Have you been in a car wreck while traveling out of state?
Around 6 million car accidents happen on U.S. roads every year. This results in around 3 million injuries and billions of dollars in medical bills and car repairs.
Many people try to get compensation through the other driver’s insurance. However, most insurance companies try to lower their costs by offering as little money as possible. Worse, states have different laws regarding filing a lawsuit. So, the law in your home state may differ from the one in the state where the wreck happens.
That’s why having a personal injury attorney helps. Below, we’ll go into what you should do when you’re in a wreck in another state. Keep reading to make sure you get the financial compensation you deserve!
1. Assess the Damage
As soon as you become aware that you’ve gotten into a wreck, you should assess the damage. Start by checking on yourself and the other people in your vehicle. Then, if it’s safe to get out, go check on the people in the other car.
If anyone has been injured, call 911 right away. Request an ambulance and follow the directions of the operator.
Even if you think no one has been injured, you should request a police officer come to take a report. The police report provides an unbiased assessment of what happened. It will get used in insurance claim investigations, and it can help identify witnesses and key details about the crash. If you choose to sue the other driver, your personal injury attorney will likely want to see the police report as part of the investigation process.
Take pictures of the damage to the vehicles, the scene, and anything else relevant to the wreck. Good pictures are invaluable for helping the lawyer handling your case.
2. Call Insurance Companies
Once you have handled any emergencies, swap insurance information with the other driver. You should keep an insurance card in your wallet and glove compartment in your vehicle. That way, you have it with you when you need it.
Take a picture of the other person’s insurance information so you can have it for future reference.
Then, call their insurance company. Let the person on the other end of the line know that you’ve been in a wreck with one of their policyholders. Give the person the name of the policyholder as it’s printed on the card. You’ll likely get asked about how the wreck happened.
You can also phone your own insurance company. This can help you for several reasons. First, the other driver will probably call your company and give their side of the story. Your insurance company will then open an investigation to determine whether you’re at fault for the wreck. If you give them your side of the story, they’ll have a more balanced view of what happened.
The insurance companies will want you to take pictures of the damage. Then, you’ll send these images to the insurance companies so they can use them in their investigations.
3. Call a Personal Injury Attorney
Next, you’ll want to call a personal injury attorney. In most situations, you will need someone who practices law in the state and location where your accident happened. That way, the lawyer will have the knowledge necessary to help you navigate local laws.
It’s best to call a wreck attorney as soon as possible. Most states have statutes of limitation that give you a timeframe in which you can file a lawsuit. The length of time varies, so it is important to act quickly to preserve your rights.
How to Choose a Personal Injury Attorney
Yet, not every lawyer will serve you equally well. So, you need to know how to choose a personal injury attorney.
Your first step should involve using a search engine to look for “car accident lawyers near me.” If you’re still in the area where you had the wreck, your device should use your location to pull up lawyers near you. However, if you’ve returned to your home state, you should use the phrase “car accident lawyers in *area of the wreck*.”
Then, your device will pull up lawyers in that region.
Do your research on each attorney. Look at their websites to make sure they handle car accident injury cases. You should also check out their lawyer qualifications and see if they’ve had success in their past cases. Then, read reviews from past clients.
Most lawyers offer free consultations to potential clients, too. These meetings are free of obligation. So, you don’t have to hire that lawyer if you don’t end up liking them.
During the consultation, you can describe your case to the lawyer and ask them questions about the process.
4. Follow the Lawyer’s Recommendations
After the consultation, you and the lawyer can choose to work together. Once you hire an attorney, you should follow their recommendations.
Before filing personal injury claims, the attorney will investigate. They will learn about the circumstances surrounding the case. The legal team will want to talk to you and any eyewitnesses. They may also want to see your medical records and speak to your doctor if you’ve suffered a car accident injury.
You should supply all the information your lawyer requires. Doing so will help the investigation go in a smoother manner.
After the investigation, the lawyer will contact the other driver’s insurance company and make a demand for a settlement. The insurance company will either submit a settlement offer or refuse to. If you accept their settlement, the case will finish here. If they don’t offer a settlement or you reject their offer, your lawyer will file a lawsuit.
Then, the process will enter the discovery phase. Both sides will investigate the case now and share their findings to ensure a fair outcome. The insurance company can submit settlement offers throughout this process. If you accept a settlement, the case will conclude without going to trial. If both sides fail to settle, the case will be set for trial.
Need a Car Accident Attorney?
If you need a top lawyer in Florence, SC, Hofler Law Firm is your best choice.
As a personal injury attorney, Jack Hofler approaches his clients with compassion and care. He incorporates authenticity and empathy with a drive to get you the justice you need. He doesn’t just strive for victories; he also tries to create impactful and supportive relationships with his clients.
Ready to get the representation you need? Contact us today!