Car accidents are stressful, and the stress can last weeks, even months, after the accident. Do you know what to do after a car accident? If you are not sure what steps to take, contact Morris Haynes Attorneys at Law for a free consultation.
A car accident lawyer can help you navigate your insurance claim if you have suffered an injury or extensive property damage. Together, you can also determine whether you are entitled to a settlement from the other driver and whether you should file a lawsuit.
What Should You Do at the Accident Scene?
After a car accident, pull to a safe place if possible. If anyone involved was injured they need to seek medical help immediately.
Alabama law requires that you report all crashes to the police if there is an injury or if the property damage exceeds $500. If you fail to do so, you may face criminal charges. It can be hard to calculate the amount of property damage, so it’s best to report all accidents to law enforcement.
Police reports are helpful in establishing how the accident occurred and who was at fault, and it is good to get a copy of the accident report as soon as it’s available.
The following information may be helpful to collect at the scene:
- The other driver’s name, address, contact information, insurance company, and policy number.
- The date and time of the accident, your location or nearby intersections, and the direction you and the other driver were traveling.
- The weather conditions.
- The name and badge number of the responding officer.
- Your memory of the incident with as much detail as possible.
- Photos of the vehicles and the surrounding area.
Should You Go to the Doctor?
Even if you feel fine after the accident you should see your doctor right away. You may think that your headache is a minor issue, but it could be a sign of a serious head injury. It is important to have a medical doctor treat and document any injuries you sustained from the accident as soon as possible.
Should You Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
If you were not hurt and the damage to your car was minor, you may not need an attorney. However, it may be worth your time to schedule a free consultation just to be sure.
Hiring a car accident lawyer could benefit you if:
- You or someone in your vehicle suffered a serious injury or permanent disability.
- You or someone in your vehicle missed a lot of work or school because of the injuries.
- The accident resulted in a death.
- You feel the police report is inaccurate.
- Your insurance policy won’t pay enough to cover the damage, or you do not have liability car insurance.
- Your insurance company is not acting in your best interest.
- You and the other driver disagree about who is at fault.
- You are confused about your rights or your insurance policy coverage.
If the other person is at fault in an accident, it means that his or her driving caused the accident. That person is responsible for paying for your damages resulting from the accident.
Your attorney will help you read and understand the accident report.
What Can You Expect from a Settlement?
You may be able to sue for economic and non-economic damages such as:
- The cost of your vehicle repair.
- The cost of your medical bills.
- Reimbursement for lost wages (present and future).
- Pain and suffering.
You can recover money to pay for your damages when the other driver is at fault by filing a claim under your insurance policy and against the at fault driver. However, in Alabama, you only have two years from the day of the accident to file a lawsuit for personal injury and property damage.
Keep good records of your vehicle repair and medical bills. Also, track your missed work or school days and days that you were in pain. This information will help your attorney calculate your potential settlement.
If you’ve been in an accident and you’d like to know whether you’re entitled to a settlement, schedule a free consultation today.
If you believe that you deserve compensation after a car accident, contact our legal team at Morris Haynes for a free consultation.