What to do After a Car Accident?

What to do After a Car Accident?

Written by Dennis Grossman

Attorney Dennis Grossman has managed thousands of cases, obtaining millions of dollars in settlements and jury awards for his clients.

A horrible car accident can put you in a daze of confusion once you’ve been seriously injured. While trying to recover, you are laden with heavy medical bills that can take years to pay off. You will even be missing some of your income because of the required time off. After a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you should start preparing for your personal injury claim. Proper organization before you file a claim will give you the best chance of receiving maximum compensation. Your attorney will use all of the information you provided in addition to any evidence they gather after they perform an investigation. Work with reliable car accident attorneys who will make sure that you are compensated fairly to get started, contact Personal Injury Attorney Fresno for a free consultation. 

What To Do After a Car Accident

Car accidents can cause a lot of property damage and even result in unfortunate deaths. As soon as you’ve been in a bad car accident, you should do the following:

Call The 911 Emergency Line

As soon as you’re hit, you should call 911 so that they are aware of the situation. Both the paramedics and the police will be sent to your location. This way, if your injuries are life-threatening, you can be placed in an ambulance and be given treatment to stabilize your condition. The police will arrive to review the car accident and create a police report. This official accident report will include the comments of everyone involved regarding what happened and any useful details about the car crash. Your input is valuable and will be included in this police report. If the police officer decided to issue a citation, an arrest, or any drug tests, it will be mentioned in the police report. 

Write Down Contact Information 

You need to get the contact information from the at-fault party and other vehicles involved in your car crash. Make sure you get the other driver’s insurance company information as well. You will want to get eyewitnesses’ information too so that they can provide a witness testimony later on. 

Take Lots Of Photos 

The photos you take of your car accident scene are useful evidence. Your attorney can analyze all of your photographs to figure out how the accident occurred. Take pictures of all of the damage to your car. Also, take photos of the entire car crash scene and the area where it happened in. 

Go See A Doctor

Even if you don’t feel like you’re in a lot of pain, see a doctor as soon as possible. This prevents you from uncovering soft tissue injuries later days or weeks later after you were in a car accident. Also, it is harder to prove that your wounds are connected to your car crash if you delay getting medical care. Your medical bills are treated as proof because it shows all of the healthcare you required because of your injuries. Additionally, these medical expenses show how deeply you’ve been harmed. 

Contact Your Car Insurance Company To Learn About Your Insurance Policy

You must let your car insurance company know that you were in a car crash. They can also help cover some of your medical bills and repair costs for your damaged car under your car insurance claim. This entirely depends upon your insurance policy, so you should speak to your insurance company to find out what they can help you with. 

Reach Out To A Personal Injury Attorney

Your personal injury attorney will be there every step of the way to support your claim. They’ll figure out who is at fault based on the circumstances of your case. If you were in a complicated accident with multiple motor vehicles, they can figure out exactly the percentage of damages that each individual is at fault for. This is especially useful if you were partially at fault for your own car accident. Based on your specific circumstances, your attorney can estimate how much you deserve in compensation. They also help you obtain a settlement by applying negotiation tactics according to personal injury law. 

Things To Avoid Doing After A Car Accident

Personal injury claimants often make common mistakes that can drastically reduce how much they receive in compensation. Errors that you can make include:

Accepting Cash

If the other driver decides to pay you a lump sum in cash at the car accident scene, you should decline. They may be attempting to placate you with a small cash offer so that you don’t later seek a settlement for far more. Because you don’t know how much you should receive in compensation without an investigation by an attorney, you probably won’t benefit from this amount. The cost of all your damages over the long term can far exceed the small lump sum that the other driver is offering. 

Accepting A Low-Ball Settlement

The other party’s insurance company may be trying to settle with you on their terms. They may be offering a small amount at an early stage in the personal injury claim process. However, because you are short on cash, you might jump at the offer. It is better for you to wait for a settlement that is fairly estimated not accept a smaller settlement. Not only will this save you from a stressful financial situation in the future, but it will protect you from not getting maximum compensation. A small settlement will never amount to the full amount of damages you may suffer because of how extensive your injuries were. Over time, these expenses add up. 

