Auto accidents can be confusing. Not only are you potentially suffering from serious injuries, but you are also facing potentially high repair bills, medical expenses, and lost wages. Knowing what to do next and how to seek compensation for all of your expenses can be difficult, but our attorneys can help.
Our lawyers can guide you as to the next steps to take in your case. We can also help you collect evidence and build a strong case; then we can take on the insurance companies and at-fault drivers to get you the compensation you deserve.
For a free evaluation of your injury case, call our car accident lawyers at Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Dothan, AL
The steps to take after a car accident can be broken down into what you should do immediately after the accident, what to do in the days after a crash, and what to do in the next few weeks and months after your accident.
Day of the Crash
When you are involved in an accident, your first step should be to call 911 and get medical attention. Reporting the accident to the police is a vital first step, as it ensures that there is some record of the accident, and it helps you get emergency medical help.
If you are knocked unconscious during the accident or your injuries are too severe that you cannot stay at the scene and take additional steps to collect evidence after the crash, then you should focus on getting medical attention and recovering from your injuries. If, however, you are able to remain at the scene, you should begin collecting evidence to help with your case.
Take photos of the scene, including pictures of the damage and any visible injuries you suffered. Also collect evidence and information such as the driver’s contact info, the driver’s insurance info, any contact info for witnesses, and information about the accident scene: where the crash happened, what the lighting and road conditions were like, and whether there were any traffic signals or signs governing the street or intersection where the crash happened. Additionally, collect information about all vehicles involved in the crash.
Make sure to also give your own contact information and insurance info to the other drivers and any responding officers, as required by law.
Days After the Crash
In the next few days, your main focus should be on recovering from your injuries and following up with any recommended medical care. Often, car accident victims wake up the day after their crash with pain in their neck and shoulders, as whiplash and other similar injuries often take time to “set in” while the muscles, tendons, and ligaments rest and contract.
If you have any new injuries, get them checked out by a doctor. Additionally, make sure to keep any other follow-up appointments, especially if you were given a care plan by the doctors who treated you at the ER.
At this point, if you are well enough to do so, you should also call a lawyer. There is additional information our car accident attorneys can begin collecting, such as professional photos of the accident scene and video footage that might have caught the accident on camera. However, this evidence can be lost if we do not act quickly, so call us as soon as you can after the accident.
Weeks and Months After the Crash
If you have not already called a lawyer, you should do so in the weeks and months after an accident. Working with a lawyer can help you know what your case is worth and get you the help you need with insurance claims and potential lawsuits.
Those insurance claims should be filed within the first few days or weeks after a crash. If you wait too long, the insurance company could accuse you of making up new injuries in the interim between the time of the accident and the time you report the crash.
You should also seek a copy of the police report, which usually takes a couple of weeks to become available. This can provide important information, especially if your injuries kept you from staying at the scene of the accident to collect evidence yourself.
If necessary, your attorneys can also help you file a lawsuit to get damages in the months after your accident. If insurance negotiations do not result in a fair settlement offer, we will often advise you to reject the offer and take the case to court. This could potentially pressure the insurance companies to make a better offer. If they refuse to settle for a fair amount, then a trial before a judge and jury might be better for getting you the compensation you need.
Getting Compensation for a Car Accident in Dothan, AL
As mentioned, you can often get compensation through an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Knowing which route is best in your case can be difficult, but your attorneys can help.
A settlement is often best when the injuries are obvious and the value of your injuries is indisputable. Insurance companies often try to drive down the value of a settlement by aiming low, excluding certain damages, and denying liability altogether. However, when damages are very clear-cut, insurance companies can have a difficult time making arguments against you. In these cases, our attorneys can often negotiate for fair compensation without needing to go to court.
If the insurance companies refuse to pay, we can take the case to court. In Alabama’s “at-fault” or “tort” car insurance system, victims are not restricted in their right to sue the at-fault driver for the accident like they often are in “no-fault” states. As such, we are free to file in court if the insurance companies refuse to pay what they owe you and negotiations break down.
Contact Our Auburn, AL Car Accident Injury Attorneys Today
Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 for a free case review with our car accident lawyers today.