Over 6 million car accidents are reported to the police in the U.S. every year. Over 2 million people a year are injured.
And, with more and more cars on the road, it’s increasingly possible that you or a loved one could be involved in an accident.
The population in the Tampa Bay area is growing by leaps and bounds; and there is more traffic with a greater amount of frustrated drivers on the road. As if that’s not bad enough, the increase in popularity of mobile apps means that crowded roads full of frustrated drivers are also full of distracted drivers.
Automobile accidents happen frequently, and unfortunately, so are the associated injuries.
If you happen to be one of the unfortunate drivers to be involved in a car accident, you may find yourself confused and stressed about what to do next. Learning the proper way to react immediately following an accident that caused injuries can save your life, but it also can help you be prepared in a situation where there is legal recourse.
Read on for an overview of important steps to take if you or someone you know becomes injured in a car accident.
Seek Medical Help
We can’t emphasize this step enough.
After an accident, your body will be full of adrenaline. It can make you dazed and unable to focus. Your judgment about the severity of your injuries can be impaired; this is especially true if you’re in shock.
Even if you feel completely fine, soft tissue or spinal injuries could arise later. Soft tissue injuries are common in car accidents and they typically get worse over time. This is why it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional immediately following a major car collision.
A medical exam will not only protect your health. It could also strengthen your personal injury claim. Insurance companies and opposing legal counsel could argue that you were not injured in the accident if you do not seek medical care immediately.
Do Not Admit Fault
Even if you think you might be at fault for the accident, it is not time to discuss such things immediately following the accident, especially if you are injured.
If law enforcement asks you for details about what occurred then it is fine to discuss what you recall with the officer, but depending on the severity of your injuries it might not be a good time to try to recall specifics.
Your health and well being are more important than trying to recreate the details of what happened so, if you feel extremely shaken up or confused then state that and get medical attention prior to going over the ply by play of the accident.
(Wondering what to do if the other driver lies to law enforcement about what happened? Read this blog post to learn what we suggest!)
Keep Detailed Notes and Photos About the Car Accident
To strengthen your position in any possible future personal injury claim, proper documentation is a must.
If you are able to make notes or take videos and photos then do so. Keep all of your notes, photos of the accident and any injuries, as well as all medical records in a safe and secure location. Make copies and store them electronically.
However, as mentioned previously, your health is far more important than trying to document the details of your accident. If you need medical attention then that is your first priority.
Recording this evidence will be essential for you to receive reimbursement from your insurance or take the other driver to court.
File a Claim and Hire an Expert
There are different claims you can file with your insurance company:
- Not-at Fault Claims: You are reimbursed for repairs.
- At-Fault Claims: If you are at-fault, you will not be reimbursed for your repair deductible and your premiums could increase.
- Total Loss Claims: If your car is not able to be repaired, your insurance company will verify the irreparable damage and pay you for the current value of your vehicle based on make, model, year, and condition of the car.
The claims process can go on for months. And if the driver fights being at-fault, you may even have to take them to court. These dealings can cause quite the headache and financial strain, especially if you need a car repaired now and not months from now.
It can’t hurt to get a second opinion on your case, whether seeking professional help or asking online. Lawyers now specialize in car accident claims and court proceedings, so you can be sure you’re in the right hands.
Many of them do not even charge unless they win your case!
Remember, if you’re injured in a car accident, seek medical help immediately and begin the claims process. Should you find yourself needing legal help, be sure to contact an accident attorney.
For a reputable and caring accident attorney in Tampa Bay, contact us today.