What Should I Do After An Accident?
1. Make Sure An Accident/Police Report Is Completed.
Following an accident, you should contact the police and inform them that you were in an accident. The reasons are numerous. In terms of protecting your rights, the police/accident report becomes an essential piece of evidence in evaluating the case. The investigating officers and the statements of the parties in the report are often used by both sides to evaluate the liability and ultimately the value of cases.
These reports will contain the personal and insurance information for all of the drivers involved in the accident. The report will also note other important factors such as distances, skid marks, road conditions, speed limits and directions.
Finally, although, the opinion is generally not admissible in court, the police reports contain an assessment of which party was responsible for the accident.
2. Contact Your Insurance Company.
After the accident, you should contact your car insurance company to advise them of the accident. If you were injured in the accident, you should advise your insurance company as well. If you know the other driver’s insurance company and are contacting them to discuss the property damage to your vehicle, you should inform them that you are injured, but do not provide any statements to the adjuster for the insurance company.
3. Seek Medical Care For Any Injuries.
If the accident did not require immediate medical attention, such as ambulance transport to a local emergency room, you should seek medical care for any injuries that continue to bother you. It is very common for people to wait a few days before calling the doctor in the hopes that pain will go away. However, the longer that you wait before obtaining medical treatment the more ammunition it provides for the insurance company to discount your claim. Urgent care centers have provided an opportunity for victims of accidents to seek medical attention without the long wait in emergency rooms.
When you initially seek medical treatment, it is important to mention all of the body parts that bother you following the accident. In some cases, what appears to be a minimal injury may develop into an on-going medical issue that requires substantial treatment. You do not want to be in a position where your back pain is not mentioned in the initial notes because it did not bother you that much at the time.
4. Take Photographs
You should also document any property damage to your car and any injuries, such as bruises, on your physical person following an accident. These photos will be an important piece of evidence in obtaining just recovery.
5. Keep Track Of Any Doctor Appointments And Lost Wages.
This is self-explanatory. When you make a claim for your damages, you will need to recall the amount of missed work and medical treatment that you received.