What To Do If You Have Been In A Car Accident
A car accident is always unexpected and often an extremely unnerving experience. Your mind may be racing with questions as you worry about what to do next. Meanwhile, there are people coming at you from all sides asking questions and wanting information about what happened. The actions you take immediately following an auto wreck can be critical to the success of your claim down the line.
Knowing what to do and who (or who not) to talk to after a car accident can help you protect your ability to receive the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. At Parranto & Applegate in Santa Rosa, we represent clients throughout Northern California who were harmed in motor vehicle crashes and collisions. We have compiled a brief list of steps that can be taken at the scene to help protect your interests.
Dos And Don'ts
The following list covers many of the points to consider after an accident. Some of these recommendations may not be practical depending on the circumstances of the accident.
- Seek medical attention. There is nothing more important than your health.
- Take pictures at the scene if possible. Photos of both vehicles, skid marks, debris, visible injuries and the other driver can all be helpful.
- Talk to the police. Ask that the officer on the scene file a report and request a copy.
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible and give it a detailed account of what happened.
- Choose your own body shop for repairs. The insurance company's preferred shop will often low-ball the repair estimate, which can work against you at trial. "Minor" vehicle damage can lead to an argument that you suffered only minor injuries.
- Call an experienced personal injury attorney.
- Make a statement to the other driver's insurance company representatives. They will ask you questions with the intent of getting you to say certain things that can work in their favor and against you.
- Accept a settlement offer from the insurance company representatives. They want to resolve your claim as cheaply as possible. In addition, many settlements prevent you from pursuing compensation for undiagnosed injuries.
Learn More From A Skilled Lawyer
Contact our office today to discuss your car accident injuries with a lawyer. We are available during regular business hours and by appointment at other times. You can reach us by phone at (707) 573-8868 or via email.