You have just been in a car accident. What do you do next?
Knowing what to do in the aftermath of a car accident can help improve your chances of having a successful claim for compensation.
Most accidents happen without much advance warning. If you are in a crash, do you know what you should do? Many drivers are unsure what they should do at this time, and they wind up jeopardizing their claims. This article discusses some of the measures you can take to ensure you are able to maximize your recovery.
Document the scene as much as possible
You should try to take photos of the accident scene, including the vehicles involved in the crash. Talk to any witnesses of the accident, and try to have them record a statement with police. Also, get the contact information of these witnesses so that you will know how to get in touch with them if your case ends up going to trial.
Exchange insurance information with the other driver
You need to be sure that you obtain this information at the scene from the other motorists involved in the crash. This is extremely important, because the insurance companies will often be responsible for paying any of the costs of your crash.
While having these discussions, do not admit any responsibility for the crash. Even saying something like “I couldn’t avoid hitting you” could be used to indicate that you caused the accident.
Seek treatment for your injuries
You may feel that you have not been seriously injured in the crash, but it is important that you see a doctor for a closer examination. Some internal and head injuries can be initially difficult to diagnose, and they may not display any serious symptoms until long after the accident.
You need to be sure that you will be able to connect your injuries to the accident. Visiting a doctor will allow your injuries to be documented, allowing you to pursue recovery for the costs of your treatment. If you do not do this in a timely fashion, your ability to obtain compensation may be severely restricted due to the lack of evidence.
Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney
Frequently, victims of auto accidents receive settlement offers from insurance companies. These companies try to portray themselves as looking out for you, and want you to think that you are getting a good deal from them. You need to know that these offers are often for much less than your claim is worth, and these companies are trying to look out for their own bottom lines.
After you have received treatment, you should immediately reach out to a personal injury lawyer to discuss your next steps. Your attorney will be able to provide you with an overview of your case, and help you decide how you wish to proceed. The sooner you have these discussions, the sooner your attorney can begin gathering the evidence you will need to support your possible claims.