Driving is an activity that we all need to partake in regularly. It might be to get to work, run errands, or visit friends and family. No matter what though, it is an essential aspect of everyday life. But with driving being integral to so many people’s everyday routines, accidents are more common than you may realize.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were nearly 27,000 vehicle crashes in 2018 in Palm Beach. The FLHSMV also reported that more than 16,000 injuries that resulted from these crashes.
If you find yourself the victim of a car accident, we can help you seek compensation. When you choose us as your car accident lawyers, we will help you Demand More®.
In this article, we will outline what to do if you are injured in a car accident. This guide will walk you through the process from the moment it happens to the post-accident stages.
What to Do If Injured in a Car Accident
What happens after a car accident will likely pass in a blur. However, it’s important to stay calm and focused. If you take the following measures, you will have an easier time seeking the compensation:
Call the Police
First and foremost, you should call the police. Do so even if bodily injuries and vehicle damages are minimal. Don’t let the other driver convince you to not call the police. Once you are in contact with a 911 operator, provide them with the following information:
- Detailed information about your location
- The extent of your and others’ injuries
- Potential dangers on the scene like disconnected car parts and leaking fuel
If you are in the right physical condition, take as many pictures as possible. Photo evidence will help you provide proof of:
- Personal Injury
- Vehicle damage
While you’re taking the pictures, try your best to capture relevant information about the conditions of the accident. This can include data such as the weather, time of day, and surroundings. Solid evidence is essential to building your case.
If you cannot take pictures due to injuries, ask a passenger or witness to do so. An experienced car accident lawyer also can collect evidence on your behalf. However, you must contact an attorney quickly. That way, the evidence doesn’t become unusable.
Do Not Contact Your Insurance Company
You should never give a statement to your insurance company without first consulting a lawyer. Insurance companies’ main priority is to make money. They will reduce payouts and deny claims outright in as many cases as possible. To protect your rights, speak with an attorney first.
Injured in a Car Accident? What to Do Next
Emergency personnel will tend to serious injuries on the scene. They will transport you to a hospital if needed. Even if you don’t have visible injuries, you will likely receive a physical examination on the scene of the accident.
We strongly recommend visiting a doctor the next day. Even if you don’t feel pain, you can still be injured. The adrenaline that rushes through your body during a car accident can mask pain and discomfort. Visiting the doctor will help you seek diagnosis and treatment. They may also uncover invisible injuries like concussion, whiplash, or internal bleeding.
Find an Attorney
If you’ve been injured, you’ll want to hire an attorney.
While you want to find one quickly, don’t settle on the first one you come across. Ideally, you should have an attorney in mind before an accident occurs. This way, you can quickly reach out to someone you trust. When searching for an attorney, find one with:
- Good communication skills
- Years of experience in personal injury and car accident claims
- Solid references
- Flexibility in terms of scheduling
Be Prepared for the Investigation
Once you settle on a lawyer, they will begin the investigation process. An experienced lawyer will collect information including:
- Statements from witnesses
- GPS data from applicable vehicles
- Photos of your injuries on the scene
- Photos of the scene (like tire marks on the road) to determine fault
- Documentation like police reports and medical records
Your lawyer will file a claim based on the evidence they gathered during the investigation.
If your injury claim after a car accident is small, then a settlement may occur without a lawsuit being filed.
File a Lawsuit
If you and your insurance company cannot reach an agreement, your attorney can file a lawsuit.
In most cases, a lawsuit won’t be necessary until the plaintiff reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI). Once the plaintiff has fully recovered or reached a point where they cannot recover anymore, your lawyer can file a lawsuit.
Figure Out Your Deposition
At a deposition, witnesses will give statements about what they know regarding your car accident. A deposition is an effective way to:
- Collect relevant facts about the case
- Examine the other party’s arguments and determine their strengths and weaknesses
- Determine how your injury was sustained
- Learn how a person will testify if your case goes to trial
To guarantee the witness shows up, your attorney will serve them a subpoena.
Go Through Mediation and Negotiation
Trials are stressful and time-consuming for all parties involved. Our Palm Beach attorneys will fight to get you a reasonable settlement. Discussions regarding settlement will occur with you and your lawyer. In some cases, a mediator will help to facilitate discussion and keep things civil.
We also speak with your insurance company to negotiate the best deal possible.
Go to Trial (If Needed)
A majority of car accident and personal injury cases don’t need to go to trial. Instead, the parties involved settle the case outside of court. However, if your case isn’t settled, then we will take it to trial. If you choose to not settle, our Palm Beach attorneys will help you Demand More®.
Call Today for Expert Injury Lawyers
A car accident can be stressful and leave you feeling hopeless. If you have been injured in a Palm Beach County car accident, I encourage you to contact me, Brian D. Guralnick to discuss your legal rights. To learn how the injury team at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers can help you Demand More® for your injuries, call 561.983.4395
Disclaimer: All of the information in this blog should not be taken, as legal advice. For advice on your particular circumstances, please talk to a licensed Personal Injury attorney.