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We put together a car accident checklist so that you and your loved ones can know what to do if you are in a motor vehicle accident. Car accidents happen suddenly, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed during the immediate aftermath of an accident. This guide lays out five key steps that will help you collect key evidence and information if you are injured and decide to pursue a personal injury case.
One of the key things you can do to preserve evidence after a car accident is take photos at the scene. It’s important to document the damage to all of the vehicles involved, as well as the position of the vehicles when the accident occurred. These initial clues are important to establish not only how the accident happened, but how you were injured. Identify witnesses after a car accident.
The person who hit you may deny responsibility and even question whether you were injured at the scene. Therefore, it’s helpful to locate and identify witnesses who can confirm not only how the accident happened, but the seriousness of your injuries. If you’re unable to locate witnesses yourself, ask a friend or family member for help and always remember to ask witnesses or full name and phone number for your attorneys. And his or her investigative team can contact the person later on.
Some people will encourage you to just exchange information without involving the police. This is a mistake. Always contact the police to document the accident, your injuries and confirm whether an ambulance arrived at the scene. Usually the police conduct their own investigation, which can uncover evidence that will later prove the other person was responsible.
Many of our clients are injured in a car accident, but don’t seek medical attention right away despite the fact they hurt. They usually think their injuries are not serious and will go away later on when the injuries become worse. The insurance company argues the client could not have been injured because they refused medical attention or didn’t ask for an ambulance. If you’re hurt or in pain after approximate—no matter how minor you may think your injuries are—always call for an ambulance. From a health standpoint, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a medical professional after a trauma. And if you do decide to make a claim, your initial complaints will be well documented.
Sometimes after an accident, the other person’s insurance company will contact you and ask you to give a statement or even a recorded interview. Although they may seem friendly or sympathetic, the insurance company is not your friends. They have contacted you when you are vulnerable, very often in pain to try and gather information that they can use later on to deny your claim. If another person’s insurance company tries to contact you after a car accident, you can simply refuse to talk to them. You’re not under any obligation to give them information if you’re already represented by an attorney. Give them the name and number of your lawyer. Once you do that, they can no longer speak to you and must contact your legal representative directly for any information.