An automobile accident, even a minor one, is a very serious matter. Below are steps to prevent further frustration and headache that can occur after a wreck. It is essential to your well being to act quickly after an accident. Quick action will also insure that you can maximize any potential personal injury settlement to which you may be entitled.
Pull your vehicle over to a safe area if possible.
Immediately call the police to report the accident. Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police take a report. Many people fail to insist on a report, especially if the other party admits fault. However, be aware that even if the other party admits fault to you, they may provide a completely different story to their insurance company. A police report will help insure that incriminating statements are written by a police officer at that time.
Ask witnesses to wait and provide a statement to police. If they are not able to wait, ask them to write a statement and have them date and sign it. Also, obtain their telephone numbers or contact information.
Take photographs of the accident scene, vehicles involved, and any visible injuries you may have suffered as soon as possible. If you are unable to take the photographs yourself, please have someone you trust take them. That person should be willing to appear in court, if necessary, to testify to the accurateness of the photographs.
Seek immediate medical attention. Even if you do not think you are injured, you should follow up with a medical provider. Sometimes, individuals do not feel pain, but may still have sustained a serious or life-threatening injury. Be advised that many insurance companies view your lack of medical care (whether it is a fair assessment or not) as proof that you did not sustain an injury even if you suffer from pain.
Many people brush off accidents without seeking proper health care, hoping that they will heal in a short period of time. Injuries can sometimes take days to fully affect you after an accident. You may feel numb to pain immediately following a crash but could still have serious underlying injuries that could leave you hospitalized a few days later.
Do not make any statements admitting liability. The facts will speak for themselves and there is no reason for you to place blame on yourself because there may be unknown factors that actually caused the accident.
If at all possible, obtain contact and insurance information from the other drivers involved. Try to obtain the name, address, telephone number, insurance company, policy number, license plate number, VIN number, and driver’s license number of all other involved parties if possible. If you are not able to collect this information, please ask any assisting police officers to do so.
Do not meet with a representative of an insurance company without first consulting an attorney. While this may sound self-serving, insurance company representatives may approach you and offer a quick cash settlement before you have had an opportunity to know the full extent of your injuries.
Contact me as soon as possible to discuss your rights and any concerns that you may have with respect to your accident. Dove Law Firm, Personal Injury Accident Attorneys. (877) DOVELAW or (877) 368-3529.