Car accidents are extremely common. Every year, car accidents are the leading cause of personal injury accidents in the U.S. Statistics report that there are an estimated 5,808,272 car accidents every year. With these numbers, it’s safe to assume that you or someone you know will be involved in an accident during their lifetime.
If you are involved in a car accident, do you know what you should do or not do? Many people think they know how they would handle it; however, in the stress and confusion of the moment, they may be at a loss. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
Stay Put: Never leave the scene of an accident until you are sure it’s appropriate. If someone is injured and you leave too soon or do not stop at all, you could be charged with a hit and run.
Exchange Information: Provide the responding law enforcement officers with your information and get information on the other driver. Usually, you will be provided with a driver exchange form at the scene, and then a police report will be ready several days later.
Take Photos: If you are able, take photographs of the damage to your car, the other driver’s car, and the surrounding area. These pictures can become important down the road. Cell phones are perfect for this.
Get Medical Attention: If you have been in a significant accident, it is wise to checked out by a doctor, even if you don’t think you’re hurt. Sometimes what can appear initially as a bump or bruise can be the sign of a more serious problem. Seeing your doctor also provides documentation of your injuries, which is important.
Inform the Insurance Company: If you do not plan to hire an attorney, or are not sure yet if you plan to hire an attorney, you will need to contact your auto insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company. Be sure you give only the facts and remember that the insurance company’s job is to protect the insurance company – not you. We recommend consulting with a personal injury attorney before making these calls, just so you can be prepared and know what to expect.
Beware of Early Settlement Offers: Remember that the insurance company is not your friend. They are in the business of making money. They will want to offer you a quick settlement to make you go away. They may even tell you that you have to do certain things now or they will “close your case”. If there are injuries involved, it is important not to agree to a settlement until all medical treatment is complete, but you must also be aware of the statute of limitations on your case that could affect your ability to recover for your damages. We strongly recommend consulting with a personal injury lawyer to learn about your rights and options.
Call Us: Our personal injury team has decades of combined experience with handling car accident cases. There are pitfalls and complexities to these cases that you may not be aware of, and every case is unique. We know how to deal with insurance companies and know how to get our clients the compensation they deserve. If you have been in an accident, contact us for a free consultation. We can review the circumstances of your case and give you a fair assessment of your legal rights and responsibilities. Call us today at 844-472-9683.