The aftermath of a car accident can be so overwhelming that you may not know what to do. The person who hit you might not want to give their insurance information. Or they might blame you when it’s clearly not your fault, and possibly get aggressive about it. It’s important that you know what to do and who can help you. The first call you should make is to the police, while you find any witnesses who saw what happened.
File A Police Report
Even if it’s just a minor fender bender, ask the police to come out. Their report includes photos of the accident scene, along with statements and contact info from witnesses. Witness statements can have a significant impact, and if the police collect their contact information, you or your attorney can talk to them in more depth. Without a police report, issues like liability can drag on for years as stories can change and people drop out of contact. If the police don’t come out, you’ll want to collect all this information yourself. Whether or not the police come, the next step should always be to see a doctor if there’s a chance you’re hurt.
Seek Medical Attention
Aches and pains might not show up for a few days. If you can’t schedule an appointment with your own doctor right away, go to an urgent care clinic or emergency room. If you have personal injury protection (PIP) on your auto policy, give that information to the doctor, along with as much detail as you can. When your attorney presents your claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance, having everything documented by a doctor makes your case that much stronger. Once you have seen a doctor, there are two major options for moving ahead.
Call Insurance or an Attorney?
The first option is to contact your insurance and that of the driver who hit you to file claims. Adjusters can be assigned and start processing medical bills or your car repair right away. And if, say, your vehicle is in a tow yard and you need to move it now, or you need to get claim info to give to your ER doctor, this could be the right course of action. At the same time, both carriers will want statements from you, and saying the wrong thing at this point can damage your claim later. That is where the second option, hiring an attorney first, could help.
If you see an attorney for a free consultation, they review the facts of your auto accident with you and lay out your options. Be completely honest to avoid hurting your case later. Disclose current or past injuries and medical conditions, as these could affect both your current treatment and eventual settlement. Bring documents like police reports, letters from insurance or other attorneys, or witness statements, as these can further strengthen your case. Your lawyer takes this information, along with whatever else is available, to negotiate the best settlement for you. You decide if you want to hire a personal injury lawyer but going ahead without their expertise may not get you the results you need.
Car Accident Lawyer
When you’ve been in a car accident, you have to take stock right away. You must see a doctor as soon as possible if you’ve been hurt, and get your vehicle repaired (or replaced). You will place phone calls, make reports, file claims. It’s easy to struggle along the way. But hiring a car accident lawyer can help you avoid mistakes. We at Park Chenaur and Associates have helped thousands of people along the path to getting their just compensation. And at Park Chenaur, helping you after an auto accident is what we’re here for.