Steps After An Accident
There are important steps to take after a car accident. It is important to keep a level head and to follow these important steps.
Stay at the Scene
Never leave the accident scene. If you leave, particularly where someone has sustained injuries or was killed, you can face serious criminal penalties for being a hit-and-run driver.
Ensure that everyone is okay and who may need medical attention. If a person is unconscious or has neck or back pain, don’t move them. Let medical professionals handle the situation.
Call the Police
A police report is important for accidents. Make sure to get the name and badge numbers of all responding officers.
Write down the names, numbers, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information from all drivers involved. If there are passengers, also obtain their names, numbers, and addresses. In talking to other drivers, try to be cordial and cooperative. However, don’t apologize for anything. This could be admitting legal liability even if you aren’t at fault. The facts of the accident may not be completely clear. Therefore, try not to admit guilt unintentionally or unnecessarily.
Talk to Witnesses
Ask every witness what he or she saw. Get their names, numbers, or addresses, if possible. Ask locals if they’ve ever witnessed other accidents in the same place.
Inform Insurance Company
Promptly tell your insurance company about the accident. Explain the facts clearly and truthfully. A lie could lead to a possible denial of coverage. Make sure to obtain the police report.
Track Medical Records
Note any doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, or other medical professionals that you receive treatment with. Plus, keep a detailed account of the treatments and/or medications you receive. Also, request copies of all medical reports and bills as these help you prove your medical expenses later.
Take photographs of any damage. Photos help an insurance adjuster determine compensation. Plus, this can help in court. Also, gather any photos of the vehicle before the accident.
Get a Property Damage Evaluation
Obtain property damage evaluation from the insurance company. If the value is down, get other independent repair estimates. If an agreement still can’t be reached, an attorney can help.
Don’t Discuss the Accident
It is important to only talk about the accident with an attorney, insurance company, and the police. Don’t talk to a representative from another insurance company without consulting an attorney first.
Careful of Early Settlement Offers
Make sure to be wary of any settlement offers from an insurance company. Don’t settle a claim until you know you’ll be compensated for all your injuries, and consult an attorney before signing any settlement documents.
Free Attorney Consultation
If anyone was injured in the accident, it’s best to consult an experienced attorney like The Michael Brady Lynch Firm. An attorney can help you maximize your recovery if you’re injured or better defend yourself if you’re at fault.
It can be shocking after an accident to learn how expensive, time-consuming and frustrating the process can be. For many, pain does not present itself at the scene of the accident, however, the debilitating pain begins a day or two later. This can be difficult for many Americans who do not have health insurance or disability insurance. Therefore, it can be difficult to receive medical attention or income while out of work.
At The Michael Brady Lynch Firm, our dedicated staff is skilled in complex litigations like vehicle accidents. Our consultations are free and without obligation. Let our two decades of experience get justice for you.