An auto accident can be a traumatic experience that leaves you physically injured, emotionally shaken, and facing a mountain of medical bills and lost wages. Suppose you find yourself in this unfortunate situation. It’s crucial to know what steps to take immediately following the accident to protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. As experienced auto accident lawyers, the Halperin Law Center is here to guide you through the essential steps you should take if you’ve been injured in an auto accident.
- Ensure Safety First
Your safety and the safety of others involved in the accident should be your top priority. If you can, move your vehicle out of the roadway to a safe location, turn on your hazard lights, and put out warning triangles or flares. Check for injuries and seek immediate medical attention for anyone hurt. Emergency medical personnel and an ambulance can be dispatched for serious injuries.
- Contact the Police
In an accident with property damage, call 911 or the local law enforcement agency to report the accident. A police report is essential for documenting the details of the accident and can serve as crucial evidence later on.
- Exchange Information
Exchange information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. Obtain their name, contact information, driver’s license number, insurance details, and license plate number. Be sure to provide your information as well. If there were any passengers in the other vehicles, obtain contact information from them, as they are likely to have information related to the accident.
- Gather Evidence
If possible, take photos of the accident scene, including the position of vehicles, damage, road conditions, traffic signs, and any visible injuries. These photos can be invaluable when filing a claim. Do not attempt to photograph anything if you feel you need immediate medical attention.
- Get Witness Statements
If there are any independent witnesses to the accident, ask for their names and contact information. Their statements can corroborate your version of events and be crucial in establishing liability.
- Seek Medical Attention
Even if your injuries seem minor, if you have suffered an injury, seeing a healthcare professional is essential. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately, and a medical record can causally link your injuries to the accident.
- Notify Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company to report the accident and begin the claims process. You must cooperate with your own insurance company under the terms of your policy, and be truthful with them. If the other party’s insurance company contacts you, you will want to speak to your attorney prior to giving them any statement.
- Consult an Auto Accident Lawyer
Consider consulting with an experienced auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. The attorneys at the Halperin Law Center can provide invaluable guidance on protecting your rights and maximizing your compensation. We offer a free initial consultation to review your claim and, if we agree to proceed, we will guide you through the remaining steps.
- Document Everything
Keep detailed records of all accident-related expenses, including medical bills, prescription expenses, repair estimates, rental car costs, information related to any time lost from work, and any other out-of-pocket expenses. Keep photos of the involved vehicles, as well as any repair estimates or receipts. This documentation will help support your claim.
- Avoid Speaking to the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company
As mentioned above, be cautious when dealing with the other driver’s insurance company. Do not provide a statement (recorded or otherwise) or sign any documents without first consulting your attorney. Insurance adjusters may try to minimize your claim.
- Follow Medical Advice
Continue with all of your doctor’s recommended medical treatments and attend all follow-up appointments.
- Review Your Insurance Policy
Understand the terms and coverage limits of your insurance policy. This knowledge can help you navigate the claims process more effectively. In situations where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, your own policy will provide coverage for you based upon the limits of your policy.
- Negotiate or Litigate
Your attorney will work with you to negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If a reasonable settlement cannot be reached, they will file a lawsuit on your behalf to litigate the case to protect your rights.
- Be Patient
Resolving a personal injury claim can take time. Be patient and trust your attorney’s guidance throughout the process.
Remember, every auto accident case is unique, and it’s essential to consult with an experienced auto accident lawyer to discuss the specifics of your situation. An experienced Halperin Law Center attorney can provide personalized advice and advocate for your rights to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Reach out to us today to schedule your consultation!