After getting in a car accident, especially when it is for the first time, is a stressful and traumatic experience. These steps will help you preserve your rights and give you the best foot forward with pursuing a claim for your injuries.
1. Never assume anyone is looking out for you. Call the police yourself and ensure that the police and fire rescue (if needed) are on the way.
2. Take photos of every vehicle, including their license plate, at the scene of the accident.
The insurance companies are not obligated to provide photos of the other vehicle involved in the accident without their drivers consent unless a lawsuit is filed. If you take your own photos, there is no need to wait until a lawsuit is filed. This will help with determining who is responsible for the crash and in evaluating your case.
3. Take down the names, addresses and phone numbers of anyone who saw the accident or came to help you afterward. You cannot assume that they will stay until a police officer arrives, or that a police officer will even speak with them.
All too often, police officers observe the evidence related to an accident and determine who is at-fault. Unfortunately, the police officers’ statements and the police report itself, are not admissible in court. That means, a jury never gets to see the crash report. At the scene of the accident, you never know if the other driver is going to change his version of what happened hours, days, weeks or even months down the road when it matters. Securing witness information yourself will give you the greatest opportunity to secure a great outcome.
4. Make sure you seek medical treatment, having the paramedics or fire rescue check you out is a good idea even if you are not immediately feeling pain or experiencing any injuries after the crash. With adrenaline pumping through your body, it is very difficult to know what exactly is bothering you. Oftentimes, injuries may not show up for hours or even days after the accident.
5. Call a lawyer you can trust. At Piedra | Injury Law, we have dedicated our professional lives to helping people through these troubling times. We are always available to help you through the everything that is caused by an automobile accident.