When a car accident occurs it’s an emotional and traumatic experience. Whether or not you, a loved one, or a friend are simply shaken up, or worse, injured, it could be a life-changing event. In the seconds, minutes, hours, days, and possibly even longer, a wave of emotions and events is going to overcome you. Before that happens, it’s best to know what to do immediately after an accident. The more prepared you are, we believe the better you will come out of the process of dealing with the other drivers, insurance agents, insurance companies, medical bills, and yes, even your personal injury lawyers.
The Reason You Plan Ahead For The Worst
The following is a guide of steps to take after a car accident, types of accidents and injuries, and an overview of compensation you may be entitled to. Most of all, if you have been injured, and after you have sought medical attention, you should contact a car accident attorney so you can collect the financial compensation you are entitled to under the law.
No insurance company should be able to deprive you of the money you deserve for car accident injuries. And they will try. That’s where understanding the insurance claims process is important and why having known and trusted personal injury lawyers is critical.
We hope the worst you ever have to contend with in a traffic accident is physical damage to your car and that there’s no further damage beyond that. However, that might not be the case.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident:
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Delaware, you may be wondering what your next steps should be. There are some immediate steps to take after auto accidents.
- Call the police: It is important to call the police immediately after a car accident, even a minor one. Reporting accidents, even minor accidents, from the accident scene is essential. Wait until the police arrive. Police reports will be created, which can be helpful when filing an insurance claim or seeking compensation.
- Seek medical attention: If you or anyone else involved in the accident has sustained injuries, seek medical attention right away at the emergency room. Even if you feel fine, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor as some injuries, such as whiplash, may not become apparent until days later. Emotional distress may not be apparent until some time later.
- Gather information: Collect as much information as possible from the scene of the accident, including the names and contact information of the other driver(s), witness statements, and photos of the damage to all vehicles involved. Collect the name of the other driver’s insurance company, a photo of their driver’s license, and their license plate number. Having the names of all the parties involved and a police report makes the claims process easier.
- Contact your own insurance company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Be honest and provide all the information you have gathered. However, do not discuss your case, injuries, or claim with the other person’s insurance company. This could jeopardize your legal rights.
- Consult with a car accident attorney: If you have been injured in the accident, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced car accident lawyer who can handle your car accident claim. You can confidentially consult with them with as much detail as possible about how the accident happened; vehicle damage; medical bills; medical treatment; and injuries. In turn, they can help you understand your legal options and advise you on the best course of action for car insurance claims including file a claim for personal injury.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Car Accidents?
There are a number of ways a person can be injured in a car accident. These are the most common:
- Rear-End Collisions: This is when a motor vehicle hit the back of another vehicle. This type of accident is often caused by distracted driving, tailgating, or sudden stops.
- T-Bone Collisions: A T-bone collision occurs when the front of one car hits the side of another car. These types of accidents can be particularly dangerous as they often occur at high speeds.
- Head-On Collisions: Head-on collisions occur when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide. These accidents can be devastating, often resulting in serious injuries or fatalities.
- Sideswipe Collisions: Sideswipe collisions occur when two cars traveling parallel to each other make contact. While these accidents may seem minor, they can still cause significant damage to both vehicles.
What Are The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?
Here are some of the most common causes of car accidents:
- Distracted driving: This is the leading cause of car accidents in the United States. Distracted driving can include anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the road, such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting the radio.
- Speeding: Driving at high speeds increases the likelihood of an accident, as it reduces the amount of time a driver has to react to potential hazards.
- Driving under the influence: Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense and can impair a driver’s judgment, reaction time, and coordination.
- Reckless driving: This can include behaviors such as weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, and running red lights or stop signs.
- Poor weather conditions: Rain, snow, ice, and fog can all create hazardous driving conditions, making it more difficult for drivers to see and control their vehicles.
- Driver fatigue: Driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as it can impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time.
- Mechanical failures: Faulty brakes, worn-out tires, and other mechanical failures can contribute to car accidents.
As a car accident lawyer, it’s important to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the accident to determine the cause and liability; which insurance company should pay; and how to file an insurance claim. By understanding the most common causes of car accidents, lawyers can help their clients recover the compensation they deserve and work to prevent future accidents by advocating for safer driving practices.
