Understanding how to proceed appropriately after you have been involved in a car crash will directly benefit your legal claim—and your peace of mind. Here, the car collision attorneys at Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell describe some of the steps you should and should not take after being involved in a car collision.
Do Not: Leave the Scene
Never leave the scene of a crash—not only is it illegal, but it will likely make filing a claim much more difficult. While a crash may seem minor, damage to you or your vehicle may not be visible at first glance. Take every crash seriously: always contact the police and collect the insurance and contact information of the other party involved. The officer at the scene will collect other pieces of valuable evidence, such as witness statements, and file an collision report. These actions will help you file a claim with your insurance company, and protect yourself legally if necessary.
Do: Seek Medical Treatment
The stress and adrenaline you feel immediately after a collision can mask physical pain, making it seem as if you are uninjured. Without proper medical treatment, any injuries you may have sustained could worsen. Further, injuries not documented by a medical professional may not be covered in any insurance claim you file. Always seek medical attention after a collision, and if your injuries are serious, do not hesitate to take an ambulance to the hospital—the sooner you are treated, the better.
Do: Document the Crash
After a collision, be sure to take pictures of the damage to you, your car and any other property, as well as anything else that may help prove your interpretation of the collision is correct. You may also record any interactions you have with the other driver, if you feel it necessary and providing you are on public property. If you have been injured, keep a journal recording how you’re feeling, any treatment you are receiving and how your injuries are healing.
Do Not: Post to Social Media
Do not post any photos, videos or messages on social media pertaining to your collision. Insurance adjusters are trained to carefully analyze any relevant evidence to undermine your claim. A seemingly harmless message on social media could prove disastrous to receiving the compensation you deserve.
Do: Hire an Attorney
An attorney experienced in auto collision law will prove invaluable to your claim, ensuring all evidence is carefully and correctly compiled, and that you receive a settlement commiserate to your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering and property damage. Without an attorney, the other driver’s insurance company may attempt to offer you a settlement far lower than you deserve. Do not try to negotiate with the insurance company alone: as soon as you are able, contact a qualified auto collision attorney to discuss your collision, and plan your next steps.
At Parker, Pallett, Slezak and Russell, we have been helping those injured in auto collisions for years. Our experienced and dedicated attorneys have the knowledge necessary to handle insurance companies and legal teams properly, ensuring your rights are protected, and that you receive the settlement you deserve. For a consultation regarding your recent crash, contact us today!