What to expect after a first-time car accident?
Car accidents cases carry a strong shock factor. When we see a car accident on the side of the road, we hope everyone is ok. We hope no one is badly hurt or killed. And often, that’s the case. It is a simple fender bender.
But sometimes these car wrecks are more serious. This happens when the car accident causes a driver or passenger to suffer long-term injuries or death. And surprisingly, it is not always clear that someone is seriously hurt after a car wreck. For example, the injured person may develop delayed pain in his back or neck from the accident.
As a result, I want to talk to you about what to expect in a first-time car accident case. And my goal is to put your case into context. But first, I will show you simple steps you can take to protect your rights.
Steps to take after a car accident.
Important steps to take after a car wreck.
- Make sure everyone is ok.
If someone is hurt, then call EMS. Make sure the injured person gets medical help without unnecessary delay.
- Call police.
The police officer will investigate the car wreck. After that, the officer will prepare a crash report. This report is important because it will show which driver caused the accident. In other words, the report will show which driver is at fault.
- Exchange Information and take photos.
Ask for the other driver’s full name, driver’s license number, and insurance policy number. You will need this information to file a claim with the at-fault’s insurance company. Also, take photos of the car damage and the location of the accident.
- Call your insurance company and file a claim.
The next step is to call your insurance company. Let them know that you were in a car accident. Your insurance company will then open a claims case. You will also want to file a claim with insurance company for the at-fault driver. More importantly, they may help you get your car fixed.
- Call your doctor.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you are in a car accident. This is because it may not be clear how serious your injuries are. Notably, you may look normal, but you may have neck or back injuries that need medical care. In short, when it comes to your health, it is better to be safe than sorry.
- Get a copy of the crash report.
In San Antonio, you can make an open records request online for the report. You can also make the report in person at: 315 S. Santa Rosa, San Antonio, Texas 78207.
Further, as we mentioned above, this report will tell you which driver is at fault. The report will also contain the name of the other driver and his insurance information. This will allow you to file a claim with the at fault driver’s insurance company so they can pay to fix your car and for your injuries.
- Talk to a car accident attorney.
Speak with a car accident attorney to go over your rights and options. These case evaluations are free and will provide you with important information about what steps you should take to get a fair settlement.
Should I hire a lawyer for my car accident case?
I recommend you speak with an experienced car wreck lawyer if you are in an accident. After that you can decide if you want to hire a lawyer. Notably, the lawyer consult is important because it will outline your options based on the facts in your case. Most important of all, you should consult with a lawyer before you sign any settlement agreement with the insurance company.
What are 3 key questions to ask in a car wreck case?
- Who is at fault? The car crash report will tell you which driver caused the accident. This is important because the other driver must be at fault if you want to sue the negligent driver. And sometimes the report may not be clear about who caused the wreck. As a result, the attorney will help you figure out if you have a strong case or not.
- Does the at-fault driver have insurance? This might be the most important part of a car crash case. The insurance company for the other driver is the one who will write the check to settle the claim. But if the the negligent driver does not have insurance, then it maybe hard to collect money from the at-fault driver.
In addition, sometimes the other driver has insurance. But his insurance is not enough to cover the medical bills and expenses caused by the accident. In these types of cases, the lawyer maybe able to help you with an uninsured(UM) or underinsured (UIM) motorist claim.
- How bad were the Injuries? The amount of any settlement is tied directly to the injuries in your case. The more serious the injuries, then the higher the value of the case. Nevertheless, sometimes insurance companies do not want to pay a fair price for the accident. When this happens, then you can sue the at-fault driver to cover the damages in your case.
Notably, the law provides for different types of damages. This includes damages for medical bills, loss of earnings, and physical pain and suffering. These are just a few examples of damages that can increase your settlement amount.
How much do lawyers charge for car crash cases?
Most lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. The exact fee will depend on each lawyer or law firm. Typically the fees range from 33% to 40%. And the lawyers will take this fee from the settlement amount. Consequently, the fee amount is a factor you should consider before hiring a lawyer.
San Antonio Car Accident Attorney.
The good news is that many cases get worked out without filing suit. This happens when the insurance company for the at-fault driver and the injured person agree on an amount. This is the best of all possible options because it keeps costs low. This is important because lower costs mean a higher payout for the injured driver.
The bad news is that sometimes the insurance company for the at-fault driver does not want to pay. Or they make a low offer that does not reflect the harm the at-fault driver caused. In these types of cases, the injured person must sue to get the insurance company to pay.
An experienced attorney can help you with either of these possibilities.
Attorney Genaro R. Cortez.