The U.S. is one of the busiest countries in the world when it comes to road traffic. This high volume of traffic also contributes to the number of accidents that occur on the roads. Approximately 6.6 million passenger cars were involved in traffic crashes in 2019 making this one of the leading causes of death amongst the under 55 age group.
According to the U.S Department of Justice, motor vehicle accidents account for over half of all personal injury claims. Personal injury law allows a person who has suffered injury or harm from an accident to seek compensation from the person legally responsible for the injury. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident as a result of someone else’s negligent conduct, you may be entitled to compensation from the person or entity responsible for your injuries.
It is advisable to seek legal advice by consulting a car accident attorney who can help you assess the merits of your claim and put together a strong case if there are sufficient grounds for doing so. Some law firms such as Gina Corena & Associates offer free consultations where you will have the opportunity to explain the circumstances of your accident and ask any questions as well as get a better understanding of your legal rights and options before proceeding with a claim.
In this article, we will look at some of the steps you should take when deciding to pursue legal action after a car accident and some of the benefits that an experienced attorney can bring, ensuring you have the greatest chance of succeeding in your claim. The following information can serve as valuable evidence supporting your personal injury claim and help your attorney to put together a credible case.
Put together a file that contains any information you took down at the time of the accident regarding the other party. This could include their name and contact information as well as that of any passengers involved and eyewitnesses who saw what happened. Include vehicle details such as the make, model and license plate number of the other car and the driver’s insurance details.
If police arrived at the scene of the accident they will have noted the information in a car accident police report. This is a summary of information related to the accident and often contains the following:
- Details of the accident including the people, vehicles and property involved
- Statements from drivers, passengers, and eyewitnesses
- A diagram of the accident such as location, path of vehicles and point of collision
- Their findings as to how the accident may have happened
A police report can provide valuable testimony from a trustworthy and impartial third party regarding the cause of the accident, helping to establish fault. You can obtain a copy of the police report upon request.
Medical Records and Expenses
If you sought medical attention following your accident, put together a file with copies of your medical records and an assessment of your injuries. Proving that the injuries you sustained were directly attributable to your accident is a vital part of your claim and helps to establish the other party’s negligence which is the legal concept that forms the basis of all personal injury claims.
Copies of all the medical expenses you have incurred also serve as valuable evidence in revealing the financial consequences of your accident and the burden it may have placed on you. When assessing the level of compensation for a road accident, reimbursement for medical expenses is usually a large part of the damages awarded to the injured party and can include the following:
- Hospital visits
- Ambulance costs
- Medical and therapy appointments
- Cost of prosthetic devices
- Home health care services
- Costs of rehabilitation
Records of your medical expenses can help your attorney to calculate the level of damages you should be awarded following your injuries.
Visual evidence from the accident scene can also provide valuable evidence in attributing fault. Gather any photographic evidence you took from the accident as well as any photos of the injuries you sustained as a result. These will go towards proving the extent of the injuries you suffered, due to the accident and provide persuasive and credible evidence to support your claim.
Strong photographic evidence also makes it more difficult for the other party to accuse you of exaggerating your injuries and dispute your claim. Photographic evidence is difficult to refute and can motivate the other party’s insurance company to reach a fair settlement rather than take the matter to court, thereby strengthening your claim.
Putting together a file based on the points above will aid your claim and help you receive compensation for your injuries.
Why Hire an Attorney?
As well as helping you to evaluate your claim and your basis for seeking compensation, an experienced personal injury attorney can help your case in the following ways:
Negotiate on Your Behalf
If you are pursuing your claim without legal assistance, you will likely have to correspond with the other party’s insurance company and or legal representative. Insurers and lawyers are skilled and experienced in handling such claims and will have greater bargaining power and apply pressure on you to accept their terms which may leave you with little to no compensation for your injuries.
Dealing with such correspondence single-handedly can be a daunting experience and can cost you time, money as well as the compensation you deserve. An experienced personal injury lawyer can take over all negotiations on your behalf, ensuring they secure the best outcome for you.
Establishing the other party was at fault requires gathering the right evidence to support your claim. Your attorney can put together a list of credible and expert witnesses who can testify on your behalf. This might include medical doctors confirming the extent and the cause of your injuries, accident reconstruction experts to determine the cause of the accident and anyone who was there at the time of the accident who can serve as a helpful eyewitness to your case.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will have access to expert witnesses who can vouch for and strengthen your claim and, therefore, your chances of success.
By following the guidance set out in this article, you will put yourself in the best position of winning your personal injury case and your claim for compensation.