I was Injured in a Car Crash- Now What?

I Was Injured in a Car Crash -- Now What?

Being involved in an auto accident can be a traumatizing experience, especially if you were not at fault. You may feel overwhelmed with shock after the event and find yourself wondering where to begin and what to do next. Here is a guideline of important measures to take after being in an auto accident:

Call the police & get an accident report

The most important task after being in an accident is to call the police, no matter how minor the collision. If it is a significant crash, EMS will be notified and directed to the scene. The attending police officer will investigate the scene, take statements from the involved parties, and generate an accident report. This accident report will clarify how the collision occurred, who was at fault, and provide insurance information for all involved drivers. Before leaving the scene, make sure you have the investigating officer’s contact information and the accident report , which makes obtaining a copy much easier.

Preserve details of the accident:

Write down contact information for any potential witnesses. Independent witnesses can clear up any liability disputes. Compose a summary of the incident as soon as you are capable, including as many details about the accident as you can. Mention where you were driving, the location of the accident, and any other specifics surrounding the collision. As time passes, details of the wreck may fade from memory. This written summary allows you to maintain an accurate recollection of the accident. It is also important to take photos of the accident scene and the involved vehicles. If you are unable to take photos at the scene, take photos of your vehicle as soon as possible. If you sustained visible injuries from the crash, make sure to take photos of those as well.

Assess for injuries & seek treatment:

You should seek medical attention right away if you feel pain after the accident. Sometimes symptoms do not surface for several days due to the adrenaline running through your body after the collision. It is also important to follow your treatment plan, as instructed by your doctor. Inconsistency in treatment can be detrimental to your recovery from your injuries as well as your personal injury claim, as insurance companies will use any gaps in treatment to downplay the severity of your injuries.

Property damage:

Property damage claims (cost of repairs, rental car, etc…) are pretty straight forward and can usually be resolved within a matter of weeks. Your personal injury claim, however, is completely separate from your property damage claim and may be much more complex. You are free to resolve your property damage claim and preserve your right to bring your injury claim, but you may need an injury attorney to review the documents to make sure your injury claim is preserved.

So, which driver’s insurance company will pay for the damage to your car? Ultimately, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay, but it may be quicker and more convenient to use your own insurance company (depending on your coverages.) If you don’t have the insurance information from the at fault driver (it may take several days for the crash report to be available), your own insurance company may pay for the repairs to your car and provide you with a rental car. Your insurance company will then seek reimbursement from the at fault party’s insurance company and compensate you for any deductibles you had to pay. If you are able to wait a few days and obtain the crash report, you can file a claim directly with the at fault party’s insurance company. You likely have options, all of which can be fully explained by an experienced injury attorney. If you were injured in an accident, you should consult with an attorney before speaking to the insurance companies about your injuries.

The experienced injury lawyers at Hall & Collins Injury Law are waiting to help you! Just call 706-351-6055 to speak with an injury lawyer for your 100% FREE case consultation.

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