Car accidents cause stress and anxiety. They can make people fearful of driving, and they can cause extensive property damage. Even worse, they can cause serious injury to the people involved. When a person is injured in a vehicle collision, they may not know how to proceed with the appropriate next steps.
If you have been injured in a car accident in West Palm Beach or the surrounding area, knowing what to do next is important. Here are the ten things you should do after you are injured. Please note: We are starting with the most basic of steps, which you may have already taken.
The most important thing you can do following any car accident is to seek appropriate medical attention. Far too many people tell first responders that they do not need or are refusing medical care. Even if you don’t feel as though you are hurt, your injuries could crop up days or weeks later. Additionally, seeking medical attention can be a way to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve should you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
At the very least, you should get the name and contact information of the other driver involved in the accident. Take a photo of their insurance card and save it to your gallery. If you are taken from the scene by ambulance, you may not have a chance to do this, but the information should be contained in the accident report. You can also contact the responding officer to obtain the information.
Yes, you may have had a minor accident and believe that you can take care of it yourselves. In some jurisdictions, failing to call the police after a car accident, no matter how minor, and driving away from the scene is considered a crime. If the other driver changes their mind about contacting the police and does so after you leave, you could be charged with hit and run.
If there are people standing around that saw the accident, ask them if they are willing to share their contact information with you. They may be able to act as impartial parties should your case go to court. Get at least a phone number from these people if you can and share that information with the police.
Before you leave the scene and, hopefully, before any vehicles are moved, you will want to take photos of the scene. Take pictures of your vehicle and the others that have been involved. Take photos of the current road conditions and the area surrounding the scene. Take pictures of any injuries that are visible as well.
The thing that you do not want to do after you have been injured in an accident is to admit fault. You don’t want to admit fault even if you aren’t injured. You also don’t want to tell the other party that you are “fine.” Choose your words very carefully at the scene of a crash.
Insurance adjusters are trained in taking statements. They will ask you questions in an attempt to get you to admit your part in the accident. They are skilled at asking questions that will trip you up. Remember that you are under no legal obligation to speak with this person on your own. If you feel like you need the assistance of an attorney, seek it.
When you get home and have the chance, take a look at your own insurance policy. There is coverage that may help you with your injuries and property damage. If you have questions about the type of coverage you have, contact your insurance agent.
The other person’s insurance company will try to offer you a quick settlement. Be very careful about accepting the first offer. Never accept a settlement offer while you are still undergoing medical treatments.
At any step in this process, you may wish to hire an attorney. A personal injury attorney can help you with negotiations and, in the case that settlement offers are not fair, in filing a personal injury lawsuit. Look for an attorney that is specifically experienced in car accident cases and has knowledge of the local court system.
If you have been involved in a car accident in West Palm Beach, we are here to help you. Reach out to our team of car accident attorneys to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your crash and advise you of your legal options. Call now for assistance. We can offer you the help that you need to secure the compensation you are legally entitled to.