Car accidents are a way of life in the United States. With over 200 million drivers on the road each day, it’s impossible to avoid them. As you might imagine, these car accidents have a high cost, both to drivers’ health and their wallets. According to statistics from the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, car accidents cost Americans $99 billion a year, and that’s just for medical bills. Adding the cost of repairs brings the true total closer to $160 billion.
In the best case scenario, insurance companies and at-fault parties will do their part to make the victims of accidents whole, whether that means paying repair bills, medical costs, or both. Unfortunately, that’s frequently not the case. Subsequently, according to NOLO.com, auto accident injury claims account for 60% of all tort cases brought to court in the U.S. each year. If the at-fault party in your accident is refusing to do what’s right and take care of your bills, you should know how to initiate your own auto accident injury claim.
Four Steps to Filing a Car Accident Injury Claim
- Make Sure You Get the Information You Need
- Call All Appropriate Parties
- Wait for the Necessary Reports
- Find Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
As GEICO points out, the first step drivers need to take following a car accident is gathering information. Both drivers, regardless of who’s at fault, need to get insurance numbers, license numbers, plate numbers, and contact information. Keep in mind –this is crucial– if you skip this step, your chances of finding the at-fault party and filing a successful auto accident injury claim drop to zero.
The next step, as DMV.org suggests, is to contact the authorities. This means calling the police to come and document the evidence and calling both parties’ insurance agencies. Note: you should never accept an at-the-seen payment of cash from the opposite party in lieu of this step. After all, you never know how much your repair and medical bills will be when all is said and done.
Once you’ve decided to go ahead with your auto accident injury claim, you need to gather copies of both your accident report and your medical report for injuries that resulted from the accident. It generally takes no longer than 24 hours to receive a completed accident report from law enforcement and no more than a few days to get a full medical report from your doctor, according to CarsDirect.com. Having these documents when you file your auto accident injury claim is essential to you getting the settlement you need to repair your car and restore your health.
After you’ve gathered all the important information, the last step is to find a personal injury accident lawyer who can help you find justice. You need to realize, however, that regardless of your lawyer’s past successes, your results can never be guaranteed.
If you’ve tried all other avenues and the at-fault party is still refusing to do what’s right, you need to take steps to file an auto accident injury claim. Too often, filing a claim is the only way to get your life back on track. With this information and the expertise of qualified personal injury attorneys, you can help ensure that your accident is only a minor bump along the road of life. More information like this: St. louis auto accident attorney