If you have recently been in a car accident, you may feel confused or worried about the future. Do you suspect the other driver has taken advantage of you? Were you sure that you were not at fault for the accident itself, but the other party is disagreeing? Perhaps you are struggling to pay the large fees or medical bills after the accident.
Though law enforcement officers usually do an excellent job of documenting an accident, sometimes outside investigators, lawyers, and insurance professionals are involved in the investigation as well. Car accidents are usually investigated according to a certain procedure. Knowing more details about car accident investigations can help you ascertain what you personally need to do to move forward, make a claim, or receive a settlement payment for your injuries.
What Do the Police Do To Investigate a Car Accident?
When you first got your driver’s license, your parents may have warned you to always call the police immediately after a car accident. They were right: Law enforcement should visit the site of the crash so that they can obtain accurate details about what happened. They may make notes about the following conditions:
- Exact location and time of the accident
- Statements from witnesses who saw the accident happen
- Whether there were conditions that contributed to the accident (like water or ice on the road)
- Whether you or the other party has a record of driving violations
What Should I Do if I Think the Police Missed Some Important Details?
If you think crucial details were left out of the police report, this isn’t the time to sit back and let someone else take control of your life. It’s especially important to remember to call your lawyer — or, if you don’t know one, to get in touch with a qualified injury lawyer — right after the accident and before filing any kind of legal paperwork.
Because there are several types of car accidents, a different type of professional who specializes in reconstructing car accidents may be called in after the initial investigation has occurred. This accident reconstructionist is an independent advisor who analyzes the scene of the crash, speaks to the people involved, inspects the cars themselves, and constructs diagrams and sketches to fully analyze the forensics of the crash.
Speak to your injury lawyer to see if there is a need to involve this type of investigator as you move forward in your case. Though simple crashes will not need to involve a reconstructionist, these individuals can bring to light details about the crash that police may have missed in their initial investigation.
What Should I Do if I Suffered an Injury?
When filing a claim after the investigation, it’s important to know that where you live can determine what you should do and even when you should do it. Under Florida law, there is a statute of limitations on filing lawsuits for car accidents. You will usually have up to four years to file, but this will also depend on the details of your exact case, including any injuries that occurred.
Though the other driver may admit to the accident being his or her fault, it’s important to work with an attorney if there was an injury involved. Again, if you live in Florida, you need to remember that most accidents are considered to be “no-fault.” This means that if you want to file a lawsuit, you will need to work with your lawyer to file a claim directly against the other driver. Often, insurance companies do not understand the intricacies of car accident-related injuries such as whiplash, pulled muscles, spinal injuries, and the chronic pain that can result.
Even if the other driver is a nice person who admits fault in the accident, this doesn’t mean that he or she will be willing to help you pay hefty medical bills down the road for the injury you received in the crash. Insurance companies, the police, and even the other driver could be sympathetic to your cause, but they may not actually be able to help you get what you need to put your life back together after a major crash. Receiving a fair settlement for your injuries is best processed by a team of legal professionals who understand the ins and outs of injury law as it pertains to car accidents.
Advice To Keep in Mind Following Your Accident
Your head may be spinning after your accident, and this period of understandable confusion and possible injury leaves you vulnerable to those who may want to take advantage of your situation. Remembering the following tips to clarify your post-accident responsibilities:
- Immediately following the accident, you should call your board-certified attorney before speaking to anyone else or giving information about the crash and who was at fault, including your car insurance company. This is especially important if the other driver is blaming you for the accident.
- If you suffered a minor car accident and you can walk around, take pictures or video of the accident scene if you are able. This will help police, lawyers, and insurance professionals understand exactly what happened and know how to proceed.
- Cooperate with the police when they arrive on the scene. If you are able to drive your car, they may want you to move it out of the road if it is blocking traffic. Again, it is important to take pictures before doing this. Though the police will thoroughly interview you and keep a detailed record of the accident details throughout the investigation, your pictures will be crucial to providing a visual of the crash site itself.
If you need legal assistance, make sure to get the help of a board-certified personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents. At the law offices of Brian D. Guralnick, you can be assured that your case is taken seriously and handled as quickly as possible. Contact us today to discuss your car accident or any other legal questions you may have that pertain to your case and let us know how we can help you move forward. Let us Demand More® for your injuries.
Disclaimer: You should not take any information in this blog as legal advice in any situation. If you need expertise for a specific issue of yours, contact a qualified Personal Injury attorney.