No one plans to get into a car accident. However, there is an average of 6 million car accidents in the United States every year. It’s a daunting number. Car accidents are terrifying. There is no light way to put it. All car accidents can result in serious injuries, including when your car is totaled or only has a small dent.
It happens so suddenly. Some people are unsure of how to proceed after a car accident. Talking to the police for their report or getting the other person’s car insurance is overwhelming enough. When should you involve an attorney?
All of these are valid concerns. We hope you never get in a car accident, but it’s vital to be prepared just in case. Events after a car accident can be chaotic if you don’t know what to do. So, it’s best to know what to do and when to involve your attorney so you can get back to your everyday life.
What to do immediately after a car accident
Immediately after a car accident, you’ll want to:
- Call the authorities so you can get a police report.
- Take pictures and video of the other person’s license plate, the damage to all vehicles involved in the crash, the scene of the crash, and injuries, such as lacerations, bruises, etc.
- Get insurance information for the at-fault driver.
- Take note of any eyewitnesses. Get their names and numbers. Ask the eyewitnesses to write out a statement of what they observed, as memories can fade over time.
- Seek medical attention if needed.
Seeking medical attention after a car accident is one of the most important things that you need to do. Whether you feel fine or a little dizzy after an accident, you need to schedule a doctor’s appointment. Some injuries aren’t prominent until hours after the accident.
Adrenaline runs high after an accident and can mask pain. However, when you go home, you may start to feel significantly worse. If you’re experiencing headaches or any body aches, you should seek medical attention. If passengers were in the car with you, you need to make sure they do the same.
Injuries need to be treated as quickly as possible to minimize long-term problems.
When does your case warrant an attorney?
Often people wonder when to involve an attorney after their car accident. There are many factors in a car accident that could necessitate the need to speak with an attorney.
You should get in touch with an attorney if:
An accident caused a serious injury, and you had to visit the doctor
The auto insurance for the at-fault driver should pay for or reimburse you for any medical bills you incurred because of the crash. However, that process takes time, and the at-fault auto insurance will often argue that your medical bills were unnecessary or excessive and refuse to pay. When you call an attorney, they can communicate with the insurance company on your behalf to protect your financial well-being so that your medical bills are paid.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know when insurance companies are ripping you off. Your attorney will understand the specifics of insurance companies and know how to communicate with them. Not only will your attorney speak to the insurance company for you, but this will also alleviate some stress. After a car accident that wasn’t your fault, the last thing you want to do is talk to insurance companies and pay medical bills.
You believe you were in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence
If you were in a car accident due to someone else’s actions, you should immediately get in touch with an attorney. If the accident was not your fault, you should not have to pay damages or hospital bills. Instead, you can get all of those covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
A police report puts you at fault
Sometimes, police reports are wrong. Police officers are human, so mistakes can happen from time to time. Conflicting narratives or lack of obvious evidence make it difficult for them to write an accurate report.
It’s difficult to contest a police report, but it is possible. If you have more evidence that supports your case, you should get in contact with the officer who wrote the report and present your evidence. If they do not answer, you should contact their sergeant officer. However, going back and forth with inconsistent communication can be frustrating – especially if the car accident was not your fault.
It’s a lot of work to get someone to consider changing the police report. However, you don’t have to do this alone. When you consult with an attorney, your attorney will contact the officer on your behalf and handle the communication.
The accident involved a fatality
If you’ve lost a loved one due to a tragic car accident, you should speak with an attorney to fight for justice. Losing someone in an untimely manner can be emotionally and financially devastating. When you take action, you’re not only holding the responsible driver accountable, but you’re also helping families who might experience the same tragedy.
There are several other scenarios where you should reach out to an attorney, but these are the most common. Not all car accidents will need legal representation. However, if you are unsure if your case is qualified as a personal injury case, you should consult with an attorney for a case review.
When You Should Call Your Attorney
If you think your situation qualifies as a personal injury case, you should call an attorney as soon as possible.
Compile all of the evidence that you’ve acquired. This should include pictures and videos of damages from the car accident, eyewitness information, license plates, traffic patterns, and intersections. All of this evidence will help your attorney build your case.
Which state you live in will determine the amount of time you have to file for a personal injury. This is called the statute of limitations. Oklahoma’s statute of limitations gives you up to two years from the day of the accident or injury to file for a personal injury case.
That may sound like you have plenty of time, but the sooner you do it, the sooner your lawyer can build your case for your trial. Also, the events will be clearer in your mind if you act immediately after the incident.
The Benefits of an Attorney
Handling your case on your own is daunting. Not only have you suffered a traumatic and stressful incident, but on top of that, you have to file a lot of paperwork, spend hours on the phone talking to insurance companies, and translate all of your compiled evidence into a compelling argument. If you were the victim of someone’s reckless or negligent driving, it seems unfair that all of this work falls directly on you.
Luckily, with Maples, Nix, & Diesselhorst, you don’t have to go through this alone. Our seasoned attorneys have the knowledge and resources to know what it takes to win a personal injury case.
When you partner with an attorney, it is their responsibility to talk to insurance companies, file paperwork, and build your case. Your only concern should be recovery.
Maples, Nix, & Diesselhorst Can Help
When you partner with Maples, Nix, & Diesselhorst, you become a part of our family; family fights alongside one another.
We hope you never need us, but if you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury, call (405) 478-3737 for a free consultation. We stand with you.