Every two minutes, another person is injured by a drunk driver. This equals 720 people every day, and a whopping 262,000 people every year. Over 10,000 of those injuries caused by drunk drivers are fatal. If that statistic isn’t shocking enough, consider the fact that 424,000 people are injured by distracted drivers every year. Over 3,000 of those injuries are fatal. Ultimately, more than 2 million people are injured on the road each year, and 21,000 of those injuries are fatal.
There aren’t many circumstances as traumatic as being in a car wreck, especially if you are a victim to another driver’s poor judgement. If you are injured in a car wreck where the other driver is at fault, it’s a good idea to talk to a personal injury lawyer to ensure you are given the compensation you need to cope with the injuries incurred. Knowing what to do during and after a personal injury accident will give you the greatest chances of getting the award you deserve.
Steps to Take in Pursuing a Personal Injury Settlement
- Seek Medical Care
Sometimes you might feel okay after your wreck, and then symptoms of your injury start appearing a few days later. Going to the hospital immediately after a wreck will help ensure that potential injuries are identified and treated as soon as possible. From a legal standpoint, getting medical care immediately following an accident will help your personal injury attorney make a clear connection between the accident and the injuries, and show that you did your due diligence in minimizing the extent of your injury. If you wait to get care, it is less obvious that your injury was a result of your accident, and a case could be made that your negligence in being treated is partially to blame.
- Document and Then Document More
There is no amount of documentation that is too much for your personal injury lawyer:
- Collect police reports that give accounts of the incident.
- If you are able to, get the contact information for anyone who witnessed the accident, so that their testimony can be collected.
- Get medical reports from the doctors who treated you, and any ongoing treatment or therapy you receive.
- Maintain correspondence with insurance companies and the other parties involved over email, so a record of the communication is readily available.
- Keep a daily journal of your health following the accident, including any pain and emotional toll you experience.
- Keep track of any expenses incurred throughout the process, including medical bills, travel expenses, and costs for assistance to complete tasks that your injury prevents you from doing.
- Keep Photographic Evidence
If you are physically able to, take pictures of the damage to both vehicles at the scene of the accident. This will assist your personal injury lawyer in building your case. Take photos of your injuries immediately following the wreck and then regularly throughout the healing process.
- Obtain a Personal Injury Lawyer
Whether you plan to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or go through the personal injury claim process with insurance, having a lawyer on your team will help ensure that you are justly awarded for your pain and hardship.
Your personal injury lawyer will work with the insurance adjusters so that you don’t have to battle with them while coping with your injuries, and will make sure that you don’t settle for less than you deserve. If necessary, your lawyer will help you decide when it is time to pursue a lawsuit instead of just going through the claim process.
Remember, insurance companies want to shell out as little as possible for your injury. While this might be your first time trying to be fairly compensated for a personal injury claim, the insurance company has spent decades learning how to not compensate you. Having a personal injury lawyer advocating for you will help ensure you get what you deserve.
Have you been in an accident that warrants a personal injury claim? Do you have questions on how to proceed with being fairly compensated for your pain and hardship? Please feel free to contact us if you need any assistance.