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What To Do When You Get In A Car Accident

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I’ve been in a Motor Vehicle Accident What do I do now?

We have many cases where certain things that were or were not done at the scene of an accident that become arguments of litigation with the insurance company prompting me to write this article.   Believe it or not, statistically, each person in the United States will be involved in a car collision at least once in their life. During the onset of a collision, it’s difficult to figure out what to do and certain actions that you take can have a direct impact on your case going forward.  Insurance companies look for everything they can to avoid liability or to minimize the actual value of your case. The reality is it’s a business for them to save money, don’t let it be at your expense. To ensure your prepared for this in the future, I’ve compiled a list of steps you should follow if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.

#1 – Call 911.

Assuming you can do safely, the first thing you should do is call 911 so police and medical personal arrive on the scene promptly.  

#2 – Give Accurate Statements.

Make sure you give the police officer at the scene accurate statements regarding your injuries and what happened.  Any adverse statements will be used against you in the future. Similarly, make sure any statements given to the other driver(s) do not imply or accept fault for the collision. Don’t give any statements after the accident to the insurance companies.

#3 – Exchange Insurance Information.

Obtain insurance information from the other driver. Typically, the police officer will also obtain this information but it’s important to make sure you’ve obtained the requisite insurance information before leaving the scene whether directly from the driver or officer.

#4 – Take Pictures / Gather Evidence.

Pictures are always great evidence and by taking them you will always have them if you move forward with a claim/case. Make sure you take multiple photos of the cars, the area and any visible injuries to your body. Get the contact information of the other driver as well as any witnesses that are at the scene. Request a copy of the police report or obtain the accident summary sheet from the police officer for future report retrieval.

#5 – Seek Medical Attention.

The most important thing is your health.  It’s imperative to seek medical treatment right away and have this documented by the appropriate professionals.  If you claim to be hurt but don’t seek treatment, any good insurance company / defense lawyer will use this against you. If you can’t seek treatment right away do so in a timely manner preferably a few days no later than a week after the accident.  This also will serve as evidence in any case. Even if you don’t think you are injured, it’s better to seek the treatment as many injuries don’t manifest right away and may develop some time thereafter. Keep a log of what treatment you have had, what medical expenses you have incurred, any lost wages to date and a journal of how you are feeling either daily or weekly.

#6 – Hire an Attorney

It’s important to seek counsel right away.  These cases are complex and you’re not expected to know how to navigate the process and deal with the insurance companies and all the legal issues.  It’s common for an insurance company to try to offer you a lowball figure to go away and/or get early statements from you that could have an adverse effect. They don’t want you to hire an attorney who will fight for what your entitled to and maximize your recovery.  

At Pazzaglia Law, LLC all consultations are FREE! No Fees Without Recovery to You!

Call us 24/7 at 1-860-691-1184.