Car accidents are awful experiences! I was last in a car accident a little over two years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was on my way to the barbershop, when a driver flew through a stop sign and collided into the left side of my car! Immediately after the collision my vehicle veered off of the rode and collided into a street light near a fast food restaurant. I loved that car and still do, so to see my vehicle seriously damaged was heart wrenching. Although my vehicle suffered significant damage, I was thankfully able to walk away from the car accident without serious injuries, and due to my legal training and knowledge of the insurance industry, I knew exactly what to do after the car accident.
What you do after a car accident is very important. Many of my clients have no clue what to do after a car accident, and by the time they call me they have already done some damage to their case. Luckily for them I know how to overcome their mistakes, but my job would be a lot easier if people knew what the should and shouldn’t do immediately after a car accident.
With this post I will explain a few basic things that you should and should not do after a car accident.
Call the Police to Report The Accident
Immediately after a car accident you should call the police to report the incident. After calling the police, an officer will investigate the scene, issue a South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles FR-10 form (FR-10 Form). Additionally, the reporting officer may make a preliminary determination as to who was at fault. Be sure to keep the FR-10 form in a safe place. The FR-10 form contains important information concerning the car accident.
Take Down Potential Witnesses’ Contact
Take down the contact information of witnesses who observed the car accident. You may need to look to see if there are any nearby establishments that may contain people who saw the car accident. For example, if car accident took place near a fast food restaurant, it is very possible that some of their patrons inside saw the accident while eating. Witnesses are crucial in cases where the at-fault driver’s insurance company is denying liability.
Take Plenty of Pictures
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. A clear picture of the damage to your vehicle, the car accident scene and your injuries
can have a profound effect on a jury. Insurance adjusters know this and many times increase the value of claims after seeing photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damage and injuries.
Seek Medical Attention at Your Earliest
It is very important that you seek medical treatment at your earliest convenience if you if you think that you may have been injured as a result of the car accident. Any slight pain that you are feeling after a car accident may be a sign of a serious medial injuries. Also, by seeking immediate medial attention, you are creating a record and documentation that will support your
bodily injury claim. This is important because many times insurance companies will attempt to argue that you did not suffer any injuries on grounds that you did not immediately seek medical attention, or that you waited several weeks before seeing a doctor.
Report the Accident to Your
You must report the accident to your insurance provider. This is a requirement to comply with your insurance contract, and may provide additional coverage if you are not able to receive coverage under the at fault driver’s insurance policy.
Do not Discuss Your Injuries With the At-Fault Driver’s
Under no circumstances should you discuss your injuries with the at-fault driver’s insurance representative. Simply state that you are injured and will be seeking following up medical treatment. Any inconsistent statements made to an insurance representative will be used against you.
Do not give a Recorded Statement
Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance representative of the at-fault driver. An exception to this rule applies only in situations where you are asked to give a recorded statement by your insurance company. And even in this situation you should seek the advice of an attorney before giving a statement. The insurance adjuster for the at-fault driver is trying to record any statements that may diminish your claim.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are injured, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Many of my potential clients often ask me whether they can handle their claim on their on. The answer is yes, but they will almost certainly be taken advantage of for their lack of knowledge. Analyzing the nuanced law and facts of car accidents cases is not something that the general public is equipped to do, and insurance companies know this. As a result, they often get away with paying unrepresented injured victims pennies on the dollar for what their claim is really worth.
If you or a loved one was recently involved in a car accident, contact Bailey Law Firm for a free consultation.
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