10 Things You Must Know about Auto Accidents
Most people don’t get in their car expecting to be involved in a crash. Auto accidents take you by surprise, and usually at the worst possible time. Car accidents are an unfortunate reality, but knowing what steps to take after a crash – as well as what actions to avoid – can help you get through one with as little stress and frustration as possible.
- It’s Important to See a Doctor – Your health should always be your top priority, even if you believe you aren’t that injured. Doctors will be the first to tell you that many injuries don’t immediately show symptoms after auto accidents. Head and neck injuries are notorious for showing up days and sometimes even a week or two after a car accident. Your body protects itself during a crash by releasing adrenaline. Once you have had a chance to settle down, the aches and pains set in.Protect your health by seeing an emergency room physician or your family doctor as soon as possible after an accident. Seeing a doctor right away is also important for any personal injury claim you may have, as your chances of obtaining full compensation are better if you begin documenting your injuries right after the crash occurs.
- The Insurance Company Is Not Your Friend – It’s important to notify your insurance company of the crash right away, but you should not accept any settlement offers without first discussing your case with an attorney. Insurance companies have clever commercials, but make no mistake: They are in the business of making money, not being by your side or popping into your life to bail you out of a bind or a bad situation. They want to minimize the value of your claim, not pay you the full and fair value.
- You Should Speak to an Attorney – You don’t always need a lawyer to resolve a car accident case, but it’s important to ask a lawyer about your options before you accept a settlement or attempt to handle your case on your own. The insurance company doesn’t have to tell you your legal rights. In fact, they have every incentive not to. Protect yourself by consulting with a lawyer as quickly as possible after the accident.
- You Need to Report the Accident – The police report is an important piece of evidence in your case. Moreover, your insurance company may require it to process your claim. If the police decline to respond to your accident, which sometimes happens in fender bender cases or in busy urban areas, you should go to the station and file your own report to document the accident.
- You Should Not Admit Fault – Don’t speculate about how the accident occurred or who was responsible for the crash. Leave the investigation to the experts. Many factors can cause an accident. If you admit fault to the police, the insurance company, or even the other driver, the insurance company could use this admission against you down the road – even if an investigation determines that you were not the reason for the crash.
- You Can Take Photos of the Crash – Smartphones have given motorists a powerful tool for gathering evidence after an accident. If your injuries permit, you can begin documenting your case right at the scene. Take photos of your injuries, the vehicles involved, the road conditions, and the weather.
- You Can Talk to Witnesses – You can also get statements from any eyewitnesses, or at least take down their information so you and your lawyer can follow up with them later.
- You Need to Keep Good Records – After a car accident, it’s important to keep track of all doctors’ visits, prescription expenses, and anything else related to the accident. Your lawyer will use this documentation to help establish the damages involved in your case. Keep track of everything, however insignificant it seems.
- Attend All Doctors’ Appointments – It’s important to see a doctor after your accident, but it’s also important to attend all follow-up appointments and to follow through with any specialists your doctor recommends. If you skip or cancel appointments, the insurance company will likely try to use this to prove you are not seriously injured, or that you are not taking steps to mitigate your injuries.
- Be Careful What You Post Online – Social media has made people more connected than ever before, and many people share personal details about their lives online all the time. When you’re involved in a personal injury case, however, it’s important to be circumspect about what you share over the internet. Insurance companies have gotten savvy about looking at plaintiffs’ social media profiles to search for evidence that their injuries are not as bad as they claim. Don’t discuss your case or your injuries online. If you must talk to family and friends about your injuries, do it in person and always clear your comments with your lawyer first before talking to anyone about your case.
Auto Accidents : Call The Rich Firm, P.C.
If you have been injured in a car accident, our auto accident lawyers can help. Give us a call today to discuss your case. Call 888-RICH-LAW.