You are lucky to be alive. In the United States, nearly 40,000 people a year die in car accidents. Even more egregiously, most of these accidents were preventable had vehicle operators only paid attention to how tired they were, the rules of the road, pedestrians or cyclists, etc. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, here are some of the steps you need to take:
1. Get stabilized. Now this one may seem silly. After all, that’s what the ambulance was for. But we’re talking more about mentally. Make sure they don’t have you on too many pain killers, for instance. Take a few days and process your traumatic experience. You’re going to need to be in your right mind for the ordeal ahead.
2. Gather evidence and data. Review the statement you gave police. See if there were any pictures taken of the accident scene. If you have not yet taken pictures of the injuries you suffered, do so now. Create a timeline in your head of what happened and the aftermath of your accident. All of this information might be important if you end up filing a disability claim or a personal injury claim against the person responsible for the accident.
3. Contact a legal representative. This legal representative can take many forms. For example, if you got mowed down by a semi truck, then a semi truck accident lawyer is probably your best bet. Or, if you got hurt working the rig at work, then your legal representative should probably be a workers compensation attorney. The most important thing about this legal agent is that they have experience working your specific kind of case and that they’re in your budget. One good way to weed out lawyers based on these factors is to only call the ones that offer free legal consultations. Then, during the consultation, ask them about cases they have won and what their caseload is like. You might also want to check them out on consumer review websites like Avvo.
4. File any insurance claims. Many auto insurance claims are time sensitive. If you’re not sure about the terms of your own insurance, this would be a great thing to ask your lawyer. They may even be able to help you negotiate for better rates or more return money based on the circumstances of your accident. At the very least, they will be able to explain your insurance situation to you clearly.
If you feel we’ve missed any important post-accident steps, please comment below. Also, I’m sure people are dying for legal representative recommendations that are both effective and affordable.