What to Do After a Car Accident

Written By: Darl Champion

Date Posted: 02.13.24

Category: Car Accident

Car accidents resulting from other drivers’ negligence can lead to debilitating injuries, mounting medical expenses, and lost earnings. Many accident victims are unsure of what to do after a car accident and don’t know where to turn. In addition to documenting the accident scene and seeking prompt medical treatment, you must consult with a knowledgeable car accident attorney in your area immediately.

Your lawyer can promptly begin an investigation into your accident circumstances and, if necessary, retain an accident reconstructionist who can testify in your case. Next, your lawyer can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, make a settlement demand, and negotiate for fair compensation on your behalf. Finally, if the insurance company does not make you a reasonable settlement offer, your Marietta car accident lawyer can pursue a favorable litigation result in court.

Important Steps to Take Following a Car Crash

After seeking initial medical treatment following a car crash, several important steps can help protect your well-being and strengthen any potential insurance claim or lawsuit you may file. Those steps include:

  • Follow Medical Advice – You must adhere to your healthcare provider’s prescribed treatment plan after your car accident. Specifically, you should attend follow-up medical appointments, take prescribed medications, and follow any rehabilitation or therapy recommendations. This promotes your recovery and establishes a clear record of your commitment to health.
  • Maintain a Symptom Journal – You should also record any ongoing symptoms, pain levels, and how they affect your daily life. This journal serves as a valuable reference when communicating with insurance companies or legal professionals about the effects of the accident on your well-being.
  • Document Medical Expenses – Keep detailed records of all medical expenses related to your accident, including bills, receipts, and insurance statements. This documentation is crucial for accurately assessing damages when pursuing a claim or lawsuit.
  • Notify Your Insurance Company – Your car accident lawyer can promptly inform your insurance company about the accident, provide a factual account of the incident, and provide any documentation or information requested. Failing to report the accident promptly may jeopardize your ability to file a personal injury claim.
  • Gather Evidence – Your car accident lawyer can also collect evidence from the accident scene, including photos of vehicle damage, skid marks, and any relevant road signs. This evidence can support your version of events in case of disputes.

Taking these important steps helps to build a strong foundation for any potential insurance claim or lawsuit, ensuring that your legal rights remain protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve for your car crash injuries.

Types of Car Collisions

Car collisions resulting from the negligence of other drivers can take various forms, each posing unique risks and challenges. One prevalent type is the rear-end collision, where a vehicle strikes the one in front due to tailgating, speeding, or distraction. These incidents often lead to whiplash injuries for the occupants of the impacted vehicle.

Another common scenario is the intersection collision. These accidents frequently happen when a driver runs a red light or fails to yield the right-of-way to another driver at the proper time. These collisions can result in T-bone or side-impact accidents, which are notorious for causing severe injuries – especially to the occupants on the impacted side of the vehicle.

Woman injured in car accident requiring urgent first aid assistance.

Negligent lane changes may also contribute to sideswipe collisions. When a driver fails to check blind spots or signals improperly, adjacent vehicles may become sideswiped, leading to property damage and, in some cases, serious injuries.

Head-on collisions, while less frequent, are among the most severe. They occur when a driver crosses into oncoming traffic, often due to impairment, distraction, or recklessness. These collisions have a higher likelihood of causing fatal injuries, given the combined speeds of both vehicles.

Rear-end collisions are a category of auto accidents that occur due to the negligence of other drivers, intersection accidents, sideswipe incidents, and particularly severe head-on collisions. Distracted driving exacerbates these risks, emphasizing the importance of staying attentive and adhering to prevailing traffic rules.

Why Car Collisions Occur

Negligence from other drivers is a leading cause of car accidents, with various behaviors contributing to these incidents. One prevalent form is distracted driving, where individuals engage in activities that divert their attention from the road. Texting, talking on the phone, or adjusting the volume on an in-car entertainment system while driving can lead to a lack of focus, delayed reaction times, and ultimately result in accidents.

Speeding is another common form of negligence. Drivers who exceed posted speed limits or drive too fast for the roadway or weather conditions often pose a significant risk. Speeding reduces the time available to react to unexpected situations, increases stopping distances, and can turn what might be a minor incident into a more severe collision.

Failure to obey traffic signals and signs is another type of widespread negligent behavior. Running red lights, disregarding stop signs, or failing to yield the right-of-way at intersections can lead to dangerous T-bone or side-impact collisions. These incidents often result in severe injuries due to the cross-path nature of the impact.

Reckless driving encompasses a range of negligent behaviors, including aggressive driving, tailgating, and weaving between lanes. Such actions not only increase the likelihood of accidents but also escalate the severity of collisions when they do occur. Aggressive driving behaviors also contribute to road rage incidents and create an unsafe driving environment for all road users.

Impaired driving, whether due to alcohol or drugs, is another significant contributor to accidents. Drivers who are under the influence experience compromised judgment, reduced muscular coordination, and delayed reaction times, leading to an elevated risk of collisions. DUI – or driving under the influence – remains a persistent problem, contributing to accidents with severe consequences.

Negligent lane changes and improper turns also affect many car accidents. Failing to signal, changing lanes without checking blind spots, or making abrupt turns can catch other drivers off guard, resulting in sideswipe collisions or more severe accidents.

Negligence by other motorists manifests in various forms, including distracted driving, speeding, failure to obey traffic signals, reckless driving, impaired driving, and improper driving maneuvers. If you suffered injuries in a car crash that another driver caused, an experienced car accident attorney can pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf and work to secure the financial recovery and justice you deserve.

