When an auto accident occurs, never take anything for granted. Since there will be a number of things occurring simultaneously, it will be easy to get confused when dealing with police, attorneys, insurance representatives, and others. As a result, you may do or say things that will make it difficult to win a personal injury lawsuit and obtain compensation to help cover medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other expenses associated with the accident. Rather than be like many people in these situations and find yourself unprepared for what will come next, it is better to know beforehand what to expect and how to handle yourself so that all goes well. If you are curious as to how best to handle a car accident, here are some crucial tips to help the process go smoothly.
Should You Stay at the Accident Scene?
Even if you think the auto accident in which you are involved is relatively minor, always stay at the accident scene until you have been given permission by police or other authorities to leave. Since it is important you give your account of the accident to the police, never let your emotions guide your thinking and have you leave the scene before it is okay to do so. Should you leave without speaking to police or fail to stop once you are aware an accident took place, police can charge you with hit and run or other acts, all of which can lead to major legal consequences.
Receive Treatment for Your Injuries
If you are consulting with any experienced car accident personal injury lawyer, one of the first things they will say is always to make sure you receive treatment for your injuries that resulted from the accident. Since paramedics will be at the scene only minutes after the accident, never refuse treatment from them or others. Instead, allow medical personnel to assess and treat your injuries, and also take their advice regarding transportation to a hospital via ambulance for additional treatment by ER doctors. By doing so, you not only get what may be lifesaving medical treatment, but you also allow your injuries to be entered into your medical records. This will not only eliminate the possibility the other driver’s lawyer and an insurance company can claim you suffered no injuries in the accident, but it also opens up the possibility doctors who treated you could be called on by your personal injury attorney to testify in court on your behalf.
Take Accident Scene Photos
If your injuries will not prohibit you from doing so, always use your cellphone to take pictures or videos of the accident scene. Since this can be valuable evidence when given to your personal injury attorney from West Coast Trial Lawyers, always make sure you focus on the most important aspects of the accident. In most cases, these will include vehicle damage, injuries such as cuts and bruises that are easily visible, road conditions, skid marks, nearby stop signs and traffic lights, and property that was damaged due to the accident. Once your attorney has your photos and videos, they can examine them as well as turn them over to accident reconstruction experts for further analysis.
Summon First Responders to the Scene
Whenever an auto accident occurs, always dial 9-1-1 to summon police, firefighters, and paramedics to the scene as soon as possible. Not only will this ensure you receive medical treatment for your injuries, but it will also instigate an accident investigation by police. During the investigation, the police will speak with you, the other driver, and anyone who witnessed the accident. Upon doing so, police will then assess who they believe caused the accident and complete an accident report, which will be a key component should you file a personal injury lawsuit. Using the information contained in the report, your personal injury attorney will be able to plan a successful legal strategy. For example, if police determine the accident was caused by the other driver, your attorney can point to this report when negotiating with the insurance company of the other driver, which may result in the ability to reach an out-of-court settlement.
Speak to Witnesses and Other Drivers
Before you leave the accident scene, make every possible effort to speak to witnesses and other drivers. When doing so, try to obtain crucial information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, insurance information, license plate numbers, driver’s license information, and the vehicle makes and models. In addition, also make sure you speak to witnesses in regard to obtaining their version of events as to the accident. But when you do, always make sure you don’t simply listen and then try to recall their story from memory. Instead, always write down what they say or use your smartphone to record their statements. By choosing either of these methods, you will make it much more difficult for stories to be changed later on, which could potentially be the most important factor in regards to whether you win or lose your personal injury lawsuit.
Cooperate, but Say as Little as Possible
When discussing the accident with police while at the scene, always make every effort to cooperate and answer their questions. However, do not go too far and begin to say things that could possibly be used against you. For example, never say anything that sounds as though you are saying you were responsible for the accident taking place. If you say “I’m sorry” to police or others, chances are they will assume you are admitting fault for the accident. Should this be included in a police report or told to insurance companies, your words may come back to haunt you and keep you from gaining the compensation you anticipated would come your way. Therefore, always choose your words carefully in these situations, since the most innocent of remarks could be used against you later on.
Don’t Fall for Insurance Company Tricks
When you are involved in an auto accident, the other driver’s insurance company will contact you within a few days to discuss the accident. Whether this is done in person or by phone, the representative will appear as if he or she is concerned about your welfare and just wants to help you through a difficult situation. However, do not fall for this act. In reality, insurance company personnel are only concerned with finding the information they can use against you, or perhaps convincing you to accept a financial settlement that will not come close to covering your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Rather than fall for these tactics and find yourself unable to pursue the compensation you truly need, let your car accident personal injury lawyer handle all communications with insurance companies.
Even though car accident cases can contain many complexities and take numerous twists and turns along the way, they are by no means impossible to win. But to do so, you will need to rely on a car accident personal injury lawyer who has the experience and knowledge needed to plan a winning case strategy. To get started filing a personal injury lawsuit that will help you gain compensation for your injuries, contact West Coast Trial Lawyers for additional information.
This is an article provided by our partners’ network. It does not reflect the views or opinions of our editorial team and management.
IntelligentHQ Your New Business Network.
IntelligentHQ is a Business network and an expert source for finance, capital markets and intelligence for thousands of global business professionals, startups, and companies.
We exist at the point of intersection between technology, social media, finance and innovation.
IntelligentHQ leverages innovation and scale of social digital technology, analytics, news and distribution to create an unparalleled, full digital medium and social business network spectrum.
IntelligentHQ is working hard, to become a trusted, and indispensable source of business news and analytics, within financial services and its associated supply chains and ecosystems.