Last Updated on September 15, 2023 by John Robinson
Car accidents are an unfortunate and often traumatic experience. They can leave you confused and overwhelmed, but it’s essential to stay calm and handle the situation as best as possible. This article covers some of the dos and don’ts of dealing with a car accident.
Do: Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Car accidents can be a traumatic and life-changing experience, but knowing what you need to do in the aftermath is essential. One crucial step is to hire a personal injury lawyer if you’ve ever been involved in a car accident because they can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the claims process. They can also ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
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Other reasons why you should look into hiring a lawyer after a road mishap include:
- They Know the Law
Personal injury lawyers have knowledge and years of experience in handling car accident cases. They know the laws and regulations which can be applicable to your case, helping you understand your legal rights and options. They can also guide you with the complex legal system and meet all the necessary deadlines and requirements.
- They Can Investigate the Accident
Often, the first thing a personal injury lawyer will do is investigate the accident. They will gather necessary evidence, such as witness statements, police reports, and medical records, to help build a strong case on your behalf. They can also engage with accident reconstruction experts and other professionals – all to determine the cause of the accident and identify all the liable parties.
- They Can Negotiate with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are known for settling claims as fast as possible with as little money as necessary. A personal injury lawyer can then negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you receive just compensation for your injuries and damages. They can also help you avoid making statements or accepting any offers that could jeopardize your case.
- They Can Represent You in Court
A personal injury attorney can be your legal representative in court if your case goes to trial. They will present your case often to a judge and jury, cross-examine witnesses, and argue. They can also explain to you the legal process and what to expect during the trial.
Do: Check for Injuries and Seek Medical Attention
After a road mishap, check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. If you can move around, check on the other driver or any other passengers in their vehicle. Even if you don’t feel injured, seeking medical attention after a car accident is essential. Some injuries, like whiplash, are not immediately noticeable. But these can cause long-term damage if left untreated. Keep records of any or all medical treatments you receive.
Do: Call the Police
Even if the accident is not significant, calling the police to file the relevant accident report is necessary. The report can then be used as evidence in your insurance claim and help determine who is at fault. Also, secure a copy of this police report for your records.
Do: Take Photos and Exchange Information
Taking pictures and exchanging information with the other driver involved in the accident is crucial to building a solid case later on for your insurance claim or potential lawsuit. It’s essential to take pictures of the damage to both vehicles from multiple angles, including close-up shots and wide-angle shots of the entire scene. All these photos can be used to show the extent of the damage and can help your insurance adjuster estimate the cost of repairs. Additionally, taking pictures of any injuries you may have sustained can help document the severity of your injuries and how these impacted your daily life. Take photos of any visible cuts, bruises, or other injuries you may have suffered.
When exchanging information with the other driver, get their full name, and other details such as their phone number and insurance information. You should provide them with your information as well to file a claim with their insurance company and vice versa. If there were any witnesses, try to acquire their contact information. Witness testimony can be invaluable in proving fault and liability in an accident. Having their information on hand can help your personal injury lawyer build a stronger case on your behalf.
Overall, taking photos and exchanging information may seem like a small detail. However, this can significantly affect the outcome of your case. With as much evidence you gather, you can ensure that your insurance claim or lawsuit is as strong as possible and you can get the compensation rightfully yours to help you with your injuries and damages.
Don’t: Admit Fault or Leave the Scene
It’s crucial never to admit fault or apologize at the accident scene. Even if you believe you were responsible, it’s best to let the police determine who is at fault. When you admit fault, this can be used against you in the claims process later on. Also, leaving the accident scene can lead to criminal charges, so it’s essential to stay at the location until the police arrive. If you need to move your vehicle to get out of traffic, take photos of the scene before doing so.
Don’t: Discuss the Accident with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company or Accept a Settlement Offer Too Quickly
It’s essential only to discuss the accident with your own insurance company – not the other driver’s insurance company. The other driver’s insurance company can try to use your statements against you later on in the claims process. Insurance companies may try to offer a quick settlement to avoid paying out more money later on. It’s essential to consult with a personal injury lawyer before accepting any settlement offer to ensure you’re getting fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Car accidents can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, but it’s essential to stay calm and handle the situation as best as possible. The accident attorneys at DuBois Law Group remind people to check for injuries, call the police, take photos and exchange information, seek medical attention, and hire a personal injury lawyer if necessary.. Avoid admitting fault or discussing the accident with the other driver’s insurance company, and don’t accept a settlement offer too quickly. With these dos and don’ts in mind, you can better protect yourself and your rights after a car accident.