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.
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.
Imagine how bad you'd feel if you hosted a super bowl party, and a guest got into a terrible, preventable accident on the way home because he was drunk. Not only would you feel terrible, there may be criminal or civil penalties against you. For tips on providing a safer super bowl party from Bellingham WA drunk driving accident attorney Bill Coats, click here.
Seat belts are known to protect those in cars and trucks, and are by law required to be worn. However, this is not the case for bus passengers. In the event of a serious bus accident, head injuries are not uncommon. If you have experienced a head injury in a bus accident, be aware of the signs and symptoms of TBI.
Most accident victims don't know when they sign up for their auto or health insurance policy that if they are hurt in an accident due to someone else's fault, they may have to reimburse their own health insurance company for paying medical bills. However, it's not as bad as it sounds. I made this video to educate consumers on reimbursing health insurers after an auto accident.
Witnessing the pain of a loved one can be traumatic. In this case represented by Bellingham personal injury lawyer Bill Coats, the pedestrian hit by a truck sustained fractures in both ankles. Her husband also was awarded compensation for the psychological impact of witnessing his wife's accident and caring for her through her recovery.
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