Car accidents can happen for a number of reasons, but one thing they have in common is that they’re jarring, disorientating, and always throw us for a loop.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, there are a number of things you should do in case you need to file a claim or defend yourself in court. Whether you’re at fault or not, you should follow steps to ensure that the correct series of events are on record so you don’t get taken advantage of or lose compensation you deserve.
1. Be careful what you say
Both immediately after a car accident and while talking with insurance companies in the following weeks and months, it’s essential that you pay special attention to what you say. Mainly, don’t speak to the other person’s insurance company. The insurance company wants to minimize their costs and could use any statement you make to try and achieve this. A personal injury lawyer can speak to the other insurance company on your behalf or be present at any meeting to ensure you aren’t saying anything incomplete or incriminating yourself.
2. Gather as much information as possible
After a car accident, there’s a variety of information that you need to get to make filing a claim easier. Firstly, always collect contact information from the other person or people involved in the accident. Their name, driver’s license number, phone number, address, insurance company, license plate number, and make and model of the vehicle should all be written down. If there were witnesses, it’s important to get their contact information as well.
3. Document everything
The importance of documentation cannot be overemphasized. Take photos of everything both at and after the scene to strengthen your claim. Taking photos will help give insurance adjusters and lawyers a feel for the scene – the emergency crew and personnel, tow trucks, vehicle positions, environmental conditions, and the road.
Of course, taking pictures of car damage is essential as well. Taking photos of the car from each corner is a great way to show damage from different angles. Lastly, taking photos of your injuries immediately after the accident and if they get worse is important to document as well.
4. File a police report
Always file a police report after a car accident, even if you don’t think there are injuries or you think the damage to the vehicles is minimal. You don’t know what injuries you’ll notice in the next few days, or what internal damage your car may have.
An accident report filed by the police will help give validity to the events of the accident. The report will detail the officer’s impressions as well as a narrative of the events very soon after they happened. If there doesn’t appear to be any or much damage and officers cannot be dispatched, attend at your local Collision Reporting Centre to report the accident.
5. Seek medical attention
Even if you don’t think you’ve sustained an injury, or you think your injury is minor, you should always seek medical attention after an accident. Adrenaline works wonders on our body and can mask the effects of serious injuries for hours or days. If paramedics are called to the scene, allow them to examine you for injuries. If they aren’t, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. If you wait, it can cast doubt onto any claim you may file in the future.
6. Get a personal injury lawyer
This may seem obvious coming from a lawyer, but it’s imperative that you hire a personal injury lawyer after a car accident. A personal injury lawyer knows the right steps to take to get you the compensation you deserve and can help you avoid any confusion caused by an insurance company or the other driver.
Have You Been Involved in a Car Accident?
Contact us for a personal injury lawyer after a car accident. At Nyland Personal Injury Law, we know what to do after a car accident, what not to do after a car accident, and how to get you the compensation you deserve. We can help you navigate the difficult processes to ensure you don’t make any legal mistakes that could threaten a claim.
The insurance companies look out for themselves. We look out for you. Contact us today!