Taking Legal Action After a Crash with a Speeding Driver
If you have been injured by a speeding driver, you have some recourse against that driver. In some cases, you may even have recourse against the vehicle manufacturer. While the accident should be investigated, if at all possible, there are some steps you should take at the accident scene.
What Steps Should You Take at the Accident Scene?
First, call emergency responders, especially if someone is hurt. If for any reason, you feel you might do more harm to yourself if you move, do not move until the paramedics arrive. If you are able to move without further injuring yourself, try to find out if anyone else is injured. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information and if they would stay to give the police an account of what they saw. Then, request the other driver’s contact and insurance information.
Next, take pictures of the scene before anyone moves their vehicles. If either vehicle left skid marks because the brakes were locked up, take pictures of those. Try to get the best pictures possible. Higher quality pictures make it easier for investigators.
If possible, leave the vehicles in place until the police get there. If you are required to move the vehicles out of traffic, only do so after you take pictures and only if moving the vehicle will not cause further damage to any of the vehicles involved.
Don’t wait to see a doctor. It’s important to get medical care the same day of the accident, even if you think you are unharmed. Adrenaline could mask pain so that some injuries may not be noticeable hours or even a couple days later. Let the doctors know you were in a crash and need to be checked from head to toe.
After seeing a doctor, contact a personal injury attorney to set up a consultation. Finally, contact your insurance company to inform them about the car accident.
Read more about What to Do When You’re Involved in a Car Accident.
Are You at Fault?
Never admit fault —not the insurance company, the police or the other person involved, even if you believe you were at fault. Let the evidence determine who was at fault because it will affect the amount of compensation you’re entitled to. Even if you feel you were at fault, another driver may be partially liable or may have been negligent.
For example, if the other driver was speeding, he or she may be held entirely responsible for damages or injury. Likewise, if you were speeding but the other driver ran a stop sign, you may not be liable for the accident or found to be only partially at fault.
Working with Your Insurance Company
Let your insurance company know you were involved in an accident. The only information you should provide about the accident is the location and time. Simply let your insurance company know that your attorney will be in contact with more information.
You may be wondering why you shouldn’t speak to your insurance company. Keep in mind that the company is looking out for its own financial interests. The insurance company has its own attorney and will try to pay out the least amount possible. Your personal injury attorney will work with the insurance company – whether it’s yours or the other driver’s – to find a settlement or take the case to trial, if necessary. In most cases, the insurance company will opt to settle out of court. Your attorney should proceed to trial if the insurance company hasn’t offered a fair settlement.
Documents Needed for Your Case
If possible, collect the documents that your attorney will need to investigate the case and fight on your behalf. If available, provide a copy of:
- The police report;
- Other driver’s insurance information;
- Your insurance information and claim number;
- A copy of your vehicle’s title and registration.
You will need to provide any medical records from your initial visit to the doctor or hospital following the crash. This gives the attorney information regarding the extent of the injuries you suffered because of the speeding driver. If your doctors recommend further medical care, including physical therapy, surgery or psychiatric/psychological evaluation, bring those referral records to your attorney.
Photos of the accident scene should be of high quality, if possible. Keep both printed copies and digital files in a safe place. Provide your attorney with a set of copies.
If the attorney requests that you obtain additional documents, get them as soon as possible. If you are having trouble obtaining documents from third parties, let your attorney know right away. Personal injury cases are time-sensitive; in Ohio, the statute of limitations for the entire legal process is only two years.
Extreme Injuries and Fatalities
If your loved one suffered extreme injuries or was killed in a speeding crash, contact a personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to compensation on behalf of a family member who was permanently injured or for someone who died as a result of a crash involving excessive speed.
Why You Need to Contact an Attorney As Soon As Possible
While we realize that you just want to heal from the accident, you do have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit or start settlement negotiations. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to recall details about the accident. Plus, the statute of limitations for bodily injury in the state of Ohio is two years.
If you were involved in a speeding accident or have lost a loved one, request a consultation with personal injury attorneys who care about your health and family. Call Amourgis & Associates at (330) 535-6650 or contact us online.