What To Do If Injured In Auto Accident

Accidents can dramatically impact your life, especially if you have severe injuries, You may be forced to miss work, or you could suffer a temporary disability if you have been injured in an auto accident. If you do get into an accident, it is important to be prepared and know what to do right away so that you can protect your legal rights and have the information you need to file a personal injury claim. Know these basic steps if you are ever in a serious car accident. 

Pull Over

If you are struck by a vehicle, safely pull over to the side of the road so that you can move your vehicle out of the way from other passing vehicles around you on the road. If you feel that you are in good enough condition, see if there are any other people hurt and tend to them. It is crucial that you stay at the scene and do not leave under any circumstances, otherwise you may be criminally prosecuted. Even if you were involved in a hit and run accident, do not leave the scene. 

Call 911

If you are able to, call 911 so that paramedics and law enforcement officers can be informed of the accident and get to you right away. Give them basic details, but be mindful about saying anything that sounds like you are admitting fault. Just let the first responders know details like the location of the accident, number of people injured, and they will provide you with further directions on what to do. 

Obtain Driver Information

Talk to the other driver or other parties involved so that you can obtain their information, such as their contact information, phone number, email, insurance, vehicle number, and driver’s license number. Exchanging driver information is required by law if someone has been injured or a large amount of property was destroyed, as a Woodland Hills auto accident lawyer like one at Barry P. Goldberg can inform you. 

Document the Site

Take many photos and videos of the accident scene and injuries that you have sustained. Assess the damage to the vehicles and other things that may have been hit, such as fences or other objects. Don’t forget to check smaller details that can be easily overlooked, such as the interior vehicle of the car, marks on the road, debris, or destroyed property. 

Call a Lawyer

As soon as you can in the days after the accident, get in touch with a qualified lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases like auto accidents. They will assess your case and explain the next steps that you should take. Like many people, you likely do not have the sufficient knowledge to handle a complex personal injury claim. A car accident lawyer can help you navigate the difficult claims process effectively so that you can increase your chances at obtaining a settlement that you deserve. To find out more about what legal services you can receive after getting in a serious car accident, contact a lawyer right away.

 

Determining Liability In Truck Accidents

Truck Accident Lawyer

Accidents involving large commercial trucks are complex compared to accidents between passenger vehicles for a variety of reasons. Large commercial trucking operations depend on groups of people that are involved at multiple levels, and at each level there is room for human error that can ultimately contribute to an accident happening. For this reason, liability may be distributed across multiple agents involved in the trucking operation. It is the job of a truck accident lawyer to examine the operation at every level to determine who is ultimately liable.

Parties involved in a commercial trucking operations that may be liable for contributing to conditions that caused an accident are as follows:

  • Truck drivers: The most common cause of truck accidents is error on behalf of the driver, as their job within the operation inherently poses the most risk to others on roadways. In a truck accident, the driver could be held responsible if they acted negligently while operating the commercial truck. Although, in many truck accident cases involving simple negligence, their employing truck company is usually responsible for actions of the driver. 
  • Commercial trucking companies: The company that the truck driver works for may be held liable for their negligent behaviors or actions. This includes practices on behalf of the trucking company that encourage their drivers to violate laws regarding the number of hours they are actively driving. Additionally, commercial truck companies are typically required to ensure drivers are capable of safe operation by conducting background checks and drug screenings. 
  • The owner of the truck: Companies in commercial trucking commonly lease the trucks that their drivers operate. The leasing company may be responsible for maintaining and conducting regular safety checks. Failing to do so appropriately can result in equipment failures and subsequently accidents. If this is the case, the leasing company may be liable for the accident that is in question. 
  • Cargo loading personnel: Commercial trucks are designed to safely transport massive loads, although when cargo is not safely secured it may shift or fall off from the trailer, leading to an accident. If cargo loading personnel fail to follow regulations, they may be liable for any accidents that happen as a result of falling or shifting loads. 
  • Manufacturers: Commercial truck manufacturers must engineer equipment and parts to strict safety regulations. When defective parts make their way into active use, there can be catastrophic failures that contribute to an accident occurrence. If a defective truck tire blows out while in transit, an accident can happen, in which case the tire manufacturer may be responsible. 
  • Roadway engineers and contractors: In some cases when roadways are not properly maintained or designed in a way that is unsafe, accidents can result. If this is the case, there is a chance that they may be liable for an accident that happens.

Trucking operations are intricate, and safety practices can be breached at any level by any of these parties. A truck accident lawyer should be able to examine safety practices at every level and determine who is ultimately responsible for causing the accident. 

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their expertise in truck accident liability.

