Deciphering the events that occurred during an auto-accident, especially who’s at fault, is not always a straightforward process. Following an accident, emotions often run high for all parties involved, making it difficult to determine what exactly happened. How do you know who was at fault, legally? How do you determine if you, or others involved in the car accident have a personal injury case? How do you ensure you will be fairly treated and compensated?
As previously mentioned, heightened emotions following an automobile accident often cause confusion. Wait to reflect on the events that led to the accident once you have a clear mind. Even though your instinct may be to say, “I’m so sorry this happened,” to others involved, don’t. Even when you’re not responsible for causing the accident, comments like this may be seen as you assuming partial responsibility. Do not agree to give a “recorded” statement of what you recall from the accident without first consulting with an attorney.
Document and photograph everything. Seek medical attention right away. Most importantly, inform the claims adjuster if you start experiencing medical issues or have medical concerns. Create a journal detailing your symptoms as they occur.
The next best advice is don’t accept on the spot offers for settlement from an insurance company. Insurance companies, and their claims adjusters don’t consider your well-being a priority; their objective is to settle claims quickly, and inexpensively. Don’t be tempted by initial offers before you know the full impact of the auto accident and what your rights may be. You may feel fine at first, but symptoms, such as a sore neck, back pain and whiplash may not appear until days later.
Typically, accidents occur as a result of someone’s negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle. This is often the basis on which fault is determined. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries and damages. Document and save receipts for all medical visits, medications and even car rentals for possible reimbursement from the insurance company. Be prepared to fight for your case, and push back if offered unfair compensation. Don’t sign ANYTHING if you have lingering questions. Seek legal advice for clarification if necessary.
As always, the sooner you meet with an attorney following an accident, the more likely you’ll be able to ensure the proper steps are taken to reach a fair personal injury compensation agreement with the insurance company. The attorneys at Janklow Law Firm in Sioux Falls, South Dakota specialize in personal injury cases, with over 50 years of experience, and will meet with you for a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Get the advice you need, and you will receive peace-of-mind knowing your case is being properly handled and justly evaluated.
It is great to work with the attorneys at Johnson, Janklow, and Abdallah. They always provide excellent advice and service that is second to none.
The lawyers at Johnson, Janklow, and Abdallah are consistently ranked as the top business lawyers in the state. Our business can always count on them to aggressively fight for our rights and provide straight-forward advice on complex issues.
Lawyers from Johnson, Janklow, and Abdallah regularly participate in legal education by judging intramural student skills competitions; helping prepare our nationally competitive litigation skills teams; serving or leading the South Dakota State Bar's Law School Committee; and, from time to time , providing guest lecturers. The Law School is grateful for the generous participation of lawyers like those from Johnson, Janklow, and Abdallah.