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8 Things You Should Do If You Are an Injured Passenger in a Car Accident

Being in a car accident can be a scary and overwhelming experience, especially if you are injured. As a passenger, you put your trust in the driver to transport you safely, so when an accident occurs, you may be unsure of what steps to take next.

Here’s what to do if you are an injured passenger in a car accident:

1. Seek Medical Attention

Even if your injuries seem minor initially, it’s crucial to get examined by a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Symptoms of certain injuries like concussions, internal bleeding, and spinal cord damage may not appear until hours or days later. Getting prompt medical care not only provides an accurate record of your injuries, but it can also prevent further health complications. Make sure to thoroughly describe how the accident occurred and specify areas of pain or discomfort to your doctor.

2. Report the Accident to Authorities

As a passenger, reporting the car accident is primarily the responsibility of the driver. However, you should request to file an incident report with the responding law enforcement officer. Be sure to get the officer’s name and badge number along with the police report number for your records. Filing an official report creates important documentation of how the crash happened and who was involved.

 3. Document the Scene

If possible, document the accident scene by taking photos of property damage, skid marks, weather conditions, intersections, speed limit signs, and more. Capture images showing the position of the vehicles involved and the direction they were traveling. Photographing your injuries is also advisable. This visual evidence could be vital for determining fault and pursuing financial compensation.

4. Exchange Contact and Insurance Information

Get the contact and insurance details from both the driver of your vehicle and the other vehicle’s driver. Key information includes names, license plate numbers, insurance providers, policy numbers, phone numbers, and addresses. Most importantly, do not admit fault or discuss the accident specifics with anyone except the police and your attorney. Anything said can be used against you later.

5. Call a Personal Injury Lawyer

Hiring an experienced Texas car accident lawyer should always be one of your first calls after seeking medical care. An attorney can handle the complicated legal and insurance matters while you focus on recovering from your injuries. Share details of the accident, your medical treatment, missed wages from work, insurance details, and the impact on your daily life activities. Your Texas car accident attorney will investigate fault and use this information to demand maximum compensation.

6. Track Your Medical Care

Keep an organized record of all medical appointments, medications, tests, procedures, assistive devices, costs, and recovery progress. Establish treatment plans with your healthcare providers for both immediate and long-term pain management. Be sure to follow all doctors’ orders diligently. Thorough medical records directly support the financial damages being sought by your personal injury lawyer.

 7. Maintain Records of Related Expenses

In addition to medical bills, keep track of all out-of-pocket accident-related costs, including:

  • Ambulance fees
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Medical equipment purchases or rentals like wheelchairs
  • Transportation to doctor visits and physical therapy
  • Home health aides

Also, tally the costs for damaged property, lost wages from missed work, and other monetary losses tied to your injuries. Submit this documentation to your insurance provider and have your attorney incorporate these expenses into your personal injury demand.

8. Avoid Social Media Posts About the Accident

It can be tempting to post about your car crash experience on social platforms, but doing so is rarely in your best legal interest. Insurance companies and defense lawyers can cite your posts against you. Simply avoid discussing the accident specifics or your injuries online. And never post images that could be misconstrued, like photos of you engaging in physical activities that seem inconsistent with your claimed injuries.

The Legal Process of Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim

Suffering an injury in an accident that was caused by another party’s negligence or wrongful actions can leave you facing steep medical bills, lost income, and ongoing pain. Pursuing compensation through a personal injury lawsuit is often necessary to recover damages. The basic legal process involves several key steps:

  1. Consult an attorney – An experienced personal injury lawyer from Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys can advise you on the merits of your case, navigate the laws and legal process, determine liable parties, and negotiate or litigate to get you maximum compensation.
  2. Investigation – Your vehicle accident attorney will investigate the accident circumstances, review evidence like medical records and police reports, interview witnesses, estimate damages, and establish the negligence or liability of the other party.
  3. Pre-trial settlement negotiations – Many injury cases settle out of court through negotiations between attorneys. Yours may make a demand letter with your settlement amount terms, and the other side then makes an offer. Your car accident lawyer will fight for the full compensation you deserve.
  4. Filing a personal injury lawsuit – If a fair settlement cannot be reached initially, your attorney files a formal complaint outlining your allegations and legal causes of action with the appropriate state court.
  5. Discovery phase – Extensive information between parties is exchanged as they build their legal cases through depositions, interrogatories, subpoenas of records, and expert testimonies.
  6. Trial – If no settlement is reached by the trial date, your case goes before a judge and jury who adjudicate based on arguments and evidence presented. They determine if the defendant is liable and award damage amounts.
  7. Appeal – The losing party can appeal the verdict if they believe legal errors were made during the original trial.

Having an assertive car accident injury lawyer gets you the maximum recovery amount under the law. With persistence and preparation, justice is served.

Being in a car accident can derail your life, especially when injuries are involved. Following these eight steps empowers injured passengers to protect their rights, get proper medical care, and secure fair compensation after a crash. With the aid of a skilled personal injury attorney from Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys fighting for you, you can put this traumatic incident behind you and move forward. The legal process may feel long and frustrating at times, but staying the course is key to obtaining the maximum settlement or judgment amount you deserve.

Contact Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys for advice today.

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