All posts tagged car accident

How to Protect Yourself after Being Hit by a Drunk Driver

Car accidents are dangerous. The aftermath of a car accident can often be a significant portion of the overall danger, because it is then the financial realities, medical issues and the overall burden of car repairs, wasted time and inconvenience manifest themselves.

All of these things are only magnified if the accident involves a drunk driver.

Technology to the Rescue

In the age of mobile technology, phones and tablets, every human being is equipped with virtually unlimited capacity to document any event on their own. Photographic and video evidence are both incredibly powerful and often conclusive in any legal matter.

The practical ramifications of this are clear. After an accident, you should be taking pictures of everything, especially anything with letters or numbers on it. License plates, VIN numbers, driver’s licenses, insurance cards, and so forth.

Secondly, don’t forget to take pictures of the surroundings, starting with the road in both directions. Take pictures of the pavement and nearby structures. Photograph the accident from every angle and be sure to photograph any accident evidence: skid marks, glass, metal, paint, dents, scrapes, car parts, etc.

The Authorities

If it is at all possible, anyone involved in a drunk driving accident should interview all of the relevant authorities, starting with the responding police department. However, you should not answer any questions until you have a chance to speak with legal counsel, even if you aren’t at fault.

Firefighters and ambulance drivers or emergency medical personnel should be at least identified. Get numbers and names if possible. All of these people will become crucial sources of information and possibly testimonies at a later date.

Legal Advice

Even if you don’t think you’ll need an attorney, it is often a good idea to at least speak with someone involved in personal injury or vehicle accident litigation. Firms like Racine Olson will often alert you to things you may not have considered. A qualified and experienced attorney can also often be a good candidate for organizing all the information related to your case.

Insurance

It goes without saying that if you are ever in a car accident, your second call should be to your insurance company. This is doubly and triply true when dealing with an accident with potential criminal liability, even if you are not at fault. Your insurance company can coordinate their efforts with your legal representatives and assist you in obtaining any official documents related to the accident, the aftermath and your case. You pay premiums for this service. You might as well use it.

Keeping your cool and making sure you approach an accident with a calm and reasoned attitude will often be the difference between major financial problems an accompanying legal trouble versus a favorable outcome.

6 Signs Your Auto Accident Wasn’t Your Fault

The aftermath of a car accident can feel disorienting and unsettling, especially if the wreck resulted in injuries to you or extensive damages to your vehicle. Whether you’re reading this article at the scene of the accident or while waiting to speak to an insurance representative, one of the most important characteristics you must identify is legal fault.

You should never admit fault for an accident, since this can lead to penalties regardless of the veracity of the statement. But how can you know for sure that you weren’t at fault? Below we list some common indicators of fault.

1. The Other Driver Admitted Fault

Most insurers and legal professionals recommend not admitting fault after an accident. If the other driver willingly admits fault, either he or she has never heard that advice or he or she really is at fault.

2. Witnesses Place Fault with the Other Driver

Witness statements can hold a lot of sway in accident claims proceedings. Listen to the witnesses talk to each other and the police. If they actively identify the other driver as the accident’s cause, you probably aren’t at fault.

3. You Didn’t Have Time to Brake

If you saw the accident coming, but didn’t have time to brake, you may not legally be at fault. However, this depends on your state and local laws. In some areas, braking does not affect assignment of guilt. Contact attorney Jonathan Groth for more information on Milwaukee accident laws.

4. You Didn’t See the Accident Coming

If you were blindsided, chances are good the accident wasn’t your fault. However, this is not the case if you caused an accident by neglecting your duties as a driver.

5. You Were Hit from Behind

In some states, if a driver is rear-ended, he or she is never considered legally at fault. If you were hit from behind, this law may apply to you.

6. You Were Not Issued a Ticket at the Scene

While this rule is far from universal, you may not be at fault if the police issued a ticket to the other driver at the scene, but not to you. Keep in mind, however, that the police do not issue tickets after every accident.

If you don’t know whether or not you were at fault (or you were wrongfully blamed for the accident), talk to an accident attorney. He or she can help you determine your rights, your legal responsibilities, and the compensation you are due.

