The Do's and Don'ts After a Car Accident
Some things to do and not do if you have been involved in a car accident.
Pt. 1Do Call the Police– It is wise to call the police to the scene and complete an accident report for what just transpired. Insurance companies will often rely on police determination to make a liability decision. This written statement makes it more difficult for the other driver to change his story later.
Do Take Photographs of the Accident – Take photos of the car accident, the scene, the vehicles and any injuries.
Do Get the Other Driver’s Information – Get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, driver’s license number and insurance information. If the auto accident case must be litigated the other party cannot be served without a valid address.
Do Identify any Witnesses – Find any and all available witnesses to the accident. Collect their names, addresses and phone numbers. This will help preserve the actual story in case the other driver begins to adjust his version of what happened.
Do Seek Immediate Medical Treatment – If you have been injured seek immediate medical treatment. Insurance companies pay close attention to how quickly you sought medical treatment. Delayed treatment may also bring up questions of what incident really caused your injury.
Pt. 2Do Report the Auto Accident to YOUR Insurance Company – You are obligated to inform your insurance company when you have been in an accident.
Don’t Speak with the OTHER Insurance Company – Unlike your own insurance company, you have no obligation to provide any information to the other party’s insurance. Do not provide a written or recorded statement as those almost never change a third-party insurance company’s liability decision and can only be used against.
Don’t Release Any Medical Records – The other insurance company may ask you to release your medical records. Do not do it. Similar to making a recorded statement, this information will only be used against you and will not help your case.
Do Contact a PI Attorney – An accident can cause possible pain & suffering, expensive medical bills, loss of employment, property damage, and permanent life changes to you or someone you care about. A Personal Injury Attorney can negotiate with the insurance company and get a larger settlement to help relieve some of these unfortunate consequences. In addition, insurance companies often offer more because they know that the case may be litigated if an attorney is involved.