Agreeing To A Recorded Statement

You might be asked to provide a recorded statement by the insurance company. This is often done over the phone. You should decline to offer one because everything you say will be used against you. The insurance company can use any of the information you provide to reduce or deny your settlement claim. Instead, allow your attorney to handle all communication between you and the other party’s insurance company. Your car accident attorney will protect you from any tricks that the insurer might attempt. 

Posting Images On Social Media

It is a good idea to keep all information about your personal injury private. When you post about your injuries on social media, the other party’s insurance company might use all of your relevant posts as evidence. Based on your pictures and messages, they may try to reduce the amount of settlement money you should receive. Try to avoid posting on social media about your activities or any messages regarding your injuries. 

Not Seeing A Doctor

When you don’t see a doctor, this will make it difficult to prove what injuries you have. A doctor can perform a physical exam and note the type of wounds that were caused by the crash. Not doing this can make it look like you are making up injuries to get compensation. You also will need to show how extreme your injuries were. Some injuries may even require stitches, surgery, and ongoing physical therapy. Not getting medical treatment will prevent you from showing how severe they are. Pain and suffering damages are estimated using a multiplier which is based on how severe your injuries are. Also, your settlement will be smaller because you didn’t include your medical bills. 

Not Complying With Your Doctor

If you were told to follow a healthcare plan but don’t follow your doctor’s orders, this can also impact your settlement. Your injuries can become worse if you don’t get the healthcare you need. If you require more compensation because of your actions, the other party can decline your settlement claim. 

Not Working With An Attorney

Personal injury claimants that try to seek a settlement on their own aren’t as successful when working with an attorney. This happens simply because you can easily over or underestimate your damages. You won’t be taken seriously by the other driver and can be ignored. The other party is unlikely to ignore a lawyer though. Attorneys are educated in personal injury law and experienced in accurately estimating settlements. They also make sure that they put pressure on the other party to provide a settlement using the evidence they found. You’ll also need strong evidence to substantiate your settlement claim. Your attorney knows how to find this evidence and can make it clear how the other driver is held liable. Another problem is that you might blame the wrong individual. You might seek compensation from the incorrect party and waste a lot of time. Attorneys can help you avoid making those mistakes. 

Choosing The Wrong Attorney

It is important to work with an attorney who is reliable and reputable. Choosing the wrong attorney can set you back and take you even longer to receive a settlement claim. Do your research and only work with certified legal professionals with a proven track record of successfully obtaining settlements for car accident claims. Our law firm can provide the experience and knowledge you need to win a settlement by holding the other party liable. 

Filing A Lawsuit Immediately

You may try to file a lawsuit immediately without little thought to preparation. It is smarter to consider settling outside of court first. This makes it easier for you to obtain a settlement sooner rather than later. Also, you have to make sure you have enough evidence, have seen a medical practitioner, and a number of other steps before you decide to seek compensation. 

How A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Me Get Started

Personal injury attorneys do all the hard work behind the scenes while you focus on recovering from your wounds. They not only investigate your car accident and find who can be held responsible, but they will build a case using the evidence available. The police report, photographic evidence, traffic camera footage, drug tests, driving records, cellphone usage reports, black box data, and many other forms of proof can be used. Attorneys will also work with other experts to help prove you are not at fault. For example, they may work with an accident reconstruction specialist to recreate how your car crash occurred. Evidence is key to showing how the other driver is liable for your injuries.
Attorneys also will estimate your car accident damages using their experience in personal injury law. Your damages will include your medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Damages that continue for weeks and months will be projected into the future and included in your total settlement estimate. Attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t have to pay your attorney any fees upfront. Instead, when you receive your settlement award, you will pay a percentage of this amount to your attorney. To learn more about how to proceed with your car accident claim, talk to a dedicated attorney today. Contact Personal Injury Attorney Fresno today for a free consultation.