Over 56,000 car accidents happened in Oklahoma last year with drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving cited as the top contributing factors. Car accidents can happen to anyone, which is why it is imperative to determine what to do after a collision happens to ensure you are protected – physically and legally. Today, we go over what steps you should take after you are injured in a car accident in the event you need to file a personal injury claim.
The Steps to Take to Protect Yourself After a Collision
While seeking compensation for your injuries after a vehicle collision may not be the first item on the top of your mind after being involved in an accident, it is your right to do so. This is especially true if you suffered injuries due to someone’s negligence such as distracted driving. Remember you will need to pay for your medical bills and deal with potential lost wages afterwards.
Here are the steps you should take after a car accident to protect yourself and ensure you have the necessary evidence required to file a personal injury claim:
• Call 911 and have an officer file a police report.
If you are injured and require immediate medical assistance, contact 911. Police will show up on the scene as well and write up a police report. This report will contain information about the accident, witness testimonials, and other information that could aid in a preliminary car accident investigation.
• Document all your injuries.
Write notes about what happened to you and take photographs of your injuries. You will also want to keep documentation such as your medical expenses, pharmacy receipts, and other information that will help you build a case.
You will also want to consider how these injuries have affected your ability to function in daily life.
• Get examined by a medical professional.
To determine the state of your injuries, get examined by a medical professional. You may also want to consider scheduling an appointment with another professional, such as a chiropractor, physical therapist, and/or massage therapist.
Keep a copy of all your medical records and your doctors’ notes as these will directly affect how much compensation you will be awarded.
Do not skip your medical appointments. Insurance companies could argue that your injuries were not that serious if you do.
What Is the Average Payout for a Car Accident Settlement in Oklahoma?
There is set formula to determine the average car accident settlement amount. If you were not injured in the accident, you will generally just be reimbursed for the damage that was done to your vehicle. This is based on your insurance policy limits. If you file a personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company, you will be subjected to their policy limits.
You can get a larger settlement if you have been injured. You will require evidence that you sustained injuries to obtain pain and suffering compensation. Therefore. it is important to be examined by a doctor immediately after you were involved in a car accident. Some injuries, such as whiplash, do not become evident until a few days after a car accident. If you wait too long to get medical care, you may risk not being compensated for your injuries sustained in the collision.
A good rule of thumb to determine an approximate settlement amount is to add up your medical bills, car repairs, and lost wages and multiply that number by three. This could vary significantly according to your situation though, so it would be best to speak with a seasoned lawyer to get a more accurate idea of potential compensation.
What Happens if You Get into a Car Accident Without Insurance?
If you are involved in a car accident with someone who does not have car insurance, call the police, and file a police report. If the other driver is found at fault, your settlement amount is limited to the maximum on their insurance policy. If this individual does not have insurance, you are entitled to a settlement amount from your insurance policy. This is if you have uninsured car coverage on your policy.
What Factors Should I Consider Before Accepting a Car Accident Settlement?
If you were seriously hurt in a car accident, you should make sure your settlement covers the following items:
• Medical expenses
• Car repairs (including structural damage)
• Lost wages from time away from work
• Any pain you experienced after the accident (physical, emotional, and/or mental)
Consult with an Oklahoma Car Accident Attorney About Your Personal Injury Settlement
If you were recently involved in a car accident and need assistance determining your legal rights, contact an experienced attorney at our firm. Insurance companies try to make this process difficult and confusing, but it does not have to be this way. You deserve the best compensation possible. Let us help you secure the compensation you deserve.
If you need assistance determining what compensation you are entitled to after being injured in a car accident, contact us online or give us a call at (405) 294-1511.