When To Get An Attorney For A Car Accident?

1. The accident has just occurred. You are still there.

An official report will be drawn up by the police or gendarmerie that will have moved.

On your side :

  • Record the vehicle registration also involved;
  • Remember to photograph, if you can, the places before they are uncluttered;
  • Ask witnesses to do so if you are not in good condition;
  • Also ask the witnesses to give you their contact information so that they can be contacted again to testify to the facts that have unfolded.

2. Claim statement to your insurance company.

Report the accident very quickly (usually within 5 business days of the accident, maximum):

  • as soon as possible by phone,
  • then by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.

To your insurer, deliver all the information of which you are aware: registration of the vehicle involved, location of the accident, date, circumstances, etc.

Your insurance will then send you a health questionnaire to quickly assess your bodily injury.

3. Request an initial medical certificate.

If you are taken by the emergency services to the nearest hospital or the most competent to deliver your care, the doctor who will examine you will have to write a medical certificate.

This medical certificate is called an "initial medical certificate" because it describes the injuries and assesses your ITT (Total Inability to Work).

The ITT is a purely criminal concept that will fix, in time, the duration during which you will experience significant discomfort in the acts of everyday life.

This ITT is appreciated in days, weeks or months.

If you return to your home without being hospitalized, have the reflex to return the same day, or the next day, to your doctor to examine you, make sure that you do not cause any bodily injury and, Above all, write and issue you this famous medical certificate.

4. As soon as you can be auditioned.

You will be heard on the facts, by the police or gendarmerie assigned to the investigation.

At this moment you will give, as far as the state of your memories, your version of the facts.

If it turns out that the driver of the vehicle involved may have committed an offense (breach of a duty of care, or of vigilance, willfully endangering the life of others, etc.), you will have the opportunity to file complaint.

This complaint will be recorded in minutes.

If you wish to think about the opportunity to lodge a complaint, you can then either go back to the investigation services to have your complaint registered, or send a letter to the Public Prosecutor territorially competent.

The latter will rule on the admissibility of your complaint: he will answer the question of whether the driver of the vehicle involved has, in his opinion, committed an offense.

If so, the Public Prosecutor may initiate a criminal action.

If not, he will dismiss your complaint.

In the event that a criminal action is taken, you will be notified, as a victim, of the place and date of the trial, as well as the counts of offense that are held against the driver.

At this stage, we recommend that you seek the advice of a lawyer so that he helps you in your intervention (civil suit) and to quantify your personal injury.

Caution: If you decide not to complain, it does not mean that you will not be compensated for your injuries.

Nevertheless, filing a complaint initiates criminal proceedings, which is a faster procedure to obtain compensation for your personal injury.

Civil procedure, which can also compensate you even without filing a complaint, is a longer procedure that can be discouraging.

5. Keep all documents related to the accident.

The care phase will be longer or shorter.

Throughout it, it is essential to keep carefully all the medical documents that are related to the accident (hospitalization record, medical certificate, prescriptions, proof of payment in pharmacy, etc.).
All these documents will be essential to obtain, then, compensation.

6. When will I be compensated?

You have suffered bodily injury, the loss of a loved one, non-pecuniary damage, expenses related to your care, loss of income, property damage (vehicle, clothing, etc.).

You have a right to compensation, in case you are not responsible for the accident.

If you are in part, your right to compensation may be reduced (example: if you are responsible for the accident up to 25%, you will be compensated up to 75% of the amount of your damages).

When a vehicle is involved in an accident, it is necessarily insured. This is a legal obligation. If it is not, which unfortunately can happen, a parallel procedure with a guarantee fund will still allow you to obtain compensation.

In the majority of cases, you will have an insurance company as interlocutor.

We recommend that you surround yourself with an independent doctor, who does not represent the interests of the insurance company, to help you assess your injuries and quantify your bodily injury.

Before your condition is consolidated, that is, the care is finished, and you can observe and evaluate the remaining legacy, you can get some supplies from the insurance company (amicable, or through a judge and a conviction of the company to pay you these benefits).

Your compensation may therefore be negotiated amicably, without going through the office of a judge, or be the subject of a court decision if the amicable discussions fail.

This technical step requires the presence of a lawyer and a doctor specialized in the defense of the victims to enable you to obtain the compensation most adjusted to your state of health.

Once your condition is consolidated, you can consider winding up your personal injury.

The liquidation of the personal injury is called the repair of all your positions of injury related to the accident of which you were victim.

You will be compensated on the basis of an established calculation, amicably or by a judge, after deduction of the provsions already paid.