Get Results By Building A Strong Personal Injury Claim

A personal injury attorney victims and families rely on can assist those who have suffered losses following an accident. There are various ways that an accident can occur. At times, taking legal action may be the most appropriate course of action to hold the responsible party accountable and retain compensation for some of the losses that victims face. Securing legal services can help ensure an outcome that covers damages according to our friends at Ward & Ward Law Firm. Although it may be possible for victims to represent themselves pro se (sans attorney), keep in mind that the plaintiff holds the burden of proof and must provide evidence that ties each element to the case. An attorney can assist with this by carefully examining the claim and working with their clients to gather pieces of evidence and, most importantly, build a strong case against the defendant while also negotiating with their legal team.

The Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is a complicated legal concept that an attorney can play a crucial role in assisting with. When a person suffers an injury resulting from another party’s negligence, they are likely at fault for the accident. Although victims may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party, they hold the burden of proof to receive a settlement for their losses. Personal injuries typically settle outside of the courtroom, but when they do make it to litigation, cases are overseen by the civil court. It’s important to note that civil cases hold a much lower burden of proof than criminal cases. A personal injury attorney Indianapolis, IN will share that the victim must prove upon the preponderance of the evidence that it’s more likely than not that the defendant’s negligence was responsible, or at least partly responsible for causing the damages that resulted.

Key Elements of Proving Negligence

Successful case outcomes for personal injury claims must have specific elements supported by key evidence. These elements are essential because they show that the defendant was negligent and that the victims experienced injuries that came at a cost (both financially and physically). Elements an attorney will look for include:

  1. Duty of Care: the defendant was required to act in a specific way
  2. A Failure to Uphold a Duty of Care: when the responsible party’s actions fail to uphold the standard of care
  3. Causation: the damages would not have occurred if the defendant had not breached their duty of care
  4. Damages: as a result of the accident, the victim has suffered damages

Proving negligence is not always a straightforward process, and victims will need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. They will be able to carefully investigate the case details and help determine whether each necessary element is present to deliver a positive outcome that results in compensation for the losses faced by victims. It’s important to note that one of the most critical aspects of proving negligence is tying evidence to each element required in personal injury cases. When meeting with an attorney, they will likely ask to review the following:

  • Medical Documentation
  • Accident/Police Reports
  • Eyewitness Statements
  • Receipts
  • Photographs
  • Videos
  • Proof of Lost Wages
  • +More

The days, weeks, and months following an accident that has resulted in injuries and losses can be a trying time for victims. At times, damages and financial losses can be devastating for victims, impacting their quality of life and ability to make ends meet. For more information about the services a personal injury attorney provides to victims in their time of need, schedule a consultation before it’s too late.

Common Personal Injury Claims & Damages

Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury is an overarching term used to describe a broad field of law. As a personal injury lawyer Dallas TX injury victims trust can explain, clients who have reason to believe that their injury or condition was caused by negligent actions of another person or entity. The goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to pursue and obtain compensatory damages to help lessen the financial impact of the injury and ease the process of recovery. Personal injuries consist of subcategories that describe the type of injury or incident that happened. 

These some of the most common personal injury claims are:

Auto Accidents

In the event of an auto accident where an injured person was not at fault, they may be eligible to pursue compensation for injuries and expenses related to their injuries. A personal injury plaintiff must be able to produce medical records that document their injuries, insurance documents and reports, and police reports that outline the details of what happened.

Truck Accidents

While still caused by a motor vehicle, truck accidents are different because of the size and weight of the vehicle in question—i.e. semi-trucks. These kind of accidents are different because when a truck hits a smaller vehicle, passengers in the smaller vehicles are very likely to suffer from serious injuries or death.

There are numerous ways semi-trucks can cause wrongful deaths, including:

  • Driver error and negligence (including failing to signal, driving fatigued and jackknifing)
  • Aggressive driving
  • Driving during adverse conditions
  • Driving with an overweight load
  • Mechanical defects
  • Truck company negligence
  • Driving while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol

Medical Malpractice

When injuries were sustained while receiving treatment from a doctor or medical professional, the personal injury case pertains to medical malpractice. In order for a medical malpractice case to be viable, it must be proved that the provider broke rules or violated medically accepted care standards. In other words the care provider must have acted negligently or demonstrated actions that were inappropriate during treatment of a patient.

Product Liability

When a defective or unsafe product leads to a person being injured, the personal injury claim pertains to product liability. Products that are inherently dangerous and adequately warn their users of their dangerous nature and typically excluded from product liability. 

Slip and Fall

Those who are injured after slipping, tripping, and subsequently falling while they are on either private or public property may pursue damages for injuries that were suffered. Factors that influence the viability of this category of personal injury claim include the general safety of the environment and how well the property made occupants and visitors aware of potential hazards.

Wrongful Death

When someone demonstrates negligent actions which lead to the death of another person, the personal injury claim is classified as a wrongful death. For example, if someone dies after being hit by a falling object from a construction site and adequate measures were neglected to prevent them from entering that area, the death could be wrongful and their family may be entitled to compensation.

Compensatory Damages

The primary goal of most personal injury lawsuits is to pursue and collect damages to help lessen the financial impact of expenses associated with the injury and aid in the process of regaining a sense of normalcy. 

