Protect Your Legal Rights After A Car Accident | JD Supra

Last updated: 05-13-2020

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Protect Your Legal Rights After A Car Accident | JD Supra

Protect Your Legal Rights After A Car Accident
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Because car accident cases happen so frequently, they are some of the most prominent cases in the civil justice system. 
That means many people go through the process hoping to recover compensation for their damages sustained during the accident.
Like any legal matter, the steps you take after a car accident can be crucial in protecting your rights. 
As soon as the crash occurs, the things you do will play a role in how successful you can be filing a lawsuit. 
You need to ensure you're doing all the right things and avoiding some common pitfalls that damage claims after a crash.
Individuals who suffer injuries in a car accident need to know the most effective ways to safeguard their best interests. 
In the article below, we discuss several steps you should take after an accident to protect your right to legal action against the negligent driver.
Move Your Vehicle to the Side of the Road and Make Sure Your Passengers are Okay
Even after an accident occurs, you may still be in harm's way. 
Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to stop or slow down when approaching a crash. 
Please stay inside your vehicle until it is safe to get out and assess the damage.
If at all possible, you should move your vehicle to the side of the road. 
If you can't, you may want to wait until emergency services reach your location before getting out of the car.
However, that can be dangerous as well, so you should call emergency services as soon as you can.
If you have passengers with you, make sure they are okay. 
Be sure to include the injuries they've sustained when you call for emergency services. 
Reporting injuries can help get paramedics on the scene who can start providing treatment.
Call The Police
Once the police arrive on the scene, they will get your statement for their report. 
Give them the facts as you recall them, but make sure you don't say anything that might indicate responsibility on your behalf. 
Accident victims are often disoriented and in shock after a crash and often get critical details wrong. 
You should take down the names and badge numbers of the officers on-scene and request a copy of the police report.
The police report will help determine the liability of the car accident .
Speak with Witnesses and Take Pictures
If you notice any witnesses, you should take some time to speak with them.
Get their contact information so you can provide it to your insurance company and legal team. 
Witness testimony can be very beneficial as evidence.
When you speak with the witnesses, ask them if it's okay for your insurance company to contact them. 
You also want to make sure their statements are consistent, so they're not jeopardizing your claim.
You can also pictures of your own to help build your claim. 
You should take pictures of the scene of the accident and the area around it.
Your pictures might show signs of negligence, such as skid marks, if the other driver had to slam on their brakes after speeding.
You also need to take pictures of all internal and external damage to your vehicle and the other driver's car. 
By having these photos, you can have an accident reconstructionist look at the details of the damage and help show negligence.
Finally, you should also take photos of your physical injuries so you can show the insurance adjuster what damages occurred to your person.
Get Medical Help
If you need a paramedic on the scene, make sure you mention it when you report the accident to the authorities. 
Getting medical help from the paramedic immediately after your accident will allow you to start your recovery.
You may also need to go to the hospital or emergency room following the crash if your injuries don't immediately show themselves.
With medical help, you will also receive medical records that aid in your pursuit of compensation. 
Medical records can prove that your injuries were a result of the accident and the other party's negligence.
Speak With A Car Accident Attorney
When you need to file a claim, it's in your best interest to speak with an attorney about your accident. 
Having an experienced car accident attorney during this process will help you immensely during the entire process.
Your lawyer can protect your rights when you need it most.
And, if you've been injured, they will let you focus on your physical recovery while they handle everything else.
DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.
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