After a motor vehicle accident, the things you do in the following hours and days can be important if you need to pursue a personal injury claim. Not only are you feeling overwhelmed and confused but you may have suffered injuries. Make sure to follow these important steps after you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident
Do not leave the scene of an accident, no matter how minor you may think it is. Leaving the scene of the accident can be prosecuted.
Stay as calm as possible. If any of the drivers involved have been injured, call 911 immediately or have someone else do it if you are unable. This is the time to make sure that your or any other injured party’s medical needs are taken care of immediately. That is your first priority. Do not move anyone who has sustained an injury.
Call the Police
In the case where there is injury, death, or any property damage, you will want to call the police and have a report filed. Get a copy of this for your records.
Make sure to get all names, numbers, license numbers, plate numbers and insurance information of the other drivers involved. You will also want to get names and contact numbers for any passengers and witnesses to the accident.
At this time, although you may feel bad about the accident, you will not want to apologize for anything. You do not want to unintentionally say something that may imply liability if a claim is filed.
Call Your Insurance Company
After an accident, you will want to notify your insurance company and cooperate with them to some degree. That being said, you will only want to give them the facts. Your insurance company will be recording the conversation and you want to take care that you don’t say something that may put any insurance claim in jeopardy.
Take photographs of the accident scene and make notes about what exactly happened. During the days and weeks following an accident, memories fade. You want to get the information down on paper while it is still fresh in your mind.
Follow Any Medical Treatment
After an accident, if you feel you have been injured in any way, seek the advice of a doctor and follow that advice explicitly. Make sure to keep detailed accounting of any treatments, costs, medications, or expenses having to do with your interactions with medical professionals. Get copies of all reports and bills.
Be Cautious When Talking About the Accident
Make sure you keep all conversations about the accident polite and limited to the facts. If you have a lawyer representing you, refer all calls from insurance companies to your lawyer. Be wary of any early settlement offers by insurance companies.
Get Legal Advice
After an accident, you owe it to yourself to understand your legal rights. Before you settle with insurance, make sure you have consulted with a Chatham personal injury lawyer. Call the injury professionals at AB Personal Injury Lawyer for an initial no-cost consultation.