You should be wary of early settlement offers that you might get from the insurance company.
Every year, there occur thousands of car accidents in the streets of the United States of America. We encounter these accidents every other day while traveling from work to home or vice-versa. Car accidents are increasing day by day, and it involves property damage, and sometimes fatal injuries are also part of the scene. Though we try to do our best to keep our kith and kin safe, it is not enough. It is very important to know the obligations that you should do in case of any car accidents as there are various things that you should do to protect yourself when undergoing any situation like car accidents.
In situations where you are involved in any car accident as a result of someone else’s negligence or fault, you become entitled to take a legal course of action against that person to recover your damages. Damages include all the injuries you suffered, along with medical costs and other miscellaneous expenses. The longer you take in pressing charges against the person, the harder it becomes for you to recover compensation. Hence it becomes important to know your rights, and if you still don’t know, a personal injury lawyer from Ferguson Law Group would tell you what to do after a car accident.
In this article, we will talk about things you should do if you are in a car accident. In such circumstances, the injuries might be fatal and your emotions high. Listed below are some of the lists of things that people should take action on in case of accidents.
- Stay- The first step to take after any car accident is to stay at the scene of the accident. One should not leave until it is appropriate for you to leave as there are serious repercussions if you leave the scene of the car accident, especially when someone has serious injuries. Most people make the mistake of leaving the scene and then face different criminal penalties under hit and run. Try not to run from any scene of the accidents, not even from a minor one.
- Protect Further Accidents– By not running away from the scene, you can also protect other people from the same fate. You can prevent more accidents by putting up flares and keeping the flashers on. By giving instant aid to people who have suffered serious injuries or you can call the ambulance etc.
- Check on Passenger and Drivers– Before checking on the damage of property, check on all the passengers and drivers of the car. You should make sure people involved in an accident are safe and are not suffering from any major injuries. Try to get medical attention from people who need it. In a situation where people are unconscious and have back, pains try not to move them without the help of any professional.
- Call the police– If there are fatal physical injuries to people or significant property damage or death, you are required to call the police in such circumstances. And ask to file a police report of the accident. Along with this, try to obtain the badge number and name of the officer present at the accident scene. Even though there are no serious injuries, it is a good idea to call the police. As to file an insurance claim for your property, you should have a police report.
- Accurate Record– Try not to rephrase the situation and tell the investigating officer exactly what happened and in what sequence. If you do not remember, tell the officer the same thing and not make up the imaginary situation in your mind. Try to avoid any misstatement and do not speculate or guess. You should also try to make sure the statements of other people are accurate and are not misleading in any way.
- Gather Information– In car accidents, an investigating officer is the in-charge of gathering information. However, if the police are not responding, you should try to gather as much information as possible. Make sure to have the name of the drivers, their number, addresses, and other basic information from them. If there are passengers, try to get their information as well. In such situations, try not to apologize for anything, as in doing so, you might be admitting legal liability. Doing so, you admit that it is your fault that the accident happened in the first place. As in various states, a fault is not determinative as to who will pay for losses. Henceforth you should not admit fault unintentionally.
- Take Pictures- Try to take photos of the incident and your injuries as well. If there is any visible damage to your property, try to take photos of it. This could prove as potential evidence in your favor. Though in doing so, you should in no way try to hamper the ongoing investigation. Pictures let the insurance company determine the amount of compensation you can get and how much you can claim. This will help you in court as well. The pictures will tell you the exact extent of the damages incurred in the accident.
- Witnesses- In car accidents, witnesses play a crucial role in trying to talk to as many witnesses as possible. Try to get their contact information like contact number, address, etc., if possible, you should talk to the local people of that place to gather information about the accident and whether such accidents are common to the place or not.
- Inform your Insurance company- After the car accident tries to inform about the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Tell the insurance company everything that happened to the extent of your injuries. Try not to bend the facts and explain the facts clearly, as misleading facts could get you into serious trouble with the insurance company, such as denial of coverage.
- Keep track of medical treatment- It is beneficial to you if you keep track of all your medical treatment and expenses that you took in the course of your recovery. Keep a detailed record of all the doctors, therapists, and various medical professionals you visit, along with all copies of medical reports and expenses. This will help you to prove all the medical expenses.
Apart from this, you should try to record how these injuries hampered your daily life and made it trickier to lead a normal life as it is very hard to prove in the court of law the extent of mental trauma you faced after the accident. So it is important to keep track of that as well. You can do this by including all your missed workdays and a list of activities you cannot do because of your injury.
- Make a file- After the accident, try to maintain a file with all your accident-related papers as this will help you keep all the information in one place. When you need them, you can get them easily without any hassle. Your information in the file should contain a claim number, the contact information of the claim adjuster who is handling your claim, the name and contact number of all your contacts, and receipts of all the expenses you incurred due to the car accident.
- Have a property Damage valuation- You should have your insurance company’s damage valuation record as there might be a possibility that people are not satisfied with the valuation. In such a situation, try to get two independent repair estimates quotations. And convince your adjuster of your claim and concerns. After this, if you still can’t agree on the value of your car, consult your lawyer.
- Caution in discussing the accident—When the investigation of the accident is going on, you should refrain from talking to just anyone about the accident. You should only talk about the accident to your attorney, the police, and your insurance company. In addition to this, refrain from talking to any other insurance company without informing your attorney or insurance company. If, by chance, another insurance company calls you regarding the accident, politely decline the offer or tell them to arrange an interview with your lawyer.
- Be wary of Early settlement offer – You should be wary of early settlement offers that you might get from the insurance company. You should try not to take up that offer until and unless you are sure they are compensating for all your injuries. Before taking up such an offer, consult your attorney as well.
- Protect your Rights- Last but not least, the most important thing after an accident is to consult your personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will help you protect your right, and they make sure that the evidence is not destroyed in the process. When the need arises, they also represent you in the court of law. Attorneys advise you on various issues ranging from dealing with the police and how much damages you could get.
With the help of the above findings, we can conclude that car accidents are increasing and the crimes related to them are also increasing. The most common crime in car accidents is hit and run. With the help of the above pointers, you can easily know what to do after a car accident.