What To Do – and Not To Do – If You’re Involved in an Auto Accident
A few months ago, we shared news that traffic fatalities skyrocketed nationally during the first part of 2016. We also shared findings for why Phoenix-area freeways in particular are notoriously so dangerous. In this issue, we’ll talk about what to do – and what not to do – if you’re involved in an auto accident.
How common are injuries from auto accidents?
They’re actually quite common. Hard numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that there are about 3 million injuries directly from auto accidents each year. Some insurance experts even say that the average U.S. adult will be involved in an auto accident a minimum of 3 times during their lives.
If you’re involved in an auto accident, be sure to:
- Call the police. Even if you feel the damage is minor, police will need to be involved to complete an official incident report so that processing of the documentation can begin.
- Take photos of everything. Most of us have smartphones these days, so taking photographs should be easy.Remember to photograph all of the vehicles involved as well as the scene of the accident from multiple angles. Take special care to photograph damage to each vehicle involved as well as the license tags.
- Get in touch with your insurance provider. This is also easier nowadays as many insurance providers offer apps that allow you to contact your provider with the push of a button. If you do not have such an app on your phone, now is a good time to contact your provider to see if one is available.
- Get thee to a doctor, pronto! Even if your injuries appear to be minor, go straight to the emergency room or your doctor’s office. This establishes a baseline for your health condition as your cases proceeds through the legal system.
- Keep a file for the paperwork so that it’s organized. With medical treatment comes paperwork, especially bills, questionnaires, letters of benefit explanation, etc.Even if you’re not particularly good at maintaining paperwork, just keep a large envelope on-hand and place the documents inside so that your lawyer can sort it.
- Talk with a lawyer ASAP. Your best bet for being compensated properly is to partner with a layer who knows what needs to be taken into account from the start of your case to its conclusion.
If you’re involved in an auto accident, make sure you DO NOT:
- Apologize to the other driver. While you may truly feel sorry about the accident, saying things like “I was distracted” or “It was my fault” can seriously hurt you later in court.
- Accept cash or any other types of payment to keep it on the down low. If they’re at fault and think they may face big legal hurdles because of their record, some drivers may offer you cash on the spot. Do not do this!Even if the damage looks minor, you really have no way of knowing what the final tally will be to fix your vehicle or even if you are physically ok.
- Talk with the other driver’s insurance company. As nice as their representative may sound, they are merely trying to make the case go away as inexpensively for them as possible.
- Post anything whatsoever to your social media outlets. You can be sure that the other driver’s lawyer will search every online outlet for information about you.
Call The Oswalt Law Group If You’re Injured by Someone Else On The Road
Just about wherever you travel, you’re at risk of being seriously hurt by someone else’s negligence. If you’ve been the victim of someone else’s negligence on the road, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit to help cover lost wages, pay medical bills and assist with any therapy you may need. For a free consultation, call us here at The Oswalt Law Group; our number is 602-225-2222.