You’ve been in a car accident. Now what do you do?
Every year, there are over six million car accidents in the United States. In Virginia alone, there are over 120,000 reported per year. And, because cars (and roads) are safer now than ever before, many fortunately do not involve serious damage or injury.
What if you are in a car accident? What do you do first? Whom do you call?
Rule one: the injured person is the priority in an accident.
- All parties should try to stay calm and avoid confrontation.
- If there is property damage or someone is hurt, the driver (or, if the driver is injured, whoever nearby is able) should immediately call the police.
- At the scene, it is important to get driver information— names and addresses and the names of their insurance companies.
- Car owners should immediately notify their insurance company.
Call a lawyer for advice if there are bodily injuries.
If there is only property damage, the insurance company generally resolves the property damage issue. But when there are injuries, everything can quickly become more complicated. This is when a lawyer’s advice can be helpful. If the accident was caused by the other party, a lawyer can help present your claim. If you are hurt in an accident, you are entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, including future medical expenses, and loss of income.
How a personal injury lawyer can help you.
Lawyers who help people who are injured in an accident can assemble all the information needed to present a claim to the other party’s insurance company. If you cannot resolve your claim with the insurance company, your lawyer can file suit and a jury or judge will decide the issue. Your lawyer may also discuss the option of using mediation to resolve the case.
Although an accident happens in an instant, recovery can often take much longer. Your doctor will guide you through your recovery process and your lawyer will guide you to an appropriate recovery from the insurance company from the person who caused your injury.