Actions to Take After a Car Accident

Accidents happen more often than they should. It is essential that you be prepared for the event of a car accident, especially one that causes injury or significant damage. Our Port St. Lucie injury attorney wants you to know what you should do to give yourself the best chance at recovering the financial support you need. The following are important steps to take after a car accident:

Do not leave the scene.

Leaving the scene of the accident before appropriate is essentially an admission of guilt and will most likely negate any chance of receiving compensation for your damages. Even worse, this is a criminal offense that can see you facing multiple, serious penalties.

Evaluate everyone’s medical condition.

The first and most important thing to do after a car accident is to ensure that any drivers and passengers involved are okay, or to immediately get medical attention if necessary. Take care not to move anyone who is unconscious or expressing pain in the head, neck, or back, unless an immediate hazard or danger exists.

Alert the authorities.

The police should be called to the scene of an accident if serious property damage, injury, or death has occurred. However, they can also provide assistance in cases of dispute, where it is unclear who is at fault or one party is being uncooperative. An officer can write a police report that documents all relevant facts and a neutral analysis of the scene that can be used as evidence in a personal injury claim.

Collect contact information.

Drivers involved in a car accident should always exchange information regarding their insurance policies, contact information, and license plate numbers. However, it is also important to gather contact information from other passengers, as they may be able to provide information and testimony down the road. When speaking with other drivers, be cooperative, but do not use any language that can be interpreted as admission of guilt. Specifically, do not apologize for anything.

Interview witnesses.

In addition to collecting information from those involved in the accident, it is important to talk to people who witnessed the accident. Ask them for their names, phone numbers, or addresses so that they can provide their testimony if needed. Another question that may be good to ask is whether they’ve seen or know of other accidents that have occurred in the area. Patterns of accidents occurring in the same place can suggest dangerous road designs or defects that places liability on the city.

Report to your insurance provider.

As soon as possible after your car accident, you should report the incident to your insurance provider. Be cooperative and honest about the details and facts of your accident and the resulting damages. Also include any police reports for supporting evidence. Failure to report your accident or lying about important factors can be a violation of your policy and could land you in serious trouble.

Don’t talk to other parties’ providers.

If a representative of another party’s insurance carrier reaches out to you, be polite, but ask them to talk to your attorney or provider instead. Don’t discuss any details of your accident with them. Furthermore, when speaking with your attorney, your provider, and the police, it is essential to keep your story honest, factual, and consistent. Any holes will be exposed and can work against you.

Record the accident’s impact.

Keep a record of all medical treatment you received for your injuries, including medically records and bills. Also keep a record of all wages that you had to lose as a result of your injury. Finally, document any other ways your injuries have affected your life: how have they impacted your ability to enjoy recreational activities and perform routine tasks activities? How have they affected your ability to maintain relationships with friends and family? Have you been forced to miss out on any significant events like a scheduled vacation or a family member’s graduation? This documentation will help your case for seeking compensation for pain and suffering caused by your accident.

Get a second opinion.

Your insurance provider will evaluate the damages of your accident and will assign a value accordingly. However, it always helps to get one or two more independent estimates from trusted, qualified sources and inform your provider about any differences. If the difference is significant and your provider is stubborn, an attorney can be your greatest ally.

Consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement.

An insurance provider’s top priority is their own profit, not your recovery. This means that they will do anything they can to minimize the amount of money they have to provide. It is essential to carefully review any settlement offer to ensure that you are receiving the full and fair amount that you deserve. An attorney can help you determine whether or not a settlement is fair and can help you pursue maximum compensation.

Ready to get started?

If you need an attorney for assistance with pursuing compensation, David Golden, P.A. is here to help. We serve residents of Port St. Lucie and Stuart, Florida with the quality legal counsel that they need and deserve. Our mission is to help victims of negligent driving find the support they need to make a full recovery and get back to living their lives.

Schedule your complimentary case evaluation today!

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