The compensatory damages may be “economic” or “noneconomic.” Economic damages are physical, more tangible damages that can be quantified, and their value does not change depending on the jury that is evaluating them.

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their expertise on the subject of personal injury related law.

Gathering Car Accident Evidence

If you have recently been injured in a car accident, it is critically important that you do two things after you have been medically stabilized. First, it is important to connect with an attorney as soon as you can. A lawyer can help to ensure that you take every necessary step to protect your rights and preserve your legal options. From filing a police report to negotiating with insurance claims adjusters, having an experienced attorney in your corner is critical at this stressful time.

Second, you’ll want to do all you can to document and swiftly preserve any evidence that could help to strengthen your case in the event that you choose to file insurance claims and/or a lawsuit in the wake of your crash. While an experienced attorney can help you to preserve many kinds of potentially consequential evidence, there are a few things that you can do to expedite the preservation of evidence that you may have access to before you speak with an attorney.

Collecting Evidence at the Scene of the Crash

As an experienced car accident lawyer – including those who practice at The Law Offices of Barry P. Goldberg – can confirm, there is nothing more important than seeking medical attention in the immediate aftermath of an injurious crash. If you are currently at the scene of an accident and are not in a position to gather evidence because you are too hurt, do not worry about gathering evidence. An attorney can do that for you later. Focus on your health now and everything else can wait.

With that said, if you are hurt but you are also in a position to do a few simple things to preserve critical evidence, you can proceed with doing so as long as you are cautious and you listen to your body while you were making this effort. Start by exchanging insurance and contact information with any other motorists involved in the crash. Next, ask any witnesses to the wreck for their contact information as well. You won’t need to reach out to any of these parties or their insurance companies directly. Your attorney can do that for you. However, it is important to gather this contact information and identifying information proactively so that your attorney knows who to call once they have been alerted to your situation.

Next, take pictures and video of the crash scene. Make sure to identify all damage that has been done to the vehicles that were involved, as well as any significant road conditions, weather conditions, and any other influences that may help your attorney to clarify the cause(s) of your crash and any parties that may be held responsible for the harm you’re suffering.

You’ll also want to file a police report. If you haven’t already notified local law enforcement that they need to come to the scene of your crash, do so now. If you are, for any reason, uncomfortable in the presence of law enforcement, connect with a local personal injury attorney who can dispatch someone from their office to assist you at the scene as you communicate with police.

Symptoms That Indicate Serious Injuries After An Accident

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for victims of traffic accidents to not realize they have been injured at which point they need to contact an Elk Grove, IL personal injury lawyer residents trust. This can occur to vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and bicyclists. According to our friends at Therman Law Offices, LTD, this is especially true in accidents that seem like minor ones, where an individual doesn’t exhibit any obvious symptoms, such as a broken bone or bleeding that would indicate an injury.

This is why anyone who has been injured in a crash should seek medical attention even if they do not believe they have been injured. A doctor can often recognize injuries that do not have apparent symptoms yet and begin treatment to avoid the injury getting worse.

Delayed symptoms and diagnosis of an injury can also pose an issue for a victim when it comes to pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the party who is responsible for the accident that caused the injury. The longer it takes to have an injury diagnosed after the crash, the more likely it is that the insurance company for the other party will challenge the victim’s claim that the injury happened in the crash. The following are some of the common delayed symptoms a victim can suffer.

Back Pain

Any time a victim begins having back pain after a car accident, it could indicate that there may be a ligament, muscle, or nerve injury. It could also indicate that there has been damage done to the spine, such as a vertebra or disc.

Change in Personality or Physical Capability

If a person exhibits any changes in personality or abilities, such as impaired movement, memory, hearing or vision issues, or any strong personality changes, this could be a sign of some type of brain injury.

Headaches

There are several reasons why a victim may begin to have headaches after a crash, however, headaches can indicate a potentially fatal condition, such as a blood clot.

Numbness

If a crash victim experiences any numbness in their hands or arms, they should immediately get medical help since this could mean there has been an injury to the spinal cord or neck.

Pain or Swelling in the Abdominal Area

If the pain or swelling is also accompanied by dizziness, fainting, nausea, and dark purple bruising, this is a strong indicator that the victim could be suffering from internal bleeding. This type of injury can be fatal if it is not treated immediately.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Victims do not only suffer physical injuries but can also suffer from emotional injuries from a crash, as well. One of the most common, especially in a bad crash, is PTSD. Flashbacks and recurring memories of the crash can interfere with the victim’s ability to function in their daily life. Children are particularly susceptible to PTSD.

Whiplash

This type of injury is most common in rear-end crashes, even in crashes where the vehicles were traveling less than 15 mph. The snapping back and forth of the neck and head when the impact occurs can cause the ligaments and muscles to become injured. Whiplash injuries are often quite painful for the victim and require extensive physical therapy for healing.

Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm Today

If you have sustained injury in a crash caused by another driver, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party. To learn more, call an experienced personal injury attorney.