Evidence in Car Accident Cases

When building a car accident claim or lawsuit, presenting compelling evidence is essential to establishing liability and securing favorable monetary compensation. One crucial piece of evidence is the accident report that a responding police officer prepares. This report typically includes details about the accident, statements from involved parties and witnesses, and any citations the officer issued to the at-fault driver. It also serves as an official record and can be a cornerstone in proving fault.

Eyewitness testimony is another valuable form of evidence in a car accident case. Statements from individuals who saw the accident unfold can provide additional perspectives and support your version of events. Eyewitness accounts may also help establish the actions of each party involved and contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the incident.

Photographic evidence is powerful in demonstrating the extent of damages and the conditions at the accident scene. Pictures of vehicle damage, skid marks, road conditions, and any relevant traffic signs or signals can help recreate the circumstances surrounding the accident. This visual evidence is often compelling and can strengthen your case.

Medical records and bills are also critical in establishing the extent of injuries you sustained as a result of your accident. This includes hospital records, diagnostic tests, treatment plans, and invoices. These documents provide a clear picture of the medical expenses you incurred due to the accident, forming a basis to seek favorable monetary compensation for your medical costs.

Professional testimony can further support your case. Accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, or other skilled individuals can provide:

  • Insight into the mechanics of your accident
  • The severity of your injuries
  • The long-term effects on your life

Their testimony adds a level of experience that can further strengthen the credibility of your claim.

Documentation of lost income is also essential for individuals who must miss work due to injuries sustained in their car accident. Pay stubs, employer statements, and other records can substantiate the financial losses you incurred from your accident.

An experienced car accident lawyer can gather the necessary documents and retain the professionals to prove your claim or lawsuit.

Negotiating With the At-fault Driver’s Insurance Company

Negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company is crucial for securing fair compensation after a car accident. A car accident attorney can handle all communications with insurance company representatives – both written and spoken.

You can help by thoroughly documenting the details of your accident, including the police report, eyewitness statements, and photographic evidence of the scene and damages. This comprehensive documentation forms the basis of your negotiation and strengthens your position.

When communicating with the insurance company, your attorney will clearly and concisely present the facts of your accident, emphasizing the evidence that supports your claim. They will also provide the insurance company with a detailed demand letter outlining your injuries, medical treatments, property damage, and other relevant losses.

Your attorney can also present a realistic settlement range based on your damages and losses, giving you a clear understanding of what will constitute a fair settlement offer in your case.

During settlement negotiations, you should be persistent and patient. Insurance companies may offer a lower settlement initially, but your attorney may counter with a well-documented response justifying your higher demand. Be prepared to promptly provide additional information or answer questions to keep the negotiation process moving forward.

Effective negotiation with the at-fault driver’s insurance company requires thorough preparation, clear communication, and a strategic approach. By presenting a strong case supported by evidence – and maintaining a reasonable yet firm stance – you increase your likelihood of reaching a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your car accident losses.

Recovering Financial Compensation for Your Injuries

The injuries that car accident victims may suffer in an accident can range from soft tissue muscular contusions to broken bones to traumatic brain injuries and paralysis injuries. In a car accident claim or lawsuit, various monetary damages may compensate for the accident victim’s injuries and losses.

Woman receiving financial compensation for her Injuries

These damages address the financial effects of the accident on the injured party.

Key types of monetary damages that individuals may seek include compensation for:

  • Property Damage – These damages relate to repairing or replacing the damaged vehicle or other property affected in the accident and cover the costs of vehicle repair, replacement, or any personal items that suffered damage in the collision.
  • Medical Expenses – This includes reimbursement for all medical costs related to injuries sustained in the accident. It encompasses hospital bills, surgery costs, rehabilitation, medication expenses, and other necessary medical treatments. Future anticipated medical expenses may also be recoverable.
  • Pain and Suffering – Non-economic damages like pain and suffering aim to compensate the accident victim for the physical and emotional distress they experienced following their accident. These damages take into account the pain, discomfort, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life resulting from the injuries sustained.
  • Loss of Consortium – In cases where the accident victim’s injuries affect relationships with a spouse or family member, loss of consortium damages may be available. These damages include compensation for loss of support, intimacy, and companionship due to the accident-related injuries.
  • Lost Income – If the accident leads to missed work time or a reduced ability to earn income, injured accident victims can seek compensation for their lost income. This includes the income lost during the recovery period and any potential future income loss due to the long-term effects of various injuries (such as full or partial paralysis).
  • Wrongful Death Damages – If a car accident results in the loss of life, the surviving family members may pursue wrongful death damages via a claim or lawsuit. These damages typically cover funeral and burial expenses, medical bills leading up to the decedent’s untimely death, loss of financial support, and the emotional suffering that surviving family members endured.
  • Punitive Damages – In rare cases where the at-fault party’s actions were particularly egregious, punitive damages may be available for the injured accident victim to recover. These damages aim to punish the wrongdoer and to deter similar wrongful conduct in the future.

Thoroughly document and justify each type of damage claimed. This process involves gathering medical records, pay stubs, repair estimates, and other relevant documents. A knowledgeable car accident attorney can navigate the legal complexities of your case and pursue all available damages.

Talk With an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Near You Today

Darl Champion

Darl Champion, Car Accident Lawyer

If you sustained injuries in a car accident that a negligent driver caused, you should retain experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. Your personal injury attorney can develop a plan of action for your case, guide you through the process, and pursue the financial recovery and justice you need.



About the Author

Darl Champion is an award-winning personal injury lawyer serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. He is passionate about ensuring his clients are fully compensated when they are harmed by someone’s negligence. Learn more about Darl here.