Taking the Lead After an Auto Accident
After confirming that everyone in your vehicle is either okay or receiving the medical attention they need, it is important that you take the lead in documenting the accident itself. If the police are already at the scene conducting interviews with witnesses, it is important that you continue to document the circumstances that led to the crash to insure there is an additional and accurate account of the event.
Using your cellphone’s camera, take pictures of both vehicles and any surrounding debris as it relates to the accident. Be sure to include a large enough view of the accident to show the angles in which the vehicles collided.
Locate the driver of the other vehicle involved in the collision and copy their name, license, registration and insurance information right away. If you do not have a pen and paper handy, simply use your camera phone to take a picture of the necessary documents. In addition, record the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene, taking a brief statement from each person to add to your files.
Each recorded account and documentation in your files will provide a backup to the police report, while confirming its accuracy. This will allow you to report any inaccuracies in the brief provided by the police department right away. Do not let any discrepancy stand unchallenged in the report, if any exist. Simply submit any necessary changes with the department before requesting a revised report for your records.
Do You Really Need an Attorney After an Auto Accident?
Although not all auto accidents require legal representation, there are cases where you will benefit from hiring an experienced auto accident attorney to help navigate the difficult circumstances that come with being in a collision.
If liability is in question and the party responsible for the accident is being disputed, hiring an attorney should be your very next step in the recovery process. It is important to understand that insurance companies will initially deny any claim where fault is being disputed. In addition, their representatives may make the claim that the accident is your fault based on the information they are receiving from their client.
Likewise, if you or anyone in your vehicle was seriously injury during the accident, you should not hesitate to contact an attorney. Medical care including surgeries, hospital stays and any ongoing treatment necessary to recover fully can be costly. Hiring an attorney will help insure that you are not left footing the bill.
How Serious Do Your Injuries Have to be to Contact an Attorney?
If you or a loved one is injured in any way during an auto accident, it is important that you contact an attorney right away – no matter how simple you believe the injury to be. All injuries, whether they are scrapes and bruises, broken bones, or significantly worse, can add up when it comes to medical expenses, lost wages and psychological harm.
Seeking the help of an attorney will allow you to pursue the best financial outcome possible to enjoy a full recovery.
What Can You Do to Help Your Attorney Deliver the Best Outcome?
Just as documentation began after the accident, it is important to maintain the same diligent approach to your recovery. Keeping track of your daily activities, and how they differ from before the accident, will help the court understand how your life has changed with injury.
Although it is important to maintain records regarding your bills, medical treatments and medications, it is equally important to keep a personal diary. These recordings should include your pain levels throughout the day, and how the accident has changed your day to day activity.
Are you missing work? If so, be sure to get a note from your doctor stating how long you will be out, and their medical expectations during your absence. Are you in physical therapy? Are you exercising your injuries from home? Noting each change in your activity will help the court understand that your pain, suffering and recovery are real claims that have changed the way your world unfolds each day.
In addition, it is important to document any expenses that result from your injury, including therapists, housekeepers or gardeners who have to help you achieve activities you were able to perform yourself – before the accident.
Be sure to speak with your doctors openly and honestly regarding your pain, so it is well documented in your medical charts for review by the courts later. Take pictures or video of your injuries, and the medical procedures endured as a result, to add to your records, so the process is clear and conveyed through more than just personal testimony. You cannot record too much information when it comes to your injuries and how they have affected your livelihood.
Choosing a Trusted Central Valley Attorney
Triebsch & Frampton, APC is not only trusted legal representation in Central Valley, but also a partner on your road to recovery after an auto accident. With over 145 years of legal experience, our attorney group has not only appeared in front of the judges in our area, but we have also faced opposing counsels who represent insurance companies in California for decades. This experience allows us to bring cases to trial with confidence in every aspect of the legal process including jury pool selection and the ensuing verdicts that have and will benefit our clients fully.