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What to do if you are involved in a car accident?

Nobody wants to get involved in a car accident but it is not always in our hands to avoid it. Many factors can lead you to be part of a car accident and it is good to be prepared for that situation to handle it in the best possible way. These are some of the things you should do when you have a car accident.

  • Stop: Even if you think you did not cause any damage, it is your obligation to stop when you hit something.
  • Determine the extent of the damage: after you stop, you should see if anyone is injured and call for medical help if necessary.
  • Call the police: it is always important to fill out a legal accident report. No matter if the accident was minor, call the police and try not to move your car unless it is blocking traffic and needs to be moved.
  • Do not admit responsibility: your insurance company asks you not to admit responsibility for what happened and to let them handle the situation. Also, limit conversations with the other party involved since anything you say will be used by their insurance company to dismiss your case. Only talk about the accident with your insurance, the police, doctors and your car accident lawyer.
  • Collect information about the accident and about the other party involved.

Collect as much information as possible

This is one of the most important steps. Try to collect all the necessary information regarding the accident. You must collect information about what happened, the other driver’s personal information and information for your insurance company. It is advisable to have a card accident form to help you collect all that information without leaving anything out.

Information about the other party involved:

You need to collect the other driver's personal information as well as their insurance information. Get the driver's name, address and contact number, the name of their insurance company, policy number of their insurance company, and information about the other party's vehicle such as: license plate number and vehicle registration information. Get the information about the vehicle description as well: model, year and make of the vehicle.

Information about the accident

This is the information you should collect about the accident:

  • Information about what happened. This point is important. Try to record everything you remember as soon as the accident happens because then, with the stress of the situation, you can forget things. You can make notes or make a recording narrating what happened. You can also take pictures of the accident to record the position of the vehicles and the damages.

Apart from recording what happened, you will also need to collect some additional information about the accident:

  • Address where the accident happened
  • Date and time of the accident
  • The direction you were headed
  • Address of the other party involved
  • Weather conditions at the time of the accident
  • Name and state of the road where the accident occurred
  • Information about the police officer who went to the scene of the accident: name, badge number, and contact information
  • If there were witnesses, save their names and contact numbers

What not to do if you have a car accident

  • The other party's insurance company will need some of your personal information such as your name, address and contact number but you don't need to give them your driver's license photo. It is advisable to always have your driver's license information available for situations like these. Do not give a picture of your license. Your protection is important and you do not know the other party involved. Avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.
  • You should not admit responsibility or guilt even if you feel you did something wrong. Let the insurance company and your car accident lawyer take control and handle the situation.

Contact your insurance company

Contact your insurance company from the scene of the accident if possible or file a claim online. The police may be able to help you give more accurate information about the accident to your insurance company. Your insurance company can help you file your car accident claim and speed up the process or tell you how to file your car accident claim.

Collect the necessary information and do not get involved in discussions about the accident with the other party. Let the insurance company handle it.

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Should I hire a lawyer in the event of a car accident?

When you have a car accident you are faced with the question of whether or not to hire a car accident lawyer. It is your decision and you can make the claim on your own but it is always advisable to hire a lawyer. Insurance companies are not your friends. They aim to keep as much money as possible and give you the least compensation they can. They will use a series of tricks to dismiss your claim or pay you as little as possible. That is why a lawyer will help you build your case and fight for the best compensation you can get.

Why should I hire a car accident lawyer as soon as possible?

If you decide to hire a car accident lawyer, try to do so as soon as possible. These are some of the reasons why you should not wait and hire your lawyer if possible, the day of the accident.

Legal deadlines

When filing a claim, there are deadlines that you must meet. Not being able to meet these deadlines may result in the loss of the case. Your lawyer will make sure that everything is done within the deadlines. The most common deadline is the statute of limitation, which stipulates the time in which your case must be filed with the trial court. Your lawyer will take care of meeting these deadlines.

Preserving evidence

Evidence can be lost if you wait too long to collect it. That is why it must be preserved as soon as possible. Things like marks at the scene of the accident, parts of the vehicle such as broken pieces of headlights left behind after the collision, and skid marks must be collected as soon as possible. You may need to reconstruct the accident scene in case of doubt or dispute about who was at fault and for that you or an expert will need the road evidence. Factors such as rain, wind and traffic can quickly damage the evidence.

