Getting involved in a car accident is scary enough. But it becomes even more nerve-wracking if you end up injuring someone because of the crash. Don’t panic! It happens.
In these situations, you need a clear headspace to know exactly what to do on the spot and in the weeks after to ensure everyone’s safety and that you get the best outcome.
What to Do When You Injure Someone in a Car Accident
Following a car accident, you need to take the following steps to help yourself and others involved in the crash.
Stay at the Scene
The last thing you want to do is to make matters worse and leave the scene of the accident. If you do, your insurance company and the other party can use that against you in their claim. Especially if you injured someone, stay at the scene until all matters are settled and the police get everything they need for their report.
If the crash occurred in the middle of the road and is a big nuisance to other drivers, however, pull over to the side of the road nearest to the accident scene. Put up emergency warning devices to protect the scene and prevent other accidents from occurring.
Contact First Responders
Check in on yourself and your passengers, as well as those in the other vehicle. Take the initiative to call 911 for the injured party and get first responders to the scene. Provide them with as much detailed information as you can so they know what to expect when they arrive.
Contact the Police
Once you secure the arrival of first responders, it’s time to contact the police. When they arrive, give them a full disclosure of the events that took place. Tell them how the accident occurred, the estimated time it happened, the damages you suffered, and any other factors that may have contributed to the crash.
Make sure that you provide the police with truthful and accurate information. Never guess or misstate facts as these can affect your defense in a car accident lawsuit later. If you’re not sure about something, such as the extent of your injuries or the time the accident took place, be honest and tell the police that you don’t know or are unsure of the details.
The police will likely gather their own evidence for the report. But it would be beneficial on your end if you also documented the accident yourself. Take photos of the scene from all angles, document your injuries and how you’re feeling after the crash, get the contact information of the other driver and any eyewitnesses, etc. These will go a long way in helping you through a car accident lawsuit.
Notify Your Insurance Company
You should notify your insurance company of the car accident as soon as possible. But when you do, be careful not to give any official statement. Don’t give them any details, save for your name, policy number, and location of the accident. If they ask you questions, tell them that your car accident attorney will provide more information later on.
Anything you say to your insurance provider is going to be used against you in a car accident claim. Remember that it’s in their interest to negate the facts of the accident in order to reduce the amount they need to cover. Don’t say anything that may harm your settlement.
Seek Medical Attention
In most car accidents, symptoms of severe injuries may present themselves hours or days later. Check-in on yourself every now and then and seek medical attention as soon as you feel any pain or discomfort. Ideally, you should visit your doctor for a complete checkup after the accident.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney
Things are only going to get complicated from here on out. In the next few weeks, you’ll be facing more challenges, from speaking with your insurance company to handling a car accident lawsuit — all while you recover from the traumatic event and heal from your injuries.
As soon as possible, engage the services of a car accident attorney who can help you work through the process and yield the most favorable results.
What Happens If You Injure Someone in a Car Accident
Following the actual accident, the injured party will likely file a claim for damages against your insurance company. But the provider isn’t going to pay for these without question. Chances are, they’re going to contest the claim, which may lead to a car accident lawsuit.
When that happens, your insurance provider will try to provide you with an in-house lawyer. But it’s recommended that you engage your own legal counsel who has your best interest in mind.
If you get sued by the injured party, inform your insurance provider of the lawsuit as soon as possible. Your attorney will handle any settlement negotiations and if necessary, help you defend your case in court.
Will You Pay Damages Out of Pocket?
Even if you injure someone in a car accident, it’s highly unlikely that you will pay anything out of your own pocket. This is unless your insurance policy is not enough to cover the damages awarded to the injured party.
As long as you’re backed by a lawyer who prioritizes saving your assets, your insurance provider will likely cover all the costs.
Why You Need a Car Accident Attorney
The process of navigating a car accident lawsuit can be very stressful and overwhelming. Your insurance provider can bully you throughout the process in order to avoid paying the judgment. Couple that with the complications involved in legal matters, and the process can be too much for you to handle on your own.
An experienced car accident attorney can walk you through the process and help you navigate all the ins and outs of the lawsuit. They can build you a solid defense, work with your insurance company, and help yield the most favorable outcome. If you have been involved in a car accident, speak to our lawyers today.