The Legal Guide to Post-Accident Trauma


Area of Law: 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that an estimated 15,470 people died in Motor Vehicle crashes in the first half of 2013.

Car accidents are becoming a grim reality of our society, a menace we are trying hard to get rid of and have succeded in it too, to a certain degree but that still prevails.

In such conditions it is absolutely necessary that we know certain post-accident, legal know-hows to ensure least possible physical and financial damage to ourselves.

1. If you have been lucky to survive an accident and are in a position where your mind and feet are working, first and foremost, don't jump to conclusions and go it was all my fault or when there was another vehicle involved, start blaming the other driver. Confessions in state of shock or confrontations in state of anger are both bad ideas. The police and insurance companies will use their skills to determine who was responsible. (Reporting to the police immediately, goes without saying.)

2. Feeling a little stable ? Remove all your valuables from the car, before it is taken. This would include, phone, house-keys, wallet, important legal documents and insurance papers.

3. Carry some essential tools and first-aid with you always like some bandages, some antiseptic, anti-allergic, spare tyre, tyre inflaters and sealer, seat belt cutter and window breakers, pen and paper, a couple of emergency numbers.

4. If you realize, the injury to self is of higher proportions than what first-aid can control, dial for an ambulance instantly, taking care of the injuries immediately will result in much less damage than procrastinating and treating them later. Also, your lawyer will tell you, that documenting all the health concerns immediately will facilitate your insurance claims you will need to make later.

5. Medical aspects you should especially take care of

  • Numbness, dizziness, pain are all symptoms that you need to get detected and checked immediately after a car accident. They might lead to something serious.
  • Follow through with your treatment, the doctor can determine the extent of your injury best and prescribe you the most necessary and right treatment.
  • The legal-medical interweaving is ample and ensure, you review your doctor's treatment records properly so that the insurance companies cannot use any inconsistencies to falsify or nullify your claims.

6. Accidents are definitely emotionally jarring but the legal implications of it which is often sidelined are equally important, so make sure you call your lawyer immediately for any insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit you want to file. He will guide you on exactly how to approach the insurance company so that:

  • the best medical treatment options are available to you
  • guilty parties are held responsible for their action
  • medical bills and expenses are taken care of , for the future as well, i:e you are restored with what you have lost.
  • income loss for inability to work due to accident is looked after and compensated.
  • Ensure you get maximum justice and benefits in a car-accident scenario.

Take your case to a court, to let the jury decide for your claims when the insurance company fails to validate your claim.

7. Get the following details of the other vehicle if there is another vehicle involved

Description of the vehicle, name of the owner/driver (both, if separate), addresses, phone numbers, driver license, license plate number, insurance company and policy number.

Also take witness accounts if any are present and willing to give, to further support your insurance claims. Photographs of the accident scene if you or any of the co-passengers are in a state to do so will further be able to strengthen your insurance claims.

Now  here is a list of things you should absolutely avoid after a car accident

1. Become angry and lose your cool- don't yell and blame anybody, assess the situation properly and ensure everybody is ok and protect yourself. Don't make it uglier than it already is.

2. Forgetting to call 911. Call the police and ensure you get a proper police documentation of the accident. This is extremely essential for insurance claims.

3. Forgetting to document everything scrupulously.

4. In most states it is a misdemenor offense to leave the spot of accident after being involved in one, its a felony if someone is gravely injured.

5. While you should move your vehicle as far off the road as posible for security reasons post an accident, don't take it so far that it is away from the scene of accident. Infact if you cannot move your vehicle at all, turn on your car's hazard lights or use a flare.

Injuries, fatalities, damage are an inevitable part of accidents, they obstruct the normal course of life and somewhere make you helpless and wronged if your true claims are not met. Taking these steps and getting good medical and legal assistance will allow you to get back on your feet post an accident. If your near or dear one is too heavily injured in an accident, and cannot function properly immediately, ensure you carry out proper steps for them so that their medical expenses and other expenses are taken care of.