Car accidents are dangerous. They kill and disable more than 2.5 million people annually, and that’s just in America. These accidents also cause more than $230 billion in damages every year. People get into accidents for a variety of reasons. Some of these include distracted driving, unsafe driving, dangerous road conditions, and bad car parts. These types of accidents can be very minor or can be major and involve substantial property damage and bodily injury.
If you’re ever involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault. It’s important for you to understand your legal rights. It’s even more important to seek medical help as soon as possible, doing so can increase your likelihood of winning a bigger settlement.
Assess the situation and get help
Remember to stay calm after you’ve been in an accident. You should also do the following:
● Don’t stay in the vehicle – make sure that you turn your hazard lights on before you exit your car.
● Call 911 if the accident is moderate to major – they will send emergency medical services to the accident scene. You can also count on the police to (usually) show up.
● If no one is seriously injured, be sure to call the police and report the accident – you can generally count on (but not always) a police officer showing up.
● Be sure to take as many pictures and videos of the accident scene as you can – you can use this evidence against the defendant in court.
● Exchange all relevant information with the other driver – this includes driver’s license, contact, and insurance information.
● Move your vehicle to the side of the road if you can do so safely – it’s illegal to obstruct the road with your car.
● Call your car insurance company and let them know about the accident.
● See the doctor – it’s a good idea to see a doctor who specializes in car accident injuries even if you feel fine. Be sure to pay special attention to how your back and spine are feeling. Remember that injuries from car accidents can take several months to show up.
Be sure to make detailed entries in your journal about what you remember from the car accident – before, during, and after it happened as soon as possible. This is evidence that you can use in court.
Get your records together
Remember that the more documents you have, the stronger your case will be – either in or out of court. Examples of this type of evidence include:
● Vehicle damage inspection reports, repair estimates, valuations, and invoices for work done.
● Police reports
● All bills and statements related to medical expenses and care
● Your personal journal
● Employment and income-related records that document your lost wages and time missed from work because of recovery.
Talking to the Car Insurance Company
You should contact your own insurance company and report all details of the accident to them as soon as possible. Here are some of the key questions that you need to ask your personal injury lawyer in Guelph:
• If the other driver and I promise to settle under the table but the other driver doesn’t do that, will my insurance company still defend me?
• Will I still be able to win a settlement even though I was taking pictures at the accident scene?
• Will I still be able to file a claim even if I was struck by a hit-and-run driver?