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The 3 Steps to Take When Claiming Compensation for a Car Accident

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Personal injury lawsuits resulting from car accidents are one of the most common types of civil suits in the United States. If you’ve just been involved in a road accident that wasn’t your fault, you, therefore, may be considering contacting a vehicle crash lawyer about securing a settlement. Read on to find out about how to start the process for compensation. 

Contacting Your Insurer

The first step you must take after an accident is to stop and check if you or any other people involved in the crash are alright. Health should be your first priority as it is the most time-sensitive, and it’s also normally illegal to leave the scene of a car accident, so make sure you do this first. Next, you should notify both the police and your insurer as soon as possible. It is likely that you will not be able to determine whether you can make a claim or claim personal injury compensation at this early juncture. Still, your insurance cover can be invalidated if you do not notify them, and it is an offense in most locations not to report a road accident to the police. Not contacting your insurer may also be used as evidence against you when insurers decide how to apportion fault. To help your insurers accurately evaluate a claim, if you make one, you should try to supply them with as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident. 

Contact insurance company
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Evaluating Your Case

The advantage of gathering evidence at the accident scene is that it will also provide you with the documents that will help you determine whether or not to pursue a compensation claim. This is what you will need to do next when trying to win a personal injury payout for a car accident. The first step in doing so involves checking the laws in your region as they pertain to civil suits over car accidents. Generally, either a “fault” or “no-fault” system is enforced. For fault systems, the liability for paying damages is determined by who is deemed (by the insurers or the courts) responsible for the accident. In this system, you can therefore decide to sue for additional compensation if you feel the insurance settlement does not cover all damages, for example, if you have lost wages as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. No-fault systems, however, require that only your insurer pays any accident damages, except in the case of serious injuries. Before pursuing your case further, you should also decide whether you feel the payout from the insurer alone is sufficient and whether you have enough evidence to win a case.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you still feel you have a strong case, then the next thing on your agenda should be to speak with a specialist attorney. This does not mean you’ll have to pursue the case, but it will allow you to consult with an expert who can advise you on whether it’s worth filing the lawsuit. Reputable law offices will generally not charge you for a free consultation, as well. Bringing relevant evidence with you will also give you a greater shot at convincing a lawyer to take your case. If the lawyer you speak with thinks you have a winnable case, they can likely guide you in how to best proceed from there. 

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