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Car Accidents

Car accident involving a teenager

Have you or a loved one been injured in a car accident? At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, we are here to offer you the dedicated legal counsel you deserve. Although some car accidents are relatively minor, there is no such thing as a “simple” car accident insurance claim or lawsuit. Having a legal professional to assess the true value of your claim may assist you in recovering full financial compensation for medical care, lost wages, and more. If you are interested in learning more about how a personal injury lawyer can help you with a car accident, contact our offices today for your complimentary initial consultation.

Causes of Car Accidents

Car accidents have a number of causes, most of which are related to negligence or wrongdoing. As an example, drunk driving accidents account for approximately one-third of all fatal traffic accidents throughout the U.S. each year.

Additional forms of negligence may include: speeding, driving recklessly, or disobeying a traffic law, as well as simple errors such as failing to check one’s blind spot or not looking both ways before proceeding through an intersection. Less common causes of car accidents may include: automobile defects or malfunction, or poor road or weather conditions.

Depending on the cause of your serious car accident, you may be able to hold another driver responsible, or perhaps an automobile or auto part manufacturer. In some cases, you may even be able to hold the local government responsible for poorly maintained or designed roads or intersections.

Auto Accident Procedures

  1. Stop immediately
    Stay calm and do what you can within reason to avoid blocking traffic. Never leave the scene of an auto accident in which you or your car were involved no matter how slight the collision. Pull over to the side of the road as soon as possible without endangering any other person and without obstructing traffic.
  2. Check to see if anyone is injured
    Take care of any person that is injured, including rendering medical attention as soon as possible. Contact 911 or any other ambulance service in order to receive medical treatment. Do not assume that a lack of an injury means that a person is not hurt.
  3. Call the police
    An auto accident should be reported to the proper authorities. The report may not only be helpful later if you determine that you are injured or there is damage to your car, but it may be helpful later if the other person tries to avoid responsibility for the accident.
  4. Make Observations
    Identify the witnesses so there will be someone to support your case if it goes to court. Write down their names and addresses and interview them. Ask them what they saw and make a note of phrases they used like “slammed into,” “plowed,” “speeding,” or “he ran the red light.” Beware of insurance representatives at the scene of a car accident. It has been rumored that some insurance companies send adjusters to auto accident scenes in order to catch people off guard with incriminating questions or to have them sign away any rights they may have to future compensation.
  5. Take Pictures
    Take pictures of your car as soon as possible after the accident. When the adjuster asks for proof of damage, it is difficult to dispute a picture taken of your car at the collision scene. Pictures of the damage will help tell your story. If possible, take pictures of the other cars involved as well. These pictures will help supply information about the severity of the impact associated with your collision. Take pictures of your injuries before they heal. In many cases, the seat belt strap will bruise you across the shoulder and chest, but after several weeks those bruises heal. Months later, when the insurance adjuster is arguing that the auto accident was not very significant, pictures of your bruises and other injuries will help solidify your personal injury claim.
  6. Don’t Sign
    If an insurance adjuster shows up at the scene, don’t give any statements and don’t sign anything.
  7. Visit your doctor
    Even if you are not sure whether or not you are injured or anyone else in your vehicle is injured in the accident, it is best to be examined by a doctor at the earliest possible time or to go to the nearest emergency room. If you are examined by a doctor, make sure that you are specific in explaining to the physician how the accident happened and any and all injuries and problems you sustained as a result.
  8. Inform your insurance company
    Make sure that you call your insurance company immediately to report the accident. Failing to report the accident immediately could in some instances result in the insurance company not covering you for the accident. You should contact the company immediately, and make sure that you ask the company to start paying your bills. This action should open up a file to not only pay the property damage but also all of your medical bills if you are injured.
  9. Keep Records of Expenses
    The adjuster will ask for proof of anything you claim as an expense. Be sure you keep receipts for prescriptions, household services like lawn-mowing and getting someone to cook for you, car rentals, and so forth. Keep each of those receipts so you can document every expense.
  10. Call Steven A. Bagen & Associates
    Before signing any statements, consult a law firm that specializes in helping those who have been injured in auto accidents. At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, we have helped thousands of clients get the money they deserved for their injuries.

What You Need to Know

The law requires that the person or company responsible pay for your car accident repairs and injuries. Many victims of auto accidents try to handle their own personal injury cases, hoping that the insurance companies involved will settle as promptly and fairly as advertised. Unfortunately, not all insurance companies respond in that manner. Insurance companies’ obligations are to their stockholders and policyholders, not to people injured in a car accident. Insurance companies have enormous advantages: vast wealth, armies of sharp, experienced adjusters and attorneys, and dozens of legal reasons to reduce or deny compensation. Insurance adjusters thrive off of the confusion that car accidents cause in people’s lives. The adjuster’s job is to make the insurance company more money by paying less money to people injured in auto accidents — people who need it. They do this by taking advantage of any instances where an injured person does not have proof of damages or injuries. 

Negotiating alone or waiting until the insurance company makes an offer can be frustrating and costly. One wrong move or one mistake can cost you money. Delay or guessing about the value of your personal injury case can result in the loss of valuable rights and thousands of dollars.

Compensation can be sought for medical bills, lost wages, car rentals and repairs and for any pain and suffering you endured. Steven A. Bagen & Associates is highly experienced in the field of auto accident law. Our expert case managers and investigators will take care of getting the proof needed to recover your damages, when you’ve been injured. We will use every available resource to help you.

Find out more about what you can do in the wake of a car accident with the help of a skilled personal injury lawyer at your side. Contact Steven A. Bagen & Associates today or visit our FAQ page for more information.