At some point in our lives, most of us will be in at least one car accident. If you have already been in a car accident, you know that it can be a difficult experience to go through. If you have been injured, it can take days, weeks, or even months to recover, and some people never do fully recover. A Thunder Bay car accident lawyer will work to protect the rights of those injured in a car accident and get them the compensation that they deserve.
Our car accident lawyers can meet with you in Thunder Bay for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
What to Do After a Car Accident
After a car accident happens, the first thing you need to do, if you are able to, is to check if you or other people are injured and summon emergency medical personnel to the scene as quickly as possible. If you are able to, there are some things that you should look for after an accident because many times, in the heat of the moment, people forget to gather valuable information that their lawyer may need to file a claim. Below is a list of things you should try to collect after an accident:
- The names, addresses, contact information, and license information of the driver, passengers, and witnesses
- The driver’s insurance policy and company information
- The license plate and pictures of the other car
- All information you can remember about the accident itself, such as where the accident happened, the speed you were traveling, the direction you were traveling, and how the accident occurred
- Take pictures of your vehicle, injuries, the scenery around the accident, and the accident itself.
- Make sure that you file a police report, and do not admit to any kind of fault to the other people involved in the accident or the police. Be sure to ask to receive a copy of the report once it is completed.
Thunder Bay Car Accidents Lawyer Near Me (416) 364-2000
Breaking Down a Car Accident Claim
At its core, a car accident deals not only with traffic laws but personal injury laws, as well. If another driver, for example, runs a red light and hits your car, there are at least two issues at play. The driver of the other vehicle has broken traffic laws because he or she was not supposed to run a red light, but the driver has also caused you and your passengers harm.
Beyond Your Vehicle’s Damage
Another thing that is important to take into consideration is that the compensation you may be able to receive is likely much more than what it would take to repair your vehicle. Of course, you want to get your car repaired and get back on the road as quickly as you can, but you do not want to forget about your physical or mental injuries. If you suffered injuries, you likely required emergency treatment or at least treatment from your family physician. Many injuries even go well beyond that after a car accident. They often require extended treatment including physical therapy, testing, surgery, hospital stays, medications, and repeated followup visits to the doctor. This type of care not only creates a lot of medical expenses but may also result in lost wages due to your inability to work.
A personal injury lawyer will be able to review with you all the details of your case and figure out the damages to which you may be entitled. Your lawyer can also help you navigate the legal and accident benefits system to get the best possible outcome for your claim.
Determining Fault After a Car Accident
One of the most important things that happen after a car accident takes place is the determination of who was at fault. Unfortunately, this process is often more complex than just figuring out who hit whom. For example, if you accidentally run a red light and another driver hits the side of your vehicle, you may automatically think that the other driver is at fault because he or she hit you. However, if you broke the law when you ran the red light, you would likely be found at fault. Traffic laws may vary from place to place, so it is important to understand how these laws may impact your accident and your personal injury claim.
What to Look for When Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer After Your Car Accident
Because a Thunder Bay car accident lawyer can play such a huge role in your personal injury claim you need to find one who is responsive to your needs. You should not have to always speak to an assisstant or paralegal. Try to find a lawyer who will keep you in the loop and with whom you can develop a relationship. Your questions should be answered by your car accident lawyer personally and not just the person who answers the phone.
It is also important that your lawyer be knowledgable. One of the things your lawyer will have to do is work with insurance companies. While insurance adjusters may claim to be your friend, that is far from the truth. They are in the business of making money, which means they want to pay as little money as possible toward your claim. To do this they will try to lowball or deny your injury claim.
Many car accident victims do not realize this and are tempted to take a quick offer. Do not ever do this. Let your lawyer handle the insurance company so that you do not inadvertently sign away your right to more compensation and litigation. Your lawyer needs to be effective to fight for you and not settle for less than what your case is actually worth. Your lawyer needs to be familiar with personal injury law and have experience in this area to ensure that you get the compensation you need.
What to Look for When Searching for a Thunder Bay Car Accident Lawyer
The minute you pick up the phone to call a lawyer, you need to be prepared to answer some basic questions. If you do not have the answers to these questions, that is okay, but knowing the answers will help your lawyer get started on your case as quickly as possible. Questions your lawyer may ask you include, but are not limited to, the following:
- When and where did the accident occur?
- Do you have contact information for the other party?
- What direction and speed were you traveling and what direction and speed was the other driver traveling?
- How did the accident happen? Was it due to a defect in one of your vehicles?
- Do you have the other driver’s insurance information?
- Were the police called to the scene of the accident? Did you file a collision report, and if so, do you have a copy of the report?
- Do you have the names and contact information of any witnesses?
- Did you take any photographs of the scene?
- What were your injuries? What medical treatment did you receive?
All of these questions are just the tip of the iceberg to get your lawyer started on your case. For the duration of your case you will be working closely with your lawyer, so be prepared to answer a lot of questions while your lawyer builds your case.
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Contact a Thunder Bay Car Accident Lawyer Today
Because traffic law and personal injury law can be so complex, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can be a valuable asset in your car accident claim. Your lawyer will use police reports, the testimony of witnesses, photographs, and other means to determine what happened. Your lawyer will find out what laws, if any, were broken, and determine who was at fault, what the appropriate course of action for your situation is, and what level of damages you should try to seek in court. Contact the lawyers at Preszler Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.