​What to Do After a Car Accident Injury

After Car Accident Injury

Victims of car accidents often find themselves seriously injured, needing medical treatment, and unable to work. If you suffered injuries in a recent car crash that resulted from another person’s negligence, you should take action as soon as possible.

First, you should seek emergency medical treatment with a qualified healthcare provider. Usually, the quickest way to pursue this treatment is to follow up at a local urgent care center or hospital emergency room. Alternatively, you can pursue treatment with a family doctor or primary care provider.

After seeking initial, same-day medical treatment, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer. Your lawyer can answer all of your questions and start working on your case—even while you complete your medical treatment.

If necessary, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in the court system to protect the statute of limitations from passing. Once you complete your medical treatment, your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf in pursuit of a fair settlement offer. If the insurance company refuses to settle favorably, your lawyer can litigate your case in court.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

What to Do After Car Accident Injury

Car accidents happen in several ways, but they typically result from driver negligence. Negligent driving means operating a vehicle carelessly under the circumstances.

Some common examples of driver negligence that lead to traffic accidents include:

  • Tailgating – Many drivers are in a hurry to get to their final destination. Consequently, they follow other vehicles too closely. When drivers tailgate, they might strike the car in front of them, especially if traffic slows down quickly. Victims of tailgate accidents can suffer severe neck and back injuries, including whiplash.
  • Speeding – When drivers violate posted speed limits, they increase their chances of causing an accident. This is true not only on highways but also on lesser-traveled country roads and around sharp turns. When a driver speeds, they can strike another vehicle or pedestrian—or swerve off the road—resulting in an accident that causes serious injuries.
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way – Drivers who fail to the right-of-way to other vehicles at the appropriate times, such as at red traffic lights, yield signs, or stop signs, can cause a severe collision. Drivers may also fail to yield the right-of-way when merging onto a highway or when switching travel lanes on a highway, resulting in an impact.
  • Aggressive driving and road rageRoad rage occurs when a driver responds aggressively to an actual or perceived circumstance that arises on the road. For example, a driver might become upset when another driver is not driving fast enough for their liking. Aggressive drivers often exhibit risky driving maneuvers, including tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and speeding, all of which can result in a severe accident.
  • Distracted driving – Distracted driving occurs when someone fails to pay sufficient time and attention to the road. Drivers often become distracted when they listen to loud music in their car or roughhouse with other individuals in the vehicle. Electronic devices like GPS systems, cellular phones, and tablets can also cause distractions. When drivers look away from the road, even for a second, they might miss an approaching vehicle or pedestrian, causing a severe collision.
  • Drunk driving – A driver under the influence of alcohol or some other drug cannot operate their vehicle safely. Alcohol and other drugs can delay a driver’s reaction time and cause them to experience physical symptoms, such as blurred vision, which prevent them from driving safely. A driver with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 percent can receive criminal penalties if they ultimately sustain a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI). Commercial drivers, including big rig and tractor-trailer operators, must meet a stricter standard. The same is true of minors who are under 21 years of age. Even a driver with a lower BAC might still experience the negative consequences of alcohol impairment, such as blurry vision and delayed reaction time. If a drunk driver causes an accident that leads to injuries, the accident victim can bring a claim or file a lawsuit in court.

In addition, car repair facilities must perform their repairs in a safe, careful, and workmanlike manner. When defective repair work causes a car to malfunction on the road and causes an accident, the accident victim can take legal action against the repair facility.

You have legal options and rights if you suffered injuries in a car accident resulting from negligence. Your lawyer can help you decide on the best course of action for your case and pursue a claim or lawsuit on your behalf.

What Injuries Do Car Accident Victims Usually Suffer?

Victims of serious car accidents can sustain numerous injuries that require immediate and ongoing medical treatment, physical therapy, and convalescence. Not all car crash victims suffer the same injuries and the exact injuries that a driver or passenger will sustain depend on how the accident occurs, the type of accident, and how the accident victim’s body moves in the car.

Accident victims who strike something in the vehicle, like the headrest, steering wheel, dashboard, door frame, or window, often suffer the most severe injuries. Common injuries include broken bones, soft tissue contusions, traumatic brain injuries, internal injuries, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis. Some car accidents, including head-on collisions, might result in a fatality.

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Seeking Medical Treatment Following a Car Crash

The most important step you should take after a car accident is to seek same-day medical treatment. You can follow up with a family doctor, hospital emergency room, or local urgent care center. The doctor on duty at one of those facilities can examine you thoroughly.

