Car accidents occur on a daily basis, and millions of people around the world will suffer from a personal injury due to the car accident. Even though the accident may seem minor at the time, you could experience severe injuries later on down-the-road. Before you shrug the accident off, you will need to know some basic facts pertaining to handling the situation, not only for your safety, but also for legal purposes.
Is Everyone Okay?
Making sure all parties are okay is the first step you should take – assuming you can walk and speak coherently. It is a good idea to see a doctor immediately following the accident, doing so will allow you to obtain a professional opinion; this will also provide you with documented proof of injuries. There may be injuries that are not seen immediately; just because there are no bruises or cuts does not mean you are not injured. Some of the injuries that may appear days or weeks after the car accident include dizziness, numbness, headaches, and other types of pain or discomfort. Do not wait for a long period of time before seeing a doctor; it will be harder to prove that the injuries are related to the car accident.
Taking the Blame
One of the most important facts to remember is to never admit you are at fault. Admitting any type of wrongdoing should never come out of your mouth, regardless if you are speaking with a passenger, the other party, the police, or an insurance company. This type of accident could have an effect on your emotional state, and you could make a statement without thinking it through; therefore, refrain from admitting guilt without speaking with a personal injury attorney.
The Police Report
Even though you are not admitting you are at fault, you will need to contact the police and make a report. You will need to have a police report when making a claim to your insurance company, and if you decide to file a personal injury claim. If there are errors in the police report, those errors could cause your personal injury claim to be delayed. Detail all the facts of the accident without admitting that you were at fault. Even if you believe you may be at fault, remember that you are not in the best mental state following a car accident, and since your emotions are high, you could make a statement that could potentially damage your personal injury case.
Document and Photograph the Accident Scene
You will definitely want to take pictures of the accident. You can show these pictures to your insurance company, as well as a personal injury lawyer, should you need to file a personal injury claim. If you do not have a camera or camera phone, it is a good idea to take detailed notes of the accident. You should also have a police officer – or witness of some sort – present who can back up your claim in court.
Let Your Attorney Handle It
Do not speak with the insurance company of the other party involved without approval from your personal injury lawyer. An attorney is better equipped to handle these types of situations. Insurance companies are not in the habit of willingly paying out personal injury settlements, and they will try to discredit your claim. Always tell the insurance company you will forward the information on to your lawyer, but never discuss anything without consulting with your personal injury attorney first. You should also refrain from signing any documents without speaking with a personal injury lawyer.
After a car accident, contact a personal injury lawyer who will be on your side and fight for the justice or the settlement that you deserve. A personal injury lawyer will make sure that your rights are always protected.