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Legal Do’s And Don’ts After A Car Accident

We all hope that we’ll never end up in a car accident, but the sad fact is that there are approximately six million car accidents in the US each year. So, there’s always a probability of you or someone you know being involved.

Careful driving can massively reduce the risk of ending up in an accident, but expecting the worst and preparing for every eventuality can also be a wise move.

Depending on the situation, you might have to seek out the services of a car accident lawyer, and the moves you make right after the accident could have a massive influence on how your case pans out.

Naturally, when you find yourself in an accident, you tend to panic, and it can be hard to keep your head and think clearly, especially if you or someone you know has suffered an injury. Still, to give yourself the best chance of a positive outcome, be sure to follow these simple Dos and Don’ts.

Do: Seek Medical Attention Immediately

When the accident occurs, any injuries should be treated as quickly as possible, and this is both for your own physical benefit, as well as to help support any potential legal cases that might arise if you contact a lawyer later on.

You can develop a wide range of injuries in the wake of an accident, ranging in seriousness and risk. Recovering from a neck injury could take years for example, while other issues might not be quite as serious but still demand prompt treatment.

If you plan to use a lawyer for a claim, medical reports and records will be vital in the case, so this really is essential. It’s also wise to photograph injuries and document exactly what happened too.

Don’t: Ignore Medical Advice

After seeking medical help for any injuries sustained during an accident, you might find that your doctor recommends strict bed rest or instructs you to follow certain safety protocols to minimize the risk of any further issues or injury.

Even if you feel these instructions are exaggerated or feel like your injury isn’t as bad as it seems, it’s vital to follow this advice.

If you try to make an insurance claim later on and evidence arises to show that you were still going out, attending sporting events, playing with your kids and taking on other risks against medical instructions, your chances of success could take a big hit.

Do: Seek Legal Aid Promptly

As well as looking for medical care in a timely fashion, it’s also wise to contact a lawyer as quickly as possible too. A lot of people take too long to contact a car accident lawyer. They might, instead, spend time contacting their insurance company first or posting details about the accident online with their friends and families.

All of these actions could harm your case in the long run, as any statements you provide might be used against you, and you could accidentally or inadvertently say things that will reduce your chances of a positive settlement with your insurance company.

Before you say anything or speak with any insurance agents, get in touch with a lawyer. They’ll be able to advise you through the whole process, providing some much-needed peace of mind and helping you negotiate towards a positive outcome.

Don’t: Hide Past Injuries Or Accidents

If you’ve had any past accidents or injuries, you need to let the lawyer know about them. Opposition lawyers and insurance agents could use these accidents against you, suggesting that your current injury is simply due to a prior accident, thus negating your claim.

They might even be able to view your entire medical history upon demand in order to build a case against you, so it’s important that you let your lawyer know all they need to know in order to build a solid case, without any holes that might be exploited.

A lot of people might feel that they need to hide this kind of information, and some may try to exaggerate their injuries or lie about what they can or cannot do in order to try and strengthen their case. In reality, lying will only weaken your chances of success.

Conclusion

Car accidents are always scary situations, and it’s normal to panic at first, but if you take your time, think clearly, and try to make rational, responsible decisions, you’ll have a much stronger chance of getting a settlement from your insurance company, rather than having to deal with more stress and problems.

ARTICLE BY:

Susan Melony
susan.melony@gmail.com

Legal Do’s And Don’ts For Car Accident Victims

Each and every year, around 6 million car accidents occur in the United States, leading to over 90 deaths per day and countless injuries too. The statistics make for terrifying reading, and the causes of these accidents can range from drunk-drivers to distracted driving, excessive speeding, and general negligence.

The pain and suffering caused by car accidents can be life-altering, with many people losing loved ones or dealing with serious physical and mental issues after being involved in a collision. This whole situation can be made even more stressful and traumatic when legal cases start to unfold and car accident victims worry about how they’re going to cover all of the associated costs.

Fortunately, attorneys are there to help, and there are plenty of lawyers and legal teams who have extensive experience in dealing with car accident claims, helping to provide at least some measure of justice to innocent victims of these incidents, as well as compensating them for the damages and distress they’ve endured. If you want your case to go smoothly after an accident, be sure to follow these key do’s and don’ts.

Do: Seek Medical Attention Immediately

One of the first things to do after an accident is to seek medical care. If you or anyone else in the vehicle feel that you’ve been injured, you need to get help immediately. Even if you’re only suffering from mild pain, like a slight ache in your neck or head, it could be a sign of something quite serious like whiplash, or it might get much worse if left untreated.

Head to a hospital and get yourself and any passengers checked over for injuries. This isn’t just sensible for your health and well-being, but also for any future legal cases that may occur, as opposing legal teams may try to argue against your case if you claim to have been injured in an accident but didn’t seek medical attention in the aftermath of the crash.

Don’t: Stress Out Or Wait Too Long

In the wake of an accident, it’s perfectly normal and natural for your mind to be a bit of a mess. Many people get stressed, scared, and anxious after an accident. They lose focus and don’t quite know what to do or say. As hard as it may be, try to keep your emotions under control.

