While car insurance is a necessity for driving a vehicle, it is also something that can greatly increase in price should you find yourself involved in an accident. However, you may be able to avoid these increases if you can prove you were not at fault for the accident. But to do so, there are many steps you must take following your accident. Since you will also be worried about how you will pay high medical bills and replace lost income following your accident, it is crucial you work closely with a car accident lawyer who can not only prove you were not at fault for your accident, but also help you gain the maximum amount of compensation from insurance companies.
Stay at the Accident Scene
If you want to make sure you are paying higher insurance premiums and possibly facing hit and run charges from police, you can do so by leaving the scene of your accident before police arrive. Should you do so, you automatically look guilty in the eyes of police, making it almost impossible to win a potential personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, always remain at the accident scene, be cooperative with police, and make plans to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Don’t Say the Wrong Things
While you should wait at the accident scene for police to arrive and be as cooperative as possible when speaking with them, it is also vital you don’t say the wrong things during your conversation. For example, if you tell police “I’m sorry” while at the scene, this will skew their thinking and investigation into the accident in the direction of assuming you just admitted the accident was your fault. To keep this from happening, answer their questions as carefully and succinctly as you can, then schedule a meeting with an auto injury attorney. Going over a law-related website such as Personal Injury Lawyer Los Angeles Ca | West Coast Trial Lawyers to try and get more information.
Never Refuse Medical Treatment
Along with making sure police don’t file an accident report stating they think you were at fault for the accident, you also never under any circumstances whatsoever refuse medical treatment by paramedics and others at the accident scene. Even if you are unsure as to the extent of your injuries, always let medical professionals assess your condition and provide immediate treatment. If you refuse treatment, you might as well say goodbye to the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and other expenses. By getting treatment at the scene, going to a hospital for additional evaluation, and having your injuries entered into your medical records within hours of your accident, you make it difficult for an insurance company to deny you suffered serious injuries from your accident.
Speak to the Other Driver
If you can do so, always try to have an initial conversation with the other driver involved in your accident. However, just as you should do with police, always be careful of what you say. Instead of letting yourself get tangled up in a lengthy conversation, make this conversation as short and sweet as possible. When doing so, simply ask for the driver’s name and contact information, insurance information, and other related information. Once you obtain the necessary information, end your conversation and make plans to meet with attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers for a consultation.
Photograph the Accident Scene
When auto accidents occur, it is not at all uncommon for one of the drivers involved to exaggerate the extent of their injuries as well as the damage to their vehicle. Rather than let this happen to you and potentially lead to you losing your personal injury case, take as many photos of the accident scene as you can with your smartphone. For example, always photograph the damage sustained to both vehicles, any visible injuries sustained by you or the other driver, skid marks that may be present on the road, stop signs or traffic lights that may have been ignored by the other driver, and anything else you believe could benefit your personal injury case. While police may take pictures of the scene, don’t rely on these photos alone. In most cases, police are eager to wrap up an accident scene and move on, so they may miss out on key evidence. Once you have your pictures, have them with you at your initial consultation and turn them over to your car accident lawyer.
Get Witness Accounts of Your Accident
If you fail to get witness accounts of your auto accident, you are again making it easier for an insurance company to raise your rates and ultimately deny you financial compensation for your injuries. Time after time, there is at least one witness to an auto accident who can provide key information about what led up to the accident. Therefore, never leave the accident scene without first talking to any witnesses who may be able to provide important details about the accident. If you have your smartphone, use it to record your conversations, since this will ensure nobody can come back later and dispute what was said. Also, never forget to get the names and contact information of anyone with whom you speak, since your personal injury lawyer will probably want to conduct follow-up interviews days later.
Insurance Company Negotiations
After your auto accident, you should never try to handle negotiations with insurance companies on your own. Instead, even if you are in the hospital, you should immediately hire an auto injury attorney to handle your case and speak to the insurance companies on your behalf. In doing so, you can avoid making mistakes many other accident victims make in these cases. For example, many victims speak to insurance companies prior to getting legal advice, resulting in them saying things that are later used against them by insurers to deny them compensation. In other situations, accident victims quickly agree to a settlement with the insurance company. But in doing so, they lose out on the chance to let their car accident lawyer negotiate an out-of-court settlement for them that would give them far more compensation than that being offered by the insurance company.
No Social Media Posts
As tempting as it may be to go on your social media accounts and post pictures or comments about your accident, don’t do it. Since insurance companies regularly monitor the activity of accident victims on social media, all it will take is one wrong photo or comment to send your personal injury case spiraling toward defeat. Instead of letting your emotions guide your thinking and posting angry comments about the other driver, police, or others, stay off social media and allow your auto injury attorney to build a strong case that will result in you obtaining the financial compensation you need for yourself and your family.
If you think just any lawyer can handle your auto accident case, think again. To win these cases, accident victims need attorneys who are not only experienced and knowledgeable, but who also have an excellent record of success winning these complex cases. If you are now recuperating from an auto accident caused by a negligent driver, hold them accountable for their carelessness. To do so, schedule your consultation today with a personal injury lawyer at West Coast Trial Lawyers.