Next Steps After An Accident
Aug. 9, 2022
According to statistics from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), there were 52,469 traffic crashes statewide in 2020, causing 15,997 injuries and 426 fatalities. Traffic accidents usually leave victims confused about the next steps to take or how to recover damages for their injuries.
However, what you do or fail to do following the incident can have a significant impact on the outcome of your injury claim. An experienced Kansas personal injury attorney can advise you about the next steps to take after an accident and help determine the best course of action.
At Biesterveld & Crook, LLC, we're poised and ready to guide, support, and represent accident victims and their loved ones in their injury claims.
Using our extensive knowledge, we can attempt to fight compassionately to protect your legal rights and help you pursue fair financial compensation for your injuries, damages, or loss. We're proud to serve clients across Overland Park, Johnson, Douglas, and Shawnee Counties in Kansas, Jackson County, Missouri, and the Kansas City Metro area.
Steps to Take After an Accident
The period after getting injured in an accident can be confusing to sort through. However, the steps you take – or do not take – can significantly affect your ability to pursue damages and the amount of compensation you may be entitled to. Therefore, when involved in an accident, you should take the following steps where possible:
Stay Calm: You may feel unsettled or terrified after an accident. This is completely normal. Nevertheless, it is important that you stay calm and don't let your emotions overcome you.
Perform a Safety Check: After the accident, your safety, health, and general well-being should be your priority. Carefully exit your vehicle – or the accident scene. Get to safety and help other accident victims if you can.
Get Immediate Medical Attention: Call 911 to receive adequate medical treatment for your injuries and other victims. Seeking immediate medical help from a qualified physician is crucial:
For your overall health, safety, and general well-being
To determine the magnitude of your physical injuries
To detect any hidden injuries and symptoms
For proper documentation when filing your personal injury claims
To avoid possible issues with the insurance provider
To comply with insurance requirements
Report to Police: Kansas law requires any person involved in an accident that causes an injury, death, or property damage of $1,000 or more to report the incident to the nearest office of a duly authorized police authority.
Documentation: Gather and record the following information and documentation:
Relevant information about the other driver, including the driver's name, phone number, address, vehicle registration number, license number, and insurance information
Witness statements and testimonies.
Accident scene photos
Medical records, including medical bills, medical reports, hospital records, physical therapy, and doctor's appointments
A personal account of the incident and how it affects your daily life and work
Inform Insurance Company: Notify your insurance carrier about the accident. Some insurance companies in Kansas need policyholders to report any accident as soon as possible after the incident.
Hire an Attorney: Hire a skilled attorney to guide you through the injury claims process and help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurers involved.
However, you need to act quickly to avoid misplacing vital documents or forgetting vital information. A skilled personal injury attorney can evaluate every detail of your unique circumstances and educate you about the potential pitfalls to avoid when seeking your injury claims.
Potential Pitfalls to Avoid
Here are some potential pitfalls to avoid when seeking your injury claims:
Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Kansas, including car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and wrongful death claims, is usually two (2) years from the date of the accident, injury, or death. Ensure that you file your injury claims within the 2-year statute of limitation.
Consider All Accident-Related Costs: Before accepting the insurer's settlement offer, consult with your attorney. Your lawyer can evaluate all accident-related costs, including property damages, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other possible damages.
Ensure Medical Expenses are Final: Also, only settle your injury claims after attaining the Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). This is the stage where your health condition can't be improved any further. In case you haven't recovered fully and need ongoing medical treatments, you should wait until you attain full recovery or MMI level.
Never Accept the First Settlement Offer: However, the insurance company may offer you an absurd first settlement offer to test your resolve. Do not be pressured into accepting such a low first settlement offer. Your attorney can help you negotiate a better offer or take additional legal action where necessary.
Uninsured Driver: Finally, do not file a lawsuit against an uninsured at-fault driver. A claim or lawsuit can only take money that the responsible party has. Unfortunately, the majority of uninsured drivers don't usually have money to pay for damages. Alternatively, you can file an uninsured driver's claim with your own insurance provider.
Here to Guide You Through Every Step
Being involved in an accident caused by a negligent party can be an overwhelming experience. Such an unfortunate incident can result in physical injuries, hospitalization, missed time at work, or reduced productivity. Regardless, you don't have to suffer the pain and financial liability all by yourself. Therefore, if you were injured in a negligent accident, you need to reach out to a qualified personal injury attorney to protect your rights and enlighten you about the next steps to take.
At Biesterveld & Crook, LLC, we have the diligence, resources, and expertise to support and advocate for the best interests of accident victims. Our attorneys can evaluate and investigate all of the facts of your case and determine the right steps to take in order to recover damages.
Contact Biesterveld & Crook, LLC today to schedule a simple case assessment with experienced car accident attorneys. Our proficient legal team can inform you of the claims process and help you fight for the financial justice you deserve. We're proud to serve clients across Overland Park, Johnson, Douglas, and Shawnee Counties in Kansas, Jackson County, Missouri, and the Kansas City Metro area.