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Whether you are the driver or a passenger, following the following tips can help you get the maximum recovery from your Car Accident Case:
1. CALL THE POLICE
A police report will help to prevent fraud. It will also help your auto accident attorney with settlement negotiations. Even though the police may not show up if they don’t believe there is a serious injury, it won’t hurt to ask them to come and take a report.
2. GET WITNESS STATEMENTS
Sometimes there will be witnesses who can help establish that you are not liable for the car accident. Politely ask them if they would help you out by providing their name and number in case you need their assistance. While the facts of the accident are still fresh in their minds, your attorney can contact them and encourage them to provide a written statement, which could greatly benefit you down the road.
3. TAKE PHOTOS
Important photos include that of your own car and the other driver’s car from several different angels. Take both close-ups and longer range shots. Pictures of the street, intersection, skid-marks, and damaged car parts in the street are also helpful. Finally, take pictures of your injuries and bruises.
4. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY
DO NOT speak to ANY insurance company adjuster without legal representation. This includes your own insurance company representative who will try to get a recorded statement from you. Insurance adjusters are experts in getting you to give inadvertent admissions. They are also very good at twisting the facts with very skillfully asked questions. Settlement figures and damages awards are often higher when accident victims have attorney representation.
5. LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR
When your medical provider tells you something, please listen to their expert advice and recommendations. Go to ALL of your scheduled treatment appointments and specialist referrals. Your financial settlement or recovery at trial is directly correlated to your medical bills and doctor’s documentation of your injuries. Let them know ALL of your injuries, pains, bruises, sleepless nights, emotional distress, headaches, problems of daily living, relationship or sexual problems or difficulties in carrying out work responsibilities as a result of injuries incurred due to the accident.
6. DON’T ADMIT FAULT
During a car accident and its aftermath, there is often mass confusion and chaos. You may not be aware of all the facts of the incident, often being in a state of shock and injured. You may be unaware of how the other driver contributed to the accident. Stating that you are at fault is not a wise move. You can simply explain to the police officer the facts of the accident without admitting fault. Don’t engage in unnecessary conversations with others.
7. GET TREATED FOR YOUR INJURIES
Do this right away. So many make the mistake of seeing a doctor many days or weeks after their accident. Having a long gap between the date of incident and treatment will hurt your case in the end. Insurance Adjusters find you less credible and are suspicious about claimed injuries that are not attended to for a long period of time after the accident.
This Blog Post does not form an Attorney-Client Relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. Each case is different and not enough facts exist to formulate a proper and thorough response. To the extent additional or different set of facts exist or the hypothetical or scenario presented herein is different, the opinion or commentary of the Attorney might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California and opinions are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise. For answers to specific legal questions, always consult with a licensed Attorney.