1Ask a Car Accident Lawyer: 6 Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Do Directly After the Accident?
The first thing you should do after your accident is to stay calm. Once you’ve calmed yourself down, you can call the police. You should also check for injuries and dial 911 if anyone involved has been injured. Once you’ve done this, get the contact information of the other parties who’ve been in the accident with you. It’s also a good idea to get contact information from any witnesses, too.
Now you can help your case by gathering some evidence. Take pictures of the damage, of injuries, and the overall scene. Write down exactly what happened in your phone’s notes app, as you’ll want to remember as much about this incident as possible later on. And, most importantly, don’t admit to being at fault. Your lawyer needs to conduct an investigation to determine who’s really at fault here, so never take the blame after the accident.
Do Personal Injury Claims Require a Court Appearance?
If you’ve been injured in the accident, then you have the right to file a personal injury claim if the other driver was at fault and your bills are over $2,000. You can resolve this outside of court most of the time. This will be settled through your insurance company via an intricate and detailed negotiation. There are 30,000 to 40,000 car crashes per year, so insurance companies and lawyers are used to dealing with these claims as efficiently as possible.
However, insurers don’t want to hand out money left, right, and center, so they’ll often try to settle your claim quickly and cheaply. If your insurer refuses to offer compensation for the full value of what you deserve, then your Kansas City car accident lawyer will litigate this in court.
What Do I Need When I’m Filing a Claim?
You need as much evidence as possible when you’re filing a personal injury claim. You need the contact information of the other driver and witnesses, an in-depth explanation of how this incident occurred, and photographs of the scene after the accident. Your local law enforcement and lawyer will also provide evidence in support of your claim.
Should I Go to the Emergency Room Even if I Feel Fine After the Accident?
You should always visit the ER after an accident. You could have some internal injuries, or you may have whiplash, which isn’t always obvious at first. Plus, if you do have injuries, then you need to get them checked out and treated within a reasonable time frame. If you wait too long for treatment, then you might forfeit your right to compensation for your medical costs.
It would also be a good idea to have a session or two with a therapist or someone else in the mental health field. You might feel mentally sound at first, but individuals who’ve been in a motor accident are at an increased risk of PTSD. Emotional damage is a very real thing, and if you require extensive treatment for PTSD, then you may be entitled to compensation if the bills are in excess of $2,000.
Does the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Need My Medical Records?
You’re under no obligation to release your medical records to the other driver’s insurance company. It may even have a negative impact on your claim. The other driver’s insurer may attempt to claim your injuries aren’t as serious as they appear on paper. They can also argue that any injuries or symptoms you’re experiencing are related to a pre-existing condition or previous injury in your records.
What If I’m Partially To Blame for the Accident?
It can be hard to say who’s to blame before conducting a thorough investigation into an accident. There are often a variety of factors that come into play. If this investigation discovers the fault is partially yours, then you can still receive compensation in many cases, though, so talk to your lawyer about your specific situation.
Many questions arise after a car accident, and your lawyer will happily answer all of them for you. Any question you could ask very likely has a simple answer that will put your mind at ease. Trust your lawyer, as it’s their job to handle all of these intricate things that could come up after your accident. They’ll ensure you have a favorable outcome.