No matter what you’re doing to keep yourself safe on the road, there is always the chance of getting into an accident. If you’re practicing safe driving habits, the accident is more than likely the result of another’s negligence, and sustaining injuries due to negligence is something that deserves compensation.
“Where do I start? What steps must I take after the accident?” You may ask yourself.
To protect your rights and remain eligible to seek the compensation you deserve, there are certain steps that must be taken. These steps are all done to ensure your rights are protected and fall under the umbrella of the three keys to a successful case:
Knowing the proper steps to take following an accident will not only help protect your rights and allow you a proper recovery, but they will also take a lot of stress out of the equation and allow for you to think clearly at the accident scene.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
The first thing to address following a car accident is the well-being of yourself and your passengers. Health is the most important thing to take care of following a car accident. Calling for medical attention when necessary may prevent injuries from furthering, as well as help aid in finding injuries you may not have known existed—which is important, as it may take time for them to develop fully.
Seeking medical assistance will ensure that you are properly cared for and all of your injuries are addressed, additionally, the medical records will play a crucial role in your personal injury case. Be sure to follow your doctor’s advice thoroughly throughout your claims process, as acting against it may harm your case.
With many emotions flying it can be a challenge to keep your head on straight and get the proper documentation for your accident. Following seeking medical attention, or if your accident didn’t require medical assistance, it is crucial to document everything you can relate to the accident, as solid evidence is a key factor in winning your case.
“What should I document? What information adds value to my case?”
Call local police - Phoning local authorities to the accident scene has many benefits following an accident. They will take a written police report, which is something that is invaluable for your case. Not only will they assist in documentation and speaking with witnesses, but they will also be able to help mediate the situation and ensure that all parties participate. This is extremely helpful when the driver isn’t willing to cooperate with you.
Speak with witnesses - Speaking with witnesses of the accident is another important piece to your claim. Be sure to ask them about everything they saw and ensure you receive the witnesses’:
Verbal or written statements (if possible)
Take photos - We live in a digital age, and with that comes cameras on just about every phone manufactured nowadays. Because of this, you should never miss the opportunity to photograph the accident scene. This will prove to be beneficial to your case as it is concrete evidence that has very little room for rebuttal.
Be sure to take pictures of the following:
The accident scene
Any damage done to all vehicles involved
Broken stop signs/stop lights/light posts
If there is a lack of traffic signage related to the accident, include photos of that as well
Inform Your Insurer
It’s important to inform your insurance company that you have been involved in an accident. Many insurance providers have a specific timeline for reporting accidents, and acting outside of these guidelines may be grounds for a denial.
While it is important to inform your insurer of your accident, it is extremely important to refrain from accepting any settlements before speaking with a legal professional. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to offer an unreasonably low payout, because they know they can get people to accept. While they may seem to be your friend, at the end of the day, they are in the business of making money—not friends.
Speak With a Qualified Tennessee Car Accident Attorney
To ensure the best possible outcome for your case, it is important to speak with a qualified Tennessee personal injury attorney about your case. An experienced attorney, like our team here at Snider & Horner, will take down the details of your case and work on an action plan to pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
Working with an attorney will take a lot of the weight off of your shoulders and allow for you to focus on recovering from the accident. For decades, we have helped our clients seek the compensation they deserve following an auto accident.