Eight important steps to take if you have been in an accident

Being in a car accident can prove to be devastating. Apart from the injuries you may sustain, as well as the damage to your vehicle, recovering financially may also be a challenge.

Rest assured that you may be eligible for a claim, mainly if the other party’s negligence caused the accident. This article lists some of the most critical steps you must take if you have been in a road mishap.

1) Consult a legal practitioner

One of the primary things you need to do after being involved in a car mishap is to consult a lawyer. According to seasoned car accident lawyers in Atlanta, opt for the services of a lawyer where the accident happened. This is because the laws surrounding car accidents may vary slightly from one jurisdiction to another.

A legal advocate practicing within the jurisdiction where the car accident happened will comprehensively understand the laws in that area. You should also hire a lawyer specializing in personal injury law, wherein car accidents are commonly categorized. This way, you will have peace of mind knowing you will be guided accordingly. 

2) Seek prompt medical attention

Another thing you need to do following a road mishap is to seek medical attention immediately. No matter how minor your injuries may seem, you should still be checked by an emergency responder, who can refer you to the right medical practitioner. Remember that certain types of injuries only manifest after a few days or weeks following the accident.

This is the reason why you need to see a doctor immediately. It would help if you also remembered that without having yourself checked promptly, there would be no record that you were injured in the accident. If this happens and your injuries manifest after a while, it will be hard to prove that the accident was the cause of your injuries.

3) Report the incident

Ensure that you report the incident to the proper authorities. There are instances wherein the mishap is not that grave, and the parties involved decide to no longer report the incident to the police. However, this can be disadvantageous later on, particularly if you intend to claim compensation from your insurance company.

This is because you will have no proof from the relevant authorities that the accident happened. When you report the accident to the police, they can conduct the proper investigation. From there, they can create a police report that can serve as a substantial piece of evidence later on since it will likely include the parties involved as well as the probable root cause of the mishap.

4) Gather sufficient evidence

Following a car accident, another essential thing you need to do is to gather sufficient evidence. In this case, the record of you seeking immediate medical attention is one of the documents you must keep. You must also secure a copy of the police report for your records. A

side from this, if you have photos taken during the incident, ensure you collate them properly. The images can help show the root cause of the accident, mainly if the weather or road conditions are clear. It would help if you also took note of the contact details of the other party and any witnesses who might have seen what happened. The latter can help corroborate your statements later on.

5) Notify your insurance company

If you have been in an accident, you must notify your insurance company of the incident. However, remember to be mindful of how you communicate with insurance companies. This means you must be cautious of what you tell them and never apologize. Apologizing may be misinterpreted as an admission of fault, rendering any of your claims ineligible.

In this case, you should stick to the facts of what happened. It is also a good idea to get the help of a lawyer when it comes to communicating with insurance companies. This is because they can downplay your injuries, offering you a meager settlement that is far less than what you deserve.

6) Be persistent with follow ups

Days after the accident, have yourself checked again by a medical practitioner. Your follow-up checkups are not only essential for your recovery, but they are also necessary for a comprehensive medical record that you may need to present later.

Each time you visit the doctor, ensure that you secure a copy of your medical record. Collate and store your records somewhere you can access them when necessary. It would help if you kept any medical receipts for your injuries. Another thing you need to follow up on is the status of your claim if you already filed. Your legal advocate will be able to help you with this process.

7) Consider a settlement

Most personal injury cases can be handled outside of court. This is done through settlement agreements wherein both parties are amenable to how the injuries and damages should be addressed. However, you must be extra careful during this period before agreeing on any settlement offer.

In this case, it will be best if your legal advocate handles the settlement negotiations on your behalf. A seasoned legal practitioner will be able to ensure that you get the rightful compensation that you deserve based on the severity of your injuries.

8) Be patient

Finally, throughout your recovery following a car accident, you have to be patient. The claims process for your injuries doesn’t happen overnight, but so does healing.

These take time, so focus on your recovery because your legal advocate will exert all their effort to ensure your claim is taken care of. Rest assured that you will receive proper compensation if you have sufficient evidence to prove the severity of your injuries because of the accident.

Take the right steps if you have an accident

When you encounter a road mishap, the best thing you can do is consult a legal practitioner. But before that, you have to seek prompt medical attention and report the incident. From there, gather sufficient evidence and notify the insurance company of the accident.

Be persistent when you follow up regarding your claim from your insurance provider and with your medical practitioner. You can consider a settlement, but ensure your legal advocate is by your side. Throughout this process, be patient and trust that you will be able to emerge victorious.