There is nothing easy about being involved in a car accident, especially if you have suffered significant injuries in the process. Indeed, car accidents can be terrifying, stressful, and expensive to remedy. Further, before you receive a settlement, you may be faced with wondering how you’ll get around (your car isn’t yet repaired), or how you’ll support yourself (you’re unable to work, and therefore have lost wages).
At The Walthew Law Firm, we understand that you have a lot of questions about what steps to take in the aftermath of a car accident, and may be wondering who will pay for your damages. While nothing can change what has happened,
following the advice below can help you to maximize your compensation amount and secure the best possible outcome for your future. Here are some necessary steps to take immediately after a car accident–
- Call the Police
Following a motor vehicle accident, ensure that everyone in your vehicle is OK and pull your car to a safe area of the road. Call the police to report your accident. Filing an accident report is absolutely critical. Make sure the police respond to your accident and file a report. Filing an accident report can help prove that you were in an accident, offer evidence as to how the accident occurred and who might be at fault, and connect your injuries to your crash (all important when seeking damages). When you call the police, make sure you let the operator know whether there are any obvious and serious injuries that require emergency medical attention. When the police arrive, be sure to speak up and report your version of the event, and request a copy of the police report.
- Get the Other Driver’s Information
To file a claim, you will need to get the other driver’s information, particularly if you are filing a claim with that driver’s insurance company. When you’re waiting for the police to arrive is an ideal time to ask the driver for their:
- Name, phone number, and address;
- Driver’s license number;
- Insurance and registration information;
- Vehicle make and model; and
- Vehicle license plate number.
Waiting for the police to arrive is also a great time to collect any information from witnesses who saw the crash and may be able to provide insight regarding what happened and who was at fault for the collision.
- See a Doctor
If injured in a motor vehicle accident, one of the most important things that you can do immediately (as soon as you leave the accident scene or within 24 hours) is to seek medical care. If you don’t want to go to the emergency room and do not have injuries that warrant emergency care, you should at the very least get in to see your family doctor as soon as possible. There are multiple reasons that you should see a doctor, and why doing so as soon as you are able to is important. These include:
- Some injuries are not obvious immediately, and if untreated, could be dangerous or delay the healing process. For example, a concussion can be hard to diagnose with the naked eye.
- Seeking medical care is one way to prove a connection between your car accident and your injuries, which will be essential when filing a claim.
- Seeking medical care shows that you executed your duty to mitigate harm, which essentially means that an insurance adjuster cannot claim that your injuries would not be as bad as they are now had you sought medical care.
If you do not seek medical care, your insurance adjuster may question the validity or extent of your injuries. If you are seeking damages for an injury, you must have evidence of the injury.
- Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
It is important that you report the car accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours of its occurrence. If you do not give the insurance company enough time to properly investigate the accident, your claim may be denied. Reporting as early as possible is in your best interest.
- Contact an Experienced Washington Car Accident Lawyer
Finally, before you do anything else, you should contact an experienced Washington State car accident lawyer. At the law offices of The Walthew Law Firm, we have car accident lawyers with a long history of success, and our legal team knows how to investigate your case and get you the settlement award you deserve. Please contact us today by phone or online for your free consultation.