A person injured in a car accident may have a claim for damages against the driver who caused the car accident. It is crucial that accident victims take certain steps after a motor vehicle accident. In a perfect world, accident victims would be able to take each of the steps discussed below to protect their right to file an insurance claim after being involved in the accident. Unfortunately, physical injuries and the chaos at the scene of the accident may prevent a person from taking each of the following steps.
Whenever possible, it is a good idea to take the following steps at the accident scene or as soon thereafter as possible. Here is a general checklist of what to do after a car accident:
Call the police to report the crash and request emergency services. Even if the collision resulted in minor property damage only, it is helpful to have a police report to document the accident. An insurance provider may deny a claim without an official record of the traffic accident. In addition, a police officer expedites the exchange of information between the drivers. The officer also determines if either driver contributed to the cause of the collision. Drivers should not discuss the accident with anyone while waiting for the police officer. Even a simple statement like, “I’m sorry” could be interpreted as an admission of fault.
Some people may not realize they suffered injuries in the crash. If an accident victim does not go to the emergency room immediately after the accident, he or she needs to be checked by a doctor as soon as possible. An injury may become more severe if medical treatment is delayed. A delay in medical care can also make it more difficult to recover full compensation for damages.
A driver should attempt to collect certain information at the scene of the crash. However, the driver should not place himself or others in danger. Examples of the information to collect at a crash scene include:
Drivers must notify their insurance agent as soon as possible after an accident. In some cases, a driver may be able to file the claim online with his or her auto insurance company. In addition to notifying their insurance provider, accident victims need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. However, it is usually best to consult with a lawyer before discussing the accident with a representative for the insurance company.
An insurance adjuster may request a written or recorded statement to “begin a claim.” An adjuster uses this tactic to obtain information to use against the accident victim to deny or undervalue a claim. A person may notify an insurance company of the claim without providing a statement. The accident victim has the right to discuss the crash with their attorney before providing any statements to the other driver’s insurance provider.
It is very important for an accident victim to exercise the right to consult an attorney. An experienced lawyer helps victims fight for fair and full compensation of all damages.
Injured victims can document injuries and losses in several ways including:
Contact our law office by calling 480-802-8232 to schedule a free consultation.