Car accidents are over in the blink of an eye, but the effects of the accident often linger for much longer. After accidents that result in serious injuries, the pain and suffering is only made worse by the stress of dealing with insurance companies that offer settlements that don’t cover a victim’s expenses. However, the victims in these accidents can take steps to ensure they get the compensation they deserve, but they must move quickly.
When is the best time to hire an accident attorney, like the ones over at nicoletlaw.com? It is hard to keep things straight after being injured in a car accident, so hiring an attorney sooner rather than later is the best option. Use the information below to find out what to do after an accident and when you should contact a lawyer for help.
After the Accident
The time immediately after a car accident can be a whirlwind, but there are a few things that must be done. First, check yourself for injuries. If you are able to, call 911. If you are seriously injured, try not to move and wait for emergency services to arrive.
Even if the accident does not seem to involve any major injuries, it is important to call the police. The police will produce a report of the event you can use later when filing a claim with the insurance company. If the police are not able to come to the scene, you must go to the nearest police station and report the incident yourself.
What Not To Do?
It is easy to get swept up in the events of a car accident and forget some essential steps. However, there are a few things to avoid doing after a car accident. First, don’t forget to call your insurance company immediately. Whether it is a fender bender or a major collision, it is important to file a claim with your own insurance company as soon as possible.
Next, never approach the other driver to apologize. Even if you are not at fault and are saying “I’m sorry” as a good gesture, doing so could be seen as an admittance of fault in the collision.
Finally, if you are offered a settlement by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, do not blindly accept it. Insurance companies may try to push the idea that this is their only offer, but that is not the case. Do not sign a settlement agreement without speaking with a lawyer first.
Consider the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is different for each state, but it is important to consider when attempting to file a claim. You have a limited window of time after a car accident to file a claim, and doing so after the statute of limitations expires means it will not be considered at all. Contact an attorney to find out what the statute of limitations for car accident claims is in your area.
When to Contact a Lawyer?
Not every car accident requires the help of an attorney, especially if it is a minor one. However, if the accident is complex or resulted in severe injuries, it is best to call a lawyer as soon as possible. In fact, when possible, call a lawyer the day the accident occurs.
The Bottom Line
Being involved in a car accident is a stressful experience that can leave you emotionally and financially stretched thin for a long time. After being injured in a car accident, you need an experienced lawyer on your side right from the start.