A car accident usually takes place so quickly and unexpectedly that the victim may not be able to process how it happened. Couple this with the initial adrenaline rush, and it is no wonder that crashes can be difficult for the victim to process. Contacting a car crash lawyer may not be at the top of the victim's list of priorities, but all victims of crashes deserve just compensation for the damages and disruption that result from the accident.
Seeking a Fair Settlement
There are plenty of reasons to hire a lawyer after an accident, and the process is not as daunting as it may sound. Kansas City lawyers from Sullivan Law have a proven track record of winning fair settlements for victims of all types of vehicle-related accidents.
Seeking the best possible settlement after a car accident is not an act of greed. A fair settlement will cover unexpected expenses arising from medical treatments, car repairs, and time off work. Besides, it will give you peace of mind to know that the negligent party has been held responsible. Contacting a lawyer and pursuing a fair settlement not only benefits you, but it also benefits the justice system as a whole.
How to Get Legal Help After a Car Crash
Make Sure Everyone is Okay
First and most importantly, check on all the occupants of your vehicle as well as anyone else involved in the accident. Make sure everyone is okay before taking any next steps.If someone has been killed or seriously injured, call the police immediately. When cops arrive on the scene, request that they file a police report. Police reports can come in handy later if you need to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver's insurance company.
Before You Leave the Scene
When you become the victim of a car crash, it is normal to have a lot of emotion. However, it is important to gather as much information as possible at the scene of the accident. Taking the following steps may give your lawyer important information that they need to reach a settlement. The more notes you take, the better you will be able to show how much compensation you deserve.
It is important to exchange information with other drivers who were involved in the crash. Don't leave the scene until you have obtained their names, contact information, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information.
If any witnesses observed the accident, talk to them and obtain their contact information. It is important to gather as many different accounts of the crash as possible. When talking to other drivers, be cooperative and try not to cast blame. Do not admit guilt for anything related to the accident. If you apologize, you may make yourself legally liable and jeopardize your claim.
Talking to Insurance Companies: Dos and Don'ts
You may be wary about talking to your insurance company after an accident, and there is a good reason for that. Insurance companies may be tempted to shut the case as quickly as possible by offering you a low settlement. A car crash is a stressful event, and you deserve full compensation. Always consult an experienced attorney before negotiating with your insurance company so that you can be sure you are getting a fair settlement.
When you do discuss the accident with your insurance provider, be straightforward and truthful. Explain what happened and the extent of your injuries. Even if you are not at fault for the accident, being proactive about talking to your insurance company can help out later in the legal process. Your insurance company needs to have a record of what happened in case the negligent driver's insurance company denies responsibility for the accident. This will enable you to file a legal claim against the other driver's insurance company.
Keep Record of Damages
Document any medical treatments that you receive related to the accident. Note the name of all the doctors, therapists, and other medical professionals who treated you. Also, note any referrals from other medical providers. Obtain copies of your medical bills and records so that you can prove the cost of your treatment.
Finally, note any damage to your vehicle by taking photos from different angles. Do this as soon as possible after the accident. If you have photos of your car from before the accident, you can use them for comparison. Before and after photos are an excellent way to prove the extent of the damage. Photos will help determine how much you should be compensated for damage to your vehicle.
Get Advice Before Accepting a Settlement
Don't be hasty about accepting an early settlement from the negligent party's insurance company. Keep in mind that some injuries resulting from car accidents may not appear for weeks. Something as simple as a headache could be a sign of an unresolved injury. Some injuries related to a crash, such as concussion, may be difficult for the victim to recognize. In any case, it is best to be sure that you have fully recovered from the accident and resolved any lingering medical concerns before you accept a settlement.
When in doubt, it is best to consult an experienced Missouri attorney before accepting any settlement offers. An attorney can help you decide whether the settlement is fair. Perhaps it is possible to recover a larger settlement than the one the insurance company has offered you. You deserve the maximum compensation for your accident, so don't settle for less.
If Insurance Doesn't Offer a Fair Settlement
Keeping adequate records of the crash will help you receive a fair settlement. In some cases, however, the negligent driver's insurance company may refuse to cover the cost of the damages you have incurred. If no police report was filed after the accident, for instance, it may be difficult to prove who was at fault.
If the other driver's insurance company doesn't offer you a sufficient settlement, don't lose hope. Sometimes, your insurance company can step in and sue the other driver's insurer for the cost of your damages. In other cases, the insurance companies may try to reach a compromise and negotiate a new settlement that works for all parties.
Always Get a Professional Opinion
Again, it is best not to deal with insurance companies alone. Get a second opinion from a trusted attorney to make sure you are receiving fair compensation. A car crash can cause physical and emotional suffering to the victims and pose a major disturbance in their lives. It is worth taking the extra effort to pursue the best settlement.
Contact Us After a Car Crash
Even if you don't know whether your case is worth pursuing, an attorney can give you advice about how to proceed and answer any legal questions that you might have. The laws surrounding car accidents are complex, and you shouldn't have to navigate them alone.
As local Kansas City attorneys, we have a strong track record of helping our clients receive fair settlements. Schedule a free initial consultation with Sullivan Law today
to get professional advice about the best course of action to take in your personal injury case.