When it comes to car accidents there are many steps you should follow after being involved in a automobile collision. As many may know gathering information and contacting your insurance company are primordial steps in being able to settle for a good compensation claim. These are not in any particular order but they are things that can help your case and will make the claims process to repair your property and medical damages much easier.
1) Call the Police and Make Sure You are Safe
The MOST IMPORTANT thing to do after a car accident is make sure you are safe and call the police immediately. A lot of times accidents can cause serious injuries and may leave vehicles in unsafe positions on the road. Safety should always be your number one priority! We cannot stress this enough. If necessary, some cases may require immediate medical attention, call 9-11 immediately and allow the officer to asses the situation, do not make any sudden movements as these may affect you if you are injured. A personal injury attorney can take the police statements and emergency records to help protect your claim later.
2) Gather Information From the Other Driver
Always try to gather as much information from the other driver as possible. This may include basic information such as name, address, and phone number along with more detailed information like the drivers employment and whether they were working when they caused the accident. The most important information you want to gather is information about the other drivers insurance company. If possible, you may want to take a picture of their insurance card because you will want to get the insurance company name and policy number. Additionally, you may want to gather information about the other car involved in the accident, including vehicle description, registration number and license plate; as well as information regarding the collision which can include date and time, address, pictures, witnesses, notes concerning details of the event and damage suffered. This information is very very important and it will be needed by your Personal Injury Attorney, if you cant get this information for whatever reason, the police report will many times include the information. The only issue with that is that most of the time it may take weeks for a police report to process and be made available to you and your attorney.
Although it might be hard to prove, or even to get this information, it would do you good if you got info from them about what they were doing prior to the accident. Maybe if they were not paying attention, or if they were texting on their phone, it could be useful as grounds for negligence. If that was the case, it would help you establish a claim against them. If you would like to learn more about negligence you should read this article here.
3) Take Pictures of the Accident and Damages
An accident is very stressful and many times it is difficult to think clearly immediately after a collision. However, if possible, it is a good idea to always get pictures of damages. Damages will include pictures of your vehicle damage in order to give your personal injury attorney tools to asses the property claim later. You may also want to get pictures of the damage to the other vehicle involved. Many times, pictures of the at fault vehicles damage can be examined by an expert to determine that they were at fault by the way the car impacted. Also make sure to take pictures of all your injuries, these pictures will help your personal injury attorney make the case for your medical claim benefits later. The most important thing is safety, IF you can take pictures do so but always make sure you are out of harms way.
4) Always Contact Your Insurance
It is extremely important to contact your insurance company and file for a car accident claim as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney like our team at PereGonza The Attorney’s can help with informing all insurance carries involved in order to protect your interests. In most collision cases the other party will suggest to handle things without insurance. Due to the fact that in many states it is a legal obligation to report a crash you should avoid this kind of settling and contact the police and insurance company immediately. Typically, a victim of an automobile hazard can pursue two different legal claims, property damage and personal injury. A property damage claim can lead to a settlement for a car repair or compensation for the damaged goods. Meanwhile, the personal injury claims will lay upon the trauma and injury caused as a result of the collision and may determine the kind of benefits and treatment the individual will receive.
If you do decide to file a personal injury claim, it would be detrimental to go to see a doctor and get checked up within 14 days after your accident. If you want to understand why seeing a doctor after an accident is necessary, then click here.
In the event that you are not sure what kind of benefits you could receive from your insurance you should check out two of our articles in specific. The first being about No-Fault Insurance, and the second explaining what PIP coverage entitles you to.
5) Speak With a Personal Injury Attorney for Representation
Insurance companies often deny many accident claims based on many different reasons. Remember that the insurance company is a business and their main objective is not always the Clients interest but instead it can be making and keeping money on their side. It is important to hire a personal injury attorney to represent your interests and protect you from being taken advantage of. In the case that the automobile claims aren’t successfully settled, your attorney will fight and file a legal Court case which may proceed to trial. During the trial, both sides will be able to present evidence to supporting their case. The plaintiff (victim) will most likely present evidence relating to his or her injuries, medical treatment (bills and records), and damages effected from the accident. Meanwhile, the defendant will also be able to present testimony and an expert witness (if desired) to prove if the plaintiff injuries and damage are worth any compensation or lower compensation than what the plaintiff demands.
PereGonza The Attorneys can offer a free consultation and give you insight on what the best course of action for what your specific case may be. Fill out our personal intake form for more information.