by Dan A. Baron, Baron Law LLC
If you’ve ever been in an auto accident then you know the stress and shock can be overwhelming. Moreover, the aftermath of dealing with insurance companies, collision repair and rental car companies can be incredibly challenging. Following these steps after an auto accident can help protect your rights and, if necessary, ensure you are also getting the best medical attention and compensation for potential injuries.
Step 1: Obtain Pertinent Information
Okay, so you got into a fender bender and there is little to no damage on your car. The girl behind you was texting on her phone and lightly bumped into you while taking a selfie approaching the light. Coming out of the car she’s crying, hysterical and apologetic for hitting you. You feel compelled to just accept her apology and drive away. Don’t do it.
In all scenarios you should, at the very least, take some quick photos of the accident documenting the damage, the parties involved and the surroundings. Whether it’s your fault or not, documenting the accident is necessary for all those involved. Also, damage to the car may be noticed later on that you didn’t notice while quickly trying to avoid traffic. If there is noticeable damage, then it is imperative to document the damage and the surrounding area immediately and safely (Don’t get hit by a car taking photos).
Sometimes the other parties involved may later claim an accident was your fault even though they admitted guilt at the scene. If the accident was serious, then it is even more important to take photos, get insurance information, pictures of driver’s licenses, etc., to ensure you have evidence for your insurance company. In many cases, the person who is at fault is hard to find afterward, which results in your insurance paying the bill. Your insurance could significantly increase in cost if you were not at fault but your insurance company ended up paying to repair the car. In sum, get everyone’s information before leaving the scene.
Step 2: File a Police Report
If the accident resulted in noticeable damage, then you should file a police report. If the accident was not your fault, the police report will be a valuable tool for your insurance company. If you are at fault, you should still file the report as it will expedite the process for your insurance company. Albeit your insurance may increase, but at least you can get back to life more quickly and not have to worry about answering a thousand questions from the insurance companies involved.
Step 3: Find Medical Treatment
If you are in a serious accident then you should obviously seek medical attention immediately. The pain you feel immediately after the accident will likely feel worse later on because your body is concealing the pain from adrenaline and shock. Even if you don’t think you’re seriously hurt, you should still seek medical attention immediately after the accident. Some injuries take time to present themselves and having a record of your condition from the day of your accident can be valuable evidence to support your case. This could mean the difference between insurance paying for your injuries later or not paying at all.
For minor accidents, those involved will often be sore several days after the accident but would feel completely fine in the days leading up to the soreness. In other cases, there may be an injury such as a herniated disk that makes your leg numb today but paralyzed tomorrow. It’s important to have a medical professional do a thorough analysis of your medical condition so that you can have peace of mind going forward.
Step 4: Call Your Insurance Company
It’s important to call your insurance company as soon as possible after your accident to report your collision. Be careful of what you tell your insurance company though, and never sign anything without talking to an auto accident attorney first. The insurance company does not always have your best interests at heart. In fact, it’s usually the insurance company’s goal to settle the claim for the least amount of money possible. If you are injured, it’s even more important to talk with an accident attorney before settling with the insurance company so that you are not paying out-of-pocket for medical expenses in the years to come.
Step 5: Contact an Auto Accident Attorney
Handling the aftermath of an auto accident is harder than you think. Without the help of an experienced auto accident attorney on your side, you may be giving up your rights to the full amount of compensation you are owed.
Without a doubt, the biggest mistake you can make is trying to handle an accident without a personal injury lawyer. Whether you realize it or not, insurance companies are designed to take advantage of you. Without a lawyer on your side, that is exactly what they will do. Calls from the insurance company and medical bills adding up only adds stress and can slow down your healing process. As your family attorney, Baron Law will connect you to an accident attorney to help you get past your accident and get the full amount of compensation you are owed. Call Baron Law at (216) 573-3723 or for more you can e-mail Dan Baron at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baron Law LLC
Crowne Centre, Suite #600
5005 Rockside Road
Independence, Ohio 44131
Opinions and claims expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ScripType Publishing.