If you were injured in a car accident due to the negligence or carelessness of another person, you have the right seek compensation. To preserve the integrity of your claim, there are certain steps you should take immediately after the event, provided that you are not too injured and in pain to do so. If this happens to be the case, try to ask bystanders or witnesses to help with the following steps:
- Seek Medical Attention
Your first priority should always be immediate medical attention. Medical bills and treatment records will verify the fact that you were injured and give a reasonably accurate idea of your financial losses, making it easier to deal with the other driver’s insurer and even your own no-fault insurance provider.
- Approach Witnesses
Talk to any witnesses and get both their stories and contact information. Confirm that they are willing to make verbal or written statements for you. Their corroboration will make it a lot more difficult for the other side to diminish or refute your claim. If you see a potential witness who pulled over after the accident but starts to drive away before you can approach them, try to take a picture of their license plate for later police follow-up.
- Take Pictures
Use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene (if it is damaged, ask witnesses if they can take the images on your behalf). You will want to include the area where the accident occurred, damage to all vehicles, and any anomalies that may have contributed to the collision, such as a malfunctioning traffic light or missing/damaged street signs.
In addition to photographing the accident scene, preserve evidence of your injuries by taking pictures of them on the date they occurred and continuing to do so as they heal. Cuts and fractures look a lot different on the day of the accident than they do at the time you present your case to a jury, if it comes to that.
- Call the Police
A police report will add additional strength and credibility to your claim if you encounter resistance from insurance adjusters and claims attorneys from the other side. When investigating a crash, the police will frequently include evidence of fault, which is why the party responsible for the accident will often try to keep them out of the matter. Even if the other driver asks you not to call the police, it is important that you do so.
Once you have amassed all evidence, it is a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney who can help you make the most of your photos, witness statements, medical evidence, and police reports. Although you can theoretically pursue a claim on your own, some insurance adjusters will deliberately block or at least delay payment when you represent yourself. Attorney involvement can deter such tactics and expedite payment of the money you need to cover medical bills, wage loss, and other damages. We know this first-hand, which is why we are ardent advocates for personal injury victims.
At Interlandi Law Office, you can rest assured that we have successfully handled several personal injury claims arising from car accidents. Anthony J. Interlandi, Esq. and his team will give your case personal attention and mobilize any resources necessary to bring about a favorable outcome.