James V. Murray
Ask An Attorney: Car Accident FAQs To Know
What should I do if I've been in a crash?
First of all, you should get to a safe place if at all possible. If you are able to pull your card off the road and into a safe spot, do so. When this is not possible, put on your emergency flashers and either stay inside the vehicle or get out of the car and get to a safe spot off the road. Then, call the police and file a police report detailing the accident. You'll want to get photos and/or video of the damage to yourself and your vehicle, if you can. You should also seek out medical attention right away. Even if you don't think you're seriously injured, you should be checked out by emergency staff or your own personal physician. You should then contact a qualified attorney and let your insurance company know about the accident.
Do I really need a car accident lawyer to help me?
If you have been injured in a crash, it's in your best interests to contact a personal injury law firm to ensure your rights are protected during this process. With simple kinds of accident claims, you may not need to go to court. But if you sustain a major injury, working with an attorney and filing a claim is often your best chance to recoup medical expenses and lost work wages. Keep in mind that while the other driver's insurance company may offer to settle your claim, that amount may be for far less than your injury is financially worth. Your lawyer can help you to determine the best course of action and can prepare your case should you need to go to court. Personal injury laws are quite complicated, and you won't want to deal with this all on your own.
Do I even have a claim that's worth pursuing?
Contacting a law firm in your area and scheduling a consultation with a personal injury lawyer will be the best way to determine whether your claim is a viable one. Typically, if you have sustained an injury as a result of another party's negligence, it's at least worth discussing whether or not you have a claim. While not every attorney will be willing to take on every kind of personal injury case out there, it never hurts to consult with an attorney and see what your options are.
What if the accident was partially my fault?
First of all, even if you made a mistake, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be compensated for an injury that was at least partially caused by someone else. There are a lot of factors that play a role in almost any accident. Distractions, intoxication, defective equipment, weather, and other elements may have worked together to cause your accident. But in the end, you aren't the one who should make a determination as far as fault is concerned. You can express your concerns to your attorney, of course, as you should always be forthcoming with them. But you should not openly accept blame or apologize to anyone else involved. These sentiments, no matter how heartfelt, can be used against you later on. Let your law firm defend you to the best of your ability and let a judge determine, based on the evidence at hand, who is at fault.