Don’t panic or get angry in the wake of an accident, and try to focus on doing the important things like calling for help, contacting the cops, and getting medical care. Stay at the site of the accident until help arrives, don’t get into any kind of fights or arguments with the other driver, and don’t waste any time. Report, document, and contact an attorney right away, as every second that passes without legal aid could

Do: Document And Report Everything

As well as seeking medical attention in the wake of an accident, you should also make sure to document and report absolutely everything. It’s highly likely that you or someone else in the vehicle will have a cell phone, so use it to take some photos of the vehicle, the surrounding area of the incident, and any signs of injuries on your body too.

Report the accident to your insurance agent as soon as you can too, as well as contacting the police and sharing the full details of what happened. This is so important, as opposing legal teams may try to argue that the incident wasn’t too serious if you failed to report it to the police, or they may simply turn it into a case of your word against the other driver if you don’t have proper evidence and police reports to back up what you’re saying.

Don’t: Talk Too Much

You should absolutely report what happened after an accident to the police and your insurance provider, but you shouldn’t talk too much or answer too many questions before contacting an attorney. Once you’ve got an attorney on your side, you’ll be able to check with them and get advice on what you should or shouldn’t do.

You definitely shouldn’t sign anything or make any recorded statements in the wake of an accident, nor should you accept blame or admit to any kind of fault right away. Even if you feel that the accident was partly your fault, you may not be aware that the other driver was texting or under the influence at the time, so admitting guilt could harm your case.

Conclusion

Being in an accident can be quite a terrifying and life-altering experience, but you don’t have to suffer through it alone. Lawyers can help to advise you on the right course of action to take, as well as helping you file a successful case, so be sure to follow these do’s and don’ts if you ever find yourself involved in a collision.

ARTICLE BY:

Susan Melony
susan.melony@gmail.com

Everything You Should Know About Civil Litigation Lawsuits

Civil litigation lawsuits can be highly confusing if you’re not an attorney. The legal jargon is enough to make your head spin sometimes. However, if you’re on either end of a civil action, then you need to know what the process is going to be, and how the suit is likely to move forward.

Civil litigation lawsuits happen every day. Whether you’re the one bringing the action or defending yourself, you’re certainly going to want a good lawyer by your side who can fight for your best interest.

With that in mind, let’s go through how the process works.

What Exactly is a Civil Litigation Lawsuit?

A civil lawsuit:

  • Is when one person tries to hold another individual accountable for a wrongful action
  • Often ends with monetary compensation if the court agrees with the plaintiff

The real difference between a civil action and a criminal one is that criminal cases seek to punish the guilty. With civil actions, the wronged party wants to get compensation. The process starts with the wronged party bringing a complaint against the one who they perceive is at fault.

The standard for a guilty verdict is lower in civil lawsuits.

Talking to Your Lawyer

Unless you’re well-versed in the law and want to represent yourself, you should almost always consult with a lawyer before proceeding any further, because they can tell you if you have a case or not. You might feel like someone did you wrong, but that does not necessarily mean that a court will feel the same way.

What your lawyer is trying to get from your description of the events is whether or not there’s precedent. If they feel like there are prior legal examples of people getting financial compensation for something like what happened to you, they’re going to take the case and encourage you to move ahead with it.

Pleadings

Pleadings will be next. This is where:

  • You will file paperwork in court laying out what the individual did to you
  • They will file responding paperwork, called an answer

You and your attorney must then figure out what court you can use that’s appropriate for your case. You need to have what’s called personal jurisdiction with the court you choose.

This means that you must have a proper relationship with the county, state, or federal jurisdiction where you intend the trial to take place.

The Discovery Process

The discovery process will be next. This is where you obtain information of various kinds that strengthens your case. You have to provide the material you’re going to use against them to the defendant’s legal counsel.

This way, they know what’s coming. You’re not allowed to hide evidence against the individual who wronged you or their legal counsel. This way, there should be a level playing field, at least in theory.

Discovery evidence might include witness testimony transcripts or recordings, various documents, physical evidence, etc.

The Trial

You only proceed with the trial in a civil case if you cannot settle out of court. Settling out of court happens fairly often. If the individual or business entity against which you’re bringing the action sees that you have a solid case against them, their attorney might feel that it’s in their best interest to offer a cash settlement.

Whether you want to take it will be up to you, and your lawyer can help you in this area. If you refuse the settlement offer and go to trial, then you might lose and get nothing. However, if you feel like the sum they’re offering you as recompense does not equal the wrong they did to you, you have every right to go to trial.

The trial will proceed, with both sides trying to prove their case. If you do come out on the winning end, then you’re probably feeling pretty good about yourself, but there is one more step before you can collect your money.

The Appeals Process

At this point, the opposing counsel can file appeals in the form of various motions they present to an appellate court. The appellate court will look for errors that took place during the trial. If there are irregularities, they might overturn the verdict or reduce the amount that the guilty party has to pay.

If you’re able to collect a judgment from a civil case, then perhaps you’ll feel better about what happened. This is a way of getting justice and trying to balance the scales when someone has done wrong.

ARTICLE BY:

Susan Melony
susan.melony@gmail.com