There are steps that you can take to ensure that you are able to present a strong case. Read on for tips and guidelines about how to take action before or after you have established who the at-fault driver is.
Steps To Take After An Auto Accident
Report the Accident
You need to report the auto accident to the local law enforcement authorities to comply with the law and start your claim on the right foot. Reporting the accident shows that you acted appropriately and gives you evidence of the when, where, how, and who of your collision.
Gather as much information as you can from the accident scene. This means that you should take photos if you can, write down what happened, where each vehicle was before, during, and after the accident, and record any other details that may or may not be relevant to your claim down the road. If there are witnesses, get their contact information; and exchange insurance information with other involved drivers. Do not say anything that indicates guilt when you are communicating with others about the accident. Even a simple and sympathetic apology can be used against you later.
Seek Medical Care
This may seem obvious when you think of the terrible injuries that occur in auto accidents, but the reality is that many people do not seek immediate medical care because they do not perceive their injuries right away; or they think that they are too minor to require treatment. This is one of the biggest mistakes that a person can make after an auto accident. You must seek medical treatment as soon as possible, regardless of how well you may be feeling. You may have injuries that you aren’t aware of, or that are worse than you think, and which may worsen with time.
You need to have a very clear picture of the state of your physical health after an auto accident. You don’t want to miss something and be unable to prove the causal link when the time comes to seek compensation for the injury.
Contact an Law Firm
It doesn’t take long to receive contact from the opposition insurance company when you’ve been the victim of an auto accident. You may hear from them within moments of returning home from the hospital, in fact, with a few missed messages already awaiting you. Do not make any statements to the insurance claims adjuster or any attorney who contacts you.
Politely decline to provide a statement and express that you wish to speak to your attorney before doing so. Anything you say could be held against you to lessen the value of your claim or deny it altogether, no matter how friendly the communication seems to be. This is when you need to contact a qualified law firm, like Fulton & Barr, if you have not already done so.
Don’t Settle Early for Less
Do not let the insurance company or their attorneys convince you that you should settle before your own attorney advises you to do so. You may think that the offered settlement is sufficient, and you may feel the pressure of your mounting medical bills and lost wages, but it is a mistake to settle early and to settle low, which is exactly what they want you to do. You will feel the mistake and regret it deeply when you find that your settlement is not even enough to cover your medical debt, much less to address the lost wages, vehicle repairs, and expenses of rehabilitation and medications.