10 THINGS TO KNOW WHEN YOU’RE IN AN ACCIDENT
Do not move the vehicles except to avoid being a hazard. If you must move the vehicles, take several pictures to document the evidence before the vehicles are moved. The location of the vehicles at impact, including skid marks on the road, can be important evidence to prove or disprove fault for the collision.
2. Call the Police
This applies even if the injuries do not appear to be serious. The police will preserve and document the evidence and other information necessary for you to recover compensation for your damages and injuries. A police officer’s assistance, including a citation for the at-fault driver, can help guard against a dishonest party.
3. Take Photos of Everything
Documenting your entire claim can be critical in helping to prove your case. Good photographs can say a thousand words. Photos taken immediately after the collision can accurately document the force of the impact and how badly you were injured. Photos of the vehicles, the scene, the other driver, critical documents, and all evidence of your injuries can greatly assist in presenting your case.
4. Exchange Basic Information
The law requires drivers involved in an accident to exchange vital information. Besides complying with the law, obtaining information from the other driver can expedite your claim and also verify that the information in the police report is correct. Failing to obtain accurate basic information can delay or even foil your ability to obtain a just recovery.
5. Don’t Admit Fault
Making any statements after being involved in a traumatic accident is unwise. Besides the fact that you may be mistaken about exactly what occurred, uttering a statement while you are in shock or feeling empathy for the other driver could result in a misstatement. After a collision, your adrenaline is high and making decisions in this state of mind could be detrimental to your claim.
6. Don’t Comment About Your Injuries
Before you have been evaluated by a medical professional, you may not be aware of the extent of your injuries. The presence of adrenaline and other factors could also prevent you from being initially aware of the extent of your injuries. After an accident, you are likely unable to correctly evaluate your injuries. Additionally, some injuries do not manifest themselves for days after the accident.
7. Locate and Document Witnesses
Witnesses can be critical to proving what occurred. If there are witnesses, obtain their names and phone numbers so they can be interviewed later. Sometimes witnesses don’t wait for the police to arrive, and critical information can be lost. Do your best to at least obtain a name and phone number.
8. Seek Medical Attention
Even if your injuries appear minor, go to an urgent care or hospital so a medical professional can properly evaluate you for latent injuries that could develop into more serious ones if not treated immediately. Do not gamble with your health. Additionally, insurance companies generally adopt the position that “no doctor equals no injuries.” It is always better to be safe and at least, get evaluated after a collision or other trauma.
9. Do Not Talk to the Insurance Company Without a Lawyer
Insurance companies do not make money by paying claims. Their goal is to pay as little as possible. Insurance representatives are experts in interpreting what you say as a reason to deny or reduce your claim. You are not under any immediate requirement or deadline to speak with an insurance company. Instead, become more informed and contact a lawyer for a free consultation.
10. Contact a Good Lawyer
There is no substitute for a good, experienced and aggressive lawyer at your side. The lawyers at The Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm are not intimidated by insurance companies and are willing to go to court if necessary to assert your rights. We offer free consultations on all personal injury cases. We are available 24/7/365, and we stand ready to help.