A car accident isn’t something that you plan to be involved in when you get on the road. That’s why it’s called an accident. Most of the time, it’s not planned and is caused by the mistakes of other drivers or some of the actions that you perform on the road. There are times when an accident is caused by a malfunction of some part on the car. At other times, there are drivers who do things on the road that are illegal, such as texting on the phone or drinking, that will result in a car accident. It’s important to know the rights that you have by talking to a personal injury law firm after an accident so that you and others involved can receive compensation or the proper punishment for causing the accident.
After an accident, no matter how minor, you need to stay at the scene. An officer will want to get the details of your insurance and get contact information from all of the people involved in case there are any questions. In most states, leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime, so it’s best to just stay around until your car is removed or until you’re cleared to drive away.
Check to see that everyone involved in the accident is alright. If someone hasn’t called already, then you need to call emergency services to report the accident and to get medical help on the scene if there is someone injured or if there is a possibility that someone might be injured. It’s sometimes best to go to the hospital if there are any concerns right away instead of waiting until later. A personal injury attorney can link the accident to the hospital visit and any further visits to the doctor if you go straight from the scene instead of waiting. Don’t move someone who is unconscious or who is bleeding severely because there could be more injuries that occur as a result.
When the officer arrives on the scene, you will probably be asked to give an account of what happened. The officer will want to speak to all of the people involved to try to piece together the accident as it took place. Exchange information with the people involved in the accident. This information should include names, phone numbers, and addresses. You also need to exchange insurance information in case there are any questions that a personal injury attorney would need to ask about claims that are filed. Don’t offer an apology for anything that you’ve done wrong while driving as this could negate any claim that you file. You should be polite while exchanging information, but don’t offer any details if you were the cause of the accident unless they are given to the officer. Most of the time, the insurance company won’t look as harshly as who was at fault in the accident as it does amounts that need to be paid for damages, injuries, compensation for pain and suffering and rental car fees.
Before you leave the accident scene, get information from witnesses. Take pictures of the cars involved and of the accident scene. These can be used by your attorney when submitting a claim. Find out if there have been other accidents in the same area as this could lead to something being done by the city or the state to make it safer for drivers. Contact your insurance company right away to let them know about the accident. They will find out once all of the paperwork is filed, but it’s best to go ahead and let them know so that the proper documents can be filed and financial aspects can begin. If you visit the doctor, keep a record of the appointment, when you go and the cost of the visit. Give this information to a personal injury attorney to file along with the claim. The expenses that you incur for treatment and visits are easy to document, but the pain and suffering can be hard to show unless you have some kind of reason to offer for being in pain after the accident.