No one expects to be in a car accident, but it can happen to anyone on any day at any time.
An average of 5.6 million car accidents occur every year in the U.S., an average of 15,342 accidents per day. Out of those 5.6 million accidents, an average of 2.3 million people are injured as a result of careless drivers. These people suffer from injuries that cost them thousands of dollars in medical bills. They are often left unable to work or live their lives the way they did before the wreck.
A car accident is never just an "accident." Accident implies that no one did anything wrong. Car crashes are almost always caused by the careless choices made by one of the drivers involved in the wreck.
People are often lost and confused after they’ve been hurt in a crash. They don’t know what to do. While it is my hope that you are never in an accident, I can’t prevent it from happening. What I can do is help you with what to do after.
There are three important steps you can take to increase your chances of settling your case without having to go to court if the need arises.
1. Seek medical attention.
Seeking medical attention is the first and most important thing you should do if you’ve been in a crash. Go to the emergency room or see your doctor right away if you’ve been injured or believe you may be injured.
Receiving medical attention can help treat and diagnose your injuries as well as document any injuries caused by the crash. This report can be helpful in proving your case if the wreck was caused by another driver.
Sometimes people are injured and think they can take care of the problem on their own and that it will go away. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it doesn’t. I have had a number of cases in which the insurance company will minimize a person’s injury because they didn’t go to the hospital the very same day of the wreck.
Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you may have an injury. The sooner it’s documented, the sooner you can get the care that you need and further ease the progress of your case.
2. Contact an attorney.
After you’ve received medical attention, contact an attorney to explain the situation.
A good attorney will do everything in their power to investigate your accident, advise you on whether you have a case, and compile evidence if need be. He or she will provide you with insight on how to deal with an insurance company. They will inquire about photographs of any damage caused by the car wreck, and if photographs haven’t been taken they will have photographs taken of the injuries, vehicles, and scene of the accident.
Most car accident lawyers offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they will only be paid for their services if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds.
3. Take your vehicle to a body repair shop.
Lastly, make sure you get an appointment with a reputable body repair shop so that your vehicle can be fixed.
A lot of people have the misconception that they have to wait for the insurance company to make this decision. Some believe they don’t have a decision to take it to whomever they want to. That is incorrect; it’s your car. You’re the one who’s been damaged. You’re the one that has to have your car restored to your liking.
You’ll also want to have an estimate done within a few days of the accident. A report from the shop is proof of the damage caused by the other driver and can be used in settling your case.
On a closing note, let reasonableness be your guide. Don’t push yourself if you’re not well enough to leave your home. Get the care that you need first, and then call an attorney as soon as you are well enough.
Don't wait to get help if you or someone you know have been injured in a crash caused by a reckless driver. Our Morgantown injury attorneys can evaluate your case and advise you of your legal options. Click the button to schedule your free consultation:
What should you do after a car crash?
We've highlighted three post-crash action tips, but there's more you can do.
Whether you've recently been injured in a car wreck or would like to be prepared in the event of one, these 10 helpful tips will guide you through the post-crash process at whatever stage you're in.
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