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What You Should Do Immediately After an Auto Accident
Auto accidents are pretty hard experiences. Victims in most cases aren't "thinking straight." Regardless of the extent of injuries, the person is still in shock days, weeks, or months after the event. It's normal to not know the next thing you should do.
But a few critical issues need quick attention. If you can't take care of the matters yourself, request a friend or family to help.
Here's what to do…
5 Critical Matters to Handle Immediately After an Auto Accident
1. Get Medical Attention
Your wellbeing and health is critical matter number #1. It's what you should handle immediately after an accident. Hopefully, you're in a position to take yourself to the doctor's office.
Stop telling yourself that you're ok just because you're not sensing any pain. It's common for victims to think they're fine when in fact they've sustained a life-threatening injury. Internal injuries, whiplash, PTSD, and concussions are some of the medical situations an auto accident might cause. And only a doctor can know for sure whether you're ok.
2. Document the Accident
Maybe you'll decide to pursue compensation. As you know, the process requires authentic documentation. Otherwise, you won’t succeed. So, collect as much info as possible. Note down the names of the other driver (s), passengers, and insurance details (the driver's). Also, take pics of your injuries as well as damage on your car. You can use your phone's camera in case you don't have a camera.
Collect every piece of info you think might be relevant to the claim process. That might include medical bill receipts and car rental receipts. That'll make litigation or negotiation work easier and smoother for your personal injury attorney. Complete documentation may also increase the odds of winning the case in case it proceeds to trial.
3. Take Care of Insurance Matters
It's critical to have your insurer know what transpired the earliest possible. These companies aren't so eager to pay claims, remember. If they can legally avoid paying a claim, they will. So don't help them deny your claim!
4. Inform the Police
Call the police immediately after the accident. If they come and start asking questions, only state facts. Avoid the "umm "aah," and "I think…" kind of answers. Either you know or you don't — stop guessing.
If you're uncertain about anything pertaining to the accident, make that clear to the police. Simply say, "I'm not sure."
5. Consider Pursuing Compensation
Involving an experienced lawyer soonest possible can make a huge difference in how the claim process goes. As the plaintiff, you won't win the case until you prove that the defendant's action caused the accident. And that as a result, you got injured.
Now, proving that the other driver was at fault might sound pretty straightforward in theory. However, it's a tough-to-do thing in reality. So, consider hiring a lawyer.
Another good reason to contact a legal expert is that they can help you receive quality medical attention. It's also advisable to have a lawyer represent you when negotiating with the insurance company or in court. Engaging an attorney in personal injury litigation can dramatically improve the chances that you'll see hefty damages.
According to the Stephens Law Firm ,you can pursue compensation without using legal expertise, of course but you might end up leaving lots of money on the table. And stop fretting over money. Simply enter into a contingent fee arrangement with your personal injury attorney. According to the American Bar Association, lawyers typically get about 30% of the amount awarded.
After an auto accident, collect as much relevant info as possible. Get the details relating to everyone involved, including names and insurance information. Also, let the police know about it and be careful when answering questions. Finally, consider talking to a personal injury lawyer. That decision alone can make a huge difference for you.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.