Being involved in a car accident is a traumatizing experience. That’s why most of the victims get confused about what to do next. Essentially, most of the victims don’t know their responsibilities and rights. They don’t know what they should do to protect themselves from the legal and financial implications of the accident.
Here are five things accident victims should do immediately after a car accident:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
The first and most crucial thing car accident victims should do is seek medical attention, even if they don’t think they’re injured. Why? Because some injuries take time to manifest themselves. For example, one may have suffered a concussion but may not feel the symptoms until days or weeks later.
By getting a medical examination right away, one will record the injuries, which will be essential if there’s a need to file a personal injury claim later. Medical reports will also come in handy when calculating the damages one is entitled to.
Report the Accident (Call 911)
After making sure that the driver and passengers are okay, the next thing one should do is to call 911 and report the accident. Give the dispatcher the specific location and ask for police and medical assistance. It’s essential to have a police report to document what happened and who was at fault.
Some accident victims ignore police reports and try to settle the matter with the other driver. However, this is not a good idea because it’s challenging to prove who was at fault without a police report.
Collect Important Information
After ensuring everyone is safe, it’s time to start collecting information. Again, this is substantial evidence necessary later on down the road.
Get the contact information of all parties involved in the accident, including passengers, drivers, and witnesses. Accidents victims should get their names, phone numbers, and insurance information.
Taking accurate witness information, including the contact details, is essential as such individuals might be needed later in the case.
It is also advisable to take pictures of the accident scene, damage to both vehicles, and any visible injuries. It’s critical to document everything as soon as possible, as evidence can disappear quickly.
Contact the insurance company.
The next step is to contact the insurance company and inform them about the accident. Car accident victims should not give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster without consulting a lawyer first. This is because anything said can be used against the victim later on.
Some insurance companies may try to take advantage of accident victims not represented by a lawyer. For example, the insurance company may try to get the victim to sign a release in exchange for a quick settlement. However, this quick settlement will likely be much less than what the victim is entitled to.
It’s essential to have an experienced car accident lawyer who can deal with the insurance companies and make sure they pay the total compensation.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Last but not least, it’s crucial to hire a car accident lawyer. Many people think they can handle their injury claim, but this is usually not the case. Insurance companies have teams of adjusters and lawyers who are experienced in dealing with personal injury claims.
On the other hand, most individuals don’t have any experience dealing with insurance companies. This puts them at a disadvantage when trying to negotiate a fair settlement.
A car accident lawyer will level the playing field and ensure that the victim is fairly compensated for their injuries.
How to Choose a Car Accident Lawyer
Many car accident victims don’t know how to choose the best car accident lawyer for their case. Here are some tips to follow when choosing a car accident attorney.
- Hire experienced accident attorneys
- Consider attorneys with an excellent industrial reputation
- Work with lawyers who have both excellent spoken and written communication
- Hire reliable lawyers who are focused and trustworthy
Speak with Experienced car accident lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP
At Parker Waichman LLP, we have experienced car accident lawyers ready to fight for justice on behalf of our clients. Parker Waichman LLP works on a contingency basis, which means accidents victims won’t have to pay us unless we win the case.
Those involved in a car accident and who don’t know what to do can contact car accident lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP today for a free consultation. We will be more than happy to answer any questions and help to file a personal injury claim where necessary.