Car Accidents: A Guide To Help Navigate The Aftermath Of A Car Accident That Causes Personal Injury
Tips to assist with the aftermath of car accident that causes personal injury.
First Things First - Make a Police ReportCall the police. No matter the severity of your accident, it’s important to contact the authorities, who will send emergency response personnel who can check for injuries.
Police officers will also assess the scene of the accident and file a police report, which will be important evidence if you later file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
Gather EvidenceIf you’re able to do so, while waiting for police and first responders, collect as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident, when details are still fresh for you as well as for any potential witnesses.
You should also:
(1)Get the name, contact information, driver’s license number, license plate number, vehicle make and model and insurance information from the driver of the other vehicle;
(2)Talk to any witnesses, and ask that they stay until the police arrive at the scene. Take down contact information for them as well; and
(3)Take photographs. Snap photos of any damages to your car, the other’s driver’s vehicle and of any injuries. Also, document road conditions – rain, snow, etc. – and road signs with photographic evidence.
See a DoctorYou may not think that you’ve sustained any injuries – emergency personnel may have also given you an all clear at the scene – but many car accident-related injuries such as whiplash or even mild concussions don’t show up immediately and can’t be assessed without a more thorough examination, making a medical exam vitally important.
If you do find that you’ve suffered some form of injury a few weeks later and you don’t have medical evidence linking it to your accident, your insurance company may deny your claim for medical reimbursement, because you have no proof that the accident and your injuries are related.
Contact Your Insurance Agent To Get Your Vehicle RepairedFiling a claim with your insurance company is usually the fastest way to get your vehicle repaired. Your insurance company needs to know about your accident as soon as possible, so they can estimate the damages to your vehicle and either repair your vehicle or provide you with its value. Often times you will be asked to provide a recorded statement.
Make sure to consult with an injury attorney before giving a recorded statement.
If you do file a claim with your insurance company, they will have the right to inspect your vehicle and the right to attempt to collect any deductible paid by you for your claim from the party responsible for the accident.
Consult an Injury Attorney Right AwayIf you were injured as a result of a car accident that was not your fault, you likely have a valid personal injury claim, and may be eligible to be compensated for your injuries as well as other expenses you incur as a result of the injury, such as medication, therapy or surgery. An experienced personal injury attorney can assess your case and help you determine wether you have a claim.
Contacting an attorney as soon as possible is a good idea, because any information you give an insurance company could cause your settlement to be reduced. Having an attorney to guide you before you speak with an insurance agent and before you give a recorded statement can help prevent you from saying something that could put your case in jeopardy. It’s also important to make sure you follow up with medical recommendations, which could be a costly mistake.