Can You Sue the Other Driver After a Car Accident?
If you’ve been in a car accident, you might be wondering what your options are moving forward. Find out what you need to know about taking legal action after a car wreck.
Dealing with a car accident is usually a very stressful time. Whether the accident was simply a fender-bender or your car will need a lot of repairs, deciding how to move forward after an accident can be tricky.
Before you do anything else, make sure you check to see if everyone is okay after the accident occurs. Safety should always be your first concern, so call and notify the police when the accident happens. If anyone is injured, make sure you call for an ambulance. Even if you don’t seem to be hurt, it’s also a good idea to visit your primary care physician promptly for a check-up and to make sure that you were not injured.
Once everyone is okay, however, you might need to think about whether you should pursue legal action against the other driver.
Here’s what you need to know.
File a police report
Anytime you’re involved in a car accident, it’s important to call and file a police report. Even if the damage to the vehicles seems minor and you appear to be uninjured, it’s vital that you file a report. There are several reasons for this. First, it establishes a legal record that the accident occurred. The police report will detail what happened, who was involved, and who was at fault. Second, filing a report enables you to talk with your insurance company if you require reimbursement for repairs to the car. If you find out in a week or two that your car actually was damaged in the accident, you’ll be able to act accordingly. Finally, the police report ensures that you and the other driver both have insurance and are covered if either one of you needs reimbursement for the accident at a later time.
Understand what happened
When the accident, occurs, you’ll talk with the police officer who responds to your call. You’ll let him know exactly what happened. For example, were you rear-ended at a stoplight? Did someone fail to yield when merging? Did another vehicle run a red light? Try to stay calm when you explain what happened. Your witness statement is very important to the police and can reveal important information that details who was at fault. If you remember additional information later on, write this down to ensure you have a thorough statement you can show to your attorney. The more details you have regarding the accident, the better. If you have a mounted camera in your car that managed to catch the incident, always provide a copy to both the police and your attorney.
Talk to your attorney
Your lawyer understands that dealing with a car accident can be very frustrating. You might be worried about the financial cost of repairing your car or dealing with medical expenses. You might want justice for what happened. You might even want to ensure that the roads become a safer place. No matter what your reasons are for meeting with your attorney, keep in mind that your lawyer knows this is a difficult time and will do everything in their power to help you through this.
Don’t wait to call your lawyer. Reach out as soon as possible to find out what your next steps should be.