What To Do After An Auto Accident
The Crucial First Minutes And Hours Can Affect Your ClaimAn auto accident throws life into chaos. First, there's the initial shock of the accident. Adrenaline is pumping and those involved are feeling the fight-or-flight impulse. The obvious question is: Am I OK? Unfortunately, auto accidents often result in serious injury. Broken bones and lacerations can be obvious, but many other injuries aren't. It can take 24, 48 or even 72 hours for the victim of an auto accident to recognize signs and symptoms of injury.
Where To BeginAfter the shock of the accident has worn off, many victims wonder: What to do next? The minutes and hours immediately following an auto accident are a critical time. They can shape who is at fault, who has to pay and what the future will look like for both parties involved. So where to begin?
Contact The PoliceFirst, you should always call the police. It's fine to use 911. Police will arrive at the scene within minutes to take a statement from each driver, examine the scene and environment and make a preliminary determination as to who is at fault. Police reports often form the foundation for liability, so it's important to start the paper trail right away. Cooperate with investigators and give a full account of the incident, if you are able. Also make note of any independent witnesses, including pedestrians, passers-by and passengers.
Get Treatment For Your InjuriesIf you've been injured, calling 911 is also the best way to get an ambulance to the scene of the accident. Nothing is more important than your health and if you're debating whether to be transported by ambulance, err on the side of caution. It's vital for your own safety to get all necessary medical attention right away. When in doubt, use the ambulance. Furthermore, it's important to avoid a long gap in treatment. While true that injuries often take 2 or 3 days to manifest, getting treatment right away clearly connects your injuries to the accident.
Contact Your Insurance CompanyAt some point, you'll also want to contact your insurance company to let them know you've been in an accident. Insurance companies often make their own investigation into accidents to make a determination of liability. Calling your insurance company can get your vehicle repaired or replaced quicker, they might even waive your deductible. Also, you might choose to set up a claim for medical and other monetary benefits, such as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). But under no circumstances should you talk to the other driver's insurance company. They might contact you for a statement -- you should refuse. Never talk to the opposing insurance company about the accident, your injuries or treatment. They might make an offer to repair or replace your vehicle. Your best move is to consult your attorney.
Consider Legal RepresentationIf you're unsure what to do or uncomfortable with the way you're being treated, it's never a bad idea to contact an attorney. The personal injury attorneys of Dallas & Turner will help protect your rights in the critical period after your accident.
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"Being injured in an accident is incredibly traumatic and stressful for the victims and their families. Understanding what to do in the immediate aftermath may greatly affect your claim and future settlement. We're here to help you or a loved one best navigate this stressful time and determine the best path forward."James Ryan Turner, Injury Lawyer in Florence, KY