January 17, 2018
Do’s and Don’ts After a Car Crash
If you are involved in a car crash that was caused by another driver’s negligent actions, it can be easy to panic and feel like you don’t know what to do. But it’s important to remember that the other driver will need to compensate you for any injuries or damages, so you will need to begin preparing a case right away. Below are a few “dos” and “don’ts” put together by the Wisconsin car accident lawyers of Studinski Law, LLC:
- Contact the police. If you’re able, the first thing you should do is contact the police. Police officers are trained to handle the scene after a car crash. They will speak to you and the other driver as well as any witnesses, and they will fill out their own report. That police report can be a valuable piece of evidence for your case.
- Seek medical attention. After a minor accident, you may think you’re okay. Most often, your adrenaline is surging because you’ve been in a nerve-wracking situation. Once you’ve calmed down, however, you may notice pain or stiffness from the accident. Don’t wait for extreme pain. Go see a doctor right away and find out if you have any injuries.
- Take photographs of the damage. If, like most Americans, you have a camera built into your cell phone, get it out and take photos of the scene, the damage done to your car, and any injuries you can see. Having photographic evidence of the accident can be vitally important at trial.
- Speak to witnesses. A witness’s account of the car crash can be an important part of your case. It’s best to speak to witnesses on the scene, rather than getting their phone number and contacting them later. Because memories can begin to fade, your witnesses may only have a foggy recollection of what happened.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. You need to report your accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Be sure to only give them pertinent details.
- Speak to a personal injury attorney. If you’re hurt in an accident, you need to make sure that your medical bills are covered. Likewise, you’re entitled to receive compensation for any damage done to your car or any personal property inside the car. Speaking with a personal injury can help you understand the complexities of the legal process after a car accident.
- Forgo a doctor visit because you believe you’re fine. Your adrenaline can mask symptoms of injuries, so you need to get medical attention right after you’re in a car accident. If you wait a few days before seeing a doctor, it could hurt your case (as well as potentially making any medical condition worse). The other party involved may argue that you would have seen a doctor right away if you were actually hurt.
- Forget to write everything down. Taking careful notes is as helpful to a case as providing photographs of the accident. Your own memory of the accident can suffer as the days pass, so be sure to take notes when everything is fresh in your mind.
- Allow the other driver to leave before the police arrive. Even if you have collected their insurance information, you should try to keep them on the scene. There’s no guarantee that the information you’ve been given is correct, so it’s best to keep them there until the police arrive so you aren’t stuck shouldering all the costs.
- Give your insurance company too much information. Insurance companies, whether they insure you or the other driver, are chiefly interested in paying the smallest amount possible for a claim. They will work to prove the drivers were both at fault for the accident so they have less of a financial responsibility. When reporting your accident, make sure not to give any extra information. Even saying, “I’m fine,” could be used against you in a settlement.
- Be too quick to settle your case. You are under no obligation to take the first settlement offered to you. Remember, the insurance company is trying to save themselves money; they’re not concerned with making sure you are properly compensated. Be prepared to negotiate with them. It’s important that you get reimbursed for the money this accident has cost you.
How a Wisconsin Car Accident Attorney Can Help
There’s a lot you need to remember to do (and a lot you should not do) after a car accident. What if you or a loved one are seriously injured in the accident? It’s hard to manage your case by yourself, especially if you’re trying to recover. It might be beneficial to hire a car accident attorney to handle your case. The attorneys of Studinski Law, LLC can take care of your case so you can focus on healing. To schedule a free case consultation, contact us at (715) 343-2850.