Each year, around half-a-million people are injured in a car accident—costing more than $1550 billion in medical and property damage costs alone. If you get in an accident and are injured at the fault of someone else, you may be able to sue the other driver—or the car company—for damages. Read below to understand your rights in an automobile accident:
Car Accidents: Your Legal Rights
Though car accident laws differ between states, all require that you have proof that another driver was responsible for you injuries when suing for damages. Because proving fault is difficult, the law provides two guidelines for covering the costs of injured drivers: comparative negligence and contributory negligence. If the responsible party involves more than one person, and one—or all—could be responsible for your damages. If you were only partly at fault, some states will still let you gain compensation.
In some cases, accidents can occur as the result of defective automobile parts—like SUV rollover accidents or faulty repairs. If this happens to you, you may be able to sue the company who made the car.
In either case, should you sue for damages, you may be able to gain compensation for past and anticipated future physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, medical bills, and the loss of any past and future wages.
What do you do in the case of an injury?
If you were injured in a vehicle crash, it is important that you follow the steps below to make sure your rights are protected:
- Call the police to get a police report filed. A police report is the best, and most official, way to document your accident.
- Exchange insurance information with other drivers involved. Be sure to get their driver’s license and vehicle license numbers.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses of your accident.
- Notify your insurance company immediately to let them know an accident has occurred.
- Take pictures of your vehicle and obtain a property-damage estimate.
- Keep records of the medical diagnosis of your injury and your medical bills.
How to Take Action
Be wary if your insurance company, or the insurance company of the other driver, tries to offer you a settlement when you sue for damages. It is important that you meet with your personal injury attorney to make sure insurance companies cover the full extent of your injuries, and as a result, all of your rights are protected.