No one likes being in a car accident. Or dealing with the after-effects. Yet, car accident lawyers can report that they still happen at an alarming rate. In the United States alone an average of 6 million car accidents happen annually with 2 million people receiving permanent injuries.
At Robert Debry, we want to help you and your loved ones to stay as safe as possible. In our years of experience handling car accident cases, we have witnessed the heartache and stress that can come from these life-altering incidents and we want to help inform people of how to both prevent and handle them.
This guide will cover tips and facts do decrease these statistics. Here’s a quick overview:
Things to know or have handy. In this chapter, we’ll cover what you can do to be prepared before you find yourself and your damaged car on the side of the road.
What to do in the case of a car accident. Here we will talk about the specific actions to take, as well as which ones to avoid when you become involved in a car accident.
The benefit if hiring an attorney. Car accidents are expensive, both in money and in energy. Hiring an attorney can give you peace of mind.
What to look for in car accident lawyers. In this chapter, we talk about the process for finding and hiring an attorney that is right for you.
Recovery. An important part of dealing with a car wreck is your own recovery. In this chapter, we will go over some practices to help you and your loved ones come back from this kind of traumatic event.
Accident prevention. One car wreck is already one too many with the expenses and injuries it can cause. While we can never be in control of other’s negligence, there are actions that we ourselves can take.
These chapters should cover everything you need to know before, during, and after you find yourself involved in a car accident. As car accident lawyers, we know that these situations can be extremely stressful and chaotic, but we hope that by sharing this information we can help to take the edge off some of the pain and headache.
Chapter 2: Important Things to Know and Things to Have on Hand After an Accident
One of the main things that make car accidents so traumatic is how unexpected they are. They happen in a matter of seconds, leaving individuals and families to deal with the impact.
As car accident lawyers we know that, in the best-case scenario, the wreck is avoided altogether. But here some things you can do now to be prepared in the case of a car accident:
Emergency Preparedness Kit
It is very common for accident victims to come out of the accident with some scrapes and bruises. These can be caused by any number of things, from deployed airbags to broken glass and its not always possible for emergency vehicles to get to the scene immediately. Having a first aid kit handy can help to care of injuries until further help arrives. It is also a good idea to include items like blankets, a flashlight, bottled water and snacks, a fire extinguisher, road flares, and a glass breaking tool.
Proof of Insurance
This is a requirement in most states. But even in areas where it isn’t, having your proof of insurance handy means you have all the needed information handy as well, including a policy number and contact phone. The other driver and the police may need this information to file important claims and reports.
In a day of cell phones and contact lists, it is rare that we memorize phone numbers any more. In addition to 911 and the numbers of closest family and friends, you’ll want to be sure you have the numbers for a roadside tow company, your insurance, and car rental companies.
Camera and Notebook
To assist with insurance claims and to make your case better for any car accident lawyers, it is important to record the vehicles and property involved in the accident. Keep a disposable camera, notebook, and pen in your glove compartment. These can help you document the scene and gather information from the other driver and any witnesses of the accident.
Hopefully, you will never need to use any of these items. But with recent car accident statistics, they are important to keep around. Even if the car accident itself cannot always be prevented, some of the additional stresses and grief can be. By being prepared you can save you and your passenger’s extra hassle.
Chapter 3: What to Do Immediately After an Accident
An auto accident shouldn’t be taken lightly, no matter how minor it might seem. When you’re involved in an accident, there are certain things car accident lawyers advise that you to do to protect yourself from both physical and financial damages. In this chapter, we’re going to be covering some of the main things that you should do immediately after an accident.
Move to a Safe Spot
One of the first things you’re going to want to do after an auto accident is move to a safe area if possible. Of course, only do this if you and anyone else in your party are able to move and haven’t sustained major injuries, as well as if you can move your vehicle. Accidents can happen anywhere, and sometimes you and the other party can be left in a dangerous position, especially on major highways. However, car accident lawyers will tell you that it’s best to just stay put and turn on your hazard lights if you aren’t able to move safely.
During harsh weather conditions, it’s advised to use flares or similar road safety items so that you are more visible to other drivers.
Check on Everyone Involved
Once you’re in the clear in terms of safety, you should check on everyone involved in the accident. This is crucial, as any injuries should be taken care of as soon as possible. No matter how minor the injury might seem, everything from dizziness to aches and pains should be addressed by a medical professional.
