Key Things to Remember Legally When Involved in a Car Accident
Disclaimer: The information presented below serves only as a general guide on what you should do when involved in a car accident and mustn’t replace more reliable legal advice. To know more about what legal action you can take in the event that a car accident might happen to you, seeking the services of a licensed attorney is highly recommended.
As much as you might be exercising caution when you’re driving to the point that it comes second nature to you, not all drivers have the same defensive driving mindset as you do. So there’s no telling when you’ll come across another driver who’s less cautious than you are and can collide with your vehicle anytime. Therefore, you would want to read on and start noting some of the key things for you to remember legally in case a car accident happens to you.
What Are Some of the Key Things to Remember When Involved in a Car Accident?
The first reaction that you might have after another crashed into yours is one of shock that can linger for a long time depending on the severity of the car accident itself. However, you’d want to calm yourself down instead and take some comfort in the fact that you can do the following things legally in light of the car accident that happened to you:
- Let the other driver’s insurance provider know that you’ll be submitting a personal injury claim to them.
Your medical expenses and lost wages after becoming involved in a car accident can cost you a considerable amount of money. Thus, you’d want to seek compensation for damages that the incident itself had inflicted on your health and finances.
● You would have to inform the insurance provider of the other driver involved in the car accident that you’ll be filing a personal injury claim.
● The other driver’s insurance provider would then conduct their own investigation surrounding the car accident that both you and their client got involved in so that they can assess the validity of your claim.
● An initial settlement offer would then be proposed to you by the other driver’s insurance provider once they accept your claim.
- Consider an out of court settlement between you and the other driver’s insurance provider.
While you’d be forgiven for initially thinking of filing a lawsuit against the other driver involved in the car accident, court proceedings of civil cases such as yours usually take up a lot of time and money that could’ve been better used for your recovery back to full health instead.
● Most car accident cases are usually settled out of court either through mediation or arbitration so that you and the other driver involved won’t have to show up in court, especially as it might get in the way of both of you making a living.
● However, an out of court settlement can only happen if the other driver’s insurance provider would agree as well to it. If they don’t, you would have to skip the rest of this item and move on to the next one instead.
● If you haven’t sought the counsel of an attorney yet, you would want to do so in the event of an out of court settlement so that they can guide you as to whether you should accept the initial amount being offered to you by the other driver’s insurance provider or ask for it to be raised a bit higher to cover your damages.
- In case you’re still insufficiently compensated despite settling out of court, you can take the other driver to court.
As the final amount decided upon during an out of court settlement either through mediation or arbitration might still not be enough to serve as compensation for the damages that you sustained after being involved in a car accident, you can file a lawsuit against the other driver to make them pay your damages in full.
● Filing a lawsuit against the other driver is time-constrained though, so you should check your state’s statute of limitations and make sure to lodge a complaint within the allowed time period.
● You might have to prepare to defend yourself as well in case the other driver or their insurance provider would file a counterclaim against you.
● You would want to avoid taking your car accident case to court as much as possible, though should the need arise, filing a lawsuit must only be used as a last resort measure.
Car accidents are avoidable as long as anyone behind the wheel knows how to drive safely. Still, it isn’t safe to assume that all drivers would exercise caution while operating their vehicles. For every defensive driver, there are at least a couple of negligent drivers out there, one of which can crash into your vehicle when you least expect it.
For that reason alone, you’d want to remember the above-listed things that you’re legally allowed to do in case you become involved in a car accident. And to further discuss any legal technicalities that might arise after being on the receiving end of a car accident, you should consult a lawyer with a strong background on car accident cases who can represent you if ever you or the other driver involved would have to show up and settle your differences either out of or in court.
Benjamin Washington is a promising young law writer currently writing for Stewart Guss. He hopes to apply his years of study into helping explain legal issues to the public. Benjamin loves cooking and often cooks for his family during weekends.