If you’re a driver, you know how important it is to make sure you keep yourself and your passengers safe throughout the journey. Having an accident can be a hassling experience, not just with paperwork, but if you or another person has had injuries and you’re in the conundrum as to whether or not you should take legal action. If you’re confused as to what considered legally if you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, you’re not alone. However, just because there are multiple factors involved in the legal implications of a vehicle accident doesn’t mean it’s impossible to understand.
This article explains key things you have to consider legally if you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident. Do understand however that this is not a complete guide to everything you need to know on the matter, as there are different laws in different states regarding accidents. It’s best you consult a lawyer on the matter if you have specific situations you want to put up for review, or if you want a specific scenario to be assessed.
Better Safe than Sorry: Get Your Lawyer
If you have a legal professional, a legal counsel, or a lawyer with you, try to immediately get in touch with them on the phone and don’t leave the area. Leaving the area, especially if you’re a driver, can get you penalties for hit-and-run. Try to get your lawyer’s advice on the situation before ever doing anything, just so you could be safe.
If you could talk with your lawyer now about what to do in these situations, it’s better to do so. This gives you a plan on what to do should these instances happen.
Safety First: Get Medical Attention
If you’ve been in an accident, try as much as possible to see your doctor immediately. Sometimes we may feel as though we’re fine, or nothing’s happened, but it’s still better to get yourself checked as sometimes symptoms don’t appear immediately.
- For instance, pain, dizziness, numbness, and discomfort don’t always immediately show after the incident. It’s best you get medical attention at your earliest convenience so a doctor could see if you are really fine or if you need to take medication and rest.
- If you think you’ve been injured, seeking medical attention is also helpful as it can strengthen your claim to personal injury, and could increase the chances of being compensated for damages and personal injury.
- If you ever need to go to the doctor, stay at the hospital, or pay for other medical bills, try to get yourself a copy of the bills themselves in order to get yourself appropriate documentation for your claim, should there be a need to file. This is also elaborated below.
Documentation Matters: Get Notes And Photos
If you experience an injury, try as much as possible to keep notes on medical treatment and accounts on your injuries so you could have better chances of getting a full reimbursement from your company, or from the person who injured you.
- A good basic list to have is the names and addresses of doctors and professionals you visit, and to keep the receipts of everything they prescribe to you. Save all your receipts and medical bills for reference, and keep track of all appointments you have with these professionals.
- Even if you don’t have an appointment for the sake of health, but have to make one because of your injury – say, for instance, you have to explain to your boss why you might be absent – keep a journal of these correspondences as well. Emails and notes you have with correspondence with these people, including your doctors, can greatly help should you need to present documentation to your insurance provider and your lawyer.
- When it comes to photos, try to snap as many pictures as you could about the location accident, stop signs and traffic lights, and photos of yourself (especially the injury) and the car. Get as many as possible with different angles, and different zoom settings. This can greatly help as proof for your claims, should there be a need to file.
- Try to get information such as names and contact information of witnesses should there be a need to communicate with them in the future.
The United States Department of Motor Vehicles has a handy guide you could refer to if you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident. Try to consult with your legal advisor if some of their tips are applicable for your situation and your location.
If there’s anything the points above explain, it’s that you’re not always supposed to lose your cool should you be involved in a vehicle accident. Review these points to heart with your lawyer, and ask for specific advice as to what you should do specifically when it comes to tackling accidents you’re involved in when you’re in your area, or in your particular vehicle. This allows you to have some degree of control over yourself and you won’t lose your cool, which can help you make smarter decisions regarding the situation.
Irene Wall has been writing about law for more than a decade. She writes pieces on various law topics that she hopes could help the common reader with their concerns. She enjoys playing basketball with her sons during her free time