Contact the Authorities
After you’ve made sure that everyone is safe and has been checked on, it’s time to contact the authorities. Car accident lawyers will need a police report to fully handle your claim, so it’s important that you don’t dismiss yourself or the other party without having the police scope out the accident scene and gather information form the drivers.
If there are any injuries that need to be addressed, medical professionals will also take care of the injured in this instance
Document the Accident
Aside from a police report, you should document the accident scene yourself so that no information is left out. The best way to do this is by taking as many pictures as possible using your smartphone¾ they will come in handy later on.
Of course, the process doesn’t end here. It’s also important to know the benefits of hiring car accident lawyers to handle your case.
Chapter 4: Why You Should Hire a Lawyer
In chapter three, we covered the basics of what you should do after an accident. From ensuring everyone’s safety to documenting the accident scene, there are several steps you should take to ensure that there is plenty of information that you can use to build a legal case. This information comes into play during this next step: hiring car accident lawyers. Hiring an attorney from Robert J. DeBry and Associates is the difference between you getting the compensation that you deserve for your injuries, damages and medical bills, and the insurance companies taking advantage of you.
What a Lawyer Can Offer You
There are various benefits that come with hiring a legal professional after an accident. Car accident lawyers:
Offer Expert Legal Advice
Legal proficiency takes years of schooling, studying and practice. Not to mention, you have to pass various tests to receive certifications in order to be able to practice in your state. With all of this in mind, it’s clear to see why you need to hire car accident lawyers to handle your case. Building a claim isn’t something that just anyone can do, and a car accident attorney can offer you the best legal advice as well as ensure that you aren’t being taken advantage of by insurance companies.
Evaluating Your Claim and Conducting an Investigation
This is where all your evidence if going to be a crucial aspect of your claim. As mentioned in chapter 3, your personally collected evidence combined with a police report and a lawyer’s investigation is going to help create a strong case that can ensure you walk away with the proper compensation. During this step, a car accident lawyer will investigate the cause of an accident, who was at fault and determine how much your claim is worth. Of course, the total compensation depends on the extent of your injuries and damages, as well as the liability of the defendants involved.
Dealing with the Insurance Companies and Negotiating a Settlement
Insurance companies will always act friendly toward you after an accident, making you seem as if they’re on your side. However, car accident lawyers will warn you that insurance companies never have your best interest in mind, and they’re looking to offer you the lowest possible settlement possible. A car accident lawyer from Robert J. DeBry and Associates will go toe-to-toe with the insurance companies and negotiate an appropriate settlement.
Car accident lawyers are the backbone of any successful case, and the attorneys at Robert J. DeBry and Associates will stop at nothing to give you peace of mind and a proper settlement. While hiring an accident attorney is a must, you also need to know what to look for in one, as well as how to go about hiring one.
Chapter 5: How to Hire a Lawyer
So now that you know how car accident lawyers can help you, how do you hire one? In this chapter, we’ll talk about the hiring process and what to look for when selecting an attorney to represent your case.
Except in the case where your situation requires immediate legal advice, you can give yourself time to set up meetings with multiple car accident lawyers. That way, you can find one that you feel comfortable with. Look for someone that shows they are prompt, professional, and will prioritize your best interest. Most attorneys do not charge a fee for consultations, so these meetings shouldn’t add any extra expense.
Many car accident lawyers will not charge fees unless the case is won, in which case they will receive a percentage of the settlement. While there are exceptions, know that it is possible to find someone to represent you without having to pay upfront. Be sure to ask what the fee will be for a successful case and request a service contract that explicitly states the percentage they tell you.
There are several important documents that you will need to bring with you to your first visit. These will include:
- Medical insurance policy
- Automobile insurance policy
- Medical records or hospital bills that resulted from the accident
- A copy of the police report
- Any photos documenting the wreck
- The contact information you have collected from involved parties
Having this information ready will help your attorney build an effective case in a timely manner. This means they can get your benefits to you quicker.
Each accident case is different, but generally, the process of taking someone to court over a wreck is a long process that may span months or even years. Your attorney should maintain communication with you throughout this process. In the meantime, the case will flow more smoothly if you do your part. The attorney that you hired can represent your case, but for them to be successful it requires you to keep your files organized, answer their phone calls or letters, and to present yourself respectfully at court.
Our car accident lawyers at Robert DeBry have both the heart and the expertise to help you through this process. We want to et you the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on moving forward with your life.
