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Old 05-13-2019, 08:14 AM   #1
CharnasLaw
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Default What to Do (and Not Do) After a Car Accident

If you’re involved in a car accident, it’s important to maintain your composure at the scene. What you do and say in the immediate aftermath could influence your ability to recover compensation for medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other damages.

Let’s explore a few “dos and don’ts” to keep in mind after a collision:

Do Call the Police

Police will direct traffic away from the scene, obtain statements from witnesses, and conduct any necessary chemical tests. They’ll also draft an official report, which the insurance company and your attorney can use as a starting point for investigating liability and damages.


Don’t Escalate Any Conflicts

Getting into a car accident is inherently stressful, and some people handle it better than others. Tough you should exchange information with the other parties involved, it’s important that you avoid heated confrontation. If anyone becomes loud and aggressive or appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, keep your distance until police arrive.

Additionally, if someone tries to flee the scene, don’t chase after him or her. Simply write down everything you remember about the vehicle and wait for law enforcement to arrive.



Do Photograph the Wreckage

Once it’s safe to walk around the scene, photograph all the vehicles that were involved from multiple angles. Don’t forget to capture both small details like skid marks and larger details like nearby traffic signals. You should also photograph the insides of vehicles to document deployed airbags and bloodstains.



Don’t Apologize

You may be inclined to apologize, especially if someone else sustained serious injuries, but doing so could be misrepresented as an admission of fault. You should avoid any statements that might be taken out of context to dispute liability.



Do Gather Information You’ll Need Later

When it comes time to build your claim, you’ll need each motorist’s name, driver’s license number, and insurance policy number. You’ll also need the names and phone numbers of any passengers or other eyewitnesses so your personal injury lawyer can obtain statements. Finally, get the names and badge numbers of all responding officers.



Don’t Postpone Seeking Treatment

Although you have the right to refuse care at the scene, it’s wise to undergo an evaluation as soon as possible, even if you feel relatively fine. Some impact injuries do not manifest immediate symptoms, but they can cause complications if left untreated. If your decision to forego the medical evaluation causes your injuries to worsen, this could lead to a dispute that has the potential to reduce your financial recovery.


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Old 05-14-2019, 01:58 PM   #2
CharnasLaw
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Default Re: What to Do (and Not Do) After a Car Accident

After an accident with a drunk driver, your statements and actions at the scene and over the days and weeks that follow will influence the outcome of your personal injury claim. Although every collision is unique, there are a few steps all victims can take to protect their rights. Those steps include:



Call the Police
The sooner law enforcement personnel arrive at the scene, the better. Police will direct traffic away from the area, conduct chemical tests, obtain witness statements, and draft an official report. They will also protect you in the event that the drunk driver becomes aggressive.



Photograph the Wreckage
Once police have taken control of the situation, walk around the scene and take photos from all angles. Be sure to capture both small and large details including skid marks, broken glass, weather conditions, injuries, and deployed airbags. If there’s a liability dispute, your attorney may bring in an accident reconstruction expert to review these photos and determine what happened in the moments leading up to the crash.



Gather Pertinent Information
You should record the following information before leaving the scene:

The names and phone numbers of all motorists and passengers involved;
The registration details and insurance information of all vehicles involved;
The contact details of any eyewitnesses; and
The names and badge numbers of all responding officers.


Seek Medical Care
You have the right to refuse medical care at the scene, and you may be inclined to do so if other victims sustained more serious injuries. However, it’s absolutely essential that you visit a doctor as soon as possible.

Even if you don’t feel severely hurt, you may have sustained injuries that have latent symptoms such as whiplash or internal bleeding. You could also be in shock, which can mask even the most painful injuries.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Once your health has stabilized, call a lawyer right away. By hiring an attorney early in the proceedings, you may be less likely to make a critical mistake that would hurt your chances of collecting a fair settlement. For example, your lawyer will handle all dialogue with the insurance company so you don’t make any compromising statements. Your attorney can also:

Conduct a thorough investigation into the accident;
Track damages;
Interview eyewitnesses;
Consult with experts;
Gather evidence of fault;
Calculate a fair settlement;
Negotiate with the insurance adjuster; and
Prepare the case for trial if necessary.


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