What to Do After An Accident
Whether you have been injured in a car, motorcycle, or workplace accident, the moments immediately following are critical to your case. Taking proper precautions can make all of the difference in ensuring your rights are protected.
If you have been involved in a serious accident, Travis G. Black & Associates can deliver high-quality advocacy to help you pursue full, financial restitution. As a former law enforcement officer and insurance adjuster, our Folsom personal injury lawyer knows all too well how law enforcement errors or simple plaintiff mistakes can be exploited into reasons to deny or underpay compensation.
The following is a list of steps you can take to safeguard your rights after an accident:
- Check everyone for injuries, including yourself!
Did you know that certain state laws require you to seek medical attention for all injured parties? Failure to do so can subject you to criminal prosecution or a civil law suit. Try to get a bystander to make the call to authorities for you. Even if you think you are uninjured, it's best to get checked out by a skilled medical professional.
- Protect the area.
If are involved in a motor vehicle accident, turn on your hazard lights, activate flares, and raise the hood of your car, if possible. If your accident has occurred due to a workplace hazard or premises liability, try to block off the area. Anything you can do to alert oncoming drivers or passersby can help to prevent an additional accident from happening.
- Look for witnesses.
Get the name and contact information of anybody who may have witnessed the accident. Don't count on law enforcement to do this for you.
- Take pictures of everything.
When it comes to personal injury claims, a picture can be worth more than a thousand words – it can make or break your case. Take pictures of all vehicles involved and the damages they sustained before they are moved, if possible. If there was a hazard in the road, sidewalk or workplace, photograph it. Use your camera to document the time of day as well as weather conditions.
- Do not argue, but do speak up.
Don't engage in verbal altercations with the other parties involved about who was at fault for the accident. When speaking with law enforcement, do take your opportunity to describe what happened. However, stick only to the facts and never admit liability, even if you feel the accident may have been your fault.
- Get the information you need.
The most important information to get after a car or motorcycle accident is contained on the other driver's insurance card. Make sure to get their name and address as well as the VIN number of their vehicle and the name of their insurance carrier.
- Do not sign anything!
Never sign any paper that claims you are at fault for any part of the accident. The trauma of a serious accident can significantly cloud your judgment. Even if you believe your actions caused the accident, new evidence may come to light after a complete investigation that proves otherwise. Any admission of guilt can severely jeopardize your rights to compensation.
- Do not accept payment at the scene.
It is not uncommon for individuals who have been involved in a minor accident to accept immediate payment for damages in a misguided attempt to avoid a lengthy insurance claim process. This can be a costly mistake! There may be damages to your vehicle that aren't immediately apparent. Additionally, you can have injuries such as whiplash or back injuries that do not show up until days later.
Any accident can significantly impact your physical, emotional, and financial well-being for years to come. At Travis G. Black & Associates, we have been aggressively advocating for injured individuals for over 25 years! Our skilled Folsom personal injury attorney welcomes the chance to meet with you to discuss your accident, inform you of your available legal options, and describe in detail how we may pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
Give us a call today to schedule a complimentary case consult.