What To Do If You Have Been In An Accident
Here are 10 tips to make your life easier
1. Call The Police
Having a police investigation and accident report will help to establish who was at fault for the accident. Insurance companies rely heavily on the Police Report when reaching their conclusion on who was at fault for the accident. If the Police do not investigate, determining who was at fault can become a battle between the two drivers.
2. Preserve Evidence
Do not move your car unless it is creating a dangerous situation or you are ordered to do so by the Police. If possible, take photographs of the scene of the accident and the vehicles. Later, have photographs taken of any visible signs of injuries such as cuts, bruises, casts, braces, etc.
3. Identify Witnesses
Get names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the accident. Often, witnesses will try to leave the scene before the Police arrive. Encourage them to stay to give a statement to the Police.
4. Get The Other Driver’s Vital Information
Be sure to get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, license plate number, car registration number and automobile insurance company name and policy number.
5. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If you have any symptoms of an injury, it is advisable to get checked out at the Emergency Room or by your family doctor as soon as possible.
6. Report the Accident to Your Automobile Insurance Company
Your automobile insurance policy requires you to report accidents. Be sure to call immediately.
7. Be Careful Whom You Talk To
You should not talk with anyone about how the accident occurred, other than the Police and your insurance company - and with your insurance company, keep it limited to the fact that an accident occurred. Any statements you make can be used against you. Avoid talking about the accident while you are medicated or in great pain. Never talk to the other driver’s insurance company or give a recorded statement without your Personal Injury attorney being present. Your words can be twisted or misinterpreted and used against you.
8. Locate an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
The laws regarding Personal Injury cases and automobile insurance are constantly changing. You need an attorney who focuses on Personal Injury cases to get proper representation. You are best served by an attorney who regularly fights for clients against insurance companies and who is prepared to negotiate a resolution to your case or, if necessary, to take your case to trial.
9. Consult With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney as Soon as Possible
Depending on the accident and your injuries, you may not need to hire an attorney to represent you. Nevertheless, you should consult with an experienced Personal Injury attorney as soon as possible. The accident may require investigation before the scene changes or skid marks fade. An expert reconstructionist may be needed. Witnesses may need to be located and interviewed. The vehicles may need to be preserved. You should have an experienced Personal Injury attorney advise you on how to deal with both your insurance company and the insurance company for the other driver. We offer free consultations regarding Personal Injury cases and will meet with you anywhere you like.
10. Do Not Sign Anything
Do not sign anything without first getting the advice of an experienced Personal Injury attorney. A private investigator or insurance adjuster may ask you to sign a statement. The insurance adjuster may offer you a money settlement and ask you to sign a release of your claims. You should not sign anything without reviewing it with your Personal Injury attorney.