When an accident is caused by the negligence of another driver, you need to make the effort to follow specific steps to help protect your rights.
Knowing the steps that you should take and following them are very important to make sure that you get the recovery you deserve.
The Hawk Law Group has 8 steps that you should always take immediately after an accident.
1. Call 911
It is best to immediately call 911 and have the police come to the scene to report your accident. Never just get the insurance information from the other driver and let them go. Without a police report, you may be unable to recover. The officer will decide who is at fault.
2. Gather Information From Other Witnesses
Be sure to collect information at the scene. Get a copy of the other driver’s contact information, vehicle information and insurance information. Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses at the scene. This is very important because insurance companies are going to do their investigation of the accident, and the insurer does not go by what the police officer says. If for some reason there is a question of who is at fault, witnesses can save your case. Witnesses are usually not included on the accident report, so it is very important that you are proactive and get their information, so your car accident attorney can interview them later.
3. Report Injuries To The Police Officer
Make sure that if you are injured that you tell the officer so that he or she can include it in his or her report. Otherwise, the police officer will say no one was injured.
4. Take Photos Of The Damage To Your Vehicle
If you are physically able, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle. In some situations, photographs can show how a collision occurred based on the location of the damage on the vehicle.
5. Have Someone Take Photos Of Your Injuries
It is important to document any visible injuries you may have. A picture is worth a thousand words.
6. Seek Medical Attention Immediately
One of the most important things you can do is seek medical attention immediately after the accident. Your wellbeing is most important, and it should be the main priority. Treating your injuries ensures your injuries will be documented and will assist you at trial. Always follow your doctor’s instructions and make sure that you tell your doctor everything that you are feeling. Remember, if you wait to go to a doctor, insurance companies will try to attribute your injuries to something else in your life.
7. Call And Report The Accident To Your Insurance Company
A lot of times people think since they were not at fault, they do not have to report the accident. You can lose coverage if you fail to promptly report the accident. You might have policy benefits that protect you if the other party does not have insurance or not enough insurance. If you fail to report the accident timely, you can waive those benefits.
8. Call a Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
An accident caused by the carelessness of another can be very daunting and scary. You will be bombarded with calls from insurance companies, and it can be very stressful. By contacting a lawyer, you are setting yourself up to protect your rights in the event you need to take legal action against the responsible party. A personal injury lawyer can help prove that the other party was at fault in the accident. A lawyer can send proper notices to protect all your rights. A lawyer can properly submit your claim to get you all the money you deserve. In a situation where you are unable to get the settlement you deserve, a trial lawyer can file the lawsuit and fight for your rights in court. If you get a lawyer who is not a trial lawyer, you are limiting your ability to fight and take your case to a jury. Insurance companies know what attorneys will file lawsuits and which ones do not. If they know your attorney won’t fight for you in court, they will have no incentive to increase any settlement offer you get.
We are trial lawyers. We are here to help. Call the Hawk Law Group at 706-722-3500