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What to do before hire auto accident attorney

No one wants to be involved in a car accident, but they happen. It’s inevitable. No one can control it — even the safest drivers are involved in car accidents occasionally. Because you aren’t immune to becoming a car accident victim, it’s really important you know what to do if an accident occurs. Unfortunately, the process is simple. Just follow these tips.

Check for Injuries

Any time you’re involved in a car accident, you need to check to see if anyone was injured. This includes everyone in your vehicle, as well as anyone else involved in the accident. If anyone needs medical attention, you should call for emergency services immediately.

People who aren’t showing immediate signs of injury should also be examined by the emergency personnel on site. This way, if symptoms of whiplash or another injury appear later in the day and you need to hire an auto accident attorney to file a personal injury claim, you have the documentation needed to get the process started.

Watch What You Say and Do

It’s normal to be shaken up after a car accident, but you need to try your best to keep yourself composed. It’s important to pay close attention to what you do and say because anything that implies you might think you’re at fault could hinder your personal injury claim — if you need to file one.

For example, if you’re involved in an auto accident where you hit a pedestrian, your first instinct would be to apologize to the person you hit, as you're checking for injuries. However, you shouldn’t do that.

An apology can be considered an admission of guilt, and there’s no way you can logically determine whether you were at fault until you calm down. After you calm down a bit, you might realize that the person your hit walked out in front of your car randomly because he or she wasn’t using the crosswalk.

It’s okay to speak to the other people involved and witnesses. In fact, you should gather everyone’s contact information in case you do need to hire a personal injury lawyer and he or she wants to gather witness statements. In addition to contact info for everyone involved and any witnesses, you need to exchange auto insurance policy information with the other party involved in the wreck.

Report the Accident

Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, you still need to report it to your insurance company. Most auto insurance policies include a clause that requires policyholders to report accidents within a specific amount of time. If you don’t report the accident in a timely manner, your insurance company has the right to drop your policy completely.

While it’s important to report the accident to your insurance company, you shouldn’t speak to a claims adjuster until you’ve spoken to a personal injury attorney. Claims adjusters handle claim settlements, and it’s their job to settle claims for as little money as possible. Hiring an auto accident attorney helps ensure you receive a fair settlement. Ideally, your settlement should cover your medical expenses, including any ongoing expenses, any pay you lost as a result of the accident, and any property damage you incurred. Not all settlement offers cover all of this, which is why it’s a good idea to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you through the claims process.

Take Pictures

One of the most important things you should do after a car accident is document the accident scene. If possible, you should take pictures of the accident scene. You need photos of your car, including any damage and any other vehicles involved, including close-up shots of any damage. You should also take a few photos that show the entire accident scene so that it’s easy to see where the cars stopped. Additionally, you need photos of anything that could have played a factor in the accident, such as wet or icy roads or obstructed traffic signs.

If you can't photograph the scene, you should write down everything that happened leading up to the accident and at the accident scene while it's still fresh in your mind.

Any time you’re involved in an auto accident it’s scary, and it’s even scarier if people were hurt. But it’s important that you do your best to keep cool, gather the information you need, and make sure you and everyone in your car sees a doctor for a medical exam as soon as possible.


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