It’s truly amazing the kinds of lengths insurance companies will go to get out of compensating someone for their injuries. After working with so many car crash victims, we’ve compiled a few of the most essential things you can do at a crash scene to make sure your rights are protected.
1. Call the Police
Always always always call the police after an accident. Even if it was a minor fender bender. Aside from the importance of gathering accurate contact information, it’s important that the police gather statements from all parties and any witnesses that may have seen the crash occur. We’ve had too many clients leave the scene after exchanging insurance information with the individual who caused the crash, just to have them change their story. It’s much better to get the police involved.
2.Take Photos & Videos
Taking photos at the scene is so critical. It’s not just about depicting where the property damage is on the vehicles involved, it’s also about the position on the road, time of day, weather conditions. We encourage you to try and get pictures and videos before any of the vehicles are moved whenever possible.
3. Obtain Witness Contact Information
It would surprise you how often there are witnesses to the crash, but their names and phone numbers don’t end up in the police report. Sometimes witnesses have to leave the scene before the police arrive, or before the police are finished conducting their investigation. Whenever possible, ask for the name and phone numbers of anyone in the area that witnessed the crash.
4. Exchange Insurance Information
If the police are on scene, then they will provide you with a Drivers Exchange Form. This document is very important and will have the information you or your attorney will need to start an insurance claim. If the police do not come to the scene then be sure to take a picture of the other driver’s insurance card and driver’s license.
5. Seek Medical Care
Unfortunately, some car crashes are so severe that your injuries are immediate and obvious. Others, however, may seem minor, but over the next several days, the adrenaline wears off and it becomes more apparent that the crash caused serious changes to your body.
It’s very important that any pain, headaches, or soreness you experience are documented. Oftentimes these symptoms are the result of a bigger problem. The only way to determine what your injuries are, is to see your doctor, and the symptoms they document in your medical records become vital pieces of evidence for your claim.
6. Call an Attorney
Do you need an attorney for every claim? No. Is it a good idea to consult with an attorney before talking to the insurance about the crash? Yes. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and they will tell you whether hiring an attorney is in your best interest. Insurance companies have one goal. Save Money. They will try to get you to settle your case as quickly as possible for as little as possible before your injuries have really been assessed.
An attorney is helpful because they know the laws and your rights along with the tricks the insurance company uses and can stand for your rights so you have less chance of being taken advantage of after a car crash, particularly if you were injured.
BONUS TIP: Hire Johnson Livingston
Here at Johnson Livingston, we only work on personal injury claims and cases. We are 100% dedicated to getting compensation for our clients who were injured because of someone else’s negligence. It’s important to get the treatment you need to make sure your injuries are fully assessed before any settlement discussions take place. It’s easy to talk with us about your case because we offer free consultations and are willing to discuss your case over the phone or meet with you in person.
We believe every person deserves quality representation and legal counsel after an injury, and you can count on us to be upfront with you about your case and be with you to take you through each step of the process.