Unfortunately, most of us will be involved in an auto accident at some point in our lives. It is estimated that automobiles accidents kill approximately 1.2 million people worldwide each year, and the number of people injured is forty times this number. An automobile accident can occur if your car hits a vehicle, person, animal, or stationary object. It can also occur if another car hits you or your car.
If you have been involved in a car accident you are not alone. If you have suffered injuries because of the negligence of another person you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Compensation could include payment for medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. It may also include punitive damages if it is proven an individual acted with wanton reckless behavior and you suffered a personal injury as a result (such as Drunk Driving).
Auto Accidents and Wrongful Death
Car accidents can also cause a Wrongful Death to occur. Automobile accidents are the number one leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of six and twenty-seven. If someone in your family has died as a result of someone else's negligence in a car accident, you may be able to receive compensation for their death.
Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have suffered injury or a loved one has died and you would like to discuss your personal injury claim with a personal injury attorney, you can fill out the free evaluation form and a personal injury attorney familiar with auto accidents will contact you to discuss your personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Steps after a Car Accident
Do not leave the scene of an accident.The most important first step of any accident where injury or severe property damage has occurred is not leaving the scene of the accident. This is against the law and could result in further criminal charges of "hit and run" being filed against you.
Make sure injured individuals are safe and seek medical attention.Call 911 and provide all the information about the injured individual's personal information and medical condition. Do not attempt to move an injured person.
Gather information from all the drivers involved in the collision.Information gathered should include insurance information, driver's license number, license plate number, a copy of the police report, name of officer responding to the call and incident report number, all witness statements and names, addresses, telephone numbers. Include a picture of the damage to the automobile, description of the accident and pictures of the scene of the accident.
Do not make a statement to anyone except the police.Do not talk to other people at the scene and do not admit guilt.
Seek Medical AttentionIt is important to seek medical attention even if you do not feel ill. Sometimes injuries will not be clear until after the accident. It is important in some states to receive medical attention and document injuries to receive certain insurance benefits. All medical treatment should be tracked and documented.
Contact Insurance CompanyAll information regarding the accident and information in the police report should be reported to your insurance company. Do not mislead or lie to your insurance company.
Do not discuss the car accident with another insurance company.Only discuss your car accident with your insurance company, the police or your attorney.
Who is at Fault?
Car accidents are caused by a variety of factors. Some accidents result from negligence, reckless behavior, or from a defective product. Negligence can take many forms from running a red light, speeding, inattention, cell phone use, or unlawful lane changes. Reckless behavior can include drunk driving or being under the influence of any illegal substance. Product liability may be the results of a defective product on your car (i.e. a tire) or a defective product on another vehicle (ex. tire blowout).
If an individual specifically did not follow a motor vehicle statute and your injury resulted, it may be easy to determine who is liable for your injuries. Other times multiple infractions, including your own actions, may have contributed to the automobile accident and fault will be more difficult to determine. If a defective product contributed to your accident the manufacturer or seller may be held liable for your personal injuries.
To determine liability it is important to contact a personal injury attorney who is familiar with the laws of your state. Certain states will have no-fault laws which will require each individual's insurance policy to pay for their injuries up to a set amount regardless of who caused the accident. The compensation can include medical costs and lost income. The set amount may be based on injury or on monetary thresholds or both.
Other states will require the at-fault driver's insurance to cover the financial losses. The compensation amount may be adjusted if your actions contributed to the accident. If the at-fault driver does not have adequate personal liability insurance, in some state you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages for your injuries or property damage.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
A personal injury attorney is an expert at personal injury law. They have worked on many personal injury cases and have developed the expertise to understand the amount of compensation you will need to cover certain injuries. Certain injuries could have long term financial costs that may be difficult for you to calculate. It is important to contact a personal injury attorney prior to accepting any settlement offers from the insurance company. If you injuries were caused because of a defective product you may be entitled to compensation from the company who manufactured that product.
The personal injury attorney is a great resource to help gather accident reports, medical insurance information, and provide expert testimony if it is needed. The insurance company will have a group of investigators and adjusters who work for them to minimize your insurance payout.
A personal injury attorney can work for you to make sure your settlement will include all the monetary and non-monetary compensation you need to cover all of your losses.
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