Getting injured in a car accident is a terrifying experience for you and your members of the family. It can be very stressful on all levels, not only physically, but mentally and financially as well. There are many things you can do to protect yourself and fight for your rights if you’re injured in a car accident, and here are some of the main ones.
1. Know Your Rights
To protect yourself, you should try to get as much information about your rights as you can. This includes knowing what your options really are in terms of filing a claim or possibly taking legal action against other drivers if they’re at fault. As a general rule, not every car accident falls under personal injury law. To qualify, an accident must be caused by the negligence of a third party leading to a somewhat serious injury. According to a Santa Fe personal injury lawyer, in most cases, so long as the accident was not your fault – or at least not a large part of it – you are entitled to compensation. The amount you can receive is based on the severity of your injury, how much your medical treatment will cost, and possibly other factors related to your pain and suffering. For example, if on top of the cost and the injury itself, you experienced serious emotional distress from the accident, this should even be considered.
2. Get Legal Representative
One of the most significant things you should do, if possible, is get legal representation as soon as possible. While it is true that there are situations where having an lawyer is not strictly necessary, personal injury cases fall into that category. situations where you need to hire an lawyer to make sure your best interests are protected and fought for. An lawyer will be capable to defend your rights and be sure you get the compensation you deserve, in addition to ensure everyone seems to be working together quickly and effectively. This means less stress for you, without having to worry about all the legal mumbo-jumbo that might pop up along the way that could extend the problem. The earlier you involve a lawyer, the better. Having an immediate representative allows for easier evidence gathering and quicker processing of things like insurance claims – all in all, it moves a lot faster than if you do it yourself.
3. Save Evidence
In order to have a robust case, you need to keep all the evidence related to your car accident and injury. Although not all evidence admissible in court, there are specific things that are absolutely must-haves to build a robust case. You should all the time take photos of your injury or the rest in contact with it instantly after an accident. This will be used as evidence against other drivers if you take legal action, so do not hold back on it. The most significant thing is to be sure you collect witness names and contact info if you have them. It’s helpful to write down everything – every detail – that you remember about your accidents and injuries, even if they do not look like a big deal. This may come in useful later while you’re awaiting medical treatment or when going through the legal process of filing a claim or taking legal action.
4. Don’t rush to make decisions
You should never rush into decisions or accept anything directly – that’s how mistakes are made, and important rights are disregarded. This also includes signing documents you do not understand and accepting settlement agreements, in addition to signing things like medical releases. You should never sign anything without reading and understanding it first, particularly if that means waived your right to take legal action against the negligent party. For example, if an insurance company asks you to sign a release stating that you’re going to not take legal action against them, you should defend your stance and urge them to consult an lawyer. In some cases, documents may be offered to you in order to get you the medical help you need – while this is helpful for getting treatment more quickly, you should all the time read the fine print if the situation allows it.
When you are injured in a car crash, the last thing you want to deal with is all the legal aspects – but recovering from your injuries is not just about pinpointing responsibility. As well as dealing with medical bills and pain, emotional stress can be taking a toll on your health without even realizing it. Getting the compensation you deserve after an accident is not all the time easy, but it isn’t impossible if you follow the steps above.