If you require emergency medical treatment, such as surgery, due to your accident-related injuries, the provider can admit you to the facility and ensure that you receive the treatment you need. Moreover, the provider can administer x-rays, MRIs, brain scans, bloodwork, and other tests to ascertain the true extent of your medical condition. Finally, as needed, the provider can recommend follow-up treatment with a specialist, physical therapist, family doctor, or another provider.

Same-day medical treatment following a car crash is essential for several reasons. First, many injuries do not manifest until days, and sometimes even weeks, after a car accident. This is especially true when it comes to traumatic head and brain injuries. Therefore, you want a healthcare provider to examine you as soon as possible to determine your true medical condition.

Untreated injuries that go on for a significant time can become much more severe and even life-threatening when an accident victim ignores them. Seeking same-day medical treatment helps prevent that risk and ensures you receive the care you need to recover fully from your injuries.

Moreover, failing to seek same-day medical treatment for your injuries can be detrimental to any personal injury claim that you later file. If the insurance company reviews your medical records and sees that you did not seek medical treatment on the same day as your car accident, they will become skeptical. Many insurance company adjusters feel that accident victims who wait to treat did not suffer serious enough injuries to warrant compensation.

Moreover, adjusters tend to think that accident victims who delay their medical treatment are not taking their treatment seriously or making it a priority. In a nutshell, failing to seek prompt medical treatment after your car accident can hurt your claim, and the insurance company may not offer you significant settlement compensation.

While you focus on getting better and fully recovering, your lawyer can work on your legal claim. Specifically, your lawyer can gather up your lost wage documentation, photographs of your injuries, property damage photographs, and victim impact statement and start assembling them into a settlement demand package.

Your lawyer can also begin working on a settlement demand letter to send to the insurance company adjuster handling your claim. While your lawyer takes care of the legal aspects of your case, you can focus on getting better and recovering from your injuries.

Talk With a Lawyer as Soon as Possible After Your Car Accident

After seeking same-day medical treatment for your car accident injuries, your next step should be to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer. Your lawyer can first meet with you to discuss the circumstances of your accident. In some car accident cases, it can be difficult to tell what happened and how the crash occurred.

If that is the situation in your case, your lawyer can begin a prompt investigation by retaining an accident reconstructionist or other expert to help out. Your lawyer can determine your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim based on the investigation results.

If you are eligible, your lawyer can begin the claims-filing process soon after you finish your medical treatment (or if you still need ongoing treatment). First, your lawyer will submit a settlement demand package to the insurance company and, assuming they accept liability, can begin settlement negotiations in your case. Most initial settlement offers from insurance companies are far below the actual value of the case.

Your lawyer can aggressively negotiate with the insurance company adjuster, highlighting the strengths of your claim and downplaying your claim’s weaknesses. If the adjuster eventually increases their settlement offer, your lawyer—with your permission—can accept the settlement offer on your behalf. Otherwise, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court and begin litigating the case.

Just because your lawyer files a lawsuit does not necessarily mean that your case will go all the way to trial. In fact, most car accident claims settle out of court long before the trial date. Your lawyer can continue negotiating a favourable settlement while litigating the case on your behalf.

Finally, your lawyer can help you decide whether you should accept a pending settlement offer, take your case to a jury trial, or explore alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, like binding arbitration or mediation with a qualified mediator.

Seeking Monetary Damages for Car Accident Injuries

To recover monetary compensation for your car accident injuries, you must prove your claim’s legal elements. Specifically, you must show that the accident resulted from someone else’s negligence and that your injuries directly resulted from the accident.

Assuming you can satisfy these elements, you may recover monetary compensation for:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of the ability to use a body part
  • Permanent injury or disability
  • Loss of spousal companionship and family support

A car accident lawyer can let you know which of these damages you are eligible to pursue. Your lawyer will then do everything possible to maximize the compensation you recover in your case.

Consult With a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today

Michael Hoosein
Car Accident Lawyer, Michael Hoosein

Failing to take the necessary steps following your car accident can hurt your claim or lawsuit. The sooner you seek medical treatment and retain an experienced car accident lawyer to represent you, the better off you make yourself and your case.

As soon as your lawyer becomes involved, they will aggressively advocate for you and take the necessary steps to pursue the compensation you deserve. Never wait to learn about your options following a crash and resulting injuries. Contact a personal injury lawyer today to receive a consultation.


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