What To Do After A Car Accident
You may have questions about what you should do after a car accident.
Record and Preserve EvidenceYou should immediately start collecting information at the scene of the accident. This includes the driver's name, phone number, insurance policy, and drivers license number. Also, you should take photos of all the vehicles involved and write down the names and contact information for any eyewitnesses. In a severe accident that involves catastrophic injuries or deaths, your car should be preserved as evidence as well.
Call a LawyerStart researching lawyers within a week or two of the accident, and set up appointments with several that you think will work for your case. Make sure to find a lawyer that has trial experience as this will help your case. Insurance companies know which lawyers are more likely to settle rather than push a case to trial.
Don't Communicate With the Insurance CompanyInsurance representatives may contact you and appear to be trying to help, but their job is to minimize the cost of the accident. Don't communicate with the insurance company until you've hired a lawyer. They will not be fair to you. If they request a statement, refer them to your lawyer and let them handle all communication with the insurance company.
Be PatientIt takes time to obtain a fair settlement or award for an accident. In some cases, it can take up to two years. If the accident has caused financial stress in the form of large medical bills, ask your doctor if they can treat you on a "lien" basis, which means they get paid for your treatment from the settlement. Check to see if your insurance policy covers bodily injury which will reimburse you for out-of-pocket costs and lost wages.