Car accidents are nerve-wracking, even when they don’t seem serious, and it can be difficult to remember the steps you should take to protect yourself and your rights. To make it easier to remember what to do after a car accident, we’ve compiled a quick list of steps. Print it out or save it on your phone so you have it with you, just in case.
- First, if your accident occurs along a roadway (as opposed to, say, a parking lot), you should move away from the accident site to avoid being hit by passing cars. Call 911 to alert the police and other emergency personnel to ensure immediate care for anyone who is injured.
- Do not admit fault of any kind or any level to the other driver, the police, witnesses or anyone else, and avoid making any statements that could make it seem like the accident was your fault. In the wake of a stressful event like car accidents – even minor car accidents – perceptions aren’t always 100 percent accurate, and making a statement while you’re emotionally compromised can result in you assuming more fault than is your due.
- Never agree to settle claims or sign any documents without speaking to an attorney first. Many insurance companies will send a local agent to an accident site or hospital – or, alternatively, contact you via email or phone – to attempt to arrange a settlement “without any fuss or hassle.” Don’t be fooled: Speak with an attorney or risk signing away your rights and any compensation that’s due.
- Seek medical attention. Assuming your injuries don’t require conveyance by an ambulance (which should be your first concern in any case), be sure to see a doctor after your accident, even if you think the injuries are not serious or you believe you haven’t had any injuries. Some injuries, including whiplash and concussions, can show up hours or even days after an accident; being evaluated right away will be important for your claim since it demonstrates you’re taking the accident seriously.
- Write down any and all information about your car. Not only will it aid in ensuring you’re compensated for your costs, but it also helps provide important documentation for your claim. Retain all bills and receipts, and take pictures of any injuries you sustain.
- Seek legal advice. Many accident cases can be complex, and even a straightforward accident case can become complex once the insurance company’s attorneys get involved. To ensure your rights are protected, you need to start working with a skilled car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Of course, these tips are for accidents where you aren’t conveyed immediately to a hospital via ambulance. In any serious accident, the first step should be getting medical care. At the hospital, be careful to sign only the hospital forms regarding your care, and don’t be tricked into signing forms from an insurance company representative.
Working with a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer: Experience Counts
At The Law Firm of Dennis Hernandez & Associates, we’ve helped accident victims just like you protect their rights and get the compensation they deserve, even when insurance companies put up a fight. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you need to start working with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Give us a call at (813)250-0000 and schedule your free consultation today.