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 witness 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.
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 position on the road, time of day, weather conditions. It’s always best to try and get pictures 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, 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. Often times 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 any 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 tricks the insurance company uses and will prevent them from taking advantage of your situation.
BONUS TIP: Hire Johnson Livingston
Here at Johnson Livingston, we only work personally injury cases and are 100% dedicated to getting compensation for those injured because of someone elses negligence. We want our clients to get the treatment they need to make sure their injuries are fully assessed before any settlement discussions take place. We provide free consultations and are willing to discuss your case over the phone or meet with you in person. We want to make sure you’re comfortable with whatever attorney you choose because we recognize how much trust your instilling in our team to handle your claim.