Even if you are the safest driver in the world, odds are that you’ll be involved in at least one driving accident at some point in your life. For many Americans, they are involved in minor fenders benders that don’t result in injuries, but countless others aren’t as lucky. If your automobile accident resulted in injuries and you are wondering if you can file for an injury award, there are some steps you’ll want to take right after the accident until the moment your award is granted. We share eight of those things in today’s blog.
8 Steps To Take After A Car Accident
This may not be a comprehensive list, but it does cover eight key points you’ll want to consider if you are hoping to collect the largest injury award possible after your automobile accident.
1. Safely Stop – If you are involved in a traffic accident, be sure you move your vehicle to a safe location if possible and stop to assess the scene. Don’t try to drive away or get medical assistance on your own without first stopping to talk with the other parties involved. Leaving the scene can result in criminal charges and hurt your award chances.
2. Contact The Police – Police will want to document traffic accidents that involve injuries. If you need immediate medical assistance, they can also send an ambulance to the scene. Be open and honest about the events that led up to your accident when talking to police, because if it comes out that you were lying, you’ll have a much tougher time collecting an injury award.
3. Get Witness Information – If any passerbys witnessed the accident, make sure that you or the police get their contact information. Oftentimes traffic accidents come down to a he said-she said argument, so if you have others that can back up your version of events, this will help strengthen your claims.
4. Take Photos – If possible, try to take some photos of the accident scene. Police generally do a good job documenting the scene, but it helps to have your own photo evidence for reference. This isn’t always possible depending on the extent of your injuries, but if it’s possible, work to document evidence with your smartphone.
5. Get Medical Attention – In order to collect compensation after an automobile accident, you need to have your injuries clinically assessed by a medical professional. Get an independent medical exam as soon as possible after an accident, because waiting days or weeks to be evaluated can send the wrong message to the insurance company that you weren’t as seriously injured as you claim.
6. Contact A Lawyer – You’re absolutely going to need a lawyer on your side if you’re going to want to maximize your claim award. We know how to prove negligence and fault, and we can help pursue your award while you focus on your health. Set up a free consultation with our law firm to learn what we can do for you.
7. Journal – Over the next few days and weeks, document your symptoms and injuries in a personal journal. This will help explain everything you’re dealing with and can even dictate compensation awards. It’s also helpful to document conversations you had throughout the process. It can be helpful to reference when you talked to an insurance company or who you spoke to about your claim.
8. Contact Your Car Insurance Company – You will need to report your accident to your car insurance company, and while you might be itching to do this right away, consider talking with your lawyer first. They’ll be able to cover some of the questions you might be asked so you don’t end up accidentally tanking your case by saying something you shouldn’t during this call.
If you follow these eight tips and work with a personal injury lawyer, we’re confident you’ll be in a great position to earn a compensation award. For more information or for assistance with your personal injury claim, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm today.