Motor vehicle accidents are an unfortunate, but common, occurrence on the roads. Motor vehicle accidents can involve cars, motorbikes, bicycles, trucks and many other motor vehicles. If you find yourself injured from a car accident it is important to know what steps you need to take from there.
Read on for a step by step guide to a motor vehicle accident claim.
Gather details of the accident
After a motor vehicle accident, emotions can be running high, and it can be easy to forget to take down simple details that you may need when making your motor vehicle accident claim. Give yourself time to calm down and then speak with any other parties involved. Take down the details of any drivers that were involved in the accident and of any witnesses.
It is a good idea to report the accident to the police, especially if the accident was serious so that they can keep a record of it. Try not to delay doing this because the sooner you report it, the more accurate the details of your accident will be when they take your statement.
Seek medical assistance
If you have sustained motor vehicle injuries, it is important that you see a medical professional and get your injuries assessed. Injuries that seem minor may result in more harm than you think, so it is important to get assessed. If your motor vehicle injuries are quite severe, make sure you keep copies of all your medical reports and bills, these will be essential for your personal injury claim.
Determine who is at fault
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on whether you are considered at fault or not for the accident. Speak with the other parties involved and see if they take responsibility for the accident. If both of you believe you are not at fault, it is best to consult with a lawyer immediately to see what they can do.
There are many different fault scenarios, so while you may not be entirely at fault for the accident, you may still be considered partly at fault. If you are partly at fault you will still be eligible to receive compensation for your motor vehicle accident.
Speak with a personal injury lawyer
Do your research and meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your motor vehicle accident. Describe the details of the accident and the resulting consequences of it. Be sure to ask your lawyer what your chance of success will be should you go forward with a personal injury claim.
Beware of lawyers who dodge your questions or do not give you clear answers. This is a telltale sign of a lawyer who does not have experience in a motor vehicle accident claim. Be sure to ask them if they have dealt with similar situations and how confident they feel in representing you.
Begin your personal injury claim
If your lawyer advises you to begin a personal injury claim, you will need to start gathering evidence. Your initial preparation may involve requesting medical records, getting a medical assessment from a doctor, speaking to witnesses and gathering payslips (if you have suffered a loss of income).
You can be expected to be compensated for the following:
- Medical expenses (doctors visits, prescriptions, hospital stays, medical equipment, etc.);
- Past and Future Economic Loss;
- Physical and psychological suffering; and
- Past and Future Domestic Assistance.
Your personal injury lawyer should be able to advise you of what kind of documentation you will need to provide to prove that these aspects of your life have been impacted.
Lodge your personal injury claim
You must lodge your personal injury claim within six months from when the motor vehicle accident occurred. Be sure to double check deadlines with your personal injury lawyer because applying for exemptions can be quite difficult as they are only granted under certain circumstances.
Be patient as your claim is processed. Personal injury claims can take some time to reach a settlement, so do not expect to receive your compensation amount immediately. An average motor vehicle accident claim can take up to 6-12 months to reach a settlement, so be prepared.
Keep your lawyer updated
Usually, you will need to wait until your motor vehicle injuries stabilise before you can take legal action. However, if you find your condition worsening as your claim gets processed, be sure to alert your lawyer so they can take the necessary actions.
If you have been involved in or injured from a car accident, call Schreuder for a free consultation on how to make a personal injury claim.