Being in a car accident can really rock your foundations, leaving you shocked, traumatized, and perhaps unsure of how to proceed or what your rights are. While we understand that the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, failing to take certain actions as soon as possible could result in a diminished claim value, or perhaps the revocation of your right to seek damages at all. Consider these stages of what to do after a car accident to improve your chances of recovering the settlement that you deserve–
Get the Other Driver’s Information
At the scene of the accident, it’s important that you get the other driver’s information, including:
- Vehicle make and model;
- Driver’s license number;
- License plate number;
- Insurance and registration information; and
- Contact information.
Remember, you’ll likely be filing a claim against the other driver’s insurance, not your own, if you weren’t at fault for the crash. Don’t overlook the value of getting as much information from the other driver as possible.
While you’re at it, it can also be beneficial to collect information from any eyewitnesses to the accident, too. Eyewitness statements can have a significant effect on proving fault.
Always File a Police Report
Even if you don’t think that your accident is very serious or you and the other driver agree to handle costs privately, you should always file a police report. Not only is filing a police report the law when anyone is injured or there is property damage, but a police report also serves as an important form of evidence and proof that the car accident occurred.
Don’t Think Twice About Getting Medical Care
Just like filing a police report, many people will hesitate to seek medical care if they aren’t severely injured. But this can be a mistake – some injuries will take hours or days to develop, and failing to seek medical care can be used against you to question the severity of your injuries, or whether or not your injuries are even related to the car accident.
Start Documenting Everything
It can be hard to think about your accident, especially if you were in a particularly traumatic crash. But the hours, days, and weeks after the accident–while your memory is still fresh–are a critical time to write down as many details about the accident that you can remember.
In addition to recording accident-specific details, you should also keep track of your injuries and your health progress. Keeping a personal journal that explains how the injury has affected your life may be useful when you are seeking damages and trying to establish the extent of your harm.
Call a Lawyer
While you maintain the right to file a claim on your own without legal counsel, working with an experienced car accident attorney almost always yields a more positive case result for a claimant.
At the law offices of Tuite Law, our Rockford car accident attorneys are available to represent you in your claim, and will treat you with the care and dedication that you deserve. Please contact us today at 877-965-5777 to schedule your free case consultation.