Getting involved in an auto accident can make your life more difficult. You’re going to be under a lot of stress, and you’re going to deal with lots of different people. You have to deal with the other driver, police, doctors, insurance companies, lawyers and more. It could be difficult to deal with everything that’s going to happen to you especially if you have no idea what to do after the accident.
This is why it is essential that you know what legal actions you should take if you had an auto accident.
Here’s what you need to know in a legal sense if you had an auto accident. Note that the following are just an overview as to what you should do after you had a car accident.
Prepare the necessary documents to present to your attorney.
There are certain documents that you need to prepare for your attorney, in case you are looking to hire one. These documents will help your attorney to understand your situation and your chances of winning your claim. Here’s a list of the documents you should prepare for your attorney:
- Exchanged information at the scene of the accident.
- Police report.
- Insurance policy.
- Photographs taken at the scene of the accident.
- Statements from witnesses and individuals who were also involved in the accident.
- Your accounts of the accident.
- Proof of medical expenses or medical records.
Gathering these important documents is an essential part of your auto accident case and is also one of the first legal actions you should do.
Know who should you sue for the accident.
After getting treated for your injuries, and doing all the necessary things while you were at the scene of the accident, you will now have to answer the question “who should you sue for the accident?” You can’t just sue anybody without good reason. In this case, the answer to your question to who should you sue for the accident depends on some certain factors which include:
- The state laws where the accident happened or where you live;
- The other party’s insurance coverage;
- And, whether or not the other driver has insurance, to begin with.
Determining who is liable for the accident.
One of the first things you do after an auto accident is to determine who’s at fault. If you are 100% at fault for the accident, suing the other driver to pay your medical bills and damages won’t be successful. Having a skilled car accident attorney during this time can help you determine who’s at fault for the accident. Or, help you to at least reduce your fault for the accident.
Find out whether the other driver has insurance coverage or not.
The next thing to do is to find out if the other driver has insurance coverage. The insurance coverage should be enough to cover your medical expenses. In the US, most states have a no-fault insurance option. This is a type of insurance where an insurance company will pay all or some of your medical bills regardless of who’s at fault for the car accident.
Additionally, most states that have no-fault insurance option still allows you to sue the other driver if the accident was fatal and there were several people seriously injured.
What if the other driver has no insurance?
What if the other driver has no insurance? If you found out that the driver at fault has no insurance coverage, there are two options you can consider.
- Sue the driver personally so they can pay for the damages they caused during the accident;
- Or, file a claim to your insurance company under your uninsured motorists benefits. Uninsured motorists benefits is an insurance policy where you get to receive pay for the damages you got in an accident with a driver at-fault that has no insurance coverage.
Suing the one who’s at fault.
If the other driver’s insurance company does not give you the full compensation for the accident, you have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the driver at-fault. You can also file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurance company; however, this is only available in a couple of states.
Don’t wait for the statute of limitations for car accidents to expire.
In most states, the statue of limitations for car accidents usually expires in one or two years. This means that you have to file your lawsuit within 1-2 years, or you’ll lose your right to sue for the accident forever. So if you think that the compensation you receive is not enough, talk to a qualified attorney as quickly as possible.
It’s bad enough that you have to suffer from injuries caused by an auto accident, and it could be a lot worse if you still have to deal with the legal process that usually follows it on your own. So to help you with the legal process of an auto accident, you should consider talking to a skilled car accident attorney to get the justice you deserve.
Disclaimer: As mentioned above, this article is just an overview of what kind of legal actions that you must do if you had an auto accident. For real legal advice in this matter, talk to your car accident lawyer.