10 Important Things to Do If You've Been in an Accident
If you have been in an auto accident, knowing what to do (and what not to do) is crucial. This guide will give you valuable information to ensure you protect your rights
Follow These 10 Steps:1) Call the Police -- If you've been in an accident, call the police. They can help investigate, document the occurrence and facilitate the exchange of information. A police report is often the first thing insurance companies look at in assessing fault.
2) Take Pictures -- If you are physical able take pictures. These days smart phones are equipped with high-resolution cameras that can provide vital documentation of the accident. Many accident victims only think to take pictures of their own vehicle. Failing to take other pictures can be a huge mistake. Take pictures of the other vehicle(s), the accident scene, street signs, traffic control devices, the other driver(s) and their IDs and proof of insurance
3) Seek Medical Attention -- Injuries may not immediately appear. Often once the adrenaline wears off, symptoms and pain set in. Those symptoms and pain can get progressively worse if left unchecked. Insurance companies will try to use any failure to timely seek medical care against you.
4) Avoid giving statements -- People who are in an excited stage, are hurt or who have taken medication for injuries can often give incomplete answers or may not fully understand questions. Insurance companies take advantage of this to trick victims into saying things they shouldn't or to twist facts. Always consult a lawyer before giving a statement. If you must provide details, see if someone else can relay the information for you.
5) Check your insurance policy -- While you may believe someone else is at fault, you may have benefits available under your policy you aren't aware of. You pay your premiums to be protected if you have an accident, don't be afraid to use the coverage you have paid for. If you have questions about your policy details, call your agent or better yet consult a knowledgeable lawyer.
6) Avoid Social Media Post About the Wreck -- Resist the urge to post pictures, make comments or otherwise discuss your wreck on social media. Those posts can create a false impression of what happened. Comments made by others may reflect poorly on you and create confusion.
7) Avoid Social Media (Again) -- You may want to post pictures and videos of your activities after a wreck. DON'T! Insurance companies and defense lawyers love to a single photo out of context and use it to create an impression you weren't hurt or are exaggerating your injuries.
8) Follow the doctor's advice -- If you were hurt and have sought medical treatment, listen to your doctors and follow the treatment advice they give you. Insurance companies will use failure to follow treatment recommendations to diminish your claim and will question the seriousness of any injury
9) Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words -- Besides pictures at the scene, photos of your injuries and physical condition can help document the significance of your case.
10) Call a Lawyer -- It is always a good idea to consult with a lawyer, even if you aren't hurt. Hiring a lawyer immediately after an accident can help avoid and altogether prevent problems from arising. Don't wait until after problems arise to seek help. If you have ask whether you need a lawyer, the answer is probably "Yes".
Selecting the Right LawyerAdvertisements, phone books and web searches can create more confusion than help. When seeking to consult with a lawyer get recommendations from trusted sources, read reviews and ask the lawyer about their experience. The lawyer that helped your friend in a tough divorce case may be great in that arena, but may know nothing about the minefield of issues that can arise in an auto injury case. Picking the right lawyer to start with can pay dividends and save headaches later.