What To Do After An Accident
Few people have a great deal of experience with auto accidents. Even those who have been in a fender bender are confused about what steps to take to protect their rights. We have complied a short list of some important things to consider, as well as things to avoid, after being in a car accident.
Look For Obvious Signs Of Injury
If you have passengers in your car, it is important to assess their well-being as soon as possible. Understand that neck and back injuries may be present, so take care not to further injure any passengers.
Notify The Police
Drivers should know that they are required to report any accident to the police. When injuries are present, it is even more vital to call in the authorities for immediate assistance and potential medical attention.
Gather Information At The Scene
If you are able to move around safely, exchange information with any other drivers involved. It is also wise to gather the names of any witnesses. Most people carry smartphones with a camera. Take photographs of the scene. The images may include important information about the nature of the accident. Accident scenes are often chaotic. Remain aware of your surroundings to be safe. Passing motorists may be distracted and secondary accidents are possible.
Seek Medical Attention
If you are not transported to the hospital, it is still critical to seek medical attention. Many symptoms of injuries may be delayed for days or longer. It is often tempting to tell others (even the police) that you feel okay. The extent of your injuries should be evaluated by a medical professional. Do not delay getting checked out. A delay in getting a diagnosis can damage your recovery.
Do Not Admit Fault Or Apologize For The Accident
First and foremost, accident victims rarely know the details about what may have happened in the immediate aftermath of a wreck. Do not admit fault to the other driver, the police, other first responders or the insurance companies. Accident scenes are often complicated. A full investigation will likely uncover facts that you are unaware of. Admitting fault, or even making apologies, may harm your claim.
Get Legal Guidance And Assistance In Dealing With The Insurance Companies
While you should report the accident to your agent, it may be in your best interest to speak with an attorney before providing any statements to an insurance adjuster. It is often tempting to try to work with the insurance companies to obtain compensation. Even after paying your premiums faithfully, however, your insurance company will look to minimize any payments, or deny your claim outright. A lawyer can advise you in your specific circumstances on the best way to protect your rights. Moreover, a lawyer may deal with the insurance companies on your behalf.
Do Not Accept A Settlement Offer Without Legal Review
If you have not consulted with a lawyer before receiving a settlement offer, it is critical to have the offer reviewed. A quick settlement agreement may waive rights to significant compensation and benefits that you may not be aware you are entitled to receive.
Stay Away From Social Media
Posting information online is becoming second nature after any kind of event or activity. Unfortunately, everything you post may be used against you in your personal injury claim. Talking about the accident is not the only activity that may harm your claim. Discussing daily events, even if unrelated to the accident or injury, may be misconstrued to minimize the true harm you have suffered.
Call COHEN & COHEN PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS, P.C., For Your Free Case Evaluation
We aggressively fight to maximize compensation for accident victims. For a free case evaluation and to learn more about your rights, call 800-247-8164. You can also reach us online to make your appointment. Based in Queens, we represent serious accident victims throughout New York City.