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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.

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Everett-Bellingham WA

Following your doctor's orders after an accident is good for more than your health

We've all heard the expression, "follow the doctor's orders" and after a car accident, it's not different. Yet you'd be surprised at how many accident victims stop going to the doctor for follow up care, even when they don't feel completely better. Click this link for a video about why you should continue to follow your doctor's instructions after your auto accident.

Everett-Bellingham WA

Resources and tips in case you or a loved one is involved in an auto accident

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.

Everett-Bellingham WA

The #1 thing you need to do after an auto accident

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.

Everett-Bellingham WA

Tips on collecting physical evidence at the scene of an auto accident

Auto accidents - no matter how minor - are shocking, scary events to all involved. First and foremost, the top priority is to get the injured medical care ASAP, as those first few moments are critical to recovery, and sometimes, survival. However, accident victims have other things to consider too. This article is intended to be shared with friends and loved ones before an accident happens, to keep in mind some things to do in the event of an accident that can help in going through the insurance claims process or even building a tort case. Click for information on the importance of collecting physical evidence after a car crash and other tips. 

Everett-Bellingham WA

Police reports: a key piece in building a solid case for accident victims

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.

Tallahassee, FL-Thomasville, GA
Accident Date: 
Sat, 10/25/2014
At approximately 12:33am, police responded to 2168 W. Tennessee Street in reference to a traffic crash with injuries. Both vehicles were driving westbound on west Tennessee Street when two vehicles collided. The first vehicle overturned as a result of the crash.

Questions for Car Accident Witnesses

Witnesses to a car accident can be valuable when it's time to piece together the details of what happened right before, during, and after the crash. Statements from witnesses can also become key evidence later on, in any lawsuit or insurance claim that seeks to establish legal responsibility -- in other words, fault for a car accident. So it's important that the right questions get asked of witnesses, in order to make sure the right information is obtained and recorded. This article touches on some important strategies and points to cover when questioning witnesses to a car accident.

Traffic Crash Reports & Overlay Forms

The following table contains hyper-links to state traffic crash report Get Adobe Readerforms and any overlay code sheets applicable to that state. All forms are in Adobe Portable Document File Format (PDF). In order to eliminate the fraudulent use of crash reports, all state report forms cannot be printed or modified. Overlay code sheets can be printed. In cases where states have revised their reporting forms, both old and new formats are provided. ACTAR assumes no liability for the accuracy or use of these documents. They are provided as a service to the traffic crash reconstruction community.

LexisNexis eCrash

As an involved party in an accident, ordering a copy of the report is easy with LexisNexis® eCrash. Eliminate the need to drive to the police department, find parking and stand in line to request a copy of your accident report. Save time and order from a secure website. You can quickly access and download a copy of the report without leaving your home or office.

Police Reports as Evidence in Your Car Accident Injury Case

In some kinds of injury cases -- most notably, car accidents -- a police report may have been prepared in connection with the underlying incident. While police reports are generally inadmissible if your case gets to court, the report can still be very useful in most personal injury cases. In this article, we'll offer some tips on how to use a police report to bolster your side of an injury claim.

Preserve Evidence and Take Photos

If you are involved in an accident or injury that may have been caused by the carelessness of someone else, preserving any physical evidence of the incident and your injuries can help support your position in any legal claim you may decide to pursue. It's important to do this as soon as possible after the incident because circumstances can change quickly: accident scenes can be altered, memories can become unreliable, and evidence can be overlooked or misplaced over time.