If you are involved in a car accident, getting things right and avoiding mistakes can help you get the compensation that you deserve. Even if you are at fault, taking the right steps can help you avoid a harsh penalty. It all starts with knowing who to call, ensuring that all the appropriate evidence is collected, and working with a car accident lawyer to guide you through, especially if it is a serious accident.
Here are 3 points that you need to note in the event that you are involved in a car accident.
Steps you should take
As soon as possible after you are involved in a car accident, you should take the following steps.
Call 911: You should call 911 to report the accident. By calling 911, you alert the police as well as emergency medical teams, thus allowing them to come to the accident scene as quickly as possible and give you the assistance that you need. Your medical report and police report are also invaluable documents when it comes to establishing the party that is at fault or liable.
Collect evidence: You need to collect information such as pictures of license plates, eyewitness accounts, vehicle damage, intersections, traffic pattern and any other information that can help your attorney establish fault.
Call a car accident lawyer: You should get in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer immediately so that they can start building your case and giving you the advice that you need.
What you should not do
There are also things that you should not do if you are involved in a car accident. Doing these things can be a grave mistake that will weaken your case.
Failing to report your accident: Sometimes you may be tempted to just exchange your details with the other driver and part ways, especially if you feel that you have not been injured. But some injuries take several days or weeks to manifest. Because of this, you should report any incident to the police and obtain a report.
Admit fault: After an accident, you may feel like saying sorry to the other party, even if you are not obviously at fault. But being apologetic after a car accident can be taken to mean that you have admitted responsibility for the accident. So, even if you are partly to blame, don’t admit fault.
Accept a settlement: Your insurance company may try to convince you to accept some settlement, in which case you are likely to get a lower amount than what you are entitled to. You should not sign for any settlement before speaking with a competent lawyer.
When to involve a lawyer
It is not always necessary to get a lawyer to represent you after a car accident. But if the accident is complex or severe, you should involve a lawyer straightaway. Examples of situations that necessitate calling a lawyer include:
- If you or someone else is injured
- If fault is not clearly determined
- A crash involving a pedestrian, cyclist or another motorist
- A collision in a school area
- An accident in a work area
- If you don’t agree with the police report
- If insurance companies are sending you ambivalent messages.