What to Do After a Car Accident Injury—Six Steps
Finding Help After a Car Accident Injury
Getting hurt in a car crash can be devastating. Car accident victims often sustain severe and debilitating injuries that require multiple surgeries, lengthy hospital stays, and months of follow-up visits to the doctor’s office. Moreover, traffic accident injuries often mean that the victim cannot return to work and thus cannot earn a living. When another party is to blame for the collision, the victim deserves to seek compensation for her injuries.
In order to set up the best possible car accident claim, what steps should an accident victim take? We have some tips for you below.
1. Document the Scene of the Crash
If you are able to do so, it is extremely important to document the scene of the crash. This may be difficult for injured car accident victims. If you can move around the accident area, it can be extremely helpful to have photographs of the scene. When you take pictures with your smartphone, capture the scene of the collision from multiple angles and distances. For instance, take close-up photographs of damage to vehicles. Remember to capture signs of injury, but also get images that give a sense of the larger scene. This documentation can help your New Jersey car accident lawyer to build a strong case and to enable an accident reconstruction expert help to prove the other driver’s fault.
2. Gather Contact Information from Other Parties and Witnesses
Exchanging contact information with anyone else involved in the crash, as well as obtaining contact information for witnesses, can help your lawyer in building a strong claim. It can be difficult to track down witnesses at a later date, and witness information can be essential to winning a car accident claim.
3. Seek Medical Attention As Soon As You Can
There are many injuries in auto accidents that require medical attention but do not immediately produce signs and symptoms. For instance, WebMD reports that symptoms of whiplash can show up long after a crash. If you wait to seek medical attention, the defendant can try to argue that you are partially responsible for the severity of your injuries. As such, seek medical attention as soon as you are able to do so.
4. Obtain a Police Report
The police report can provide essential information about the crash, and it may provide evidence of the defendant’s fault.
5. Provide Only the Facts to Your Auto Insurance Company
Your auto insurer is not on your side. While it is important to follow the rules for reporting the accident to your insurance company, you should stick strictly to the facts. Do not offer up any information about your opinion concerning the crash, and certainly do not admit fault to the insurer. Once you take all of the initial required steps with the insurance company, your lawyer can handle the insurer moving forward.
6. File Your Claim in a Timely Manner with the Help of a Lawyer
To be eligible for compensation, you need to ensure that you file your claim on time. The New Jersey statute of limitations for car accident cases is two years. In most cases, you must file a lawsuit within two years from the date you sustained your injuries. Failing to file a claim within this time frame means that you will be prohibited from filing a lawsuit in order to obtain compensation. Although you might think two years is a long time, you should begin working with a lawyer as soon as possible. You may be able to obtain a favorable settlement from the insurance company, but if the insurance company will not offer a reasonable settlement, you may need to file a lawsuit.