I’ve Been in a Car Accident. What Now?
In the wake of a serious car accident, many people are unsure of what steps to take next—especially if they have been injured at the hands of a negligent driver. Such an experience is often overwhelming, but unfortunately, if a victim is not immediately proactive in the interest of protecting their rights after a collision, they may put their chances of obtaining compensation at risk. For this reason, it is important to keep a few simple tips in mind when dealing with the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident. First and foremost, it is important to assess the damage that was done, both to your person and your vehicle. If the situation warrants it, the next step should be to contact law enforcement and emergency medical personnel. Regardless of whether or not you feel as if you have been injured, it is always a good idea to get checked out by a medical professional—as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
Secondly, you should gather the contact information of any witnesses that were present at the time of the accident—including their name and phone number—so that you will have corroborative testimony in the event that the other driver attempts to skew the facts of your case. Similarly, you should not hesitate to document the scene of the accident with a camera or a cell phone. Even if you simply take a few pictures of the damage that was done to both vehicles and of any injuries that you have sustained, it could prove to be vital evidence when filing a claim later on. Sometimes, such evidence can go missing or get lost in the shuffle, so it is always a good idea to have these pictures for your own records. Next, you should seek medical attention. Not only is your health the top priority after a serious accident, but records of a medical examination are also a good thing to have when filing a claim with the other party’s insurance company or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.
Finally, it is important to stay calm and avoid engaging in any heated discussions with the other driver involved. They may try to provoke you into admitting fault in the accident, so it is best to avoid saying anything at all—even if you know that you were not to blame for causing the collision. This also applies when, and if, you speak to an insurance adjuster. Although you are not required to give a statement, they may attempt to manipulate information out of you that they can use in their favor, whether they are trying to prove that you are not as injured as you have claimed to be or they are trying to get you to admit partial fault. It is important to understand that their only job is to pay you as little money as possible, so do not be afraid to decline making a statement. In order to make sure that your rights are protected throughout the subsequent process, however, we believe that the most important step is to consult with an experienced lawyer.
By contacting a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney from the Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo, P.A. immediately after an accident, we will have the opportunity to review the facts of your case and advise you on how to proceed. Not only is this important for the sake of recovering compensation down the line, but it is also a good way to relieve some of the stress of managing the aftermath of an accident all on your own. As such, we welcome you to tell us about your accident today by calling our office for a free case evaluation.