A car accident, whether it was your fault, or not, is typically a very stressful situation and one that no one wants to find themselves in. If you find yourself in an accident, there are a few things you should do immediately after the collision to ensure that you will be rightly compensated. Here are 6 things you need to do to avoid issues down the line.
1. Report the Accident As Soon As Possible
It is important that emergency services and the correct authorities are notified of the accident as soon as possible. There are multiple reasons for this. Firstly, it is to get the police on the scene, and secondly to get medical personnel there to treat anyone that is wounded. It might not appear as though someone is injured, but internal injuries sustained from car accidents, don’t show initially and have the potential to be very dangerous. A preliminary investigation will need to be carried out by law enforcement officials. At this stage, all of the parties involved will be interviewed, including any witnesses. The scene of the accident will be examined, and vehicles will be inspected so as to determine whether stories match up, and to see who is at fault. This is one of the most important points at proving liability in a case. Without this report it becomes a “he said, she said” situation and it is a lot harder to prove who is at fault.
2. Witness Contact Information
If your injuries are minor, you can talk to witnesses while you wait for medics to arrive on the scene. Witnesses will typically not wait around at the scene of the accident until the police arrive. This means that important witnesses will have left and it will be your word versus the other driver’s. For this very reason, it is important that you obtain the contact information of these witnesses. This means that you can contact them later and they will be able to give a statement to the police, and even testify at a trial if need be.
3. Get the Medical Treatment You Need
When the medics arrive it is important that you get a full check-up and that you follow their instruction. If they think you need more care, including x-rays and scans, it is important that you go ahead with this. If you do not do this, insurance companies might argue that you were not seriously injured as a result of the accident. This is a tactic that insurance companies typically employ. They also use your unwillingness to go to the hospital to suggest that your injuries were caused by something else, either before, or after the car accident. Make sure that your injuries are described in great detail so that everything is on record. Don’t be too hung up on the expenses. It is important that you seek out medical attention immediately so as to avoid these claims of falseness.
4. Don’t Give A Statement To Any Insurance Company
Following an accident, it is important that you do not give a statement to any insurance companies following even if it is your own. This statement can be used against you by the insurance company and can even count against you in a court of law. Insurance companies are typically looking to pay out the lowest amount possible and raise their profits by increasing your premiums. Do not give them more reasons to do this.
5. Hire a Lawyer
The next thing to do is hire a lawyer who is experienced in cases such as yours. Unlike your insurance company, your lawyer will have your best interests at the forefront of any transaction. Maximum compensation for you means the maximum compensation for them. Your lawyer will guide you through the entire process and will assist you with an array of things.
- settling property damage claims
- vehicle repairs
- getting money to cover a rental car
- seeing to it that you are provided with the treatment you need
- maximizing monetary compensation
- negotiating the reduction of medical liens
People who are represented by a good accident lawyer typically receive 2-3 times more than those who are not. This stands true even after all attorney expenses are paid. This means that having a good lawyer will not only pay for itself but you will be rightly compensated above and beyond what you should receive.
6. Keep an Extensive Diary of Expenses and Experiences
In the days and months following your accident, it is important that you take note of all of the important events and expenses you incur as a direct result of the accident. This means pain and any other symptoms associated with your injuries. You should include who provided you with medical treatment, how much it costs, when your injury caused you to miss work, how much money you lost as a result, and any other out-of-pocket expenses. This will help you to accurately recollect key points of information in the event that your court case is several years down the line.
Be sure to also include details about the accident at the very beginning while they are still fresh in your mind. This includes:
- What were you doing on the day of the accident?
- Where were you headed?
- Weather conditions
- Traffic conditions
- How the accident happened
- Record of the conversations that took place on the scene
- Any other details you deem important
When you have your details accurately recorded you are able to claim for them as part of your compensation package. It also makes it much easier for investigators to cross-check the validity of your claims and ensure that you are more likely to get paid out for everything owed to you.
It is important that you are patient with all of the lengthy processes that follow as a result of being involved in an accident. The process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. This all comes down to whether it is necessary to file a lawsuit or not. Your injuries can also take a long time to heal, so keep all of this in mind. We hope that this information has been useful and that you never have to use any of it in practice.
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