After a car accident, it can be difficult to know what to do next. Depending on the size and circumstance of the accident, it can be an extremely traumatic experience. There’s a lot going on, but it’s important to ensure safety and collect all the proper documentation and evidence needed for the post-accident filing. In addition, many people don’t know their rights after an accident, or they don’t know how to go about getting the compensation they deserve.
The best way to prepare for an accident is by learning what to do in the event one should ever happen. Here is a guide with helpful tips on what to do in the event a car accident occurs, and when you should seek the services of an auto accident attorney.
Depending on the severity of your motor accident, there are some steps that should be taken to ensure the safety of all individuals involved. Here’s a good place to start:
- Check for injuries.
- Call 911.
- If the accident was minor, move vehicles away from traffic and into a safer area.
- Turn off your vehicle, turn on your hazards, and wait for help to arrive.
Evidence is extremely important when it comes to proving innocents, and is especially important when there is an injury involved that was a result of the accident. Without evidence, it can be difficult to prove your innocence and get the compensation you deserve.
Examples of evidence you will want to gather includes:
- Photos of the scene and vehicles from multiple angles.
- Accident scene exact location and/or address.
- If your injuries incurred in the accident are visible, take photos of your cuts, bruises, abrasions, etc.. and continue to take photos as they visibly change.
- Police officer’s name and badge number.
- Eyewitnesses (name and contact information).
- Anything else that you might think will be necessary to help your case.
- Obtain a copy of the police/accident report.
Gathering and exchanging information of all involved individuals is extremely crucial after a car accident. This process can be difficult if you’re not sure what information is needed or where to find it.
Here is some basic information that you will need to gather.
- Registered owners of all vehicles.
- Year, model, make, etc. of all vehicles involved.
- Name, address, and phone number(s) of all drivers that are involved.
- Name, address, and phone numbers of all involved passengers and witnesses.
- License plate numbers and driver’s license numbers.
Notify Your Insurance Company and File a Claim
You should contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. Your insurance agent will be able to tell you exactly what they will need from you in order to begin processing your claim as well answer any questions you might have concerning your claiming process. If you have been injured in the accident, request that your insurance provider sends you an application to fill out so your medical expenses and wage loss can be paid.
Notify the DMV
If you are involved in a car accident, you have to report it to the DMV within 72 hours or you could face suspension of your driver’s license.
Most people don’t know about this requirement, and as a result, they often wait too long to report an accident and end up getting their driver’s license suspended.
Things to Avoid
- Avoid talk of responsibility.
- Don’t make cash deals.
- Avoid waiting too long to make a claim with your insurance company.
- Don’t lie or give false information.
- Don’t wait to seek medical help for sustained injuries.
Why Is It Important to Document Injuries After an Accident?
Many people don’t keep track of their symptoms and only go to the doctor when they have a severe problem. This can be a big mistake because some injuries or health problems can result in a gradual onset of symptoms that eventually require treatment. The earlier the doctor can document these problems, the easier it will be to get medical treatment down the road. Keeping a diary or log of your symptoms and how they change over time is one way to make sure you tell your doctor about all of your symptoms, not just the most severe ones. Well-documented evidence of injuries sustained from the accident can greatly help your legal case and will help get you the compensation you deserve.
Why Should You Hire an Injury Attorney After an Accident?
Many people think that it is much easier and cost-effective to handle the aftermath of an auto accident on their own when in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Hiring an injury attorney is the best way to ensure that you’re getting the best possible representation in your case. An injury lawyer will help guide you through the process and will ensure you don’t get taken advantage of by greedy insurance adjusters while helping you get the monetary compensation that you deserve. They will help you with the entire process including:
- Filing an accident claim.
- Dealing with the insurance company.
- Filing all of the necessary paperwork.
- Not missing important deadlines.
- Increasing your compensation.
- Establish thorough evidence and investigation.
Need an Injury Attorney? Call Lakepoint Law
At Lakepoint Law Firm, a personal injury law firm in the Salem OR area, our experienced personal injury attorneys help our clients receive the financial compensation they deserve and provide the support they need during the recovery process. If you are the victim of an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation for property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is important to have an accident attorney who understands where to look for coverage and recovery. Let our law firm help you navigate this complex legal system. We do everything we can to protect our client’s rights by offering professional legal representation that gets results. Call us today!