After a car accident, most people are too shaken up to know what to do next. However, what you do next can significantly impact your insurance claim.
You may have serious injuries that will bring hefty medical bills along with them. You may also be unable to work in the short-term or even long-term, depending on your injuries.
The following steps you take are crucial to the compensation you can recover from an accident you didn’t cause. These handy do’s and don’ts will help you know how to handle things in the aftermath of a crash.
Do: Call the Police
Calling the police will accomplish two things. You’ll have emergency responders sent to treat your injuries, and the police will fill out an accident report that documents what happened.
Don’t: Forget to File a Crash Report
In Portland, you are required to file a crash report. You have 24 hours to do so from the time of your accident.
Do: Gather Evidence
Take photos and videos of your vehicle as well as of any other vehicles involved in the crash. You’ll also want to capture the surrounding scene and any debris, weather, or road conditions that could have played a role in the accident.
Don’t: Leave Without Exchanging Information
Always get the contact and insurance information of the other driver. You should also get contact information for any witnesses that saw the crash unfold.
Do: Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
You may think you’re okay after your car accident when you don’t see any blood. However, skipping out on being treated by medical professionals is foolish. Often, many injuries are hidden below the surface. You may have a traumatic brain injury or internal bleeding, and the only way to rule out these injuries is by having a full examination.
Document all medical care and treatments you receive to show that you’re taking your injuries seriously. If you don’t, the insurance company may deny your claim for these injuries.
Don’t: Admit You’re At Fault
It’s common for people to apologize in situations like these, even if they weren’t in the wrong. Refrain from admitting fault or accusing the other driver. Simply saying that you’re sorry the accident happened can also be construed as an admission to a fault that could impact your insurance claim.
Do: Work with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents are complicated, especially when you have injuries and loads of expenses from one that wasn’t your fault. You may think you can handle dealing with the insurance company and make your claims, but you will have better success when you work with a Portland car accident attorney.
You might be relieved to be offered a settlement for your accident so quickly; however, you will want to consider all the damages you’ve incurred from this accident. You have medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other expenses.
Only a car accident attorney has the legal expertise to help you get the proper amount of compensation for everything you’ve endured. Most offer free initial consultations, making it a wise choice to see what you can learn about your particular legal situation.