Chapter 6: Recovery
We know as car accident lawyers that one of the most taxing results of a car accident is the physical injuries. Of course, there are as many treatments as there are injuries, so this guide will not cover all the possible ways to recover from the accident. However, here are some general tips that can help you make the recovery quicker.
The best way to let your body heal is to let it rest. As soon as the injury occurs, your body will get to work on trying to fix things. However, if it is constantly working on other things than it has less time to make those repairs. Hiring a car accident lawyer to handle all the legalities can clear space to get this rest and allow for a quicker recovery.
Having a healthy diet and staying hydrated can benefit anyone’s wellbeing, but it is especially important when your body is trying to recover. Aim for a diet full of proteins and vitamins and steady hydration in order to aid natural healing. This will give your body the building blocks it needs to make needed repairs.
This goes hand-in-hand with the last step. While rest is extremely important, exercise should not be overlooked either. It too can aid your body in healing itself. However, make sure to consult an injury doctor before picking up or resuming an exercise routine. The last thing you want while recovering is to make an injury worse.
Listen to Your Body and Your Doctor
Above all, pay attention to what your body is telling you and follow your doctor’s instructions. Pushing yourself too hard will likely cause further damage and set the healing process back. So ask your doctor for tips for doing exercises and other routines. Listening to their guidance will prevent your body from experiencing further damage.
Our job as car accident lawyers is to help you have less to worry about so that you can focus on healing. Recovery can be a long road, both physically and emotionally. But as you give yourself time, your body will heal. Life may still be drastically different, depending on the severity of your car accident, but the body’s drive to heal itself can offer hope of a fulfilling future.
Chapter 7: Preventative Measures
As we stated at the beginning of this guide, no one likes to be involved in a car accident. Regardless of the size or the damage done, it can be a jarring experience for both you and your passengers. We know very well as car accident lawyers that the negligence on the part of someone else can have drastic consequences. However, there are things that you can do now to lower your chances of becoming another car accident statistic.
Wear Your Seatbelt: This may not prevent the accident itself, but it can prevent tragic consequences. The United States Department of Transportation claims that in the year 2017 an estimated 15,000 lives were saved because individuals were properly wearing their seatbelts.
Do Not Tailgate: Be sure to leave at least a three-second space between you and the car in front. Tailgating is a major cause of car accidents. This may mean adjusting your schedule so you don’t feel like you have to rush, but the money and time you save in the long run will be worth it.
Be Cautious at a Green Light: Many car accidents are caused by vehicles running a red light. It’s a good habit to count to three before entering an intersection once the light has turned green.
Maintain Your Engine: Keeping your car functioning properly is a big part of being a responsible driver. Be sure to keep your tires inflated and to have your oil changed regularly.
Scan Ahead: Keep your focus on where you will be in 10-12 seconds in order to notice potential dangers. If you are on the highway, stay far enough away from other cars that you could avoid a collision if they were to stop or swerve.
Above all, be courteous to other drivers. Remember that no one owns the road and other drivers are not responsible for your schedule. Our car accident lawyers could attest that just staying calm and maintaining a respectful attitude can prevent accidents. Any suspicious driving activity should be reported to authorities.
Chapter 8: Closing
In summary, there’s a lot can follow that alarming split second before a car collision. Even looking at auto accident statistics, as tragic as they may be, cannot communicate the sort of deeper, personal losses that can come from experiencing these types of traumatic instances. As car accident lawyers, we know that the process of coming back from it can be long and hard. However, by being prepared in advance and by practicing safe driving habits the strain can be lessened and your recovery can be quicker.
If you feel that your involvement in a car accident was due to the negligence of someone else, consider the benefits and steps for hiring an attorney. Sifting through different car accident lawyers may initially seem like an added stressor, but having one can save you both time and money as you work to move ahead with your life. Also be sure to remember the prevention measures discussed here. They can seem tedious when running a tight schedule, but it’s better to lose a few extra seconds now than to lose the hours of stress and sleepless nights that can come later from handling a serious car accident.
Even with all the unfortunate car accident statistics, there are many individuals and families who recover. If you are currently handling the aftereffects of an auto accident, hope and healing are ahead. Give yourself the time and the resources to piece yourself and life back together.
We hope this guide has helped you feel more prepared for handling and preventing auto accidents. If you are looking for an attorney to represent you case and to help you obtain compensation, contact us today and get in touch with one of our many qualified car accident lawyers. They understand the grief that comes from these incidents, regardless of their size, and will work with you and your loved ones to build an effective case.