If You Have an Accident Where Someone Suffers an Injury, What Should You Do?

Serious car accidents can occur anywhere in Alberta where motor vehicles are present. This includes downtown or residential streets, as well as busy roadways/highways such as the Whitemud Drive or the Anthony Henday/Highway 216. Even in seemingly minor car accidents, motor vehicle drivers and their passengers can still suffer serious injuries that require hospitalization, and other treatment, leading to missed work and other inconveniences and suffering.

If your accident directly resulted from another driver’s error or negligence, you might be eligible to recover monetary compensation and damages by filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

In addition to obtaining the other driver’s contact and insurance information, speaking with a police officer, and seeking prompt medical treatment following your car accident, you should promptly speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer. Our legal team can meet with you to discuss your potential car accident claim and can file the claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf.

When you let us handle your car accident case, we will be your advocates every step of the way and will do everything possible to get you the compensation you need and deserve. Let us assist you with each step of the legal process today.

Types of Car Accidents in Which You Might Suffer Injuries

Drivers and passengers can fall victim to many different types of car accidents in which they suffer injuries due to another driver’s negligence. These accidents can occur just about anywhere, on roads, and in parking lots and parking garages located throughout the area. Some of the most common types of car accidents include rear-end impacts, sideswipe collisions, T-bone accidents, and head-on accidents:

Rear-end accidents

In a rear-end car accident, the front of a motor vehicle hits the back of a vehicle in front of it. Many times, these accidents happen when the rear driver is not paying attention to the road. The force of a rear-end impact might cause the driver and passengers in the front vehicle to suffer a severe neck or back whiplash injury due to the abrupt movement.

Sideswipe collisions

Sideswipe collisions happen when the sides of two vehicles collide with one another, usually on a busy highway or roadway with several travel lanes. In a sideswipe accident, the force of the impact might cause one vehicle to veer into another travel lane or off the road and onto the shoulder.

As a result of the impact, the driver or passenger’s body might move around and about the interior of their vehicle, resulting in numerous injuries.

T-bone accidents

A T-bone traffic accident happens when a vehicle’s front collides with the side of a vehicle traveling in a different direction—and usually on an adjacent roadway. These accidents frequently happen at traffic intersections where a negligent driver fails to yield the right-of-way by running a red traffic light or stop sign.

The force of a T-bone accident may cause the vehicle on the receiving end to overturn or spin around, causing the vehicle occupants to sustain serious injuries.

Head-on collisions

A head-on collision happens when the fronts of two vehicles collide with one another, often on a dual roadway that has one travel lane in each direction. The at-fault driver might be distracted, fatigued, looking down/away or under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision.

As a result, they may inadvertently cross the center dividing line or median strip, colliding with a vehicle that is moving in the opposite direction. Head-on motor vehicle collisions have the highest potential for fatalities, especially when the vehicles are moving at high rates of speed.

Potential Injuries in Car Accidents

Victims of car crashes in Alberta can suffer serious injuries that impact them for many years to come. The injuries that accident victims suffer in a collision depend on how their bodies move in the vehicle, as well as whether their bodies strike the headrest, door frame, window, or steering wheel.

The force of the impact may also have a significant effect on the injuries that an accident victim will typically suffer. Generally speaking, the more forceful a traffic accident, the more serious the injuries that the accident victim suffers.

Common injuries that car accident victims sustain include:

  • Traumatic head and brain injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries 
  • Broken bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Even death in the worst accidents

After sustaining one or more of these injuries in a collision, the accident victim must seek prompt medical care and treatment so that they can recover from their injuries to the greatest extent possible. In addition to seeking prompt medical treatment, there are other steps that accident victims should take as soon as possible after their collision.

Steps You Should Always Take Right after a Car Accident

If you have suffered injuries in a car accident, there are certain steps you should take immediately.

First of all, if necessary, call 9-1-1 and summon a police officer and emergency medical personnel to the collision scene. While you are at the scene, and if you are able, you should exchange insurance and contact information with all of the other involved drivers. Finally, speak with any eyewitnesses to the collision and take pictures of the accident scene—including your injuries and any property damage to your vehicle.

Generally speaking, when insurance companies have good property damage photos in their possession that show significant damage, they are more likely to offer more money to settle your case.

