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I was injured in a car accident- do I have a personal injury claim?

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Car accident between a Chevrolet Lumina and a ...[/caption]

If you have been injured in a car accident you may have suffered severe injuries which can lead to costly medical bills and lost wages. If your car accident was caused due to the negligence of another driver, in many states you may be able to receive additional compensation from other at-fault drivers by filing a personal injury claim.

Steps after a Car Accident

If you are considering filing a personal injury claim you need evidence to prove that the other driver was at-fault for the car accident. If you have been involved in a car accident, there are several steps which should be taken immediately to gather appropriate car accident information:

1. Get the name, phone number and address information for all of the drivers involved in the accident.
2. Get the name and phone numbers from all witnesses.
3. Get a copy of the police report.
4. Call 911 if anyone is injured.
5. Take pictures if you have a cell phone or a camera.
6. Do not take responsibility for the accident. Let the policeman do their job. Answer direct questions truthfully, but do not admit fault. The police officers will make a determination for fault after the car accident investigation is complete.
7. Get medical attention for all of your car accident injuries.
8. Immediately call your insurance company.
9. Do not talk to another insurance company or accept a settlement until you have spoken with a car accident lawyer.

If after reading these steps you realize you did all the wrong things, is it too late to get the evidence you need? The most important thing is to protect your car accident claim by getting as much information as you can about the car accident as soon as possible. Unfortunately, as time passes memories fade and evidence can be lost.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Contacting a personal injury lawyer may be one of the best ways to protect your interest and find out how to proceed with your car accident claim. State laws vary for car accident claims. Some states will only allow claimants to file a personal injury claim if their injuries exceed a specific monetary limit or if their personal injuries cause “substantial bodily harm”. Other states do not have these restrictions, and a personal injury claim can be filed as long as you can prove your injuries were caused by another driver’s breach of duty toward you.

Finding a car accident lawyer who is familiar with your state’s laws is crucial for your car accident claim. If your state allows you to file a personal injury claim following a car accident the method used to allocate damages can vary. Some states will only award you damages if you were not at-fault for the car accident, others will award you damages if you were less than 51% at-fault and others will award damages to all parties who are 99% or less at-fault (with those damages reduced by their portion of the fault).

Your car accident or personal injury lawyer can review your car accident case, evaluate the car accident evidence, talk to witnesses, and hire expert witnesses to help you win your personal injury claim.
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