A car accident, no matter how minor, can be a real shock. One minute you’re driving along trying to get to your destination, and the next your mind is reeling in the aftermath of a collision. It’s easy to overlook things after a wreck, and you may not know what your rights are or exactly what to do (or not do) after an auto accident. Our expert attorneys have compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to follow after an accident, including information about filing insurance claims, until you can secure appropriate legal representation.
Car Accident Do’s
- Do: Get information from others involved in the accident and from witnesses. Take down the name, address, phone number, email address, and insurance information of other drivers, as well as the license plate number, make, model, color, and pictures if possible of the other vehicle(s). Take down information from people who may have contributed to the accident (for example, a third driver who caused the person who hit you to swerve). Also get the names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers of any witnesses.
- Do: Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the scene of the accident, and any injuries sustained by you and/or your passengers.
- Do: Notify your car insurance company right away after the accident. Failing to notify your insurer in a timely manner could result in denial of your claim. Take notes while on the phone with the claims adjuster or anyone else involved in the claims process, writing down the description and details you give about the accident. Changing the details of your story later because you’re having a hard time recalling what happened could result in your claim being denied. Get the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of all claims adjusters and other reps you speak with.
- Do: Follow your doctor’s orders for treating your injuries. Not doing so could impact the amount of compensation you get.
- Do: Talk to and retain an attorney. A seasoned car accident lawyer knows how to get you the greatest amount of compensation after an accident.
Car Accident Don’ts
- Don’t: Admit fault. In the wake of an accident you may be shocked and confused. Even if you think you know what happened, an investigation may uncover details you weren’t aware of. If you apologize for the accident or admit fault, you could be wrong and end up hurting your claim if it turns out the other person was actually at fault.
- Don’t: Negotiate with the other driver(s) involved in the accident by accepting an offer for payment, or offering an amount yourself). It’s important to follow the insurance laws of your state. Your claims adjuster and attorney are properly trained to evaluate the situation and determine how the claim should be paid within the law. If the other person tries to negotiate with you because he or she doesn’t have insurance, this is a red flag. Let your insurance company and/or attorney pursue the person for payment.
- Don’t: Accept the insurance company’s estimate of your claim value, and don’t accept any check that says “Final Payment.” Doing so could settle your claim irreversibly. Consult an attorney immediately if you receive such a check.
- Don’t: Miss doctor’s appointment or avoid getting treatment for injuries related to the accident. This can hurt your chances of getting full compensation.
- Don’t: Provide a written statement to your insurance company until or unless you understand your coverage and your rights. It’s best to consult an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you are adequately compensated, especially if you sustained a personal injury.
If You Or Someone You Know Has Been Involved In A Car Accident, CALL (800) 722-9744 NOW To Speak To An Experienced Injury Attorney For FREE.
Since 1996, the Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates has been helping Car Accident victims, all injured victims and their families navigate the complex legal process. As experienced personal injury, worker’s compensation, auto accidents, compensated and wrongful death attorneys, we can help you evaluate the facts, assess your options, navigate the legal challenges, and advocate on your behalf. Marc J. Shuman & Associates has over 77 combined years of experience advocating for over 10,000 injury victims and their families recovering over 50 million dollars on their behalf. We advocate on your behalf, so you can focus on the task of recovery.