Medical treatment. Doctor appointments. Insurance claims. Car repairs. These are just a few of the many things most of us have to deal with after a car accident occurs. Below, we take a look at how all of us can proceed following an accident to ensure that any potential legal action against those responsible is effective as possible.
Step 1: Check Your Safety & Call the Police
Immediately following your accident, check to see if you or any of your passengers have been seriously hurt. If there is need to call for 911, do so. If not, call the police and wait for them to arrive. Do not move your vehicle.
Step 2: Speak with Police
Once police arrive, they will interview you about exactly what happened. Be as detailed as you can, but don't speculate—it's okay to say you don't know. It's also advised that you don't diagnose yourself, either. Even if you feel unharmed, you may not feel residual injuries until hours or days after your accident.
Step 3: Gather Information
You will want to exchange information with the other driver, including names, addresses, and insurance information. If you are able, also take pictures with your phone of the damage to your car or other telling details of the accident. If there are lingering witnesses, get their contact information, as well. Later on, if you have sustained injuries, even minor ones, photograph these, as well.
Step 4: Alert Your Insurance Provider
As a policyholder, you are responsible for alerting your insurance provider of your accident. They may ask you many of the same questions the police did for their own records and also provide you with a claim number. You will want to keep a log of your phone calls with your provider (and the topics discussed) in case there is a future need to dispute their assertions.
Step 5: See a Doctor
Even if you believe you are only experiencing minor effects from your crash, it is advised that you see your doctor. When you do, keep a record of these visits and any resulting documentation (bills, tests, x-rays, etc.) as these will be needed for your insurance claim and any potential legal action.
Step 6: Call an Attorney
If your insurance company—or the other driver's insurance company—refuse to pay out the money you deserve following your accident, then it may be time to speak with an attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can use the information you've gathered to enter negotiations with insurance providers or, if necessary, enter litigation against them and make a compelling case for compensation.
Have you been hurt in a car accident? Are insurance providers refusing properly compensate you? If so, then Randall J. Trost, P.C. is ready to hear your story. Since 1982, our firm has helped accident victims seek the relief they deserve with an incisive, trial-ready approach and unwavering advocacy both in and outside the courtroom.
Want to learn about how our proven Lynchburg car accident lawyer can help you? Call us at (434) 738-2300 today.