Most states require you to file a report as soon as an accident happens. However, in many states, you will have up to 10 days to file a claim. You may want to contact an attorney or the DMV to find out exactly how long you have to report an accident in your state.
If the other driver is insured, the first thing you’ll want to do after you get medical treatment and contact an attorney is to contact their insurance provider. If an uninsured driver hits you, the first thing you should do is consult your insurance provider to find out if you have coverage that could help you cover your underinsured motorist claim.
The best time to buy this type of coverage is before an accident happens. It covers a certain amount of your damages so you can cover your bills before you get a settlement.
The 3 Stages of a Car Crash Injury Lawsuit
The following are three stages you may go through during your car accident lawsuit. You may be able to skip the third step if the at-fault driver’s insurance offers you fair compensation.
Once you start your claim, you and the attorney will begin by assembling facts and paperwork that support your petition. The lawyer will analyze your medical paperwork to estimate the damages from the accident. The attorney will also get a copy of your police report as well as interview witnesses.
During this stage, you can negotiate with the at-fault party and close the case. However, you can start a lawsuit against the driver if you fail to acquire a fair settlement. You will have to give the court a written complaint as well as other paperwork. You will then share paperwork with the at-fault driver’s attorneys.
Appeal and Trial
The jury and the judge will then hear your case and pass their verdict. If your attorney believes the trial court made legal mistakes, they can appeal to higher courts to review the case.
Types of Compensation
Car accident lawsuits can lead to various compensation claims. These claims include damages concerning:
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Suffering and pain
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Punitive damages
Failing to File a Police Report
You need to report to the police within ten days and to the insurer within 24 hours. In some states, you must contact the police immediately when the property damage is more than $1,000 or severe injuries or fatalities were involved. Insurance companies may also require you to contact the police within a specific time frame.
Filing a Claim Without a Police Report
You can still file a claim without a police report. However, your insurance firm and the other party may have a hard time proving your claim. Some of the items you can use in place of police reports include witness statements, CCTV footage, and recreation of accident scenes.
Failure to report an accident may result in hefty fines or jail time of up to two weeks. The penalty can be even higher if you fail to report a crash that involves bodily injury.
Why You Should Contact an Injury Attorney
If you’re wondering, “Can I sue a driver who hit me?” the answer is a resounding yes, but only under certain circumstances. In order to sue, you will need to be able to prove the other driver was at fault, prove that their negligence caused your injuries, and prove that these injuries caused your damages.
After a vehicle crash, you may want to consider hiring a personal injury attorney who specializes in car accidents. They can make recommendations, help you gather evidence, call in expert witnesses, and make sure you don’t settle for less than you deserve.