5 Things You Need to Know Before Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
According to the National Safety Council, car accident deaths and injuries decreased in 2019 and new cars are equipped with more safety features like cameras, emergency braking systems, warning systems, and adaptive headlights to help prevent accidents. However, national averages suggest that you have a one out of 114 chance of dying in a car accident.
What should I do first if I’m involved in an accident?
If you suffer an injury in an accident, the first thing you want to do is treat your injuries. Often the victims of minor injuries choose not to seek medical attention but that could detrimental to their health and once the adrenaline rush of being in an accident subsides they could realize that they did suffer an injury. It’s important to document all of your expenses because of your accident in preparation for litigation.
Next, you want to call the police to file a report. It’s important to take as many pictures of the accident as possible, including wide shots that may include local businesses in the vicinity. This could help your lawyer because security footage at the scene may have gotten videos of your accident. Also, you want to collect statements from any eyewitnesses and get their contact information.
Do I need to contact my insurer?
Your insurance company will be able to help you get back on the road as soon as possible as long as you have collision coverage. Your insurance coverage could help you get a replacement vehicle and cover some of your medical costs and then arrange for the at-fault driver’s insurer to reimburse them. The insurance company of the at-fault driver could contact you as well to ask for a statement and it’s not in your best interest to speak with them. They also could offer you a small lump sum and ask you to sign a release, which may seem enticing, but will be less than what your case is worth. Visit gitmanlaw.com if you’ve been involved in a car accident and want to litigate your case.
If I’m involved in a car accident, do I really need a lawyer?
Personal injury attorneys often work contingently, meaning they don’t get paid unless you settle or win your case. Normally they offer free consultations to discuss your case as well. Having a lawyer will drastically improve the chances of winning your case.
When should I sue and when could I settle?
You have the right to sue for damages from the insurer of the at-fault driver, or the employer of the at-fault driver in a company vehicle, the driver if they’re uninsured, and/or the vehicle manufacturer. An experienced attorney can help you determine who is liable in your case. If the final offer you receive from the insurers doesn’t match the value that you and your legal team have determined that your case is worth, then it is in your best interest to sue.
How long will my case take?
If you’re willing to accept the first offer that the insurance company makes, then your case could be resolved rather quickly. Companies will do all they can to delay payments as a ploy to make you settle quickly. It could take months or up to one to three years but it will be well worth the wait.