I still remember my accident like it was yesterday. One minute I was driving my daughter to school and the next I was waking up in a hospital bed. It was frustrating to deal with the emotional trauma of forgetting an entire week of my life, in addition to stressing about my small child. Fortunately, we were both able to recover, but it wasn't easy walking dealing with the medical bills that accompanied the accident. I found myself struggling with things as simple as answering the phone, because I was nervous about dealing with another insurance adjuster. Fortunately, by working with a lawyer, I was able to make sense of my situation. I know that you can overcome difficult challenges too, which is why I shared my story on this website.
No one wants to plan for a car accident. However, knowing what to do immediately after an accident can help eliminate problems later on. Auto accidents can be extremely stressful, especially those initial moments immediately following the event. If you're ever involved in a car accident, the steps you take immediately afterwards may determine whether or not receive the compensation you're entitled to. Here are four steps you should take to help protect your rights.
Take Notes About the Accident Scene
You're going to be shaken up after the accident. Unfortunately, it's important that you take as many notes as you can. Your insurance company and your attorney will need to know as many details about the event as possible. If you wait to write things down, you might forget important details about the accident. While you're waiting for emergency personnel to arrive, take the time to take some notes about the incident. Some key items to remember include:
Identify the Driver of the Car
After the accident, you're going to exchange information with the driver of the other vehicle. If the name on the registration doesn't match the name of the driver, be sure you identify the relationship between the driver and the registered owner. This will ensure that you're able to provide your insurance company, and attorney, with the line of responsibility for the vehicle involved in the accident.
Don't Accept Responsibility
When discussing the accident, don't accept responsibility – even if you think it was your fault. This is particularly important to remember while you're on the scene. You're going to be shaken up and you might want to apologize for the incident. However, that's the worst thing you can do, especially if it turns out that you weren't responsible for the accident. Be polite while you're on the scene, but wait for the official report from the investigating officer before you assume responsibility for the accident.
State Facts Only
You're going to be questioned about the accident. In most cases, law enforcement officials and insurance agents are going to want to talk to you about the events. To protect your rights, be sure you only discuss the facts of the case. Don't offer your opinion about details or possible causes for the accident.
You don't plan on being involved in a car accident. However, being prepared for one can help you protect your rights as an accident victim. If you've been involved in a car accident, be sure to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. To learn more, contact a law firm like Clearfield & Kofsky.