Injured After Your Car Accident? Here’s Why You May Need an Injury Lawyer

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, year after year an excess of 10 million motor vehicle accidents are reported annually. While no one ever anticipates being involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is clear that they can often be unavoidable.

What Injuries May Occur in an Accident?

While drivers are often fortunate enough to walk away from motor vehicle accidents without a scratch, often times this is not the case. Edmunds reports that approximately one third of motor vehicle accidents result in injury. Common injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents include whiplash, broken bones, and even brain or spinal damage, all of which can have severe consequences.

What Should I Do If Involved in an Accident?

Should you ever be involved in a motor vehicle accident, the first thing all of the drivers involved should do is confirm that there are no life threatening injuries, followed by relocating to a safe place. Next, exchange information with all drivers involved, file an accident report with the police, and photograph the scene if possible. If you are injured, you should contact a personal injury lawyer or a similar firm before contacting the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). Consulting with a personal injury lawyer before contacting ICBC ensures that your claim is reported properly in order to avoid costly mistakes.

Who is Liable for My Injuries?

Any injury resulting from negligent operation of a motor vehicle, including motorcycles, trucks, and buses, may be grounds for legal action. There are a number of potential parties who may be liable for your injuries.

What Is an Example Situation Wherein I May Need a Lawyer?

For example, suppose you are sitting at a traffic light and your car is rear-ended by a bus, resulting in severe whiplash and neck pain. After following the appropriate steps at the scene of the accident, you go directly to hospital to be assessed, having your injuries confirmed and documented by a health professional. The driver or owner of the bus may be liable for any expenses incurred as a result of your injury, expenses you may not have to cover with the assistance of a personal injury lawyer.

Consulting with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is the best way to determine how to proceed with your personal injury case. You may have rights that you may not even be aware of, rights that can help ease the anxiety and consequences resulting from your personal injuries.

What are My Rights after a Car Accident? The Most Important Rights to be Aware of

When you are involved in a car accident, you have important rights that arise then and there at the scene. This is especially the case if you’ve been injured because of another driver’s negligence or your car has been damaged. Although you may be overwhelmed at the time of the accident, it is important to invoke your rights in order to ensure you get what you deserve in the days and weeks after the accident. Read on to learn about the important rights you have following your involvement in a car accident:

Call the Police

Insist on having police come to the scene to investigate the accident. If at all possible, all vehicles should remain where they came to rest after the impact. This will permit the investigating officer to make an accurate accident report, document damage to all vehicles involved, and make their own assessment on liability. A few days after the accident, you can obtain a copy of the accident report at little cost.

Insist on Immediate Medical Care

If you feel pain or discomfort anywhere in your body, ask to be taken to an emergency room or to be examined by paramedics. They will document your complaints of pain at the scene, and emergency room personnel will further document them. This is critical in establishing that you were injured as a direct and proximate result of the accident. Follow all medical recommendations, including seeing your own doctor or a specialist. Delays in treatment only weaken a case. Injury, pain and suffering are documented by medical personnel throughout a person’s course of treatment. If there is anything that feels wrong, don’t wait for it to go away—get checked out immediately in case there are any injuries.

Notify your Insurer

Let your insurer know you were involved in an accident as soon as practical after it happened. Most insurers have strict notice requirements, so try to document when, how and who you gave notice to. Your insurer has a right to investigate an accident and preserve any evidence and interview any witnesses. According to Rod Gregory, an Edmonton DUI lawyer, you have a contractual duty to cooperate with your insurer in the case of an accident, so give them any information you have that they might need.

Don’t Talk to the Other Driver(s)

Whether you’re the victim or the person who caused the accident, refrain from speaking with anybody involved in it. Your statements can only be used against you in the future. You’re under no duty to give the other party’s insurer any type of a statement. If they phone you, give them your attorney’s name and phone number. By allowing a professional to handle the matter, you’ll avoid saying something you’ll regret, or something that could negatively impact your case.

