Everything You Should Do After a Car Accident
The shock and adrenaline immediately arising after a crash can be challenging to endure, and you may find yourself trying to figure out what comes next. Of course, you want to file a claim, but before you do that, there are essential steps you need to take. These steps are essential in helping you obtain the necessary evidence to prove you deserve compensation and preserve your rights.
Taking these steps means you are giving yourself an opportunity to build a strong case and claim with your insurance company. Each step is outlined based on the things you want to look for and what you want to do after an accident, so you know what to expect if you are involved in a crash.
The steps below will detail the following:
- Exchanging information with the other driver
- Contacting local authorities and your insurance company
- Taking photographs of the scene of the accident, damage to all vehicles, and visible injuries
- Speaking with witnesses of the crash
- Receiving medical care
- Hiring a lawyer
To learn about each of these steps and why they are so important, click on any of the links above or keep scrolling to get the information you need.
If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident, call our firm at (800) 294-6637 to learn how we may be able to help.
Exchange Information with All Other Drivers Involved
Most accidents involve you and another driver. Even though Michigan is a No Fault accident state, you want to ensure you get the other driver’s contact and insurance information for various reasons. Drivers should share names and addresses, driver’s license information, and registration. This should be provided to law enforcement.
Contact Local Authorities and Your Insurance Provider
In Michigan, you should report the accident to law enforcement any time there is bodily injury or damages. Even if the accident is a minor fender bender, you need to report the accident to your insurance company. If you do not, there are many problems you can encounter. For instance, you may be in violation of your insurance policy.
Also, you may lose out on your opportunity to pursue compensation should you experience delayed injuries. Reporting the accident immediately allows you to inform the insurance company that the incident did occur. They are aware of delayed symptoms, and they may allow you to take some time to wait for injuries to manifest to protect your claim.
Take Photos at the Scene
Even if you are going through your own insurance company, it is vital to take various photos at the scene of the accident, including whether there were any road dangers, hazardous weather conditions, and more. Even video can be used to show the conditions at the scene of the accident.
You also want to take pictures of the damages to your vehicle, as well as all other vehicles involved. Showing the position of the vehicles and the damages sustained can help tell your story, especially as you are going through the process.
Speak with Any Witnesses to the Crash
Insurance companies may work to deny a claim if you do not have enough evidence, leaving you to fend for yourself. Witnesses can prove to be effective in providing information to your insurance company regarding the accident.
Be sure to gather the following information:
- Name and address
- Contact information (phone number or email)
- Statement of the accident
You may want to have the witness sign and date their statement to help your case. Your insurance company can reach out to witnesses to get as much information as they can gather. If you have a reliable witness, it can be very helpful.
Remember, witnesses are not obligated to remain at the scene of the accident and answer your questions. However, should you have someone who is willing to provide you with a statement, get as much information as you can—written if possible.
Receive Medical Treatment
Your health is the top priority, and you should do whatever you can to start your recovery process. Seeking medical treatment after an accident is one of the most important things you can do moving forward, because you are working to improve your condition.
There are different types of injuries that you may sustain as the result of an accident, including soft tissue, delayed, and catastrophic. Medical treatment should be available for any injury, even if it means getting a quick check up to ensure additional damage is not present.
However, some injuries may require additional care, multiple procedures, and long-term treatment. In these situations, your medical treatment documents the extent of your injuries.
Medical records can serve as very beneficial evidence to protect you when you need it most. Medical treatment can help demonstrate your need remain off work and justify your compensation for your sustained injuries.
Hire a Lawyer
Because you are going through your own insurance company, you may feel as though this is a situation you can handle on your own. This is especially true if you experience a soft tissue injury like sprains, bruising, and minor abrasions. However, it is important to understand your rights when you experience harm in an auto accident.
Some insurance companies are less likely to pay out compensation as they are focused on their bottom line. You pay a premium for coverage and you expect the insurance company to be there when you need them the most. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and there are times when insurance companies prioritize their profit instead of paying out the compensation you need.
Whenever an insurance company wrongfully denies your claim, it is crucial to have legal counsel on your side to help you understand what your options are. Working with a lawyer allows you to fully understand your options after denial and learn when you have the right to file a third-party lawsuit to pursue compensation.
At Fieger Law, we have a genuine care and compassion for your best interests. We want to be your trusted partners, allowing you to focus on your physical recovery while we work to handle all legal matters on your behalf. We have a history of pursuing the maximum compensation for those injured in negligence-related accidents.
Our Michigan car accident attorneys know the various ways that insurance companies try to take advantage of a vulnerable situation. As such, we work hard to give you the peace of mind you need during this stressful time. We encourage you to learn more about your potential options by scheduling a free consultation with our team. We will answer your questions and address your concerns, so you feel confident moving forward.
If you suffer an injury after a crash, rely on us to be there for you. Call our firm today at (800) 294-6637 and speak with a member of our team about your potential options.