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What to do after an accident
After a serious accident, it is hard to know what you should do
No one expects to get in an accident, and so when it happens, the experience is always shocking. Even a minor collision is stressful, and it is difficult to know what to do immediately after an accident, to protect the safety of those involved, and to protect the rights of the victims going forward.
When a crash occurs, people may be injured or in danger, and emotions run high. Try to remain calm, to avoid anger or confrontation with other drivers, and to assess the scene for safety issues.
The following are important things to do after an accident:
- Check on the condition of all people involved, and get medical attention for anyone with injuries. Do not move an injured or unconscious person until trained medical personnel arrive, unless there is an imminent danger present.
- Call the police if there is physical injury, death, or significant property damage. Request that a police report be filed, and get the names and badge numbers of the responding officers.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved. If they had passengers, or if there were witnesses to the crash, try to get their contact information as well.
- Let your insurance company know you've been in an accident. Tell them the truth about what happened and the extent of your injuries. Your insurance company is on your side, and your adjuster is there to help you.
- Take photos of your vehicle damage and your injuries. They can help your insurance adjuster or personal injury lawyer prove the value of your claim.
- Be cautious of early settlement offers. Don’t settle a claim until you know the full extent of your injuries and required medical treatment, including future surgery. Consult a lawyer before signing any settlement document.
Why should you consider working with a personal injury attorney on your insurance claim?
You should consider finding an experienced injury lawyer who will help you throughout the entire claim process and will protect your rights. A lawyer has the knowledge and resources to oversee all phases of the case, from the initial gathering and organizing of information, to getting statements from witnesses and physicians, to the final negotiation of a full settlement to compensate you for your financial losses. Having an injury attorney on your side allows you to focus on healing and recovery.
What do you do? Do you call your insurance? Do you call the at fault parties insurance? Is the injury to your body included with the claim you make for your damaged property?
Now, you don’t have to, you have the fifth amendment right to refuse to talk at all. Generally, that’s not a good idea because you will immediately go to jail.
Personal Injury Attorney Bill Coats often sees clients who only have the minimal information; he will immediately order the complete collision report for auto injury claims because it describes the “official” details of the accident as well as the registered owner’s name and insurance company.
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Here is a simple list of do’s and don’ts after you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident of any kind...
This report can be very important in terms of evidence if there is a personal injury claim, so it becomes very important for you or your attorney to obtain the report after you’re involved in an accident. Learn more here about how to get a copy of your Kansas collision report.
Because the odds suggest that most drivers will eventually experience a major auto accident, it is imperative that every driver know how to respond when disaster strikes. That response includes understanding the importance of preserving evidence after a major car accident. Go here to learn more about why it is crucial to locate and preserve any evidence after a Texas car accident.
Bellingham, WA car accident lawyer Bill Coats writes twelve tips for building a strong case after you've been the victim in an accident. Though each step is equally important, filing a police report and documenting evidence in other ways is crucial.
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As with so many things in life, it helps to be prepared with knowledge before you need it. As a wise friend once said, "It's easier to repair the roof when it's sunny than when it's raining." Hopefully you or a loved one will never need this guide, but if you drive or ride in any vehicle on the road, you might. Click here for the top ten tips on what to do after an auto accident. Also included are local resources for Washington state drivers.
Accident victims have a wide range of reactions after a crash, and as a personal injury lawyer here in Bellingham, WA, I have seen them all. While one might expect that someone would seek medical attention soon after a collision, that's not always the case. I created this video linked through this article on what all accident victims should do after an auto accident.
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If you are the victim of an auto accident, you're probably feeling overwhelmed by the aftermath of the wreck. You may have injuries to heal from, different doctors advising you on what the next steps should be, medical bills coming in, emotional and psychological distress and even PTSD. Also there are the insurance companies to deal with, and lots of paperwork to keep track of. One piece of this puzzle is the police report, a critical part in the necessary next steps after an accident as well as legally mandatory to file in many accident situations. For info on police reports, their importance in building your claim, and other important next steps for accident victims to take, click here.
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