If you are injured in a car accident, you must consider whether or not the injury could be attributed to another’s negligence. Determination of negligence is essential because anyone who receives an injury in a car accident that was caused by another person’s negligence has the legal right to be “made whole.” If you are this situation, take steps to preserve your rights to compensation for your injuries and any property damage. Protecting this right takes patience, persistence, and the right documentation.
If you have been in a car accident and you suspect that the crash can be attributed to another’s negligence, start to document it immediately. The aftermath of a car accident can be chaotic. First and foremost, obtain immediate medical attention if it is necessary. If your injuries are not severe, you can significantly help your chances of making a successful claim by taking the time amidst the chaos to document as much as you can about the accident, the moments right before the crash, and the site of the crash.
If possible, talk to witnesses. Get as much info as possible, including their contact information. Ask them if they would be willing to make written or verbal statements. The more supportive information you gather from witnesses, the stronger your claim will be.
Call the police. The police response adds another layer of documentation to your claim. The police report carries a lot of weight with claims attorneys and insurance adjusters that will be involved once the claim is filed. Never hesitate to contact the police after a car accident. Remember that the party causing the accident will often attempt to keep the police out of it. A police report provides documentation of the accident scene and often includes evidence of fault.
Don’t be afraid to take pictures. Most of us carry a convenient phone in our pockets. Use it at the scene to document and make sure you can easily reference the date the photos were taken so they can be authenticated later. Pictures should include the scene, damage to the vehicles involved, any apparent injuries, and any factors that may have contributed to the accident (such as a missing sign or broken traffic light, etc.)
Don’t delay seeking medical attention. After you have been in a car accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. The treatment records, bills, and notes from the physician are excellent supporting documentation for your claim. A complete set of medical records will reduce the administrative costs of reviewing the case and provide evidence that is not easy to dismiss the injuries sustained and offer an accurate basis for settlement negotiations.
Obtain repair estimates for property damage. Once you have documented the scene and sought medical attention, turn your attention to your vehicle that sustained property damage. Collect repair estimates for the damage. Most insurance adjusters will insist on an independent inspection of the car, but if you already have many estimates, it will be easier to present an argument for the necessary repairs and the cost of completing them.
Unfortunately, the process of seeking compensation for injury and property damage sustained in a car accident can be long and arduous. Don’t hesitate. Get in touch with Aronow Law PC to seek the compensation you deserve with an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.