Making sure that you do everything right following a car accident can make a huge difference when it comes to your legal rights and protection. Imagine the scene, you have just been in a car accident, you and the other driver are okay. Now, you need to think carefully about how you are going to proceed to protect yourself, your insurance premiums, and potentially your freedom.
So, here are some things that you should do immediately following an accident.
1. Contact the police
Even if you think that the accident is only a minor one, you should absolutely contact the police. You may find that getting your story to an officer first is the difference between being blamed for an accident that was not your fault.
When you have a police report on record, you will find that your case is bolstered as the report covers the facts of the case. This helps you a great deal when you are talking to your insurance company, as it removes a lot of the grey areas.
2. Write down key details and take pictures
You have a smartphone in your pocket with a great camera, make sure to use it! You should make a point of never leaving the scene of an accident without photographs of the scene and/or the damage to both vehicles. It is possible that the police office will ask witnesses for what they saw if any of them have stuck around. Be warned though, this information may not always make it into the police report, or the witness may be difficult to reach should you need further corroboration of the facts.
3. Talk to a lawyer
Your car accident lawyer can be an invaluable resource should you need them. If you think you may need a lawyer, the chances are that you absolutely do. Having someone that is experienced in these matters can be a huge help to steer you clear of potentially expensive aftereffects of the accident.
4. Make an appointment with your doctor
Even if you think that your injuries are minor, you should definitely make an appointment with a doctor so that you at least have a record of the injury. Also, it can be quite common for injuries to the neck, joints and ligaments following a car accident to only make themselves known days after the initial incident.
5. If you do require treatment, keep all of your appointments
If you are injured in a car accident, and you require a series of doctor visits or physical therapy to aid in your recovery, make sure that you attend every appointment. If you miss one of these appointments, you are indicating to the defense that your injuries are not as bad as your lawyer claims.
6. Don’t make a statement without your lawyer
If you make any sort of recorded statement without the oversight of your lawyer, you may find that you have talked yourself out of the compensation that you are entitled to.
7. Don’t overreach
Just because you were in an accident that was not your fault, you are not automatically entitled to a million-dollar settlement. You should listen carefully to your lawyer, and take their word for it when they tell you what you can expect the result of your case to be. It may not be all that you hoped for, but it will be realistic and achievable. Be wary of a lawyer that promises you the moon, as they are probably going to ask for too much and end up getting you nothing.