Sometimes the security cameras near the accident site manage to record the event and this evidence can be decisive in determining the culprit. It is necessary to collect this evidence as soon as possible, since security camera recordings are usually erased after days or weeks to record over them.

Damage to the car can also serve as evidence and should be collected as soon as possible in case a 3D reconstruction is needed before repairs are made.

Witnesses

Just as evidence must be preserved, so must be the memory of witnesses. Over the course of days or weeks, their memory may become blurred and diffuse and they may not remember important details well or their motivation to testify may be weakened. A car accident lawyer can take their verbal statements to prevent this from happening.

Tricks insurance companies use to dismiss your claim

Insurance companies represent one of the most lucrative businesses today. They have not achieved this by paying fair settlements. Insurance companies will seek to pay as little as possible to keep more money. To do this, they use a number of tricks that if you are not prepared or represented by a car accident lawyer, you may end up falling for and receiving much less compensation than you deserve. These are some of the tricks that insurance companies will use against you and your lawyer is ready to defend you from:

Delay your car accident settlement

In this way, insurance companies continue to earn interest on the money they are not paying you. They will also benefit from delaying your car settlement so that you agree to a lesser settlement. As you watch your medical bills and expenses begin to pile up, you may feel desperate and that pressure may cause you to take a less than fair settlement. They also use this delay to try to get you to meet your statute of limitation deadline. They will also ask you for documents such as medical reports to analyze and will take a long time to do so. They may leave you waiting every time you try to contact them.

Trying to convince you not to hire a lawyer

It is in the interest of the insurance companies that you do not hire a lawyer so that you can get a settlement that benefits them and not you. They will seek to give you a small compensation so that you feel comfortable and give up the idea of hiring a lawyer. They will even lead you to believe that your lawyer will get a lot of money out of you in fees. This is not true because most car accident lawyers work on a "no win-no pay" basis. So if you don't win, they don't win.

Do not assume the medical expenses of the accident

If the affected party has health insurance or insurance provided by the company where he or she works, and this insurance covers part of the medical expenses, the at-fault party's insurance company also has the obligation to cover the expenses. Some insurance companies will try to avoid this responsibility.

If you do not have health insurance, the at-fault party's insurance company will recognize some of the expenses but will try to avoid this responsibility as much as possible. When you have an accident and receive medical attention, you receive bills for everything and the insurance company must assume all these expenses.

The "causation" defense

This is a common trick among insurance companies. It consists of claiming that your injuries were not caused in the accident but in another way and therefore, they should not cover all the medical expenses.

Use your kindness against you to blame you for the car accident

After an accident, it is normal to worry about the other party and want to make sure they are not hurt. Similarly, you will want to reassure the other party that you are okay or that your injuries are not too serious. This gesture of kindness can be used against you. The at-fault party's insurance company will claim that you were not really that injured because you stated so. That's why insurance companies recommend limiting the conversation with the other party involved.

Surveillance

When it comes to great cases, insurance companies are not afraid to go the extra mile to find ways to avoid liability and dismiss your claim. In some cases they will resort to what they call "surveillance" which is nothing more than spying on you. They will hire private investigators to follow you in the hope of recording you doing something that will indicate that your injuries are not so serious. These investigators will also search online and stalk your social networks for material they can use against you.

These are just a few of the tricks that insurance companies use out of the many more they have up their sleeves such as: disputing the severity of your injuries, making you believe that your insurance has less coverage than it really has, saying that your injuries were before the accident, and others.

Remember that once you are settled, you cannot reopen the case if you present damages and injuries that initially did not manifest themselves. That's why your car accident lawyer will seek to cover every aspect of the damages you received in the accident, future conditions arising from the accident, and costs of treatment and therapy you may need. Your lawyer is here to protect you and ensure that you receive a fair compensation.

What does a car accident lawyer do?

At the time of a car accident, you experience a lot of stress and may feel overwhelmed by the whole process with the insurance, with the other party and calculating compensation, all while also recovering from the injuries left behind by the accident.

A car accident lawyer can help you through this stressful time when you feel vulnerable. Here are some of the things a car accident lawyer can do for you:

Helps you get the best compensation

A car accident lawyer specializes in injuries and is here to protect your interests and get you the best compensation. This includes medical expenses, pain and suffering, vehicle repair or replacement, and compensation for lost wages.

