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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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Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, TX

After the Accident: Steps You Need to Take

How would you respond if an accident happened and you knew that you were not at fault? That response could make all the difference in the world when it comes to dealing with insurance companies and possible legal consequences, so you need to be aware of the right steps to take to ensure that your rights are protected.

Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, TX

Importance of Preserving Evidence after a Major Car Accident

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.

Everett-Bellingham WA

Tips on hosting a safe Super Bowl party

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.

Everett-Bellingham WA

Sorry officer, I didn't see you trying to pull me over because I was on my phone

More and more people are becoming aware of the dangers of texting and driving. In fact, more and more laws are being created to deal with this dangerous habit in drivers worldwide. And yet drivers continue to believe that they are immune to the risks, and use their phones. In Washington State, this can mean a ticket, despite the many excuses offered to the Officer. Click here to read about what not to say if you're pulled over for distracted driving.

Everett-Bellingham WA

TBI can be especially common for passengers in a bus accident

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. 

Everett-Bellingham WA

Who you may have to pay after your auto accident claim is paid

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. 

Everett-Bellingham WA

One case where bone fractures and psychological trauma were justly compensated

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. 

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.