It can be scary to think about, but chances are good you will someday be involved in a car accident. It may just be a dented bumper in a parking lot, or it could be a very damaging incident to your vehicle or body. If you are injured, you may find it challenging to get a payout that meets all of your medical needs. Fortunately, there are specific steps you can take after a car accident to ensure you are protected both medically and financially. Knowing what to do at the moment can save you a lot of fear and uncertainty “down the road.”
No one wants to consider that an accident will happen to them. Unfortunately, vehicle damage and personal injuries are an extremely common part of being a driver. Being prepared for the event of an accident is the best way to protect yourself when it happens. Download your insurance company’s app, keep your vehicle registration in a familiar place, and learn what steps to take if disaster strikes. Be prepared so you can stay calm and follow all the necessary steps.
Call The Police
The most significant evidence in a personal injury or liability case is a police report. Without a police report, the specifics of the case become muddled, and any claims of wrongdoing are challenging to prove. When you call the police to the location of your car accident, they will investigate the scene. They will take note of skid marks, weather conditions, the positions of the vehicles, and more. They will also interview witnesses to determine who was at fault. Although, the responsibility of each driver will likely be decided later by the court.
Do Your Own Investigation
If you are injured at the scene, this step may not be possible. However, if you can collect the contact information of any witnesses nearby, your case will benefit greatly. The police report is a very useful document, but they will often leave out the phone numbers of witnesses. If you need someone to testify on your behalf, you’ll be glad you took a moment to find out how to reach them. The same is true for any pictures you can take at the scene. It would help if you tried to collect as much evidence as possible on your own in case it becomes important later.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Like the police report, your medical examination is critical for proving damages. Most injuries that result from car accidents are related to your soft tissue, and these types of injuries can often become more severe after a few days. In other words, you may not realize right away how injured you are. If you do not seek treatment right away, the insurance company may try to use that information to argue that you are not really injured.
Furthermore, the adrenaline rush that you experience after an accident can often mask symptoms of pain. What’s worse, concussions and brain damage may not be apparent immediately. Accident victims will often downplay their injuries on the scene due to shock or feelings of embarrassment or guilt. If you do not seek out a medical examination right away, or you do not describe all of your symptoms fully, you could end up paying for lengthy treatments on your own. Remember, the insurance company will attempt to discredit your story to avoid paying your medical bills. Don’t give them the opportunity.
Only Make Statements To The Police
In the event of an accident, do not admit fault or discuss the details of the accident with the other driver. Anything you say could be used against you later on. The police report and medical examination should be delivered to your insurance company, but you should avoid discussing the incident with the other driver’s insurance company. They may call and offer a lowball settlement in hopes that you’ll accept it before all of your medical needs are considered. Hiring an attorney at this stage is highly encouraged.
Hire An Attorney
An experienced auto accident or personal injury attorney can be an invaluable asset when it comes time to settle your case. Your attorney will present your side of the story, represent your interests, and negotiate a settlement to cover your expenses. If you find yourself partially responsible for the accident, your attorney can reduce your liability. They will also act as a middleman between you and the insurance companies or debt collectors. They can present your evidence in a court of law in an organized and coherent way to ensure your side of the story is heard.
If you were in an accident, call NBF Accident Law today at 206-923-8888. Let us help ensure your side of the story is heard.