Injured in a Car Wreck? Here’s What to Do Next

According to the latest data collected by the California Highway Patrol, nearly 270,000 people were injured in a car wreck in 2019. Over 3,400 automobile accidents turned fatal. The truth is that a car accident can happen to anyone, at any time, no matter how safe of a driver you may be.

Heavy accident, Modern car accident involving many cars on the road in Thailand

When an accident leads to injury, it can have a lasting effect on your physical, emotional, and financial well-being. This is especially true if you happen to experience a serious injury in the crash. You may need to recover for weeks or even months afterward. In more severe cases, the accident may leave you with injuries that have lifelong consequences. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you take the right steps after an accident to minimize the financial burden placed upon you and your family. 

At the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones in Bakersfield, we want to make sure that you have all the information you need to move forward. Taking these steps may help improve your chances of compensation following an accident where another party is at fault for your injuries.

Step 1: Seek Emergency Medical Assistance 

Your health should be your first priority after an accident. If you have been injured, you should call for medical help right away. If you’re able to walk, be sure to check on the other people involved in the crash and see if they need medical care. 

Remember: You shouldn’t move anyone who has been seriously hurt as doing so could worsen their injuries. You should follow the advice of the 911 operator until the emergency response team arrives. 

Step 2: File an Incident Report 

The police officers who arrive at the scene of the accident will want to speak with you, the other driver, and any witnesses to the crash. They will go over the details of the accident and collect information from each of you to put into the incident report. You should give the officer objective facts about the accident and avoid admitting any fault on your part. This report may be one of the crucial pieces of evidence used in your case should you later need to pursue compensation against the at-fault driver. 

Step 3: Collect Contact Information

Your incident report may contain contact information for those involved in the accident, but it could take a while for you to obtain a copy of it. You may want to gather this information at the site to speed up the process. Be sure to include any witnesses that may have stuck around after the accident. These people may be called upon if there’s any question about who is responsible for the incident. 

Step 4: Take Photos of the Scene 

Before you leave, it’s a good idea to take photos or videos of the scene of the wreck. These should include the vehicles involved as well as the surrounding area. You may also want to take photos of any visible injuries that you have. All of these can help should you happen to experience a contested accident claim. 

Step 5: Get Follow-Up Medical Care 

As soon as you are able, you should follow up with a healthcare provider. The emergency medical technicians at the site may clear you of any visible injuries, but you may have hidden problems that don’t show symptoms right away. It’s best to err on the side of caution and get a full medical evaluation as soon as possible. 

Your medical team can perform various tests to uncover any issues that are related to the accident. They may also refer you out for further treatment, such as rehabilitative care, if you have a significant injury. You should keep the records of any medical visit or procedure that you have to undergo as a result of the injury. 

Step 6: Call Your Insurance Company

Your next step should be to call your insurance company to report the accident. Again, you should stick to giving objective details about what happened without admitting any fault. If the other insurance company is disputing fault, you may also need to arrange for a rental vehicle through your insurance while you wait for the case to resolve and for your vehicle to be repaired. These costs can later be added to your claim. 

Step 7: Call a Lawyer

The other driver’s insurance company will likely begin trying to contact you right away. Their goal is to close the case as soon as possible for as little as possible. It’s in your best interest to consult with a Bakersfield auto accident lawyer before speaking with the other party’s insurance company. They may use deceptive tactics to get you to admit some level of fault in the accident, which would ultimately reduce your claim. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on what to say and what not to say, so you can feel more confident during your meeting. 

How Long Do I have to File a Claim? 

For most auto accident cases, you have two years from the date of injury to file the claim. However, it’s best to contact a Bakersfield lawyer right away in order to maximize your chances of obtaining compensation for your case. If you wait too long, you might forget some details of the incident, or the insurance company could argue that you don’t have a substantial injury since you took so long to pursue compensation in the first place. Retaining a lawyer immediately following the accident will give them ample time to gather the details of the case, prepare the paperwork, speak with the insurance company, and handle all the other necessary tasks for your claim. 

How Much Will I Receive?

Every case varies greatly from the next, so we can’t tell you what to expect in terms of compensation without a full case evaluation. If you retain our law firm, our auto accident attorney will work closely with you to ensure that everything is included in your injury claim, from your medical bills to your car repairs. If you had to take time off work to recover from your injuries, your lost wages should be accounted for, too. If you are not happy with what the insurance company offers initially, we will present a more acceptable counteroffer. This back-and-forth process will proceed until both parties are able to come to an agreement. 

 

However, there are times when a fair resolution cannot be reached with the insurance company. In these cases, we are prepared to litigate on your behalf. Our goal is to help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries so that you can move forward with your life. 

Contact a Bakersfield Accident Lawyer Today!

The Law Office of Kyle W. Jones has recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We have the knowledge and experience to handle personal injury cases, both small and large. You can trust that our team will help you navigate the claims process and provide informed advice at each step. 

Injured in a car wreck and need a case evaluation? Contact our office in Bakersfield today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an auto accident attorney.


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