Seek Legal Counsel After a Car Accident
No one ever plans for a car accident to happen. But it is exactly that — an accident. And although it may not have been intentional, there is a good chance that if you’ve survived a car accident on any level, you’ve been affected in a way that lasts. If you are the victim of a car accident that was not your fault, you have a right to seek compensation for any medical expenses following the accident, pain, and grief you suffered as a result of the accident, and any wages you may have lost due to injury from the accident. Beyond these, there are even more ways you can receive reparations for damages from the collision. With the help of a good attorney, you can make sure any impact left on you has limited effects on your life thereafter, in regards to finances, injuries sustained, and even your psychological health.
What You Will Need to Prove
It’s a good idea to work with an auto accident attorney instead of trying to handle the aftermath of a car crash alone. Not only are the laws surrounding personal injury complicated, but you will need to provide substantial proof of four important elements before you can receive reparations for any damages you accrued during the accident. These four elements include duty, breach, causation, and harm. Duty is essentially the fact that every driver has a legal obligation to obey the rules of the road and to operate their vehicles in a reasonable manner. Examples of this include stopping at red lights, obeying speed limits, and using headlights. This is usually simple to back up in court because it is inherent to the responsibilities of being a driver. Next, you will need to show some evidence that the defendant breached that duty in some manner. This is where an eyewitness testimony can be a useful resource, but evidence can also include blood alcohol readings and skid marks. Once you have proven a breach in duty, you will need to prove how that breach caused your injuries. Injuries can be physical as well as psychological. Simply put, if you can prove that your injuries did not preexist the collision, you should be covered. Medical testimony is usually required as solid evidence to the state of your injuries and should suffice to grant causation. Lastly, you must prove that the defendant caused harm to you or your vehicle. Once you have sufficiently proven all four of these aspects, you may be entitled to compensation for what you have endured.
When filing a claim for your injuries, you want to be sure to consider how the car accident is affecting you now and how it may affect you in the future. Studies show that motor vehicle accidents have become a leading cause of PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be listed as an injury in your case if you feel you notice symptoms following the accident. The psychological detriment of the accident can negatively impact your ability to function, whether or not you sustained a physical injury. PTSD occurs as a result of serious harm either actually or almost happening. Victims of PTSD experience shock, anger, nervousness, and fear along with feelings of mistrust and guilt following the collision. These feelings have the potential to intensify and obstruct normal activities that remind the victim of the traumatic circumstance. In extreme cases, victims suffer flashbacks and nightmares relating to the accident. All of these symptoms can lead to isolation from friends and family, outbursts of anger, and many more unhappy and unhealthy changes to the victim’s daily life. While the severity of PTSD is often related to the severity of the accident, its ability to completely change an individual’s life makes it a worthwhile injury to receive compensation.
What to Do After the Accident
In order to ensure the success of your claim, there are certain steps you need to take following the accident. If there are serious injuries in the accident, you should always seek medical attention as a priority. Now if this is not the case, however, your first step should be documentation of the collision. If there was anyone around who witnessed the event, try to get their contact information and question them about what they saw. Ask if they would be willing to make a statement should you decide to file a claim. Next, you need to call the police. A police report will detail evidence of fault, which will support your case. Then, you should take as many photographs of the scene as are necessary to create a full picture of the accident. Photograph any environmental factors that contributed to the accident, such as a fallen stop sign, as well as your visible injuries if you can. It is important you are able to reference the date of the photographs so they can be validated in court. Once you have left the scene, seek medical attention, and save any bills pertaining to injuries from the accident. You should also get estimates for the repairs to your vehicle. All of these things will support your case and give you the best possible chance to receive reparations for damages. Finally, you will want to hire an attorney from the Lewis Law Firm to ensure your case is well argued in court. It is a mistake to try to handle the aftermath of a car accident alone, but with one of their accident attorneys, you can begin to recover from the lasting impacts the accident could have on your life.