When you’re involved in an accident, you may be left feeling frustrated and disoriented, but this is a vital time to try to think rationally. While you will need to consult a personal injury lawyer down the road, there are a few steps you need to take before you get to that stage. Here’s what you should do to help you and your lawyer present a stronger claim.
4 Steps to Take Immediately After Your Accident
1. Document the Scene
As soon as you can, you should begin collecting information from everyone involved in the accident. You can start by evaluating the injuries and determining the nearest intersection. This will help as you call 911 for an emergency response. Next, go about collecting the names and contact information for the other drivers, passengers in any of the involved vehicles, and any witnesses. Be sure to collect insurance information from any other drivers involved, but do so without discussing the accident.
2. Collect Evidence
As you wait for the police to arrive, you can collect evidence that will help in filing your personal injury claim. This primarily consists of using your phone to photograph the property damages and the general scene of the accident. Be sure to get close-up and clear images of any damage that was done to your vehicle.
3. Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t feel the symptoms of an injury, you should seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, may not manifest symptoms right away but can lead to a severe disability weeks or months down the road. Additionally, failing to seek treatment within a reasonable time frame may negatively affect your ability to file a claim. Even if you can still legally file, delaying medical treatment may suggest to the insurance company that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim.
4. Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
Soon after the accident, the insurance company will send an adjuster to meet with you and investigate the accident. If you don’t have an attorney present, the adjuster may manipulate you into making statements that can harm your claim. They might also offer you an initial settlement that could be insufficient to cover your full damages. Alternatively, your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and help you obtain a more fair settlement offer.
The Gil Law Firm in Dothan, AL, helps their clients file social security and personal injury claims. They can help you negotiate with insurance companies, and if a fair settlement can’t be reached, they will be prepared to take your case to court. To learn more about their experience in handling personal injury claims, visit their website. Call (334) 673-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.