Every year, thousands of motorists suffer serious injuries in preventable car accidents. In addition to high medical bills, they often face time away from work, months of pain and suffering, and diminished quality of life.
It’s a distressing situation that can be made worse when you weren’t at fault for the accident. Fortunately, the law allows you to file a claim and seek compensation from the driver who caused your injuries. Here’s how.
Seek Medical Attention If Needed
If you were injured, seek medical attention right away. Call 911 and request that they send the police and an ambulance. At the hospital, your medical care team will assess and document your injuries, allowing you to prove that any subsequent medical bills were a direct result of the accident.
It’s a good idea to get a thorough medical evaluation even if you don’t think you were hurt. Some injuries, like concussions, soft tissue injuries, and back injuries don’t always show symptoms right away. See your doctor as soon as possible to make sure. If they find anything, they will create the medical report you need to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver.
Get the Driver’s Information
If the other driver stopped, exchange contact and insurance information with them. Keep your tone civil and don’t admit or deny fault. Comments like “I’m so sorry- the kids were yelling in the back, and I didn’t see you” can be used to fight your compensation claim. Limit your conversation to the information exchange.
You’ll need evidence that the accident occurred, and that you suffered damages as a result. If you can, take pictures and videos of the accident scene. This includes:
- The damaged vehicles
- Skid marks on the pavement, road debris, and other evidence of the crash
- The license plate of the at-fault driver
Other evidence you will need to collect include:
- Witness Information: Get the name, address, and phone number of anyone who witnessed the accident.
- Police Report: A police report will provide an official record of the collision, which will further support your claim.
- Documentation: In addition to your medical bills, you’ll want to document the loss of income and out-of-pocket expenses like housekeeping and childcare support.
File With Insurance
You will need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to start the process. Each state has its own rules indicating how much time you must notify the insurer of the accident, so make sure you follow your state’s guidelines.
Speak with an Auto Accident Lawyer
Fighting for compensation after a car accident can be exhausting, especially when you’re trying to recover from severe injuries. An auto accident lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need, file your claim, and negotiate for the compensation you need. Most of them work on contingency, meaning that they only get paid if your claim succeeds. To get the process started, fill out the free case evaluation form.