Car accidents can be traumatizing events. What you do in the minutes, hours, and days after the incident can affect the outcome of your case. Often, we see injured individuals accidentally sabotage their personal injury case. To help prevent you from doing the same, we have listed common dos and don’ts after an auto accident.
Things to Do After a Car Accident
The moments after a car accident can be difficult. It is important that you take the right actions to protect yourself and your interests.
After an accident, be sure to:
- Call the authorities – You need to alert the authorities after an accident. 911 will send medical help, while police officers will file a report about the damage and injuries. You are legally required to report an accident, even if it is not your fault.
- Seek medical attention – You should have your injuries examined after a car accident, even if the EMTs clear you. Some damages take time to appear. All Standard New Jersey personal auto policies contain some medical coverage, but your carrier or attorney can explain what that is.
- Exchange information – Obtain contact and insurance information from other parties involved in the incident. Your own insurance company will want to contact the other party to work out details. If you are well enough, look around the scene to see if witnesses are present. If they are, ask if you can have their contact information.
- Contact your insurance – You must file a claim with your insurance company promptly after an accident. However, give them the basic facts about what happened. Do not go into details until you have spoken to an attorney.
- Gather evidence – If you are well enough and capable, take pictures of the accident scene and the vehicles. Note any significant details. Keep track of out of pocket expenses and economic losses.
Things Not to Do After a Car Accident
Often, after a car accident, you may need to juggle multiple things at once. While you may assume certain protocols are mandatory, they might not be. In fact, they may harm your case rather than help.
After an accident, do not:
- Fail to seek medical help – It is important to have a doctor or physician check your injuries, even if you believe they are not serious. Don’t just assume that you will get better. Getting treatment when you are hurt is important whether you want to make a claim or not!
- Post details on social media – While you may be inclined to share what happened to you on social media, do not do so until you have spoken with an attorney. Any details or pictures you share may be used against you.
- Provide a written or recorded statement – The insurance company may try to get you to sign a waiver or release form, waiving them of responsibility. That is why you should not sign anything without having an attorney look at it first. Similarly, do not give recorded statements unless advised by your attorney to do so.
- Accept settlements or ‘final payments’ – Do not accept the first settlement offer your insurance company suggests. Most often, they do not offer fair compensation. Without knowing the extent of your damage, how could they be?
If you were injured in a car accident, contact our car accident attorneys today. We have helped numerous clients seek the compensation they deserve. We will review your case and fight on behalf of your interests. Call today for a free case evaluation.