Being in a car accident can be a calamity, particularly if you’ve sustained serious injuries. Always invoke your rights for your future protection, and be sure you aren’t shy about asking for what you need. By getting help from the place, taking care of any bodily injuries, obtaining the right information, and consulting with your insurance agent, you’ll be able to put the distress of the accident behind you, and get what you deserve in the end. 

5 Post-Car-Accident Mistakes that Will Cause You to Lose Out on Money You Deserve

Involvement in a car accident can be very chaotic. The event itself is traumatic, but your actions after the accident may have the most impact on the outcome of your claim for compensation. Although you’ll be a little shaken up immediately following the experience, you’ll need to be prepared to take action (and avoid other actions) in order to keep yourself protected from a law suit or other problems further down the road. Knowing what not to do after an accident occurs is just as important as knowing what to do, so read on to learn about the biggest post-car-accident mistakes that you definitely want to avoid at all costs.

Admitting Any Fault

It is human nature to assume at least partial responsibility for an accident. Never admit any responsibility to the accident to law enforcement or anyone else at the scene of the event. Simply reply that you are not sure what happened or provide information about your reaction to events. Most states have laws governing compensation benefits based on responsibility. Let the attorneys use evidence to determine fault. Obviously, you want to be honest, but most likely you won’t be thinking clearly after the accident because of the adrenaline, so be sure that you don’t reveal too much since you might be confused about what really happened.

Not Seeking Immediate Medical Care

While most auto insurance policies provide you with up to seven days to seek medical care for an accident, most insurers will start to question the conditions after about 12 hours. Many claims are automatically denied because the insurer feels the injury is not related to the event. You should seek medical care immediately, even for minor injuries. If an EMT comes to the scene of the accident, take their advice, especially if they suggest that you go to the hospital. They might be able to see some potential problems, and again, you’ll be full of adrenaline, so you might not feel the full measure of the pain yet. Even if you feel something slightly painful or abnormal, you’ll want to consult a doctor, just in case.

Failing To Hire An Attorney

You should hire an attorney as soon as you can once you sense any trouble after the accident. Many people will not take issue with the accident if it was a mutual mistake, but be prepared for the other party to sue or the insurance company to expect a settlement from you. The insurance company will begin pushing for you to make a settlement or agreement with them as soon as possible. Avoid making any statements or agreements with the insurer prior to speaking to an attorney. Additionally, an attorney will be familiar with all of the benefits you are entitled to because of the accident. Many times the insurance company “forgets” to disclose these benefits. With an attorney on your side, you’re more likely to get what you deserve, and get it in proper time. If you wait until months after all of the events have transpired, it will be much more difficult to get what you want at that point.

Not Following Medical Care Instructions

It is very important that you follow all medical care instructions and keep all appointments. Missed appointments or refusal of treatments is seen by the insurance company as a sign that you no longer need medical care. If you are not happy with the medical care you are receiving, speak to your attorney about having a second opinion conducted. The worst thing you can do is ignore a doctor’s recommendations or orders. As mentioned, you can switch doctors if you don’t agree with their treatment style or recommendations, but ignoring medical care instructions could disqualify you for coverage later down the road which could be a huge problem if your condition caused by the accident worsens.

Posting Too Much Information

You should refrain from posting too much information on your social sites about the accident. Keep any information you post as basic. Never admit fault on your pages and never disclose the legal issues you have discussed with your attorney. The insurance company will be monitoring your site, and postings on your social media sites could be used as evidence against you if you aren’t careful. Be careful with emails and electronic communications as well since these can often be obtained and used against you. Just as you don’t want to admit fault at the scene of the accident, you don’t want to say too much about your involvement in the accident—even if you’re just posting on the internet.

By understanding these five mistakes, you can avoid problems with your compensation claim and receive the full amount you deserve for your losses. As mentioned, you’ll likely be frazzled and overwhelmed immediately following the accident so be careful that you don’t make a mistake just because you are confused or shaken up. If you know the best steps to take before an accident ever occurs, then you’ll know exactly what to do when that unfortunate time comes.

AUTHOR BIO: This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. Dixie got her advice for this article from the legal professionals at the Law Offices of Stanley Pasternak who practice law in Toronto.