Imagine yourself driving down the streets of Connecticut when an SUV appears out of nowhere and hits your vehicle. Luckily, you managed to survive the accident. However, you find yourself with several injuries, and your car is beyond repair.
Does this sound familiar? In Connecticut, filing for a claim should be your priority after a car accident. Between the time of your accident to the time you seek a Connecticut car accident lawyer, there are steps to follow.
By following the steps in this article, you will be well on your way to compensation for your injuries and property damages. Read on to learn the nine steps to take after you have met a car accident in Connecticut.
1. Notify the Authorities
As soon as possible, it is crucial to call 911. Emergency medical services will be mobilized to your location as soon as you provide the details of the incident.
As you make the call, you need to include certain pieces of information. First, you need to mention if anyone else on the scene has been injured. This will enable emergency medical services to prepare the right manpower and resources to respond.
Also, you must describe as best you can the scene of the accident. This will help the operator determine if notifying the fire department is necessary. Lastly, do not forget to mention other crucial details like where you are, your name, and your condition as you are making the call.
Under no circumstances should you leave the scene of the accident. Section 14-223 of Connecticut’s Statutes explicitly requires all who are involved in accidents to stop and provide assistance if possible.
2. Gather as Much Evidence as You Can
There is always that initial shock following a car accident in Connecticut or anywhere else in the country. Nevertheless, it is important to document the incident as soon as you come to your senses.
Evidence will come in handy later on during investigations and subsequent claims. Evidence will be particularly crucial to your attorney during a trial should things escalate to this degree.
When documenting the accident, you can start by taking pictures of the scene and your vehicle. It can also be helpful to take pictures that show weather conditions as this will be necessary later on in the investigation.
On top of pictures, it is also a must to gather information about the driver, the driver’s contact information, the vehicle’s owner, and the vehicle. Everything from the car’s registration number to the VIN counts as evidence that you need to collect.
3. Get Medical Treatment ASAP
Once emergency medical services arrive, the medical team will assess everyone for injuries. In your case, if you have any injuries, the medical team will be able to assess them. However, not all symptoms appear at the time of the accident. Sometimes, symptoms of underlying injuries can appear much later.
Besides treatment, medical attention in the nearest emergency room can reveal injuries not apparent during the accident. The findings will also add to your evidence, especially if you have to prove that comparative negligence is not a factor.
4. Contact Insurance Providers — Yours and The Other Driver’s
In Connecticut, auto insurance is a must for all drivers. Auto insurance provides drivers coverage in the event of car accidents. The coverage pays for medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and property damages. Other things that auto insurance pays for are wage losses if the accident has rendered you too injured to go to work.
Besides contacting your insurance provider, you can also contact the other driver’s provider if you have been in an accident. The other driver’s insurance provider can assign a claim number that entitles you to compensation.
5. File an Accident Report
After you have contacted your insurance provider for coverage, you need to file an accident report. You need to go to the police station to do this. Filing an accident report is a must for you to prove your injuries and damages later on in the claims process.
An accident report filed with the police will be useful for your legal counsel and insurance providers. Even if law enforcement documented your accident at the time of its occurrence, you should still file a report.
6. Stay in Contact with the Police
Following the incident and your filing of an accident report, the police will continue to conduct an investigation. During the investigation, law enforcement will want to speak to everyone involved in the accident. This means you, the other driver, passengers, and also witnesses if there are any.
In the course of the investigation, you may be issued a traffic citation or ticket. While it is alright to plead to the officer issuing the ticket, all citations are usually final. Be that as it may, a traffic citation or ticket does little to affect your case and compensation claim.
7. Collect and Collate All of the Evidence and Records in Your Possession
The next step is to organize the evidence you have. Everything from your medical records to the information you have gathered during the accident needs to be with you.
You will need all of your records in place because your attorney will want to see them before taking your case. This brings us to the next step.
8. Seek Legal Assistance with a Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer
Seeking compensation on your own will be an uphill battle. It is one you will likely lose. For this reason, it is crucial to hire a Connecticut car accident lawyer for your compensation claim.
When choosing a car accident lawyer in the state, choose a lawyer that has a wealth of experience in handling car accident cases. Be mindful of the lawyer’s track record, particularly how many of the lawyer’s cases succeed without a trial.
Legal fees can vary slightly. Usually, attorneys will not charge you a fee until your compensation claim is settled. The fee often amounts to about 25% to 33% of your compensation. By Connecticut law, lawyers cannot charge more than 40% of a client’s compensation amount.
9. File a Claim with Your Attorney
With a Connecticut car accident attorney in your corner, you may now file a claim. Before doing this before a small claims court, you and your attorney need to begin with the other driver’s insurance provider.
You may escalate things to a lawsuit if the insurance provider refuses to provide coverage and compensation or if you are given a lowball offer. It is crucial to be seeking compensation with your attorney within Connecticut’s Statute of Limitations.
In Connecticut, the limitation is two years from the date of the accident. For this reason, your attorney will work to win your settlement within this timeframe.
Hire a Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer Who Moves Fast and Wins
You cannot afford to DIY your car accident compensation claim. To tip the scales in your favor, you will need a car accident lawyer with a proven track record and who cares about your case.
If you have just been in a car accident and do not know where to turn, look no further. Reach out to us now and receive legal representation and counsel that goes fast to get you a win.
FindLaw: Connecticut Negligence Laws
Connecticut Chapter 346: Motor Vehicles
LawInfo: Personal Injury – How Much Will An Attorney Cost?
Chapter 926 – Statute of Limitations
Injury Claim Coach – 11 Critical Steps After a Connecticut Car Accident