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3 Questions to Ask after Your Car Accident

In 2013, about 2.3 million people in the U.S. suffered injuries in car accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These accidents are often traumatic, so it’s not surprising that many people don’t know how to react afterward. Unfortunately, a poor response to a serious accident may later prevent a person from receiving compensation for any associated injuries.
After a car accident, gathering information about the accident itself and the available legal options is crucial. Once accident victims have sought any necessary medical attention, they should consider the following questions.

Were there witnesses?

As soon as possible, injury victims should determine whether any third parties observed the crash. A witness can provide an impartial statement to corroborate a victim’s account of the accident. A witness can also offer information that may not have been evident to anyone who was directly involved in the accident.

Accident victims should collect the contact information of anyone who saw the accident. Asking these witnesses
specific questions on the spot is not necessary. Instead, victims should contact witnesses later to get information about their vantage points and observations.

Who was at fault?

Car accidents may happen for various reasons. The actions of one or more road users often contribute to accidents. Hazardous road conditions, such as inadequate maintenance or poor signage, can cause accidents. Vehicle defects can also lead to accidents. Injury victims should consider all of these potential contributing factors and avoid admitting personal fault in the accident.

In most states, people who are deemed less than half at fault in an accident may hold other parties responsible. However, any compensation awarded to a partially at-fault party is reduced by the amount of fault assigned to that person. This makes clearly identifying and establishing fault a critical concern for injury victims.

What is the case worth?

Finally, once the accident claim has progressed, accident victims should find out what kind of settlement the insurance company can offer. This may depend on the policy, the nature of the accident and the severity of the vehicle damage and injuries. Victims should avoid immediately accepting an initial settlement offer, however. These offers frequently fall significantly short of the total amount of compensation that may be available.

Accident victims may want to consider consulting with a personal injury attorney before accepting a settlement. An attorney may be able to evaluate the value of a claim, given the circumstances and consequences of the accident. Furthermore, an attorney can offer advice on whether an insurance settlement represents a fair, appropriate offer. This is crucial, as accident victims who accept settlements lose the right to pursue other compensation in the future.