Injured in a Car Accident?
Car accidents happen at the most unexpected times and when they do, emotions are very high and injuries can be very severe. There are some important things that must be done at the scene of the accident or as soon as possible afterwards.
If you haven’t ever been in an accident, print this up and keep it in your car. If you have just been in an accident, read this before you contact your Insurance Company.
Do Not Leave the Scene of an Accident – Ever!
Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense. You could be charged with hit-and-run. Be sure to stay until the officer has completed all the information required.
Check for Injuries
Before you do anything else, make sure everyone involved is okay and if not call for help. Never move an unconscious person until qualified medical help arrives. The person could have back or neck injuries.
You need to call the police regardless of how little the property damage may seem to you. Get a police report filed and obtain a copy of it for yourself. You may have physical injuries and not even know it until later in the day or even weeks later. Be safe rather than sorry.
Exchange Insurance Information
Always get the information on the other driver. Ask for their name, phone number, address, license number, plate number and all of their insurance information.
Be sure to stay calm when speaking to the other driver. Never admit to any wrong doing on your part. Fault isn’t always determined at the scene and it may not be clear who caused the accident. Therefore, do not admit that you are guilty by saying, “I’m sorry” for anything.
Inform Your Vehicle Insurance Company
Be sure to call your Insurance Company as soon as you possibly can after the accident. Explain all the facts and tell them the extent of your vehicle damage and your injuries. Always tell the truth and never lie about anything. You can be charged with insurance fraud and your coverage denied if you are caught in a lie concerning the facts.
Make a Folder for All Medical Treatments
Be sure to put all doctors information pertaining to the accident in a folder. Make notes of all doctors or medical professionals that provide treatment caused form the accident. Keep a detailed account of medications, treatments, copies of medical reports or anything medical related to prove your expenses later.
It is easy to document all of your medical expenses, but it is very difficult to prove pain and suffering. By keeping a record of how your injuries affect the routine of your daily life, it be much easier to prove. Your injuries may prove to affect not only your life, but your whole family’s life as well.
Take Photos and Get a Property Damage Valuation
Always take photos of your vehicle as soon as you possibly can after the accident. It is easy to see the true extent of damages sustained when you compare the before photos.
Get the insurance company’s estimate of the damage and two independent estimates from collision repair shops you trust. If you are not satisfied with the insurance company’s value, don’t agree on any figures until you consult your attorney.
Never Take an Early Settlement Offer
An insurance company will normally offer a low settlement as soon as they possibly can. Never sign any settlement documents until you are sure your physical injuries have been treated and are clear. Also, it may take weeks or months for some injures to show up. You could be taking a settlement before you even realize how severely you have been injured. Never sign any documents before consulting an attorney when injuries are involved.
Hire an Attorney
The best defense is to always hire an experienced Personal Injury Attorney if you’re injured in any accident. Most lawyers only receive a fee if you are awarded damages or a settlement by working on a contingency fee basis. That means NO money out of your pocket to get your case started.
Contact our office now for a free consultation if you have been injured in a car accident. Remember our motto… if we don’t win your case, our services are absolutely free.