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Eight Steps To Protect Your Rights After An Auto Accident

When you’ve been in a car accident, it can be very disorienting. Oftentimes we are shocked, other times we are injured. Unfortunately, the time immediately following an accident is critical to help protect your rights. If you are severely injured, the most important thing to do is seek immediate medical attention. However, if you can take a few moments, there are some things you can do that will help protect you down the line. Here are eight steps to take immediately following an accident:

• Check On Anyone Involved In The Accident

Make sure the driver of the other vehicle and any passengers are safe. If anyone is injured, contact emergency services immediately for an ambulance. The sooner first responders can come the better for the health of the injured party.

• Contact The Police And File A Report

Whether you’ve been in a mild fender bender or a major rollover accident, it’s important to contact the police. They will review the scene of the crime and document the accident. The police report can be used down the line as proof of your claim. When you speak with the responding officer, make sure not to admit fault. Instead, stick simply to the details of what happened, not why. Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police do.

• Move Vehicles Out Of Harm’s Way

If your vehicles are on a major street or intersection, move them somewhere safe. There are exceptions to this rule. If any of the vehicles are smoking, turn it off to prevent fire and get to safety. If the vehicles are inoperable, make sure to move yourself, the other driver, and passengers somewhere safe and turn on your hazard lights.

• Take Pictures

Take pictures of the scene of the accident, the vehicles, and the injuries. The more pictures you take the better because you never know what might help your case down the line. Fortunately, nowadays most people have cellphones with a camera, but if you do not, keep a disposable camera in your glove box in case you ever get into an accident.

• Exchange Information

Exchange information like names, contact information, and insurance information with the other driver. If there are any witnesses including passengers, make sure to get their names and contact information as well. Your insurance company or attorney may wish to speak with them down the line.

• Take Notes

While the accident is fresh in your mind, write down everything you remember. It can be difficult down the line to remember all the details. Writing them down following the accident can help.

• Call You Insurance Company

When you get home, call your insurance company and let them know what happened. Be very careful when you speak to them, do not admit fault. As with speaking to the police, just stick to what happened and not why it happened. Insurance companies will use anything you say to get out of paying the claim, so it’s important to not give them too much. If they start asking questions, simply tell them that you are not comfortable answering those questions now and that you will follow up in the future.

• Speak With An Attorney

Filing a claim after an accident should be a straightforward process, but it rarely ever is. It is a good idea following an accident to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to make sure that your rights are protected. Remember if you do decide to hire an attorney, they will handle everything.

Taking these steps after an accident will help protect your rights to a fair settlement for the damages incurred. If you’re ever in an accident Port Charlotte, the skilled attorneys at All Injuries Law Firm can help. Give us a call for a free case review to learn about your options.