The number of car accidents and involved deaths and injuries has been on the rise over the last few years because of more reckless driving habits like distracted driving, speeding, and impaired driving.
If you were involved in an accident that was not your fault, it is important to know your rights. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the other driver and receive damages for your injuries. Here are the steps to help you sue the other driver after a road accident:
1. Get medical attention.
Even if you don’t think you are injured, it is important to see a doctor and get checked out. Many injuries, like whiplash, can take time to manifest themselves. You may have internal injuries that need to be treated. This should always be the first thing you do in any kind of accident. You are ultimately responsible for your own health and should take care of yourself to take action in court later on.
2. Gather evidence from the accident scene.
Gathering evidence is crucial to building a strong case. Try to take pictures of the accident scene, damage to both vehicles, and any injuries you or your passengers sustained. It is also important to get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident. Get them to write down what they saw as soon as possible, while the details are still fresh in their minds.
3. Contact a car accident lawyer.
A lawyer is necessary to help you navigate the legal process and protect your interests. Your lawyer will also be able to tell you what kind of compensation you may be entitled to. Getting the appropriate lawyer that specializes in your case is also crucial to building a strong case. For example, if you are a truck driver, find a truck driver attorney who will understand the unique challenges you may face. If you are an injured pedestrian, seek out a pedestrian accident lawyer.
4. File a police report.
Filing a police report is important because it creates an official record of the accident. The police report can also be used as evidence in your case. As much as possible, get the responding officer’s name and badge number. This will help your lawyer if he or she needs to contact the officer for more information.
5. Wait until you are healed before filing a lawsuit.
It is best to wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement before taking legal action. This will ensure that you are compensated for the full extent of your injuries. But you also have to know the statute of limitations in your state, which is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. Most states give you two to four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
6. File a personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
Before you can file a lawsuit, you must first give the other driver’s insurance company a chance to compensate you for your injuries. The insurance company will likely try to lowball you with an initial offer. It is important to have a lawyer help you negotiate a fair settlement. If you cannot reach a compromise or a settlement, your lawyer can then file a lawsuit on your behalf.
7. File a lawsuit.
If you are unable to reach a settlement with the insurance company on the other driver, your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. The lawsuit will be filed in civil court. The process will take time and be expensive, but it is worth it if you are successful. You may be awarded compensatory damages, which are damages that are meant to reimburse you for your injuries, as well as punitive damages, which are damages that are meant to punish the other driver for their negligence.
8. Attend all court proceedings.
It is important to attend all court proceedings so that the judge can see that you are serious about your case. Your lawyer will be with you every step of the way to make sure you understand what is happening.
The steps to take after a road accident can be difficult to remember, especially if you are injured or shaken up. It is important to stay calm and take care of yourself first and foremost. Then, gather evidence from the scene, contact a car accident lawyer, and file a police report. You should also wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement before taking legal action so that you can be sure you are compensated for the full extent of your injuries. If you are unable to reach a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company, your lawyer can then file a lawsuit on your behalf.