Helps you understand your rights

It is common not to be fully informed about your rights at the time of a car accident. Your lawyer is here to help you understand your rights and to protect you legally.

Offers legal advice

At the moment of having a car accident, you can feel overwhelmed and not know what to do. You may receive advice from friends or search information on your own and end up confused about how to proceed with your claim. This is why it is important to go to a professional. Car accident lawyers are very experienced and know how to handle the situation in the best way to take care of your benefits and get the best compensation.

Negotiates and fights for a fair settlement

Car accident lawyers do a thorough job of getting you a strong case and getting you the best deal. Some of the things a car accident lawyer can do for you are: gather all pertinent information, including witness statements, evidence of injuries, police reports, and medical reports; make a claim with the at-fault party's insurance and negotiate a fair settlement; if the insurance refuses to pay, the attorney can file a lawsuit and if necessary, represent you in court.

Represents you in court

Car accident cases are often settled without going to court. Insurance companies usually agree to good settlements when you are represented by a car accident lawyer, but if warranted, your car accident lawyer will defend you in court and fight for your right to fair compensation.

Does a thorough investigation of the case

A car accident lawyer will not only thoroughly examine the information collected and review the evidence but will go beyond that and consult with police experts and investigators if considered necessary. They will also recreate the scene of the accident if necessary to clear up any doubts.

Determines the full extent of your damages

At the time of the accident or when you make your claim, it is likely that you will not take into account every detail and every expense that may be generated as a result of the accident. Your car accident lawyer will make sure to include every present damage and future damage that may arise from the accident. They will also help you obtain compensation if your injuries prevent you from working or limit your source of income. They will also take into account the emotional damage that the accident may cause you.

Contact Medical Professionals

Your lawyer can put you in touch with the best medical specialists to get the best treatment options and an accurate medical evaluation.

How do I find a suitable lawyer for my case?

If you result injured in a traffic accident, it is best to hire a specialist. A good car accident lawyer can help you get fair compensation for your injuries. Insurance companies will try to disqualify and lessen your damages so as not to give you the compensation you deserve. That is why a good lawyer is essential. If you have already decided to hire one, here are some tips to follow in hiring a lawyer that fits your case and your needs.

What should I look for in a car accident lawyer?

The main things you should consider when hiring a traffic accident lawyer are the following:

  • Experience. Look for a lawyer who has enough experience and has worked with cases similar to yours.
  • Focus. It is important to have a lawyer who will devote the necessary attention to your case and who will not handle many cases at the same time that may steal attention from yours. You need a lawyer you can count on.
  • Reputation. A lawyer's reputation can tell you the odds of ending up with a successful case. Always look for a lawyer you can trust.

What should I ask when meeting with a car accident lawyer?

The first thing you should do when meeting with a car accident lawyer is to make sure you have all the necessary information pertaining to the accident. Details about injuries, costs, vehicle damage, medical expenses, and any other information you consider relevant.

Once you have met with your lawyer, these are some of the things you can ask:

  • How much experience do they have?
  • How long have they been taking car accident cases?
  • How will they handle your case?
  • Can you contact them with any questions or concerns?
  • How much involvement should you have in the case?
  • How will they keep you informed about the status of your case?
  • How will payment be handled?
  • Will they provide you with a detailed report of fees and all expenses?

 

How do I choose the right car accident lawyer for me?

After meeting with the lawyer and asking all of the above questions, you will have a better idea of what to expect and how your case will be handled. Here are some additional things to consider when choosing your lawyer:

  • Make sure you are comfortable with the lawyer.
  • It is important that you feel confident in your lawyer and that you feel you can communicate with them and get all your concerns and questions answered.
  • Make sure your lawyer explains things in terms you can understand.
  • Make sure your lawyer clearly explains how their fees will be handled before you hire them.
  • Look for an experienced lawyer who will give you peace of mind and make you feel in good hands.

What are the fees for car accident lawyers?

Before hiring a car accident lawyer, it is important that you understand how the fees work. It is difficult to determine the amount of work your case will require, so it is difficult to estimate the exact fee. You can work with an initial estimate but the final fee may vary depending on many factors.

Many lawyers work on a "no win-no pay" basis. This means that they will take your case and not charge you a fee if you lose. If you win, the lawyer will take a percentage of your injury award. This percentage is between 33% and 40% of your winnings, depending on what you agreed to when you hired the lawyer.

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