A recent article in NH Magazine talks about getting injured in a car crash and the best ways to handle getting injured in an auto accident. The author talks about their own experiences with their child being hit by a car in an intersection and what they learned from it. Here is a summary of the steps the author suggests taking after being injured in a car accident:
Call the police – even if the crash seems minor, calling the authorities to report it is always a good idea. In New Hampshire it is the law that any damage over a thousand dollars should be reported. When police arrive, they will be able to make a report so that the crash will be documented. This is an important tool that you will later use if you have to take your case to court because police will take down exactly what the crash site look like. New Hampshire laws state that a person can only receive compensation for the same percentage that the other party was at fault. Therefore if both parties are equally responsible for the accident they can only be compensated 50%. If one party is more than 50% responsible, they will not be able to receive compensation because it is more than half their fault under New Hampshire law.
Do not accept blame – after an accident you should never admit guilt or accept the blame for causing it. It's alright to cooperate, say you're sorry and to show concern for the other party, but a driver should never say or do anything that can later be used against them as an admission of guilt.
Get medical help – if you or anyone in your vehicle appears to have been injured in the accident, seek medical help as soon as possible. Not only is this a wise idea for your overall well-being, but the sooner you seek treatment after accident the better it is in to helping your case. Proving that your injuries were sustained due to the crash is easier when the medical reports are dated immediately after it occurred and not days or weeks later.
Get a fair compensation – many times the at-fault party's insurance company will offer a fair settlement. In situations where this is not the case, you may need to go to court. This is when it is important to have all of your medical bills and expenses well documented and organized in order to show what expenses you incurred due to the injuries suffered.
Don't agree to anything without an attorney – insurance companies will be eager to get you to sign off on a settlement right away. The author state that you should:
Resist pressure to sign off on a claim and don't do it without the advice of an attorney.
This is because some injuries may not be fully treated or discovered yet and you want to make sure that you're compensated for everything. There could also be complications that will lead to the need for additional compensation. Once you agree to a settlement, you cannot go back and ask for more money if new injuries are discovered.
This is all very good advice for dealing with an auto accident injury. Whether you are hurt while driving or as a pedestrian, these tips can help you. For more information on how to handle a car accident, see our handy auto accident checklist.