An auto accident may be a traumatic experience that leaves you with injuries, emotional anguish, and financial burden. If you’ve been injured in a crash, things that you should and shouldn’t do may have a significant impact on your personal injury claim. Here’s a simple list of do’s and don’ts that you should consider after an auto accident:
It’s important to remember that taking the right steps after an accident can make a big difference. Also, knowing what to do during this unfortunate time may increase your chances of getting compensated for your physical injuries. Below are the things you should do after a collision:
1. Seek immediate medical help
Before doing anything else, you should get yourself examined by a medical professional. Even if you believe you don’t have injuries, seeking medical attention right after the accident can help reveal any injuries that might not be noticeable until later. Thus, make sure not to delay getting medical help. Also, don’t forget to record all medical documents that come your way because they constitute a vital insurance claim document.
Another essential action you should do after an auto accident is to call the police. That’s because you need to have what happened correctly documented. This is especially true if you’re planning to file a claim against the party responsible for the collision. Remember, the police report can be a vital tool in making your case stronger.
3. Gather all relevant information
Every detail of the accident is crucial to your personal injury lawsuit claim against the other party. That said, it’s essential to collect information by speaking to the other driver. Use that opportunity to ask them about the following:
- Insurance details
- Other driver’s license info
- Other driver’s physical address and contact number
- Vehicle’s license plate
- Model of the car that hit you
- Data from eyewitnesses
4. Take photographs
In addition to talking to the other driver, it’s also a good idea to take pictures of all vehicles involved in the accident. While these don’t necessarily have to be professional photographs, you should document everything from the damaged cars to the injuries you’ve sustained. Similar to the police report, these pictures will be useful for dealing with the insurance company.
5. Call an attorney.
When dealing with an insurance company, you need to hire an experienced lawyer to assist you. According to McDivitt Law Firm in Colorado, insurance companies may keep on calling you to ask questions, or ask to record you when giving a statement. In some cases, their manner of questioning may imply that what had happened was your fault. To avoid these insurance companies’ dirty tactics, call an attorney right away.
Now that you know exactly what to do right after the accident, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the things you shouldn’t do in this kind of situation. Below are some don’ts when you meet a collision:
1. Don’t leave the accident scene or move the vehicle to the side
When you’ve just been involved in an auto accident, you may want to move the vehicle to the side in order not to cause traffic, or leave the accident scene for good. However, moving your car to safety or leaving the scene isn’t a good idea because it may affect your injury claim later on. Like you, make sure the other driver also stays until the police and 911 arrive. This is for them to determine how the accident happened, who is responsible, and what actions should be taken later on.
2. Don’t delay to contact your insurance company
After calling the authorities and gathering all relevant information, don’t wait to contact your insurance company. They should be made aware of the accident so your claim may not be affected.
3. Don’t give misleading statements
Even if you might feel tempted to apologize for the accident as it has caused a lot of inconvenience, it’s crucial not to do so if it is not your fault. Your admittance of guilt may be used against you to argue that you’re legally liable for what happened. Furthermore, do not giving statements that are misleading to avoid being prosecuted for insurance fraud. Plus, you should always know what your rights are after getting involved in an auto collision. To make sure you do not unwittingly incriminate yourself, it’s important to speak with your attorney first before making any formal statements.
4. Don’t agree to a settlement without an attorney
The insurance company may do everything to reduce your claim such as making an offer quickly without considering your medical expenses. However, if you want to receive the right amount of compensation for your injuries, don’t ever approve a settlement without your attorney. Let your attorney negotiate with the insurer to make sure they won’t take advantage of you.
Since auto accidents can be complicated, it’s a good thing to consult a dedicated personal injury attorney, especially if actual physical injuries are involved. Using their skills and expertise, they can provide you with invaluable advice and help you obtain a favorable decision regarding your personal injury claim.