Do You Know The Steps To Take To Protect Your Interests?
If a car accident happened tomorrow – or if you have recently been in a crash – do you know what to do next? You should take certain steps to protect yourself in the aftermath and help your legal case.
One of those steps is contacting a personal injury lawyer if you got hurt in a crash. Attorney Sloane Fish can guide you through the process and take on some of the overwhelming burdens.
Immediately After A Car Accident
An auto collision is traumatic and disorienting. Knowing in advance what to do – and what not to do – will hopefully kick in when it actually happens.
- Safety first – Stop your vehicle. Check to make sure it is safe before exiting the car.
- Check for injuries – Are you hurt? Are your passengers OK? Are the people in the other vehicle injured? If you think anyone may be injured, call 911 and render first aid.
- Move your vehicle to safety – Move your car(s) to the side of the road if you are blocking traffic or in harm’s way.
- Call police – Call 911, even if it is only a property damage accident. You will want the police report later.
You and the other driver should exchange:
- Names and driver’s license numbers (ask to see their license)
- Description of the vehicle (make, model, year, license plate)
- Insurance information (insurer and policy number)
If possible, also record:
- Name and contacts of any witnesses
- The location of the accident
- Photos of both vehicles from different angles
- Photos of the accident scene
Seek Medical Attention
You could be injured even if there is no blood or broken bones. You should be examined by a doctor the same day or the next day to ensure you do not have hidden injuries (ribs, whiplash, concussion, internal bleeding). It is important to follow the doctor’s orders and to follow up with treatment. Medical records are key to establishing monetary damages, and abandoning treatment can hurt your legal case.
Be Careful What You Say And Do
You are required to report an accident to your own insurance company, and the police will ask for your account of the accident. Be cooperative, but stay wary. Do not say to the other party, to police, or to an insurance agent that the accident was your fault. Do not discuss your injuries in your statements, especially comments like “My injuries were minor” or “I feel much better.” Be very careful if posting on social media — photos or comments can be taken out of context and used against you. Encourage friends and family to talk to you offline.
Seek Legal Help
Personal injury lawyers usually provide a free consultation. And they work on a contingency fee, so you pay nothing up front — they only get paid if they secure compensation for you. The insurance adjusters may call you to fish for information or to offer a quick settlement. Do not give a recorded statement or sign anything before you get legal advice. Once you hire legal counsel, you can refer those insurance representatives to your attorney. An attorney can also conduct a proper investigation, which may involve an accident reconstruction or subpoena of records.
In the event of personal injury car accident, the Law Offices of Sloane L. Fish stands ready to help. We represent injury victims in Baltimore County and surrounding Maryland. Call 410-246-0006 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation.