10 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT
Accidents happen, even to the most careful drivers. While you may be shocked and stunned with adrenaline after a car accident, it’s important to remain as calm as possible. If you are involved in an accident that is not your fault, make sure to take these steps to insure that you are eligible to receive proper compensation after the fact, and have the claims process go as smoothly as possible.
Immediately Following An Accident Caused by Another Person’s Negligence
For automobile accidents, contact the police to document the accident.
For minor accidents, sometimes you might think that you don’t need to call the police. However, it is extremely important to do so, especially in the case where someone has been injured. The police can expedite the exchange of information between parties and make sure things are documented properly. They will also be able to help determine which party, or parties, are at fault.
2. Seek appropriate medical attention for any injuries.
Your safety is number one priority. If anyone involved in the accident is injured, call 911.
3. Obtain the names and contact information for all parties and witnesses (if possible).
You should also obtain proof of insurance from the driver who caused the accident.
4. Photograph all visible damages to your vehicle.
If you weren’t able to take photographs before your vehicle was repaired, contact your auto insurance company. They may have photographs of the damage to your vehicle.
5. Photograph all visible signs of injury on your body.
Documentation is key to receiving compensation down the line and making the claims process run smoother.
During The First Few Weeks After An Accident
6. Follow all recommendations of your medical providers and make sure you don’t miss medical appointments while you heal.
7. Keep all accident-related documents in a specific, and separate, file at home.
If you forget to keep all accident-related documents, an experienced personal injury attorney can provide assistance in obtaining them.
8. Do not speak with any insurance adjuster regarding the accident until you have spoken with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Insurance companies do not have your best interest at heart. An experience personal injury attorney can advocate for your wellbeing.
9. Do not sign any insurance documents or releases until you have spoken with an experienced personal injury attorney.
10. When you notify your own insurance company of the accident, be certain to explain how the other driver caused the accident and provide a detailed explanation of all areas of your body that sustained injury.
Why You Should Consult an Attorney
Insurance companies may not inform you of your rights. For instance, insurance company adjusters of the at fault driver may offer a quick settlement of a low dollar amount hoping you’ll sign away your rights to seek compensation for your injuries in exchange for receiving a little bit of money shortly after the accident. If you accept a low dollar settlement shortly after the accident, you will sign away your rights to seek compensation even if your injuries later turn out to be more severe than you initially thought.
Although insurance representatives may sound very nice on the phone, they represent the interests of the insurance company, not your own.
Handling the various claims are time consuming and confusing. In addition to your personal claim, your family members may have claims for the impact your injuries have had on the relationship they have with you. If you have medical insurance, the companies that pay for your medical treatment may seek reimbursement from you of the money they spent. If you don’t have insurance, medical bills may be sent to collections. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you with such matters.
A knowledgeable attorney will protect your rights.
A knowledgeable attorney will maximize your recovery.
A knowledgeable attorney will advocate your claims fully, which will save you time, effort, and aggravation.