What to do After You Have Been Involved in a Car Accident
Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents on November 2, 2021
If you have been involved in a vehicle accident, then you certainly understand that there are steps that have to be taken to help you recover full compensation for your injuries and property damage. Insurance carriers and at-fault parties will fight back from having to pay out any type of compensation for your losses. You should work with a Seattle car accident attorney who can handle every aspect of your case, but you can also take the following steps to help make sure that your case moves along in the right direction.
1. Contact the police
Nearly every vehicle accident that occurs in Seattle and throughout Washington has to be reported to the police. Make sure that you call 911 to report the incident. The police will conduct a preliminary investigation into the crash and fill out the accident report that you will need for your insurance claim.
2. Seek medical care
It is crucial for any crash victim in Seattle to seek medical care as soon as possible. The reality is that the signs and symptoms of some vehicle accident injuries do not appear until hours or even days after the crash occurs. However, you need to make sure you go to a doctor for an evaluation regardless of whether or not you feel any pain or have any visible injuries. This helps ensure your own well-being, and it also establishes a direct link between the vehicle accident and your injuries.
3. Gather evidence
This step may not be possible depending on how severe the crash was and where the crash occurred. You should only try to gather evidence at the accident scene if it is safe to do so and if you are not seriously injured. If you are able to gather evidence, you can use your cell phone or any other type of camera to take photographs of everything that you see. This includes vehicle damage, injuries, debris, skid marks, traffic and weather conditions, possible causes of the crash, license plate numbers, insurance cards, and more.
Additionally, if there were any eyewitnesses to the crash, including other drivers and passengers as well as bystanders, you need to get their names and contact information before they leave the scene.
Finally, look around and see if there are any video surveillance cameras pointed in the direction of the vehicle accident. You may not be able to get the footage off of these cameras right away, but at least you will be able to tell your attorney where these cameras are located.
4. Report to your insurance carrier
Auto insurance carriers have very strict reporting deadlines, often within a day or two after an incident occurs. You need to call your insurance carrier and let them know that the accident occurred and where it occurred. All your insurance carrier needs to know at this point is a very general description of the incident as well as the name, contact information, and insurance carrier of the other parties involved. You do not need to go into detail when you initially make your report.
If you are contacted by the insurance carrier of the other driver(s) involved, refer them to your attorney. The more you say to insurance claims adjusters, the more likely they will be able to take your statements out of context in an effort to limit how much money they pay you in compensation.
5. Continue all medical care
You need to continue all medical care until your doctor says you have reached maximum medical improvement. If you choose to discontinue care after a car accident before your doctor recommends that you do so, this could be taken as a sign by the insurance carriers that you are not as injured as initially claimed.