After a car accident, you may feel shaken and confused, especially if you’ve been injured. Knowing what to do at the scene of an accident can help protect your rights and back up the facts of a personal injury claim down the road. The Team at Stanley Law shares some tips on what to do after a car accident and how to communicate with others who may be involved.
What To Do After A Car Accident
After any accident, it’s important to stay calm. First, check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If you’re feeling angry or agitated, take some deep breaths before checking on any other drivers who are involved. When talking with other drivers or witnesses, it’s important to ask if they’re okay, but don’t make any statements, such as It was my fault. Call 911, take photos or video of the scene, and jot down anything you remember about the accident. Ask any witnesses for their statements and contact information. Politely ask for other driver’s insurance information, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and license plate number. If they refuse to give it to you, wait for the police to arrive.
If you need to compose yourself, sit in your car if it’s safe. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s also a good idea to go to the emergency room or to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. Many injuries don’t show up until days or even weeks later, and medical documentation is crucial for a successful personal injury claim.
What If The Other Driver Asks To Forgo Insurance Claims?
If a driver wants to pay you directly for damages and avoid filing an insurance claim, proceed with caution. Even if the damage to your vehicle is minor, failing to file an accident claim can have unintended consequences. If you experience symptoms of serious injury in the following days or weeks, it may be more difficult to recover the full compensation to which you are entitled if you file a claim later. Even worse, if the other driver is injured and changes their mind about filing an insurance claim — they may end up suing you for damages.
If a driver refuses to report an accident to their insurance company, don’t argue — just let your attorney or auto insurance company communicate with them going forward. Once you file a claim with your auto insurance company, they’ll contact the other party’s insurer.
After The Insurance Claim Is Filed
It’s important to keep in mind that neither the other driver’s, nor your own, insurance company has your best interests in mind. Insurance companies do everything they can to minimize or deny claims. That’s why contacting an experienced, responsive attorney who’s there for you is vital. Don’t give a statement to any insurance adjusters, sign any documents, or accept a settlement before consulting a lawyer. It takes true grit to win a case, and a skilled personal injury attorney understands that you need and deserve the Maximum Reward to protect yourself and your family.
After you’ve spoken with your attorney and have filed a claim with your insurance company, there’s no need to have any further contact with the other motorist. If a driver who was involved in the accident contacts you for any reason, don’t talk to them alone. Refer them to your attorney or insurance adjuster. Discussing the accident without the help of a professional can cause serious trouble if you accidentally say the wrong thing.
Contact An Attorney After A Car Accident
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident, we’ll leave no stone unturned in helping you recover the compensation you deserve. Joe Knows how challenging life can be after a car accident, so don’t go it alone, phone! To schedule a free initial consultation at Stanley Law Offices, contact us online or call (800) 608-3333 or (800) 372-3760. Our offices are conveniently located in Syracuse, Binghamton, Watertown, and Rochester, New York, and Montrose, Pennsylvania. Se habla español.