Car Accidents and Spinal Cord Injury: What Next?
For many spinal cord individuals, a successful compensation claim can be utterly life-changing. It is true that adjusting to and living with a spinal cord injury does not come cheap and this is why it is so important to act fast after a spinal cord injury causing car accident.
Out of all Spinal Cord Injury cases that we here at Aspire Law see, road traffic accidents and more specifically, car accidents are the most common. This article serves as a rough guide of what to prioritise and what to do next once involved in a car accident.
Car Accidents Are the Most Common Cause of Spinal Cord Injury
On average, each year over 444 people are involved in life-changing road traffic accidents that result in spinal cord injury. Shockingly, this amounts to over one person every day.
Such statistics are especially distressing when you consider that there is no definitive cure yet for spinal cord injury and that these road and car accidents are so easily preventable.
However, if you are indeed involved in a car accident and do sustain a spinal cord injury, the most important thing to do is act quickly.
A successful compensation claim and financial settlement really can be life changing in ensuring that you and your family are able to maintain as normal a level of independence as possible and that a good standard of living is preserved.
Even if you were a passenger in a car accident that was caused by a friend, family member or even partner, it is so important that a compensation case is very carefully considered by yourself. It needs to be recognised that the ensuing compensation claim would be paid out not against the driver themselves but instead against their insurance company.
What Shall I Do After A Car Accident?
In the immediate aftermath following a negligent car accident, and in order to strengthen any spinal cord injury compensation case, there are a number of things that you yourself, or if you are not in a position to, someone else can do on your behalf and the sooner the better.
It is important to ensure that you, or someone else, has:
- Recorded contact details of any witnesses to the event and taken statements from each of them about what they saw happen.
- Take photographs of the scene of the accident, any injuries to your person and any damage to property.
- Seek immediate medical advice. This will serve both ensuring that your injuries are dealt with accordingly as well as producing a medical report detailing the consequences of the incident in question. This will be used in calculating the amount of compensation you are owed.
- Established whether it’s possible to access CCTV footage of the accident if there are nearby CCTV cameras. The local council authorities should be able to inform you if this is possible.
- Reported your accident to the police and your insurance company. A failure to make such a report could lead to your claim being thrown out. Additionally, it is important to note that the Law Society state how for car accidents you have only 3 years in which you can indeed make a claim for compensation.
- Keep a written record of the accident itself and any problems that you face in day to day life going forward including any expenses arising from your accident, as well as keeping receipts. All of this will mean you don’t have to rely on memory if and when your case comes to trial. This too will be used in calculating the amount of compensation you are owed.
Adhering to the above will ensure that once paired with a solicitor for your spinal cord injury compensation claim case, all the necessary evidence will have been collected and importantly at a time when still viable.
Why Act Fast After A Car Accident?
Following any serious accident that you believe was not your fault, you should not only seek immediate medical advice but also, immediate legal advice.
The faster you act after a spinal cord injury causing car accident, the more evidence can be gathered and analysed in order to strengthen your compensation claim case.
Additionally, the faster you act the longer you have to take the time to carefully select a solicitor with an expert knowledge of spinal cord injury cases that you wish to be referred to.
Being ushered into a relationship with a solicitor, not of your choosing by your insurance company is a mistake that many spinal cord injury individuals make. Such a referral process, more often than not, can cause problems for the injured party as they are often paired up with a solicitor that they did not choose and one and who crucially does not have enough specific understanding of spinal cord injury.
As spinal cord injury claims are so complex, technical and personal this understanding is requisite in order to help to win a genuinely life-changing compensation claim, that for many, really does make all the difference.
Legal Advice Following a Car Accident
Choosing Your Spinal Cord Injury Solicitor
Following a spinal cord injury car accident or any other accident, that wasn’t wholly your fault it is fundamentally important to remember that you have rights as a consumer to choose your law firm:
Many Insurers are guilty of railroading their customers into selecting a law firm that is often a partner of theirs and so will benefit them. However, it is vitally important to remember that, regardless of what your insurer may say, you have absolutely no obligation to follow their ‘recommendations.’
This is not to say that all insurance firms partner law firms cannot be trusted, as the majority of them certainly do a good job. But, if you do go with such a firm it is often a good idea to get a second opinion from an outside third party solicitor such as Aspire Law. A second opinion will let you know whether or not you are getting the right level of service and support from your existing legal services provider.
Choosing your solicitor can often be a daunting process and one which you feel almost overwhelmed with different firms. At Aspire Law, we are proud to be able to say with complete confidence that every one of our specialist solicitors will have an above and beyond level of adept knowledge in dealing with car accidents and spinal cord injury cases, which, without the personal struggles, are already very technically complicated cases.
Aspire Law is the UK’s only law firm to deal exclusively with spinal cord injury compensation claims. This is because we fully understand how personal and intricate these cases can be and just how life-changing a successful result can be.
We have very in depth and not to mention recent expertise in helping people who have been injured as a passenger, a driver, a pedestrian, and cyclist or motorcyclist in a car accident.