A car accident has the potential to alter your life by causing permanent injury and financial or emotional harm. In the aftermath of a collision, you may need to seek rehabilitative medical care, take time off of work, and repair your vehicle. You may be entitled to compensation for these losses, but obtaining that compensation can be challenging. A single overlooked detail, a careless statement to an insurance provider, or a passive attitude toward your physical recovery can stand in the way of justice.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help you navigate these delicate circumstances, but it’s important to begin bolstering your case with documentation right away.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident?
The decisions you make at this crucial time can have a powerful impact on your insurance claim and potential personal injury case. It’s important to first seek needed help for yourself and others by engaging the police and emergency medical services. If you do not require emergency medical services and have the ability to document the scene, do so by taking photos, videos, and notes. Exchange information with others involved in the collision and be sure to collect the names and phone numbers of any witnesses present. This should be the extent of your communication with other people on the scene; otherwise, you might accidentally say something that could imperil the legitimacy of your claim.
Next, report the accident to your insurance provider. This simply means notifying the provider that the accident occurred; it is not the same process as filing a claim. The other driver’s insurance provider may contact you mere hours after the accident. Be wary of offering information that could potentially be used to deny your claim, and do not agree to give them a recorded statement.
Finally, if you are having any physical symptoms, report them immediately to emergency medical personnel and get a medical evaluation as soon as possible. If you do not require transport to the hospital, visiting an urgent care or other clinic to report your symptoms is in your best interest. Since the adrenaline and shock of a car accident can result in a delay in the manifestation of symptoms, be prepared to seek medical help immediately if any symptoms arise.
Why Should I Contact a Car Accident Lawyer?
Contacting a lawyer after a car accident may sometimes feel inconvenient or unnecessary, especially if your case seems black and white. But the at-fault party’s insurance provider will do its best to find the gray area and seek justification for denying or undervaluing your claim. Your claim to recovery of damages for your harms and losses is full of insurance minefields, and a reputable personal injury lawyer will take time to explain your rights and options so you can build the best strategy from the outset.
If you hire one, a car accident lawyer will negotiate with insurance companies to secure a fair payout for you or, if necessary, file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If the other party is denying full or partial liability, a lawyer will investigate and compile evidence to prove otherwise, as well as calculate an ideal settlement amount for you based on the severity of your injuries.
Insurance companies will try to rush to document and process your claim, which can give the impression that there’s no time for you to evaluate your medical needs, much less vet and hire an attorney. This is one of many tactics they use to put you at a disadvantage — some may even try to discourage you from hiring a lawyer at all. Do not believe the insurance company has your best interest in mind. They don’t.
Do I Need to Commit to a Law Firm to Get Advice?
At FVF, we believe that people who have suffered physical and emotional distress due to a car accident deserve to understand their rights and options. That is why we offer free case evaluations with no pressure to hire us to represent you. You should not have to approach the claims process blindly, or wonder whether you will be able to afford necessary medical treatment.
If you choose to hire FVF to represent you, you will receive the benefit of 70 years of combined experience obtaining car accident settlements. Contact us today to schedule a cost-free, commitment-free evaluation.