Being injured in a car accident can be a frightening and terrible experience. You may be facing serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment and time out of work. Overcoming the challenges of even a minor vehicle accident may seem daunting — and you may not know what to do after a car accident. No matter how your accident happened, if you were hurt due to someone else's careless actions, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. However, there are a few essential steps you should take to ensure your rights are protected and you obtain the compensation you deserve.
After a car accident, many motorists are understandably shaken up. But after ensuring that you and everyone else involved in the collision are okay, there are a few steps you should take to preserve your claim. At the scene of the accident, it’s vital to do the following:
When it comes to receiving medical treatment, do not turn down help. Even if you don’t know what to do after a car accident, you should be evaluated by medical professionals or at an emergency room. Most people do not feel the full impact of the crash immediately, and many injuries can sometimes take a week or more to appear. By seeking prompt medical attention, a doctor can rule out any serious internal injuries and put you on a course of treatment to help ensure you get better as quickly as possible.
Importantly, when police officers arrive at the scene, they will ask you questions about the accident. When answering them, you need to remain calm and provide truthful answers. It is helpful to be brief, honest, and straightforward. However, you should avoid making incriminating statements that could later be used against you or admitting fault for the accident. That’s very important and lesser known when it comes to what to do after a car accident.
As you ponder what to do after a car accident, and the topic of your insurance provider comes up, know this. Before you talk to the insurance company adjuster, you should protect your rights by consulting an experienced car accident attorney. It’s never advisable to handle your case on your own as there are many ways you could inadvertently harm your case. Obtaining the representation of a car accident attorney who has a deep understanding of personal injury cases and the local laws can often help you avoid unintentionally weakening your claim. In addition, once you are represented by counsel, the insurance company cannot contact you directly — they must go through your attorney.
A car accident attorney can also help answer some of the legal questions you may have had about what to do after a car accident and how medical treatment can impact your claim. If you were injured in a car accident, it is important to seek the medical treatment and follow-up care you need immediately. You should not worry about saving the insurance company money or hope that you will get better on your own. Critically, Alaska is an at-fault state, meaning the insurance company of the driver who was at fault for the accident is responsible for paying your medical bills (but only up to the maximum amount of the at-fault driver’s insurance limit).
But not only does getting the proper medical treatment you need give you the best chance of getting well, it also serves as documentation of your economic losses and pain and suffering. Ultimately, it can be key evidence in establishing the value of your case.
Every car accident case is unique, and the losses each victim suffers will be different. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may be eligible to seek to recover both your economic and non-economic damages. These can include a wide range of monetary and non monetary losses, such as:
It’s never a good idea to accept the first settlement offered to you by the insurance company. Usually, an adjuster will offer you a small amount early on in your case. However, if you settle too soon, you might do so before you know the full extent of your harms and losses. A car accident lawyer can best evaluate your case, assess its value, and work to obtain the maximum compensation to which you are entitled under the law.
Alaska applies the doctrine known as comparative negligence in car accident cases. This means that when someone is injured by another's negligence, the injured party's own amount of fault would decrease the amount of any damages awarded, in proportion with their percentage of blame.
For instance, if you are 25% at fault for the crash, then the jury may award you 75% of the damages sought in the claim. In this case, if you sued for $100,000 and the jury deemed this amount appropriate, you would be awarded $75,000 in damages. The amount you are awarded will depend upon all of the circumstances surrounding the crash, so it’s crucial to gather as much evidence as possible to present to your attorney so they can maximize your compensation.
If you have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness, you may be entitled to monetary recovery for the losses you suffered. The Trial Guy is committed to providing high-quality legal services and reliable representation to Alaska car accident victims who don’t know what to do after a car accident. Trial Guy will work diligently to secure the maximum amount of compensation possible on their behalf. Proudly serving Anchorage, Soldotna, Kenai, Palmer, Wasilla, and other areas of Alaska, our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 907-262-9164 to schedule a free consultation at our Anchorage or Soldotna office, or contact us online.