With millions of vehicles driving around, there’s always the risk of getting into a car accident. Whether it’s due to traffic jams, unpredictable weather, or sometimes just human error, accidents can happen to anyone at any place.
Unfortunately, car accidents result in minor to catastrophic injuries and damages. Recovering from such incidents often involves financial expenses, leading to frustration and confusion for the victims.
The silver lining is that you can receive compensation for the damages of an auto crash if you file a car accident claim. Since this process entails intricate and complex steps, you will need to take specific actions to help guarantee a successful car accident claim.
In this article, you will learn a step-by-step guide for accident claims after being hit by a negligent driver.
What Is a Car Accident Claim And How Can I File for One?
If another driver hits your car and you suffer injuries and other damages from the crash, you may file a car accident claim. This claim aims to secure compensation for the expenses that come along with your injuries, such as medical bills and vehicle repair costs.
However, not all involved individuals in car crashes can pursue car accident claims. Remember that you have the right to file one under the following circumstances:
- The car accident results from another driver’s wrongful actions.
- You incurred injuries from the crash.
- You have the necessary evidence to support your claim.
As such, if you are at fault for the collision, you typically won’t have the right to pursue a case to receive compensation for the damages. So, when filing a claim, you must have proof that the injuries from the car accident result from the other party’s negligence.
Liability in a Car Accident
The most important thing to note when pursuing car accident injury claims is to justify the other driver’s fault in the crash. Generally, you can demonstrate a driver’s negligence in a car accident through the following elements:
- The driver was responsible for ensuring the safety of all individuals.
- They failed to fulfill this responsibility.
- This failure to perform their duty led to an accident.
- The accident resulted in injuries and other forms of damage.
Moreover, you can prove negligence if you have sufficient evidence, such as photos of the accident or police reports.
A Step-by-Step Guide for Car Accident Claims
Although making a claim can be confusing, knowing how to handle the aftermath of a car accident will help you navigate it. This detailed guide offers a step-by-step process for handling car accidents and successfully filing claims.
Step 1: Check for Injuries and Seek Medical Attention Immediately.
Remember that your health should be your top priority. If a car hits you, you must immediately call emergency personnel and seek medical attention. Aside from looking after your well-being, this can also help when pursuing a car accident claim.
Note that car accident injury claims stem from the fact that you incurred injuries from the crash. So, if you can’t prove that you sustained damages, you won’t have the right to file for one.
Moreover, some victims experience late-appearing damages from a crash. Since they thought they didn’t have injuries, they failed to have a medical check-up. Unfortunately, the insurance company may deny your claim in such instances, insisting that your injuries are unrelated to the car accident.
Contact a medical expert as soon as possible after the collision, even if you don’t think you have injuries.
Step 2: Gather Evidence.
After seeking medical help, you must collect as much evidence as possible at the accident scene. This will be highly beneficial in proving your car accident claim.
If you can, gather the following proof on the crash site:
- Photos of the accident, including the damages to the vehicles, the weather and road conditions at the time of the crash, and other pertinent information.
- Videos of the crash, such as from dash cameras or surveillance footage.
- Witnesses’ contact details and their testimonies.
- Police reports.
Step 3: File a Police Report.
While victims can file car accident claims even if they don’t have police reports, this document can speed up the legal claim process. This is because report reports have facts and opinions about the case that can help justify your car accident claim.
Aside from this, individuals are also required to report an accident if it results in an injury or other severe damage. With this, call 911 immediately after a car accident and cooperate with the police officers in the investigation. Avoid leaving the scene without notifying the authorities, as this may aggravate the situation.
Step 4: Consult a Legal Expert.
Injured victims usually don’t have the capacity to file car accident claims if they suffer injuries, especially life-threatening ones. This is why one of the best choices to make after a crash is to consult a legal expert.
A personal injury lawyer has the expertise, experience, and resources to collect evidence, prove liability, and defend your case. A lawyer for car accident claims can also calculate the total damage to determine fair compensation.
Is There a Timeline for Car Accident Claims?
When initiating legal action, it’s crucial to be aware of the statute of limitations, which is the legally defined time limit within which you must file your lawsuit. While this differs from state to state, most allow two years after the car accident for a victim to pursue a case.
Furthermore, there are specific instances where this period may change, depending on the circumstances of the accident. For example, an individual succumbs to injuries days after a car accident in California.
In such cases, a California accident attorney knows that the commencement of the statute of limitations is determined by the date of the deceased person’s death. This is why it is best to contact a legal expert who understands these legalities and will help you prove your case within the allowed time frame to avoid having your case dismissed.
If you’ve suffered injuries in an auto collision resulting from another party’s negligence, pursuing a car accident claim is essential for obtaining compensation for the damages incurred. While there are steps you can take to help ensure a successful claim, you will likely need assistance from legal experts who know how to deal with such cases.
It is advisable to reach out to a lawyer for car accident claims who can effectively handle the intricacies of your case, allowing you to concentrate on your recovery.