Kansas City Townsend Law Firm

What to Do After An Accident

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2017 | Car Accident

As the saying goes, accidents happen. When it comes to motor vehicle and car accidents, however, many of them are avoidable, and were caused by the negligence of someone else. Sometimes, crashes are caused by distracted drivers who are texting, reading, taking on the phone or even applying makeup while driving.

Sometimes, the other driver was chemically impaired by drugs or alcohol. Other times, the car accident was simply a failure to carefully observe the surroundings or inclement weather. Whatever the cause, there are certain steps you can take to protect yourself after a serious accident.

In the wake of a car accident, the victims will have many questions about what the next steps are. What to do after an auto accident is critical, and how you handle yourself at the scene of the accident can be of benefit as well as how you interact with the other motorists and police officers. Here are some common questions that we often get, and some answers to these delicate matters:

If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, what do I do? Most insurance policies have contingencies for people who are hit by uninsured drivers, or hit and run drivers. Review your policy and see what is offered by your insurance company.

What if my insurance company denies my claim? Sadly, many insurance companies utilize devious practices to deny claims. Others are just looking out for their bottom line. In either case, it is accident victims who suffer because of these decisions. If your insurer denies your claim, consult with a car accident attorney to make sure your rights are protected and upheld.

Can I sue the other driver? Yes you can. The circumstances of your wreck will matter, obviously, but you can file a personal injury lawsuit against negligent drivers for the harm and damage they have caused. The claims process is different for each case, but when you suffer serious injuries from a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you have rights and we can help show you those rights.

Will I have to go to court? Again, it depends, but most civil lawsuits are settled out of court. If you do have to go to court, you will want an attorney by your side. At Townsend Law, we want to help car accident victims get back to their lives after the crash.

We will support you and advocate for your rights, striving towards earning you the compensation you need and deserve in the wake of a motor vehicle accident.

Steps To Take In The Aftermath Of A Car Crash

The steps to take in the aftermath of a serious auto accident are critical. Some of these tips and examples could happen in a different order, or not at all, but can all offer some insight on what to do after an auto accident.

  • The first step in any serious car accident is to determine if you or others in the motor vehicle have suffered injuries.
  • Then you should immediately assess your surroundings for safety. Are you in a lane of traffic, where secondary collisions are a real risk? If so, you may want to exit your vehicle.
  • Turn off your motor vehicle and engage your hazard lights.
  • Does anyone need triage for a serious injury, or can you wait for emergency responders for medical attention? If everyone can exit the vehicle, you may want to move them out of the flow of traffic.
  • You may wait to move anything until you’ve videoed or photographed the scene of the accident with your phone or after law enforcement arrives.
  • You should document what happened immediately before and during the crash whenever possible. Accident reports and police reports will have documented information from the scene of an accident, but having your own documentation can be helpful.
  • When speaking with the other driver and law enforcement, never apologize. Doing so is considered an admission of fault, even if the other person clearly caused the accident.
  • When speaking with the law enforcement officer be polite, gather all party’s information, badge numbers, insurance company phone number, policy number and other insurance information, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, phone numbers and other contact information for your records, insurance claim, and possible property damage or serious injury claim.
  • After law enforcement has taken your statement, you should seek medical attention for yourself and your passengers. Be sure to document everything as it happens and retain all of your medical bills for evidence in case your accident results in a civil lawsuit.
  • You should contact your insurance company and file a claim. The claims process is different for every insurance company, and there can be differences in your own insurance and the other driver’s insurance company. How medical expenses, rental cars, repair shop choices, roadside assistance and more are handled will vary, but having as much information as possible from the scene of an accident will always be beneficial.

An Attorney Can Help You After An Accident

The police reports and accident reports can show who was determined to be the at fault driver in the auto accident.

If the other driver was at fault, you might be offered an insurance settlement. You should absolutely speak with a car crash lawyer before accepting or signing anything.

Your attorney can tell you if a settlement offer is reasonable, based on the serious injuries you’ve sustained. Many times, first offers are lower than they should be, in the hopes that people will quickly sign off before realizing the amount won’t cover the medical attention costs and property damage caused by the accident.

Your lawyer can protect you from making a mistake that could cost you thousands of dollars.

Additionally, your personal injury attorney can review the details of your accident and determine if a civil lawsuit makes sense. In cases of severe injuries, insurance may not cover all of your losses. There are limits to vehicular insurance coverage. A civil lawsuit could help you recover the expenses and losses that exceed the maximum benefits from your motor vehicle policy for your medical attention and medical bills, property damage, as well as any pain and suffering or punitive damages.

Working with a car insurance company, and working through the insurance claim with the insurance adjuster can be difficult and frustrating. The claims process can be confusing, and unless you have a qualified professional looking at the offer you may never know if it was an appropriate amount for the level of injury you suffered.

Contact the Kansas City car accident lawyers at Townsend Law LLC today for a free consultation where we can review your individual case and determine what kind of claim you may have. We have decades of experience in auto accident injury law, as well as an intimate knowledge of the insurance industry and how they work.

Call our Kansas City law office now to get started.