A car crash can be a stressful experience. If you have been injured through no fault of your own, you should consider filing a personal injury claim. A successful claim can help to pay for injury-related expenses. Talk to a personal injury attorney about your legal options.
Tip #1: Make Sure That You Prioritize Safety and Deal with Injuries
Before trying to find details from others, whether they were directly involved in the accident or merely observers or bystanders, you should make sure that everyone is safe and away from traffic or the risk of further injury.
If emergency first aid is needed and someone can provide it while waiting for an ambulance, then this should be a priority before anything else.
Tip #2: Identify Who You Should Obtain Information From
There may be different people who you should consider obtaining useful information from. Some of this is legally required or needed for your insurance company. Other information may be needed to help you if you consider making a personal injury claim.
Evidence can be crucial and may be impossible to obtain if you don’t collect it as soon as possible. It’s hard to remember who was there at the time of the accident and what they said, so it’s best if you can get it written down as soon as it’s safe to do so. Alternatively, you can use the voice recorder on your cell phone to take statements.
Tip #3: Information from the Driver at Fault
If a vehicle has crashed into you or at least has been involved in some kind of collision, the very least you will need is the driver’s name, address or email address, telephone number, license plate, and insurance details.
It’s best at this stage to keep out of any sort of argument about who did what and just take down any details that you will have to pass on to your own insurance company later. Let the police, if and when they arrive, deal with the other driver if he or she appears to be acting aggressively.
Tip #4: Information from Eyewitnesses
If you are the victim of an accident and there were eyewitnesses, their statements will be of great value later, especially if you decide to file a personal injury claim or if the person at fault tries to claim that the accident was your fault.
If you have passengers in your own vehicle, they are eyewitnesses, as are any people who stopped because of the accident to render assistance. People who were around at the time of the accident could serve as witnesses, even if they were in a nearby building.
You will need names, contact details like telephone numbers or email addresses, as well as a statement from them describing what they saw happen before, during, or after the accident. You can use your voice recorder if you know how to use it in place of pen and paper.
Don’t forget to take photos of the witnesses as well and ask them if they would be prepared to make statements later if asked to do so.
Tip #5: Know Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Is Important
It’s hard enough dealing with the emotional trauma of being in an unexpected accident and ensuring that your injuries are treated. Thinking about recovering compensation from someone whose actions caused the accident can make the process seem too difficult to tackle.
You should talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as you can; they will have dealt with cases like yours many times before and will know whether you have a reasonable chance of a successful personal injury claim.
It doesn’t make sense to try and negotiate with either the at-fault driver or his or her insurer. Leave this to the attorney, and focus on recovering from your accident.