After being involved in a serious car accident, it is vital that you are able to collect the compensation you need to cover any damages your to your vehicle, any medical bills you may incur, and cover the cost of any lost wages or pain and suffering you experience. Unfortunately, accomplishing this goal is not always as easy as it can initially seem. This is because insurance companies routinely challenge their liability in accident cases in order to try and avoid paying hefty settlements. Thankfully, there are a few steps that you can take immediately following an accident to help ensure this does not happen to you.
Step #1: Document The Scene
Car accident scenes are often cleared as quickly as possible in order to restore the flow of traffic. Unfortunately, this means that all evidence pertaining to your accident may be lost forever in a matter of hours or even minutes. That it why it is so important for you or someone acting on your behalf, such as a family member, to document the accident scene using photographs or video before the evidence is lost forever.
Then documenting the accident scene, you will want to take pictures of as much as possible. These pictures should include:
- all vehicle involved in the accident, including damage and location
- the accident scene as a whole
- any road or weather conditions that contributed to the accident
- skid marks and debris left in the road
You will also want to collect information from everyone that is present at the accident scene. This includes other drivers, responding law enforcement officials, and potential witnesses. Be sure to get full names and contact information from each of these people.
Step #2: Get Immediate And Continuing Medical Care
Not all injuries will present themselves immediately. For instance, soft tissue injuries or internal bleeding can often take several hours or even days to present symptoms. Therefore, you should always seek immediate medical care after an auto accident even if you do not initially believe that you are injured.
In order to clearly document the extent of any injuries that you did suffer, it is also important to follow through with any medical care that your doctor recommends. This includes following up with you primary physician after visiting the emergency room.
Step #3: Consult A Reputable Accident Lawyer
You should always consult a reputable lawyer from a firm like Hagelgans and Veronis before accepting a settlement in your case, even if the insurance company is willing to accept liability. This is because many of the initial offers that the insurance company makes will not represent the true value of the claim that is being settled. Instead, these offers are made to quickly resolve as many claims as possible for the absolute lowest amount possible.
If you wish to receive the compensation that you truly deserve, your decision to consult a lawyer will send a very clear message to the insurance company that you will not settle for less than what your claim is worth.
The way you react after being involved in an accident can have a huge impact on whether or not you ultimately collect the compensation you need to fully recover from this accident. By taking each of the steps above, you can greatly increase your chances of being successful in your car accident claim.