Car Accidents: 8 Steps to Protect Your Rights
Car accidents are the leading cause of injury and death in the United States. Due to their frequent occurrence, it’s in every motorist’s best interest to know the proper steps to take after an accident in order to protect their rights.
In addition to understanding their state’s unique car accident laws, motorists should fully grasp the components of their insurance policy and know why they should work with a personal injury attorney throughout the process.
Get informed on all this and more in our blog.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
While car accidents have many different causes, the majority of car accidents happen as a result of human error. Whether by accident or by deliberately negligent behavior, people are the common factor in car accidents across the country.
As such, some of the most common causes of car accidents include the following:
Driving too fast
Driving too slow
Swerving in between lanes
Hazardous road conditions
Poor weather conditions
Since most car accidents occur due to human error, it’s in your best interest to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you prove that the other driver was at-fault in the crash. This will help you recover compensation from the other driver and their car insurance company.
What to Do After a Car Accident
The steps you take immediately following a car accident will greatly affect your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and physical damage to your vehicle.
Therefore, make sure to take the following steps to protect your rights in the wake of an accident:
Check to see if anyone requires medical attention. Call the paramedics if anyone needs assistance and help as necessary until they arrive.
Contact the authorities. Make sure to file a police report when the responding officer arrives at the scene. This will help support your claim that the other driver was at-fault in the accident.
Obtain the other driver’s information. This includes their name, address, vehicle license number, driver’s license number, and insurance information.
Get the contact information for witnesses at the scene. Make sure to collect their testimony of what occurred during the accident as well.
Take photos. Capture photographic evidence of injuries and physical damage sustained at the scene.
Seek medical attention. Even if your injuries seem minor, seek medical attention and retain all records of your treatment.
Don’t speak with the other driver about the accident. Even a simple apology may later be used against you. Avoid discussing details of the accident with the other driver.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A qualified attorney can help you through the legal process and increase your chances of recovering maximum possible attention.
Understanding Your Car Insurance Policy
It’s important to keep in mind that your car insurance policy may dictate the compensation you do or do not receive in the wake of an accident. The basic elements of a car insurance policy are listed below:
Liability: Most states require drivers to carry liability insurance, at a minimum. Liability insurance helps pay for the costs related to another person’s injuries or damages when you’re at fault in an accident. Your policy will pay the other party up to the limit, at which point you become responsible for the outstanding balance.
Uninsured/underinsured: This type of coverage pays for medical bills or damage that results from an accident caused by a driver who doesn’t have car insurance.
Collision: This type of coverage pays for damage caused to your vehicle during an accident. While you’re responsible for the deductible, your car insurance company will pay the rest of the bill.
Comprehensive: This type of coverage pays for damage caused to your vehicle by some external force, such as a fallen tree branch or vandalism.
Utah’s Car Accident Laws
In addition to understanding your car insurance policy, you should understand the car accident laws unique to your state—namely, whether your state is an at-fault or a no-fault state.
Utah is one of approximately 12 states in the country that has a no-fault insurance system. Under no-fault laws, your own car insurance company pays for medical treatment and other out-of-pocket expenses after an accident. This differs from most other at-fault states that dictate that the at-fault driver and their insurance company are responsible for footing the bill after a crash.
Despite this, your own insurance company can be difficult to deal with in the wake of an accident. Though we pay them a premium to be covered in the event of a crash, they will look for any excuse not to pay up when we need them most. This is why it’s in your best interest to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you through the process.
At Pearson Butler, our personal injury attorneys have helped countless clients across Utah work with their insurance companies and recover the compensation they need and deserve after an accident. We know you’re likely facing mounting medical bills and lost wages, and we’re prepared to help you get your life back on track.
No one’s life should be derailed due to a car accident. When you work with us, you’ll receive trusted legal advisers that know how to fight for your right to fair compensation and a brighter future.
Contact us today at (800) 265-2314 to schedule a consultation with our team.