether and how to pursue a personal injury claim and represent your interests with insurance companies and in court, if needed.
How To Find A Good Personal Injuries Lawyer
When looking for the right personal injuries lawyer for your case, the first step is to talk to friends, co-workers, family, neighbors, and acquaintances to see if they have any personal recommendations.
A quick Google search can offer many options to sift through in your area. The following are things to look for when considering the right personal injuries lawyer for your specific case:
- Local – Finding a local personal injuries lawyer is essential because they will be the most familiar with your state’s laws, judges, potential expert witnesses, and court system.
- Specializes in personal injury law – Be sure that whichever attorney you choose specializes in personal injury law. For instance, if you live in the Pacific Northwest, the Warren Allen LLP team has a wealth of experience in personal injury cases and is well-equipped to provide sound legal advice and representation.
- Reputable – After reading reviews and checking out a firm’s website, verify the lawyer’s credentials by checking with the state bar association. Ask about the firm’s track record of successful cases.
- Comfortable and responsive – Many law firms offer a free initial consultation. Take advantage of this opportunity to get a feel for the team and ensure you are comfortable working with them. Always choose a responsive attorney who communicates with you clearly and quickly.
- Professional – Your initial consultation, the law firm’s website, their communication, and how the attorneys present themselves to you will help you gauge their level of professionalism.
- Transparent fee structure – Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the fee structure before committing to a law firm. Fortunately, many law firms work on a contingency basis regarding personal injury cases. They only get paid if you win the case. Be wary of a personal injuries lawyer who won’t be specific about fees and costs or guarantees you a certain amount of financial compensation for your case.
Taking all of these considerations into account, trust your gut. Ultimately, you are the best person to know if the personal injuries lawyer you’re consulting is right for your case. They’re likely a good fit if they seem genuinely interested in helping you and taking the time to listen to you and answer your questions.
How Will A Personal Injuries Lawyer Help?
The most important role of your personal injuries lawyer will be to determine liability and help establish the other party’s negligence. Once you have hired an attorney from somewhere like warforhou.com, they will work with other experts to investigate the circumstances of the accident to establish fault and can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, help assess what damages you might be entitled to, and represent you in court if you end up filing a lawsuit.
It’s better to consult with a personal injuries lawyer sooner rather than later because each state has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Don’t wait. If you’ve been in a car accident, seeking professional advice specific to your unique situation is crucial as soon as possible. Let an expert make sure your rights are protected and increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement.