OpenJurist

What steps should I take if I am involved in a collision?

Automobile accidents are often serious. Whiplash, joint, bone, and muscle injuries, head and brain injury, and paralysis are the most common serious injuries associated with automobile accidents. Some injuries take time to heal, while other injuries one may never fully recuperate from. Typical damages sought after in motor vehicle accident lawsuits include medical treatment costs, loss of property, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Claims are sometimes handled through the insurance companies and are settled swiftly, outside the courtroom. We advise you to get more information on your rights involving automobile accidents. Most cases involving personal injury or extensive property damage are often prolonged and require legal action for recovery.

Because of the frequency at which motor vehicle accidents occur, every driver on the road must know what steps to take. We suggest:

  • Contact local law enforcement -The police are trained to investigate accidents. They are able to determine many factors of the accident that may become evidence in your lawsuit.
  • Take photographs - We suggest keeping a disposable camera in your glove compartment. The images you could provide may be used as evidence in your lawsuit.
  • Physician's Evaluation - See a doctor immediately, even if there is no instant sign of an injury. Adrenaline induced by the accident can delay physical pains. The faster you see a physician the more accurate your injury report will be.
  • Report to your insurance company - Most insurance companies require all accidents to be reported within 24 hours of the accident, or you may lose certain rights to your claim. Do not make an official statement about the accident without consulting our attorneys first. Make a simple report, stating the accident occurred, when it occurred and where it occurred. Do not report to the other driver's insurance companies until you have consulted an attorney. You are not required to speak with the other insurance companies.
  • Obtain contact information - Obtain contact information of everyone involved in the automobile accident and those who witnessed the accident. This information could prove useful to your case.
  • Obtain vehicle information - The information required is to include make, model, year, license plate number, vehicle identification number (VIN), insurance company and policy number and driver’s license number for all vehicles and drivers involved.
  • Attorney Consultation - Contact our attorneys to discuss your rights. Contact immediately after the motor vehicle accident is imperative. As time passes, evidence at the scene is lost, witnesses memories fade, and gathering the facts accurately becomes exceedingly difficult. Never sign insurance documents without consulting an attorney first. You may be waiving significant rights that could hinder your lawsuit. Even if you were at fault in the accident, you may be giving up certain compensations.
  • Insurance adjusters do not work for you – They work for the insurance companies. Their best interest will always be saving money for their company, not properly compensating you for your accident.

Every motor vehicle accident has the potential to cause serious harm to all those involved. If you have been involved in an automobile accident that has resulted in an injury, or a loved one has suffered an injury or died as the result of an accident, you should consider consulting with our experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys as soon as possible. There may be a statute of limitations, date of expiration, by which your lawsuit must be filed for you to be eligible for possible compensation.

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