After you get into a car accident, you’re understandably disoriented, especially if you got injured. However, unless your injuries are so serious that you need medical attention right away, you should stick around the scene of the accident to collect evidence that it was not your fault. Then, you’ll have a much better chance of retrieving compensation for your damages.
Here is the evidence you should seek out following an accident.
The Other Driver’s Information
First, ask the other driver for their name, phone number, address, and other contact information. Then, gather their insurance information, including the name of their provider and their policy number, and their license plate number as well.
Photographs of the Scene
It’s important to snap photographs of the accident, along with your car and the other driver’s car and license plate. Also, take pictures of any damage to your belongings and visible injuries. If you see surveillance or traffic cameras around, take photos of them so you know their locations and can possibly collect that footage later on to prove your case.
If there were people who saw what happened, then ask them if they will give you a witness statement. Take down their contact information as well just in case you need to get in touch later on.
After your accident, you should call the police right away. You can file a police report, which will serve as strong proof of what happened.
As soon as you’ve wrapped up collecting evidence at the scene, it’s crucial to go to the hospital right away and ask for a full check-up, including X-rays. Let the doctor know about any pain you’re experiencing, even if it’s minor. This is because even a minor injury like whiplash or back pain could end up becoming much worse over time.
It’s important to follow your doctor’s treatment plan, taking medicine they prescribe and going to additional appointments as needed. That’ll show that you are injured and you’re taking your injuries seriously.
What to Do if the Insurance Company Calls
The other driver’s insurance company is likely going to call you very soon after the accident occurs. They’re going to ask you what happened and want you to make a recorded statement. You should decline to do this and not speak about the accident. You also shouldn’t tell them about any injuries.
This is because the insurance company is trying to get information out of you that will make it easier for them to offer you a low settlement. Even if it seems like the settlement that they are providing you is enough, you never know how your injuries will play out.
They could get much worse. And once you are given a settlement, you can’t go back and ask for more. You could get stuck with thousands of dollars in medical expenses with nowhere to turn.
Instead of talking to the insurance company, call up a personal injury lawyer instead.
Why Work with a Personal Injury Lawyer?
A personal injury lawyer will work for you for free, and then if they can get you a settlement, they’ll take a commission from that. The lawyer should tell you ahead of time what their commission is going to be.
An experienced lawyer will know how to deal with insurance companies, who are often aggressive and hard to negotiate with. Your lawyer will know what kind of reasonable settlement to go after, so you have the best chance possible of getting compensation.
Additionally, they will do the legwork in a time when you need to be focused on your healing. They’ll not only negotiate with the insurance company; they will also figure out the damages you are owed and help you collect evidence of the accident. For instance, they’ll call up the hospital to get your medical records and gather footage of the accident if it’s available and they believe it’s crucial to your case.
Some damages you may be eligible for include your medical expenses, loss of wages if you had to take time off work because of your injuries, pain and suffering, damage to your belongings, loss of enjoyment of life, and future medical care, if your injuries were severe.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
Typically, most personal injury cases do not end up in the courtroom. Instead, insurance companies will settle with lawyers, who will then pass on the compensation to their clients. The compensation you receive is going to depend on the extent of your injuries and the damages you can claim.
After an accident, make sure you stick around to gather evidence and seek medical treatment immediately. And at your earliest possible convenience, contact an experienced car accident attorney in your area to discuss your case and become informed of your legal rights and options.