Every year in the United States, over 37,000 people are killed in auto accidents. That’s 102 people every day. People involved in fatal acc...
Every year in the United States, over 37,000 people are killed in auto accidents. That’s 102 people every day. People involved in fatal accidents experience emotional upheaval, sadness, and grief. As if that weren’t difficult enough, many accident survivors will suffer a severe injury, miss work, and accrue hefty medical bills. If you’re an accident survivor, there are several things you need to do in order to get the compensation you deserve for the accident.
1. Know the Statute of Limitations in Your State
Every state and every crime or tort in the U.S. has a statute limitations. A statute of limitations is the legal window of time a person has to file a claim or complaint against an at-fault party.
For most states, the statute is two years, but some may have a longer 3-year window. It’s best if you file a claim soon after the accident. If you wait longer than that, you may run out the statute. Plus, the negligent party and their insurance company may make a compelling argument that your damages or injuries weren’t that serious if you waited too long to make a claim.
2. Document Everything
As an accident survivor, you’re going to be hit with a mountain of paperwork, legal documents, and medical bills. It’s crucial that you remain organized and document everything related to your case.
You may be severely injured in the accident. Don’t hesitate to ask a trusted family member or friend to help you with filing and documenting everything related to the crash. Take photos, and record any important phone calls related to the case. Make copies of all essential documents, and back them up on a flash drive or two in addition to having them in hard copy. Make sure everything is dated. Trying to remember when events transpired after the trauma of an accident is nearly impossible.
Your attorney will need to know all of the damages from the accident, when and where they occur, and how much they’ve costed you in medical bills and property damage. If you have everything organized and on-file, your attorney will be able to do their job better and more efficiently.
3. Support and Coping
Being involved in a severe accident is an emotionally draining and terrifying experience. And if you’re a survivor who witnessed the death of a loved one because of the crash, you’re going to experience guilt and anguish. This is a normal part of the healing process, but without adequate support and positive coping mechanisms, you can experience long-lasting and harmful psychological effects stemming from the accident.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to qualified therapists or a grief counselor. Studies show that those who seek out psychological care after surviving an accident are able to regain a sense of well-being and emotional wholeness faster than those who don’t get such care. Also, emotional pain puts you at higher risk of developing adverse coping mechanisms, such as self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. A qualified therapist can help you manage the distress you’ll experience after surviving an accident. Be sure to surround yourself with supportive friends and loved ones after you survive a crash.
4. Get a Personal Injury Attorney
Accidents fall under the purview of personal injury law, which is governed by state law. If you’re an accident survivor, you’ll want to speak to a personal injury attorney who practices in your state when you seek damages for the accident. If you’ve survived a fatal crash, a personal injury attorney can also bring a wrongful death suit against the negligent party.
Surviving an accident is a terrifying ordeal, and in some cases, it’s a painful and expensive one. Without proper support, you may not be able to receive the compensation you deserve. If you’re an accident survivor, don’t hesitate to contact a local and experienced personal injury attorney before the statute of limitations runs out.