Your Legal Guide: What to Do After a Car Accident?
Within a single year, there were 35,766 fatal motor vehicle crashes across the US. About 38,824 people died as a result. If you don’t know what to do after a car accident, you might not receive compensation.
After a car crash, it’s normal for anxiety and stress to take over. Unfortunately, you might make a mistake as a result. Hire a lawyer if you want to receive compensation.
Read on to discover the legal actions you need to take to maximize your compensation benefits after a crash.
Call the Police
Immediately after the crash, move to a safe area nearby. Remain out of the way of traffic to avoid another crash or additional injuries. Keep everyone’s health and safety in mind during the aftermath of the crash.
Make sure to call the police after a car accident as well.
Calling the police will ensure the accident goes into an official police record. Your lawyer will also use the police report when building your claim. Then, you’ll have an easier time claiming specific damages from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
The official police report could also help establish who was at fault for the accident.
As you wait for the police to arrive, make sure everyone is okay. If anyone is showing signs of distress, contact emergency services. Otherwise, contact any loved ones to alert them that you’re safe.
After speaking with a police officer, ask if they’re able to send you a copy of the police report. If the police report isn’t complete, get their name and badge number instead. Call them later to request a copy of the report, or have your lawyer request it on your behalf.
Don’t Admit Fault
Once the police arrive, they’ll interview all parties involved in the accident.
Be careful to provide precise answers when speaking to the police. If you’re not sure about something, tell the office you’re uncertain (rather than saying no). Otherwise, choose to remain silent.
Everything you say to the police will end up on the record. It can get used against you in a court of law.
Remain careful about what you say. Without meaning to, you could unintentionally admit fault for the crash. Your compensation could end up reduced if you share fault for the accident as a result.
Before leaving the scene of the car accident, gather evidence.
Don’t touch anything at the accident scene. Instead, take photos and record your own notes.
For example, you should take photos of all vehicles and damages. Take photos of road signs and landmarks nearby, too. Otherwise, consider taking photos of your injuries while they’re still fresh.
Before the other party leaves, ask for their name, address, and contact number. Ask the driver for their insurance information, too. This will help you determine if the other driver has insurance coverage or not.
Look around. Ask anyone who witnessed the crash for their contact information. Look for any camera nearby as well.
Your lawyer can collect camera footage as evidence to prove you weren’t at fault for the accident.
Notify the Insurance Company
Next, you’ll need to inform your insurance company that you were in an accident. Make sure to call as soon as possible. Otherwise, delaying this step could cause your insurance company to deny the claim.
Keep track of all documents related to your car accident. Your lawyer might need to access these documents later on when filing your lawsuit.
Talk to your lawyer about filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company (especially if you don’t want to pay your deductible or if you don’t have collision coverage). Your car accident lawyer will protect your rights. They’ll have your best interest in mind.
The other driver’s insurance company, on the other hand, might try to blame you for the accident. They might reject your claim or offer a low settlement.
With help from your lawyer, you can fight for the full amount of compensation you’re due.
Visit a Doctor
Make sure to seek medical attention before filing your personal injury claim.
About 27% of accidents lead to non-fatal injuries. If you delay seeking treatment, your injuries could get worse over time. You might develop a lasting disability, too.
Visit a doctor even if you haven’t sustained visible injuries. You might have sustained an internal injury. For example, it’s possible you’re bleeding internally, which could become fatal.
Let your doctor know if you experience dizziness, back pain, or other symptoms. Keep track of your injuries, treatments, and medical expenses. Your lawyer can use your medical bills to determine your losses.
Don’t Negotiate Alone
Don’t make the mistake of talking to the other driver’s insurance company alone. Don’t talk to the other driver without legal representation, either. If necessary, ask your insurance company adjuster or attorney to speak with the defendant’s insurance company on your behalf.
Look for a personal injury attorney with years of experience handling car accident cases. They’ll have the experience to deal with insurance adjusters.
The insurance company’s team of adjusters wants to provide the minimum amount of compensation for your claim. Hiring a lawyer will ensure proper negotiations. Your lawyer can help you recover the maximum benefits possible.
If the other party doesn’t have an insurance policy, you could seek compensation from the driver directly. The case will likely be resolved through a settlement. If settlement negotiations aren’t possible, you can take your case to court instead.
Your lawyer can help prepare you for these negotiations. They’ll also ensure you don’t say anything that might impact your claim.
What To Do After a Car Accident: Call A Lawyer Today
Knowing what to do after a car accident is essential if you want to maximize your claim. Make sure to follow these essential steps immediately after a crash. Otherwise, contact an Arrowhead accident attorney to discuss your legal options.
We’ll help guide you through every step after your accident.
Our case evaluations are completely free. Contact us today to learn more.