A car accident can be stressful, even if it is just a minor fender bender. Injuries, missed work, and bills pile up quickly.
Fortunately, a car accident attorney can help you recover compensation for your losses. To do so, however, you will need certain documents and information.
What You Should Do After the Accident
It is vital to take certain precautions, whether you are involved in a minor accident or a more serious one so that your safety is protected and your rights are protected throughout the entire process. These tips can help the legal and insurance processes run more smoothly.
You can document everything with a camera, a cellphone or pens and paper. This includes the vehicle details (year, make and model, color, and license plate), the insurance company and policy information, and the contact information for all parties involved. Suppose you find witnesses with additional information.
Even if you are feeling fine, seek medical attention immediately. If you do not seek medical attention immediately, many injuries can develop into serious conditions. A prompt diagnosis can also help establish that an accident caused the damages. Before you contact your insurer, politely decline to give a recorded statement.
Documenting the Accident
Taking photographs of the accident scene is a great way to preserve important evidence. It would help if you tried to capture the condition of both vehicles and any visible injuries. The images will be useful to your lawyer, motorists and witnesses.
You should also document any witnesses’ names, addresses and phone numbers. They can provide valuable information that can help you establish liability in the event of an insurance claim or even a lawsuit.
If the police officer who arrives at the scene notes that a driver violated traffic laws, such as speeding, running a red light or texting while driving, this could play an important role in your case. Documenting this information through photos or official reports will allow you to prove that another motorist’s negligent behavior caused the crash.
Other types of documentation your car accident attorney may need include medical records and bills, employment and wage information and pain and suffering damages.
Notifying Your Insurance Company
It is important to call your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. This lets the insurance company get started on the accident report and connect the crash to your claim.
When talking to the insurance company, it is important only to answer the requested questions. You should only volunteer information or provide opinions backed up by evidence. If you do, the insurer may use this against you to contest your claim or offer a low settlement.
You should also only disclose what happened in the accident and what injuries you sustained. Do not share details about your family, personal life or job, or anything else that could be used against you to deny your claim or reduce the compensation offered for your crash.
Contacting an Attorney
The aftermath of an accident can be extremely stressful. The injuries can be very painful. You may have to miss work and accumulate bills while your car is rendered unusable. If you have suffered injuries, seeking assistance from a lawyer can help you obtain compensation for your damages and ensure you receive the necessary medical treatment.
Consider the experience of your attorney in handling cases involving car accidents. You can ask for testimonials and reviews to find out what other clients have said about a lawyer’s professionalism and quality of representation.
Ensure that the lawyer you select also handles insurance claims. The attorney will not have the necessary experience to deal with a car accident case that involves insurance companies and criminal law if they only take a personal injury or criminal law. Ask about the fee structure. Some attorneys charge per hour, while others have contingency fee agreements. A contingency fee agreement is one where the lawyer only gets paid if you receive a settlement.