What Do I Do After A Car Accident?
A car accident can be a very traumatic experience. Most of the time they are completely unexpected and leave you in a state of shock. After an accident, you may not sure if you are safe, badly injured, or if the accident damage was extensive. If you’ve never been in an accident before, you may not know what to do. Luckily, Justice Pays is here to help. We’ll make sure you take the right steps after an accident can help protect you and your financial interests.
What Are My First Steps?
Unless you are severely injured and taken to the hospital for your injuries there are several steps you need to take at the scene of the accident:
● Make sure everyone is safe. Check that all drivers and passengers to make sure that everyone involved is not hurt.
● Call the police. It is very important especially in the case of injuries that a police report is filed as police are considered an impartial witness. They will take statements from both you and the at fault driver.
● Exchange information with the other driver. This includes name, phone number, and insurance information. Do not apologize or say “I’m sorry” at any time. You could be accidentally admitting liability.
● Ask any witnesses present what they saw. Witness testimony is very helpful in accident settlements. If they are willing, try to get their names and phone numbers.
● Take pictures. In most cases today, people have a camera available on their cell phones. Take pictures not just of the damage on the cars but of the street, any skid marks and the direction the other driver was heading when they hit you.
What To Do When You Get Home
It is at this point it would be in your best interest to contact an attorney. Chances are the at fault party’s insurance company will contact you the same day, while you are still in shock over what happened. This is done purposely as they are hoping that while you are vulnerable you will say something that will help them to pay you the least amount possible. These are the next suggested steps to take to make sure your expenses are taken care of.
● Do not discuss your accident. It is especially important not to discuss your accident on any social networks like Facebook or Twitter or any that can be viewed by the insurance company.
● Get your insurance company’s damage valuation on your car. It is also a good idea to get an independent assessment to ensure you are getting true value for your car.
● Save all your medical bills including any prescriptions you have been given or physical therapy treatments.
● Follow up on all medical appointments, and do what the medical providers recommend.
● Do not sign any settlement agreement without consulting an attorney.
If I File A Claim, Will I Have to go to Court?
In the majority of cases, your attorney will gather all the information, determine how much is a reasonable amount and will send a demand letter. This is a notification to the insurance company that you have representation and are requesting a certain amount for damages. Once a demand letter is sent to the other insurance company they will often want you to get an independent medical evaluation and will negotiate with your attorney. If the two parties cannot agree to a settlement, it will either go to mediation or in some cases to court. Mediation is when an independent attorney who is neutral will assist in helping the two parties to agree on an amount. This is the point where the majority of cases are settled as it is not in the best interest for the insurance companies to go to court.
At Justice Pays, our attorneys will guide you through every step of the accident process from the scene of the accident all through the settlement process. We’ll even go to court if we have to in order to make them pay. Call us right now to see how we can help after your accident!