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Navigating a Car Accident: Steps to Take

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Being on the road is something every American has to do almost every day. Unfortunately, this means exposing yourself to the risk of an accident. According to statistics, over 38,000 people die on American roads every year. Most of these accidents result from a disregard of road safety rules by motorists. 

After an accident, a victim has more than physical pain to worry about; their other concerns include rising medical bills, damage to their vehicle, loss of livelihood, and psychological distress. 

Fortunately, victims of road accidents resulting from the negligent actions of another motorist are eligible for compensation. While compensation may not bring back everything lost in an accident, it can offer some reprieve by ensuring that the victims’ lives regain a semblance of normalcy.

Medical Attention Is Paramount

Pursuing compensation should not be a person’s primary worry after an accident. Instead, it is important to first seek medical attention after a traffic accident.

More often than not, an EMT or firefighter will be among the first people to show up at an accident scene. It is essential to take advantage of their services and have them check you out for injuries. Even when you may feel well, it is important to see an ER doctor after a check-up at the accident scene.

Besides ensuring that you are not in danger, medical records form a crucial part of the documentation required to prove injuries from an accident and determine the value of compensation. But they are not the only piece of evidence used to prove a connection between the driver’s negligence in an accident to personal injuries. Collecting evidence from the accident scene as you await medical help to arrive can also be a good idea. 

Accident Scene Documentation

Documentation can include photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and anything that can help your lawyer build a case. “It is important to take photos of your car, other vehicles involved in the accident, and most importantly, the area(s) of impact,” says Attorney Jay Ruane of Ruane Attorneys at Law, LLC

Also, ensure you collect witness statements and contacts, the other driver’s contact information, insurance information, and vehicle license plate. In a situation where you cannot collect evidence, other pieces of evidence like the police report can form the basis of your case. 

Get A Lawyer

Navigating a personal injury claim can be a challenging process, and working with an attorney can significantly better your chances of getting fair compensation. Therefore, it is important to hire a personal injury attorney to help you navigate the process. 

The good thing is that most personal injury lawyers do not charge until they win a case and you receive the payout. In other words, the lawyer only gets a percentage of the payout, usually between 20 and 30 percent. 

Recoverable Damages

Fair compensation should adequately cover all your damages, including economic, non-economic, and punitive damages where applicable. 

Economic damages include medical bills and lost wages, present and future. On the other hand, non-economic damages include pain and suffering and psychological pain. The court can sometimes award punitive damages but under very rare circumstances as punishment for gross negligence on the part of the party or entity at fault.