What you should do at the scene of a car accident includes:
- Ensuring that you reach a safe area away from oncoming traffic and moving your vehicle to a safe area (if it is operable)
- Make sure that you do not make any statements accepting liability for your accident
- Collect contact and insurance information from those involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses to the accident
- Receive medical attention from emergency responders
- Call the team for a lawyer
You may want to wait to give any statements, including those to law enforcement, until you have spoken with a lawyer or their team. If you misspeak, then such statements could be used against you—regardless of their truthfulness.
A Lawyer Will Guide You After Your Accident
One of the benefits of hiring a lawyer after a car accident is that they can direct your actions following your collision. Your lawyer may have handled numerous car accident-related insurance claims and lawsuits. They could know about:
- Certain filing deadlines that may directly affect your ability to obtain compensation through insurance or civil court
- Specific statutes relating to car accidents, liability, and eligibility for compensation
- Medical professionals who will provide the care and documentation that you need
- How to file an accident report or obtain a copy of an existing report
- How to protect your rights from insurance companies and other parties who may not have your best interests in consideration
The insurance process may be especially relevant after a car accident. Yahoo! Finance explains that auto insurance companies collect hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue each year. Insurance companies representing you (or others) involved in your accident may have ample resources to steer you towards a settlement that is less than you deserve.
By hiring a lawyer, you may protect yourself from predatory tactics insurance companies may attempt to use. Your lawyer will look out for your rights and begin the process of seeking compensation for your accident-related losses.
Initiating a Claim or Lawsuit After an Accident
Regardless of what you do at the scene of your car accident, your lawyer will lead your case for compensation based on the course you deem most appropriate. This case may generally be in the form of an insurance claim or a lawsuit.
Whether you choose to pursue either of these options may depend on:
- The type of injuries that resulted from your accident, including whether any injuries were fatal
- The severity of accident-related injuries
- How long it takes you to recover, or if you are able to recover at all
- The type and amount of losses that come from your accident
- How many parties are at fault for your accident
- Whether at-fault parties have insurance, and how much insurance coverage they have
Your lawyer and their team will collect all available evidence after your accident and gather all of the facts to get a clear picture of liability. They may then speak with you about whether an insurance claim or lawsuit is their advised route to possible compensation. In either case, they will file your claim or lawsuit and represent you until your case is complete.
A Lawyer’s Services May Cost You Nothing
The American Bar Association (ABA) explains that personal injury lawyers may generally be paid through a contingency fee. In other words, your lawyer receiving compensation for their services is dependent on whether they are able to secure compensation for you.
If the lawyer that you hire works through such a pay structure, then it generally means that:
- You will have no out-of-pocket cost for legal fees
- You will not have to pay anything upfront for your lawyer’s services
- You will not have to pay your lawyer anything unless they negotiate a settlement or win a judgment
- You will agree to pay your lawyer a percentage of your winnings before they take you on as a client
This arrangement may generally present you with little financial risk and may ensure that your lawyer is motivated to secure a favorable outcome for you or your loved one. Your lawyer will seek to win compensation covering medical costs, pain and suffering, lost income, and any other losses that you have suffered because of a car accident.
Call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP Today
Whether you have been injured or have lost a loved one due to a car accident, a lawyer may assist you in several ways after a collision. A lawyer and their team will defend your rights against insurance companies and other potential threats. They will also handle as much of the insurance and legal processes as possible.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900