How do I protect my rights when I have been in an accident?
It is important to keep in mind several guidelines to follow in the event you are in an accident, including:
Obtain a copy of any police report, accident report, or other documentation of the accident.
Carefully write down everything you can remember about how the accident occurred and all details involved such as the persons involved, the location and information about the facts of the accident, witnesses and evidence which may be needed to present a claim on your behalf, such as photographs of the accident scene, damage to a vehicle, etc.
Be careful not to make any statements, especially recorded statements to representatives from insurance companies or claims investigators- it is not usually their job to protect your interests.
Talk with an experienced personal injury attorney in order to determine what should and should not be done to preserve your right to be compensated for any losses you have sustained.
What damages am I entitled to recover?
You are entitled to recover damages to fully compensate you for both pain and suffering and associated emotional distress damages as well as economic losses sustained by you, to include medical expenses (present and future), time lost from your job, damage to your personal property such as your clothing or vehicle, as well as any other damages which, in the eyes of the law were “proximately” caused by the accident.
What is the time period for presenting a claim for damages?
You have two years from the date of the accident to present a claim for personal injury damages while you have three years from the date of the accident to present a claim for property damage (including damage to a vehicle, clothing, rental car expense, loss of use of your vehicle, etc.). YOU ARE WELL ADVISED however, to not rely upon the final deadline for presenting a claim. As a practical matter, failure to promptly notify a defendant and/or the defendant’s insurance carrier, often severely prejudices your ability to receive any compensation without a protracted lawsuit.
The information contained herein is general information about the law only. The law is subject to change. If you have a specific legal question and want your question(s) answered, consult with an attorney.