Most importantly, you should seek follow-up medical care and treatment at a local hospital’s emergency room or urgent care center. The medical provider who is on duty there should assess your condition and take imaging studies, including MRIs, CAT scans, and X-rays, to determine your condition. Depending upon the severity of your injuries, the provider can render emergency medical treatment, such as immediate surgery, or refer you to a medical specialist. For example, you might need to follow up with your primary care doctor or with an orthopedic doctor.

Follow through with this recommended course of medical treatment. Otherwise, the insurance company might later assume your injuries were not all that severe, so you do not deserve all the compensation you requested. Therefore, you should continue treating at a medical facility until the provider formally discharges you on paper. In addition, you should refrain from large gaps in your medical treatment and must treat your accident-related injuries as continuously as possible.

You should always seek prompt medical treatment following a car crash—even if you are not certain as to the severity of your injuries. This is because untreated personal injuries can become much more severe the longer they go on untreated.

The right car accident lawyer can handle all of the legal aspects of your case while you focus all of your attention on getting better and making a complete recovery if possible. If you have permanent injuries, you can focus on adapting your life to your new circumstances while we seek compensation for your pain, suffering, and disabilities.

One of the most critical steps that a car accident lawyer can take on your behalf following an accident is to file a claim—usually with the at-fault driver’s motor vehicle insurance company. The claims-filing process begins when the accident victim’s lawyer submits a demand package to the adjuster who is handling the case.

A settlement demand package, along with a formal settlement demand letter, will typically include copies of the accident victim’s lost wage documents, victim impact statement, photographs of injuries, photographs of property damage, eyewitness statements, and investigative reports—including a copy of the police report if the responding officer prepared one. Once the accident victim’s lawyer submits all of this information to the insurance company, the adjuster will review it, and they may make an offer to resolve the case by settlement.

Initial settlement offers from insurance companies are usually not very good. Therefore, the accident victim’s lawyer will need to negotiate with the insurance company adjuster several times before reaching a favourable settlement offer. The accident victim has the ultimate authority when accepting or rejecting a pending settlement offer. The knowledgeable car accident lawyers can help you decide whether you should accept a particular settlement offer or litigate the case in the court system.

Litigation begins when your lawyer files a lawsuit against the at-fault party in court or the at- fault files a court action. However, the case can still settle at some point along the way. If the case does not resolve through settlement, the parties may agree to take the case to a trial and let the judge decide all of the disputed issues in the case. Alternatively, they can consider mediation or binding arbitration as a means for resolving the accident claim.

What Potential Damages Can I Recover in My Car Accident Case?

The goal of a car accident claim or lawsuit is to get full and fair monetary compensation for all of your injuries. The damages that an accident victim can recover as part of a car accident claim will depend on the severity of the injuries, including whether or not the injuries are permanent. The accident victim must ordinarily reach maximum medical improvement to declare an injury permanent.

In addition, a healthcare provider must usually state that they do not expect the accident victim’s condition to improve to a reasonable degree of medical probability.

Another factor that will impact a damage award or settlement offer in a car accident claim includes whether the victim can return to work or not and how their injuries will affect their future.

In addition to pursuing related out-of-pocket costs and lost wages, victims of car accidents can pursue non-economic damages. These damages compensate accident victims for their pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, loss of the ability to use a body part, permanent disability, shame, humiliation, inconvenience, and loss of spousal support or consortium.

If you suffered injuries in a car collision, a skilled car accident lawyer will work to get you all of the compensation you deserve for your injuries. They can negotiate on your behalf—and if necessary, file a lawsuit in the court system and resolve your case at trial or an alternative dispute resolution proceeding. Your legal team can explore all of your legal options in the personal injury case and help you decide on the best course of action that will maximize your potential damages.

Michael Hoosein
Car Accident Lawyer, Michael Hoosein

One of the most important steps you can take following a car crash is to speak with a skilled and experienced car accident lawyer and injury lawyer who can represent you during your case. Your lawyers can file a claim—and, if necessary, a lawsuit—for you following your car accident. When you let your car accident lawyer handle every aspect of your case, they will aggressively advocate for you at every stage and tirelessly work to pursue the compensation you need for your injuries.

Find a legal team just as skilled at the settlement negotiations as it is in court. Therefore, no matter where your case is pending, your legal team will zealously safeguard your rights and aggressively advocate for your legal interests at all times. Contact a car accident lawyer to help you fight to recover fully.

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