After being injured in a car accident, for various reasons, it is usually challenging to think clearly about what to do next. It is overwhelming for a variety of reasons, including possible injuries resulting from the car accident, the involvement of insurance companies, and general stress about the situation.
If so, here is a quick reference guide to get a better sense of the possible steps to take after a car accident.
Collect and Keep the Relevant Evidence
After a car accident, start compiling the evidence related to the car accident. This evidence includes:
The police report
Pictures of medical injuries
Photographs of the scene
Contact information of witnesses who may have seen the car accident
Information related to the car accident
Immediately starting to compile this information is essential, considering how fast memories can fade. Making sure all of the information is collected and together will help to increase the likelihood of success if a lawsuit occurs.
Consider Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
Contacting a car accident attorney is very important following an accident.
This step only suggests considering to hire a car accident attorney because most attorneys offer a free initial consultation, allowing you to decide later if you want to continue.
Take Care of Yourself
After an accident, make sure to prioritize your health. Car accidents are tricky because many of the injuries are not necessarily visible, such as brain or spinal injuries. Even if a car accident is not necessarily severe, ensure your long-term health and get a medical diagnosis for possible injuries.
Consultation with a medical professional is especially crucial in these situations and listening to their advice even more so.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney and Prepare
At this point, it is best to either hire a car accident attorney. If interested in proceeding, present all the compiled information to the attorney so that they can start working on the case.
Communicate with The Insurance Company
Once hired, the attorney can demand the insurance company present an offer to compensate for any existing lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. This process involves the obvious back and forth regarding the financial amount, which must be present to you, which can either be accepted or rejected.
Reject the Settlement Amount
If playing hardball, rejecting the proposed settlement amount usually encourages the insurance company to increase the proposed settlement amount. Either way, rejecting the offer is a possible next step before proceeding to trial.
Discovery and Trial
During the discovery phase, the evidence already collected is supplemented from requests to produce evidence sent to the other side. During this discovery process, both parties will usually participate in depositions with a court reporter, answering questions about the accident, injuries, and other related topics.
Though settlements typically occur within this portion of time, the trial process can also begin by scheduling a bench or jury trial, jury selection, and preparing the opening statement.
Call to schedule a consultation with Kim A. Bodnar, Attorney at Law in our Pittsburgh office.
NOTE: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice
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