Auto Accident Do's and Dont's

by admin on May 30, 2010

DO’S

Determine whether you have suffered any severe injuries.

Try to stay calm and collected. Immediately after a car accident it is common to become upset, angry, or scared. Determine if you or others in your vehicle have sustained any injuries. If someone needs immediate medical attention please contact emergency medical personnel. Be sure to check the surroundings to make sure it is absolutely safe to step out of the vehicle.

Determine the extent of accident damage.

Record and analyze the damages done to your vehicle from the collision. You should take pictures with a camera or create written details of the damages to your vehicle. It might also be to your advantage to note the car damages suffered by the other party or parties.

Wait for the police to arrive and discuss your car accident only with the police and your insurance agent.

After an accident you will be shook up and it might be hard not to discuss the details of the car accident to other parties with collected thoughts. Be careful not to admit any fault or liability, because what you reveal can be used against you. If you wait to learn more about the facts of the accident you might realize the other party is more at fault than you are. Discuss what you think happened with the police and insurance agent after collecting your thoughts.

File an car accident report with help from the police.

A police report can be one of the most important pieces of evidence from a car accident scene. A police report is a written record of the statements made by the individual(s) who filed the report and of the police officer’s observations, thoughts, opinions and any statement made by other people involved in the vehicle collision. What the officer noted will be critical in determining fault and liability later on.

Get the relevant information from other drivers involved in your car accident.

It is important to get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone involved. A description of the car and license plate number will be helpful. Also get the other party’s insurance company’s name and vehicle identification number. The vehicle identification number (VIN) is 17 characters and does not include the letter I, O, or, Q. The VIN can be found at the dashboard on the driver side of the vehicle. VIN can also be found at the doorpost (where the door latches when it is closed), on an insurance card, insurance policy, or on vehicle title and registration documents. Do not assume the license plate number is all you need because most insurance companies only record the type of car and the vehicle identification number.

Contact your insurance agent.

Call your insurance agent’s 800-number as soon as possible after a car accident. Call them at the scene of the car accident and let the police officer give your insurance company a more accurate account. This can save you a lot of time later as you wait for your claim to be processed.

DONT’S

You delay in retaining counsel.

Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is one of the smartest things you can do. A competent personal injury lawyer knows the legal pitfalls. A car accident attorney will step in between you and the insurance company; he will deal with the other party’s car insurance adjusters. Your car accident attorney can help you settle your claims for fifty percent higher than what you can achieve on your own or with the help of non-attorneys.

You delay in seeking needed medical treatment.

Many people delay seeking medical help after a vehicle collision because they want to sort out who is paying and how much is to be paid. Such inaction leads to procrastination and works against you. Gaps in time between accident and treatment cause significant damages to the value of your case. It is wiser to seek out treatment earlier and to sort out who is paying later. Seeking immediate and necessary treatment will prevent or lessen physical injury to yourself and help you car accident cause.

You delay in repairing your damaged vehicle.

Insurance companies will look at the damage done to your car when evaluating your personal injury claims. Do not delay in getting an estimate. A complete repair cost estimate includes cost of a thorough repair with new parts and cost of labor. Take your damaged car to at least a few different body shops and select the shop that gives you the most complete repair cost estimate. Have your own insurance company pay for the damages, since your insurance company does not have a bias against you to keep damages to a minimum. When analyzing your bodily injury claim later on, the other side’s insurance company will have a nice large repair bill in its hands when judging the seriousness of your car accident.


About the Author:
South Florida Attorney Joseph M. Maus and Associates has been helping victims of injuries and accidents for close to 17 years. The firm prides itself on having the resources and experience of the largest state-wide law firms, yet providing individualized attention to each and every client.
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