No one truly thinks that a car accident will happen to them at any given moment. In fact, it’s probably one of the last things on the mind of people driving to work, running errands, or going to pick up their children from school.
Most of the time, learning steps to take after a car accident seems like something that doesn’t or won’t ever apply to us. However, if you use cars as a means of transportation either as a driver or a passenger, you have just as much of a chance of getting into a car accident as the next person.
Knowing what not to do after an accident is just as critical as the proactive steps you take. In this guide, we lay out the basic things to do and not to do to ensure your rights to compensation are protected.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, the legal team at Richard Schwartz & Associates is here to stand in your corner. Contact our firm at (601) 869-0696 to schedule a free consultation.
Seek Medical Attention
Call 9-1-1 immediately so that medical responders arrive on the scene of the accident. Even if you are not seriously injured, get immediate medical attention. Your safety and health come first. Plus, seeking medical attention as soon as possible will paint at accurate timeline showing how the accident caused your injuries.
Contact The Police
When officers arrive, you can tell them what happened so that it goes into a police report. This will ensure the accident is documented, a crucial step when it comes to building your case later on.
All parties involved should exchange some basic information, including names, license plate numbers, model and make of vehicles, insurance information, car registration, and driver’s license numbers.
This includes taking photos of the scene, including the vehicles involved, road conditions, possible hazards, and any visible injuries. Make note of the date, time, and place of the accident, along with weather conditions or anything else that may have contributed to the accident.
Once you take care of your health and safety and are back at home, you should notify your insurance company of the accident while details are still fresh in your mind. Ask questions about what is covered and what the process would be getting reimbursed for your damages.
A car accident can leave you shaken up, but do not panic. After you call for emergency responders, remain calm until they arrive.
It is against the law to leave the scene of an accident. Even if you are doing so with good intentions, this could be seen as you “fleeing the scene.” You should wait until you exchange information with the other driver and police arrive to document what happened. This will ensure evidence is preserved and that you did everything in your power to follow the necessary steps.
Don’t Accept Blame
“I’m so sorry!” This is something that many people make the mistake of saying to the other driver involved in the accident once they get out of their vehicles. This is typically said out of inconvenience and has nothing to do with admitting blame. However, uttering a simple apology could be used to show that you admitted being at fault for the accident.
Even if you feel you are at fault, do not accept blame after an accident. Liability can be tricky and not what it seems at first. Your personal injury attorney can review the evidence and help determine what degree of fault each party holds.
Don’t Sign Anything
If you receive paperwork from the insurance company, do not sign it without speaking with your personal injury attorney. You have a right to say “no” and to review everything before with your attorney. They will also advise you of whether the insurance company is offering you a fair settlement or whether you should counter their offer with an amount that is more in line with the severity of your injuries and other damages.
Personal injury cases are reliant on evidence that should be collected immediately after the accident and the days and weeks following. A personal injury attorney will know how to go about collecting necessary evidence in a timely manner that will show the severity of your injuries, prove liability, and help you recover financially.
Remember that the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Mississippi is three years from the date of the accident that caused the injury.
Contact Richard Schwartz & Associates
We understand that the steps right after an accident can be some of the most difficult. We hope that this guide clears up the process so that you know what to do and what not to do.
The next step would be filing a car accident claim, most likely with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Navigating the legal aspects of a car accident case can be confusing. Remember that you don’t have to go through this process alone. The compassionate legal team at Richard Schwartz & Associates works hard on behalf of each client to help them receive the compensation they need to heal, and we will do the same for you.
We take pride in helping each and every client that walks through our doors through their financial recovery while remaining steadfast in our integrity, accountability, respect, and honesty. For help pursuing your case, don’t hesitate to reach our to our firm for a free consultation.
Get ethical and effective legal advocates in your corner. Contact Richard Schwartz & Associates at (601) 869-0696 to discuss your case today.