If you have been in a car accident, it is natural to be scared and confused. Perhaps you have been injured. You may not know exactly what happened. You probably have a lot of questions at the scene of the accident:
- Am I injured?
- Was I at fault?
- What should I say to the other driver?
- Should I call the police?
- Should I take pictures?
- Should I talk to witnesses?
- Should I go to the hospital?
These are normal questions to have at the scene of an accident. If you need assistance on the scene, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Foster Wallace. We can help you do all the right things to be safe at the scene and be compensated for your injuries.
After your accident, you may not know what to expect and still have other questions:
- Can I fix my car right away?
- Who will pay to repair my car?
- Should I call the insurance company?
- Do I need a lawyer?
- Should I talk to the insurance adjuster?
- Should I accept a settlement offer?
These also are important questions that you will need to decide after your accident. The answer to each question can significantly affect your ability to recover maximum compensation for your damages. This is why you need an experienced car accident attorney to investigate your case.
At Foster Wallace, LLC, we will assess every aspect of your case to know exactly who was at fault and what your damages are. We will advise you at every stage of your car accident case and help you to recover all the damages you are entitled to.
What Happens at the Scene of a Car Accident?
There are several things that happen at the scene of an accident. Here are the important steps that may affect the outcome of your car accident case:
Step 1: Check for injuries.
At the scene of an accident, you will first want to make sure no one is severely injured or in danger of being injured. If someone is severely injured, call an ambulance. If not, move your cars to the side of the road if possible.
Step 2: Call the police.
The police will take charge of the scene and make sure everyone is safe. They will then make a report. They will ask questions of all involved, as well as witnesses. The police report will state what happened at the scene and who was involved. The police will take everyone’s information. You will need a copy of the report, as that information will be the basis of any possible claim for damages.
Step 3: See a doctor.
Even if you think you are not injured, you should see a doctor. Many serious injuries from car accidents do not show symptoms until hours or days later. A doctor’s report will be essential to any claims you make for compensation for injuries later.
What Happens in Your Case after Your Car Accident?
When your accident is cleared and you have been to the doctor, you will begin to prepare any possible claim for damages. You will need an experienced car accident attorney who knows how car accident cases work and what to expect.
Here are the important steps in the process of your case that occur after your accident.
Step 1: Meet with your personal injury attorney.
Once you see a doctor and begin recovering from your injuries, you should meet with your attorney. Your attorney will:
- Investigate your case
- Determine fault
- Assess the nature and extent of your injuries
- Calculate possible damages
Much of this information will be based on what happened at the scene of the accident and the police report, so it is important that you obtain as much information at the scene of the accident as possible.
Step 2: Assert a claim.
When you meet with your personal injury attorney and determine that the other party was at fault, you will file a claim for negligence to be compensated for your damages. Your damages include:
- Physical damage to your vehicle
- Physical damage to other personal property
- All medical expenses related to your accident
- Lost income
- Lost future wages
- Pain and suffering
Step 3: Contact the insurance adjuster.
When you assert your claim for damages, the insurance adjuster will need to assess the damage to your car. You should not have your car repaired until the insurance adjuster has been able to verify the damage.
The insurance adjuster will use this assessment to make an offer of settlement to you. You should not accept any offer without speaking with your car accident attorney. At Foster Wallace, LLC, we will deal with the insurance adjuster so you don’t have to.
Step 4: Negotiate a settlement.
The insurance adjuster will make an offer that is well under the amount of damages that you are entitled to. If you reject the offer, you will then respond with a counter-offer and continue negotiating a fair settlement. With Foster Wallace, LLC, we will negotiate this settlement for you. We have experienced attorneys who know how to negotiate with insurance companies to get you the maximum award for your damages.
If you reach a settlement, you will receive the award agreed upon to cover the cost of your damages. If you do not reach a settlement, you will have a court trial to determine fault and damages
Step 5: Prepare for trial.
If you do not reach a settlement, you will prepare to bring your case to trial. At trial, you will present to the court all the evidence you and your attorney have collected to demonstrate that the other party was negligent. This means you must show that:
- The other driver had a duty toward you (not to endanger you on the road)
- The other driver breached that duty by driving in a dangerous manner or violating traffic laws, etc.
- The other driver’s negligence was the proximate cause of your injuries or property damage (this means that the driver’s behavior directly caused you to suffer injury or property damage and there was no other intervening cause that injured you)
- You have suffered damages (this means that you have been physically injured, paid medical expenses, experienced pain and suffering, lost your wages or future income, or suffered some sort of property damage).
Depending on how strong your evidence is, the insurance company may try to settle your case, even as you prepare for trial. At Foster Wallace, LLC, we are experienced trial attorneys who prepare every case as if it were going to trial. However, we will continue to try to settle your case up until the time of trial so that you can maximize your recovery.
Have You Been Injured in a Kansas City Car Accident?
If you've been hurt in a Kansas City car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.249.2101 to schedule your free consultation.