The minutes immediately after a car accident are critical in helping you prove your side of the story. The problem is, most people simply don’t know what to do in those moments. Nerves can get in the way of gathering important evidence and having the right conversations with the other party. In this blog, we’ll talk about five important things you can do to ensure you have the best chance at a favorable outcome in your car accident case.
Keep Records of Everything You Can
Car accidents are jarring and scary. For many people, the first thing they want to do is escape to a place of safety and comfort. However, you must not forget to record what happened. Witness statements are crucial here. You can also install a voice recorder app on your smartphone. By recording any exchanges between you and the other driver, you can capture any fault admitted by the other driver. Some drivers may act hostile toward you. This too can be helpful, as you may be able to show that they were driving in anger and possibly caused the accident due to their erratic behavior.
Tell Police Only What They Need to Know
Don’t over-explain. When a police officer arrives to make sense of what happened, give a clear, concise account of what you were doing when the other car struck you. Do not, however, explain what you thought was going to happen or how you could have prevented the accident. While these may seem like goodwill acts that will make things easier for the other driver, they only serve to lessen your insurance settlement, as the insurer will use your admissions as evidence of fault.
Seek Medical Care Immediately
You do not need permission from the insurance company to visit a doctor of your choosing. To the contrary, you shouldn’t be worried about what the insurance company has to say about your health. After an accident, you need to make sure you are not in danger of more serious injuries, and you need a doctor to document the full extent of your pain. Without these records, you will have a very hard time successfully suing for medical costs.
Don’t Speak with Insurance Companies
For many clients, one of the first calls they receive after an accident comes from the other driver’s insurance company. These representatives seem to mean well, asking about how the victim is doing, but the truth is they are not interested in anything as much as their bottom line. If you are contacted by an insurance company, do not make any agreements about your claim and do not divulge any details about the accident. These will likely be used against you to minimize your settlement and avoid paying you the full amount you are entitled to.
Hire a Lawyer Right Away
If you were seriously injured, it is important that you hire an attorney who can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. An experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer will be able to help you see the big picture, such as knowing the dollar amount of future medical costs and compensation for pain and suffering. You should not try to handle these kinds of issues on your own. Insurance companies have been in business for centuries, and they stay profitable by outthinking accident victims who don’t suspect any ill intent. An attorney can counsel you about how to prepare for your case and what to expect.
Remember, this is your life we’re talking about. While it is natural to want to get past these frustrating circumstances, you must be careful to do it right. An attorney can give you the information you need to build a strong case and recover damages from your accident.