What should I do after a car wreck; when should you contact an attorney?

Accidents happen when we least expect them to occur. When you are involved in an accident, the first reaction will be confusion and shock. The last thing on your mind in that instant will be how to get compensation for your injuries and financial losses because you are likely to be in a lot of pain. However, it is important to know the steps you need to take to ensure that the person who put you in that situation compensates you adequately.

What should you do after a motor vehicle accident?

Once you have calmed down and composed yourself, the first thing you should do is to contact the authorities and seek medical treatment. You need to get examined by a doctor whether or not you think your injuries are critical. Some injuries may be life-threatening, but they may not be visible to the naked eyes.

Therefore, you need to have a doctor check you. Once you have seen the doctor, you should ensure that you strictly follow the physician’s instructions regarding medication, extra tests, and check-ups. It is important that you follow the doctor’s orders because if you do not do so, the insurance company will use it against you by claiming that the injuries were not as critical as you say since you did not see the importance of following the doctor’s orders.

Avoid talking to people at the scene including other victims or witnesses unless you are exchanging contacts. You may also consider taking pictures of the scene because it could help establish who was at fault.

When should you look for an attorney?

There are three major reasons why people seek financial retribution. You suffered an injury after an accident and the injury required medical attention, you should consider finding an attorney to represent your interests. Finding the right attorney is on the same lines as finding the right Realtor.  In many instances, both of their jobs are extremely important, but many people feel they won’t need one. How to get ready for an attorney consultation. 

If the case is not going in your favor, you also need an attorney to help you. For instance, the police report might not show the events of the accident clearly, or they might indicate that you were at fault when in reality you were not. If you were injured because another person broke the law due to negligence, an attorney with experience in dealing with such cases will be your best bet. If the accident made you lose your job because of absenteeism or inability to perform, you should also get an attorney to fight for your rights.

You also need an attorney especially if you had started negotiating with the insurance company on your own and you do not seem to be coming to a reasonable situation. This is because an attorney has experience in negotiating with insurance companies and they will know what to say and what to avoid saying to increase the chances of getting fair compensation. An attorney will also be a Godsend to you if the insurance company is cutting corners and failing to act appropriately such as not paying your claim on time.

How soon after the accident should you start looking for an attorney?

It is advisable to contact an attorney within 72 hours of being involved in a car accident. This is because the insurance company of the person who was at fault will not waste any time in trying to contact you and negotiating for a lower settlement than the one you are entitled to get.

It is important to keep in mind that the insurance company does not have your best interests at heart; rather, they are only concerned with protecting their bottom line. Most attorneys are paid if and when they collect for you – similar to how real estate commission works.  Therefore, the less money they pay you, the better for them. If you give the insurance company a statement in the absence of an attorney, you may unknowingly admit fault, and they will use your words against you in court. Having a reputable attorney by your side will help you avoid dealing with aggressive and manipulative insurance companies and give you time to recover in peace.

In most states, the statutes of limitation dictate that you can only file a personal injury claim within two years of the car accident. The limit for filing a claim for property damage due to an accident is usually four years in most states. The two years can seem like a long time, but it is usually a blink of an eye for someone who is recovering from serious injuries. Thus, you should file the claim as soon as possible to ensure you get compensated for your losses and injuries.

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