What Are The Most Common Car Accident Injuries?
The list of motor vehicle collision injuries from minor to severe to even fatal is long. These are some of the common types of car accident bodily injury:
- Whiplash: Whiplash is a common injury that occurs when the head and neck are suddenly jolted forward and then backward. Symptoms of whiplash or other neck injuries may not become apparent until several days after the accident.
- Concussion: A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs when the brain is jolted inside the skull. Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, and confusion.
- Broken Bones: Bone fractures can occur in any type of car accident, and can range from minor fractures to more serious breaks that require surgery.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries can be catastrophic, often resulting in paralysis or other long-term disabilities.
You may have suffered other injuries from the accident caused by the other party and their negligence. Car crashes are violent and with the help of your doctors and our car accident lawyers, you will get the best attention and ensure that the at-fault party’s insurance company pays damages in accordance with state laws.
What Kind Of Money Can I Collect for Car Accident Injuries?
Notwithstanding the insurance coverage or specific auto insurance policy, the amount of compensation car accident victims may be entitled to after car accidents will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Insurance companies work hard to deny coverage and pay for bodily injury. This is why you must have a personal injury attorney.
Compensation through either a fair settlement or litigation for many of the common injuries may include:
- Medical expenses: This includes the cost of any medical treatment you received as a result of the accident, including hospital stays, surgeries, and rehabilitation. Whether it is from your insurance company or the other driver’s insurer, these medical bills should be covered.
- Lost wages: If you were unable to work as a result of the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
- Pain and suffering: This includes compensation for physical pain and emotional pain and suffering resulting from the accident. Motor vehicle accidents can be highly painful and traumatic and the at-fault driver can be held responsible.
- Property damage: You may be entitled to compensation for any property damage to your vehicle or other personal property as a result of car wrecks.
- Punitive damages: In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded if the at-fault driver’s conduct leading to the car crash was particularly reckless or egregious.
- Wrongful death claims: This is a type of lawsuit that can be filed when a person’s death is caused by negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another person or entity. This type of claim is typically filed by the surviving family members or the estate of the deceased person.
How Long Do I Have To File A Car Accident Claim?
In Delaware, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim is typically two years from the date of the accident. This means that if you were involved in a car accident and wish to file a claim for damages, you must do so within two years of the date of the accident. These time limits are strict and must be considered.
If you fail to file your claim within the two-year statute of limitations, your claim will likely be dismissed by the court, and you will be unable to recover any compensation for your damages beyond what you can recover when you file a claim with your own auto insurance company. It is important to note that the statute of limitations is a strict deadline, and there are very few exceptions to this rule.
It is highly recommended that you contact an experienced car accident attorney in Delaware as soon as possible after your accident to ensure that you meet all the necessary deadlines and requirements for filing a claim, initiating the insurance claims process with your own insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company, not to mention filing a personal injury claim. An attorney can help gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and protect your rights in court if necessary.
Remember, the sooner you contact an attorney, the more time they will have to build a strong case on your behalf, increasing your chances of receiving fair compensation for your damages.
The Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer
Hiring an experienced auto accident lawyer offers several key advantages to individuals who have suffered a car wreck and have both a car insurance claim and a claim for injuries. Our attorneys will be able to handle all aspects of their case and your claim. Our law firm has the experience and knowledge of Delaware personal injury laws needed to successfully navigate the insurance claim process and the legal system on your behalf.
Why Schmittinger & Rodriguez?
At Schmittinger & Rodriguez, we understand how difficult and stressful it can be to deal with the aftermath of an auto accident. Our team has decades of combined experience handling such cases, and we know how to effectively deal with DE car accident cases to ensure that our clients get the compensation they deserve.
We will work diligently to ensure that the negligent party is held accountable for their actions by:
- Investigating all details of the accident
- Collecting and examining the relevant evidence and reports
- Obtaining all available records, reports, accident images, and reconstructions
- Building a strong case through evidence gathered
We also have a deep understanding of all the legal issues and will provide dedicated legal representation throughout your case. Our experienced attorneys are committed to providing you with personalized attention and will fight hard to get you the best possible outcome for your case. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact Schmittinger & Rodriguez today so that we can help you obtain justice and fair compensation for your losses. Call us now at (302) 674-0140.