The few minutes after a car accident can be the most important. Knowing what to do can make a huge difference in what happens after the accident, including whether or not a lawsuit will be successful. Those who are in a car accident should go through the following steps, when possible, to give them the best chance of gaining compensation after an injury due to an accident. They should also reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible, as there is a limited amount of time to file a car accident lawsuit.
Things To Do After A Car Accident
Seek Medical Attention
The most important thing to remember, whether someone is planning to sue or not, is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. For serious injuries, the victim may be required to ride in an ambulance to the emergency room for fast help. For more minor injuries, getting help can wait until the accident scene is cleared. Even if someone doesn’t feel injured right away, it’s important to be checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible.
Some injuries will not cause pain or show up for a few days, like whiplash, but seeing a doctor could allow these injuries to be detected and treated faster. Plus, the longer someone waits, the more likely it is that the at-fault party’s insurance company will try to say the injuries were caused by something other than the accident. They’ll use this as a way to avoid paying the medical costs for the victim.
Take Photos Of The Scene Of The Accident
If a lawsuit is needed to gain the appropriate amount of compensation from the accident, photos can help show what happened. If the person is able, they should take as many photos as possible of the accident, including photos from different angles. Photos can help show if there were any skid marks or attempts to stop before the accident occurred, how the cars interacted, whether rain or other adverse conditions contributed to the accident and more. There are never too many photos of a car accident, so take as many photos as possible right after the accident and before the vehicles have been moved.
Write Down What Happened
It’s easy to think exactly what happened will be remembered forever, but over time, people tend to forget details. The forgotten details may be small and seemingly insignificant, but they could make a difference when the case goes to court. Drivers can keep incident report paperwork in their vehicle to get down as much information as possible at the scene of the accident. Whether or not this is done, it’s also a good idea to write a complete recollection of how the accident occurred and what happened as soon as possible after the accident.
Writing it down right away ensures no details are lost or remembered incorrectly. Over time, humans tend to forget the small details and the brain may try to fill in the blanks later. This leads to incorrect memories of what occurred, and it can happen faster than most people will think. It’s easy to think that the small details won’t be a big deal, but it depends on what the details are and whether they’re imperative to the case. By writing down the accident within a day or two after it happens, it’s a lot harder to forget those small details as reading the report can help jog the person’s memory.
Get A Police Report Of The Accident
The police should be called if there is any property damage or injuries resulting from an accident. When the police arrive, they’ll collect information from both drivers and figure out what caused the accident. The officer may state who they believe is at fault for the accident, as well. All of this will be written in the officer’s report. It may take a few days for the report to be filed and appear in the system, but the victim of the accident should be able to contact their local police precinct to pick up a copy of that report.
The report can have crucial information on it, such as the insurance information for everyone involved in the accident, witness information and statements, and details on how the accident occurred. This information is all useful for a lawyer handling the case, as they can use the information to request compensation or to provide more details about what happened if the case goes to court.
Speak With A Lawyer Regarding Compensation
Insurance companies are going to try to pay out as little as possible every time. However, this is often not enough to cover all of the financial aspects of the car accident. Victims of car accidents may be able to obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, a future loss of income for long-term injuries, damages to the vehicle, other damages, and a lot more. A lawyer knows how to determine the full amount of compensation the victim is owed, so they can request that amount from the insurance company.
The lawyer also knows how long the victim has to file a lawsuit if the insurance company does not provide a sufficient offer. This amount of time can vary based on a few different factors, but there is generally a two-year limit to file the lawsuit. It is important to remember that some places may have a shorter statute of limitations, which the lawyer will be familiar with, so it’s a good idea to start speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible after the car accident. The longer the lawyer has to file, the more they can do to get more compensation for their client.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, there are a few things you can do to get the full amount of compensation from the insurance company instead of hoping they offer a decent settlement. Follow the tips that are given here after any car accident, then contact a lawyer for help. Since there is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit, the sooner you can contact a lawyer, the better.