The presence of a lawyer in a case before the courts of law or administrative tribunal plays an essential role for your success in claiming the amount of damages arising from the negligent or willful act of another party. Take note that under the law, you are entitled to the payment of actual, moral, nominal or liquidated damages the moment someone causes harm to your person or property. However, the claims for damages are quite challenging because of the complicated process involved.
In the United States, a car accident is a common occurrence. Most of these accidents have to do with property damages such as damage to the vehicle. But one out of three accidents may also involve an injury to either the passenger or driver or both. Out of this number, two in ten accidents can result in severe injuries.
There are things you should do to protect yourself and your interests when being involved in an automobile accident. Here is the list of these top ten things you should do:
STOP. It is necessary to stop when involved in a crash. Do not drive away from the scene, and even it is only a minor accident.
PROTECT THE SCENE. Keep the vehicle flashers on to prevent further accidents. Make sure to keep flashlights in your car in case you encountered an accident on a dark road.
CALL THE POLICE. It is necessary to ask for an authority when there is an accident. You may need the police report when you file for an insurance claim in the future.
MAKE AN ACCURATE RECORD. Do not speculate ad tell the investigating officers what exactly happened. If you are uncertain of the events, do not guess and make sure, to be honest to the officer. Make sure that the other parties involved will give their accurate statements. If you are asked whether you are hurt, and you are uncertain, say that you are unsure. It is the best answer rather than saying no. Most often, pain and injuries are only apparent after a few hours after the collision.
TAKE PICTURES. Immediately take a picture of the accident scene involving visible damages in the vehicle, and injuries of the person concerned. Make sure to not interfere with the police investigation when taking photographs, and you may capture such photos even after the accident.
In the United States, there are about six million auto accidents each year resulting in about three million people injured. We know that many people do not do what they can to keep themselves and others safe while driving. — James F. Zender Ph.D.
EXCHANGE INFORMATION. The investigating police officer must acquire all the information regarding the accident. The police will give all involved a police report number where you can later use to acquire a police report. However, if there is no investigating officer present, you should take the initiative in obtaining information regarding the accident, these information includes the details of the other party – the name of driver and passengers, time and date, contact numbers and such. Insurance information is also included. If there are witnesses, make sure to obtain their information for reference when you are planning to have an insurance claim.
REPORT THE ACCIDENT. If you are under insurance, make sure to report the accident to the insurance company as soon as possible. Some policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation. There is insurance that has medical benefits as part of the insurance coverage, make sure that you are subscribed to it as you can use it. An example of that is medpay. This medpay coverage includes pay for accident medical settlement and is available to all occupants of the vehicle. The insurance rates will not increase that is a result for submitting claims for medpay coverage, and once it is exhausted, private health insurance will become the primary insurer.
SEEK MEDICAL HELP. All involved in the accident should seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you are uncertain if you have any injuries. Also if you are only involved in a minor accident, you may sustain a severe and permanent injury that is not visible. Medical attention is highly required especially when you lost consciousness or in a daze.
KEEP A FILE. Make sure to keep all record of the accident-related documents. These include the claim number, names, phone numbers, and police reports.
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Consult your lawyer to protect your rights, and they will know the necessary procedures to take when claiming insurance.