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What to Do If in An Accident on A Highway

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A car accident on a highway can happen at a high speed, making it particularly catastrophic. Many of these accidents result in severe and life-threatening injuries and can often involve multiple parties.

If you or a loved one was injured in a highway collision, it’s crucial to speak to a Premier Attorney who can help make you whole again. Schedule a free consultation with a lawyer near you to learn more about your legal rights and options.

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Highway car accidents can vary in type and severity. They’re often influenced by high speeds, heavy traffic, and roadway conditions. They often include:

  • Rear-end collisions: This happens when one vehicle crashes into the back of another. It’s often caused by tailgating, sudden stops, or distracted driving.
  • Head-on collisions: These accidents involve the front ends of two vehicles hitting each other at a combined speed. They’re particularly dangerous and often result from wrong-way driving or drivers losing control.
  • Sideswipe accidents: These accidents occur when the sides of two parallel vehicles make contact. They happen when one vehicle tries to change lanes without noticing another vehicle in the blind spot.
  • Multi-vehicle pile-ups: These accidents involve multiple vehicles and are common on busy highways. They’re often triggered by one accident on a highway that leads to a chain reaction of collisions.
  • Rollover accidents: This occurs when a vehicle flips over onto its side or roof. They’re common with taller vehicles such as SUVs and trucks. They often happen due to sharp turns at high speeds or collisions.

Due to the high impact of a highway collision, the injuries sustained tend to be serious. The most common ones include:

  • Head injuries: These include concussions or traumatic brain injuries from hitting the head on steering wheels, dashboards, windows, or airbags. Some head injuries can include skull fractures or lacerations.
  • Neck injuries: Whiplash is common in rear-end collisions where the head is rapidly jerked backward and forward. High-speed rear-end collisions can also cause serious neck strains and sprains.
  • Back and spinal cord injuries: A highway accident can cause herniated discs, spinal cord damage, and lower back sprains and strains.
  • Chest injuries: The blunt force trauma of a highway crash can lead to broken ribs and bruised or collapsed lungs. Seat belt injuries are also common. However, these are usually less severe than the injuries they prevent.
  • Abdominal and internal injuries: Internal bleeding or organ damage are often the result of the force of the impact in an accident on a highway. This can result in injuries to the liver, spleen, kidneys, or intestines.
  • Limb injuries: Highway car accidents can lead to fractures or broken bones in the arms, legs, hands, and feet. They can also cause dislocations or sprains from bracing during impact or being thrown around inside the vehicle.
  • Cuts and lacerations: These injuries are caused by broken glass or sharp metal edges during a highway crash.
  • Burn injuries: Burn injuries often occur in cases where a vehicle catches fire or if there's an explosion after a highway collision.

If you were involved in a highway collision, it’s important to take the right actions. Doing so can protect your health and help you build a solid claim. If you haven’t already done so, seek medical help immediately. Even if you feel fine initially, some injuries can take several days to manifest.

When you get prompt medical attention, you identify your injury early on and start treatment before it worsens. Plus, you create a clear link between the car accident and your injury.

You must also report your car accident to your insurance company. When doing so, provide only the basic facts and avoid talking about who was to blame. Giving insurance companies too many details can potentially hurt your claim in the long run.

How do I get a report for a highway accident?

Obtaining a police report for a car accident on a highway involves several steps. The process can vary depending on the location of the accident and the specific law enforcement agency that responded to the incident. Here's a general guide to help you get a police report:

  • Determine which law enforcement agency responded to your accident. This could be the state police, highway patrol, or local police.
  • If you’re able to at the scene of the accident, ask the responding officer how to obtain a copy of the police report. The officer might provide you with a receipt or a report number.
  • Reach out to the police department or agency that responded to the accident. You can typically call them or visit their website for information on how to request a police report.
  • When requesting the report, provide specific information such as:
    • The date and location of the accident.
    • Names of the parties involved.
    • The report number, if you have it.
    • Your involvement in the highway collision (as a driver, passenger, property owner, etc.).
  • Pay the required fees. These fees can vary based on the agency and the length of the report.

To pursue damages from the other driver’s insurance company, you’ll need to file a car accident claim. Before you take any further actions, consult with an experienced car accident lawyer. 

Speaking to the other driver’s insurance company can be very risky. Any statements you provide can be construed as admitting fault. Plus, insurance companies use tactics to keep their costs down. That includes convincing you to accept a lowball settlement to close out the case quickly. Once you accept a settlement, you can’t pursue any further damages. 

It’s best to let an attorney handle all communications with the other driver’s insurance company. Attorneys are skilled at collecting evidence after a car accident on a highway. Plus, they know how to deal with insurance companies and negotiate for fair compensation. 

Auto accident settlement timeline after a highway collision

The timeline for an auto accident settlement often depends on the complexity of your case, the severity of injuries, liability issues, and the negotiation process. While every case is unique, here's a general timeline of the stages involved:

  • Determining liability (1 - 8 weeks): An attorney investigates the car accident to determine liability. Depending on the complexity of the case, this phase can take longer.
  • Initial demand and negotiations (2 - 12 weeks): An attorney will submit a demand letter to the other driver’s insurance company. Negotiations between the parties may begin. It can take several rounds of offers and counteroffers to reach an agreement.
  • Finalizing settlement (2 - 6 months or longer): Once negotiations are successful, both parties agree on a settlement amount. Legal documents are drafted, and the injured party signs a release form, finalizing the settlement.
  • Receiving settlement payment (Up to 30 days): The settlement check is issued and delivered to the injured party. This process may take a few weeks.
  • Resolution and closure (6 months - 2 years): In some cases, lawsuits may be filed and go through a more extended legal process, which can prolong the timeline.

If you were injured in a car accident on a highway, you’ll need a strong legal advocate on your side from start to finish. A Premier Car Accident Lawyer will work tirelessly to protect your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve.

Best of all, it won’t cost you anything upfront. Our verified attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis and only take a certain percentage of your settlement or award after you’ve been fully compensated. To learn more, contact a Premier Attorney in your area for a free consultation.

Injured? Call Now
Talk to a LAW.COM Premier Attorney today!

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Tell us about your potential case.

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Injured? Speak to a LAW.COM
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1-866-828-0442 or Submit Your Case Form