Even minor car accidents are jarring, and more severe accidents can be traumatic. In the event of a car accident, these five key steps will protect your ability to seek and secure compensation.
1. Remain at the scene. Never leave the scene until you've been given the go-ahead from the proper authorities. Wait for police and emergency response teams to arrive. It will also be extremely helpful if you, a passenger or family member can gather contact information from other drivers and witnesses before you depart.
2. Take photographs. You or someone who is with you should use a cell phone or another camera to document the scene. Take pictures of injuries, lighting conditions and damage to the vehicles involved. Photographic documentation could help in court and provide support for insurance claims you may file.
3. Seek medical attention and keep track of medical bills. Though you may feel alright after your accident, adrenaline can mask a range of injuries, both serious and minor. Be sure to seek out medical attention and keep careful records of medical bills, hospital fees and prescription costs. You should also carefully document how your injuries have impacted your daily routine: have you missed work? Has your personal life or family been affected? These records will help you in court and can strengthen your ability to prove that you have endured pain and suffering.
4. Don't apologize and don't talk to insurance agents. In fact, it is important to avoid apologies at the scene. Though the desire to apologize after an accident is natural, you should not say you're sorry. Insurance companies can use statements of apology to place you at fault, and expressions of remorse can be used against you in court. You should also refuse to speak with insurance agents without your lawyer present.
5. Hire a personal injury attorney. Car accidents are costly. From vehicle repair expenses to medical bills and lost wages, getting in an accident is challenging. Contact an experienced attorney; this is an important step toward getting the compensation you seek and restoring balance to your life.
At Sutton Millam & Fanning, we understand the struggles that arise after a car accident. Our proven trial lawyers will fight for you and seek maximum compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. We provide complimentary consultations and charge no fees unless we are successful in recovering compensation for you.