Car accidents can prove tremendously stressful on a multitude of levels. In addition to dealing with vehicle damage and repair fees, you’re likely to find yourself contending with serious injuries, as well. So, if you’ve suffered automotive problems, personal injury or psychological trauma as a result of someone else’s negligent driving, it’s only natural that you’d seek to be made whole in the timeliest possible manner. To help ensure that you’re fairly – and promptly – compensated in the wake of a car accident, put the following tips to good use.
Get Yourself Out of Harm’s Way
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, nothing should take precedence over your personal safety. So, provided you’re able to do so, get to a safe location before tackling any subsequent steps. For example, if the accident occurred right in the middle of the road, pulling over or pulling into a nearby parking lot can be an effective way to get yourself out of harm’s way. The longer you remain in the road, the greater the likelihood of additional accidents becomes.
Make the Police Aware of the Accident
Once you’ve gotten yourself out of harm’s way, your next step should be to alert local law enforcement of the accident. For one thing, most states require motorists to make law enforcement aware of any accidents that result in property damage or personal injury, and by failing to do so, you may be in violation of state law. Additionally, if you don’t make the police aware of the accident, there won’t be a police report – which is essential to filing insurance claims and taking legal action against the responsible party.
Document Your Injuries
Not all car accident injuries are readily apparent. Since you’re likely to be hit with an adrenaline rush in the wake of an auto accident, you may be unaware of the presence of certain injuries or believe that your injuries are far less severe than they actually are. So, if you’re able to do so without exacerbating any existing pain or discomfort, thoroughly inspect yourself for injuries. Furthermore, should you come across any, take care to promptly photograph them. The sooner you photograph your injuries, the clearer their severity is likely to be to police, lawyers, insurance company reps and other relevant parties.
Document Your Version of Events
When submitting an insurance claim or filing a civil suit against the responsible party, you’ll need a clear accounting of your version of events. With this in mind, make a point of recording your recollection of the accident at your earliest possible convenience. Since you’re unlikely to have the opportunity to type it up at the scene of the accident, use your phone to voice-record your version of events, and then formally type it out the next time you’re in front of a computer.
Exchange Information with the Other Motorist
Since the responsible party’s insurer will likely be the one providing you with restitution, it’s important to swap insurance info with them before leaving the scene. If this person adopts a combative attitude or outright refuses to provide you with their insurance info, avoid engaging in an argument with them or getting into a physical altercation. Instead, hang back, wait for the police to arrive and request that they obtain the necessary info for you.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you’ve continually gotten the runaround from the motorist who caused the accident and/or their insurance company, speaking to a lawyer should be your next course of action. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to get you the compensation you deserve with minimal stress and frustration on your end. Mile High City residents who have been injured or thoroughly inconvenienced by car accidents are urged to seek out skilled auto accident attorneys in Denver, CO.
In the wake of an auto accident, you’re likely to have a lot on your mind. Not only will you be dealing with vehicle damage and possible injuries, you may also find yourself fretting over how you’ll receive compensation. While being made whole after a car accident isn’t always easy, it doesn’t have to be an arduous undertaking – provided, of course, you know what you’re doing. So, if timely compensation is what you’re after, carefully consider the advice outlined above.