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What to do after a motor vehicle collision

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2021 | Car Accidents |

A motor vehicle collision can instantly impact your health and finances. If you were not at fault, the other driver’s insurance is supposed to cover the cost of your medical care and property damage. However, this is often not the case, as insurance companies are always looking for ways to avoid paying you what you are entitled to.

As a result, if you have been in a collision, it’s important to proceed carefully to ensure that the choices you make do not negatively impact your ability to collect what you are due.

Take photos

After a collision, it is important to document what happened, including the vehicles involved and your injuries.  If you sustained any bruising, broken bones or other visible injuries, take pictures of them.  If either of the vehicles involved were damaged, snap some photos.  In addition, it may be worthwhile to obtain pictures of the scene before the cars are moved or removed.

Watch what you say

Although you may be upset about what happened, avoid expressing your emotions right away.  Focus on seeking medical attention, calmly exchanging contact information and recording facts with the police.  Do not apologize if you believe the collision was not your fault.

It can be hard to know what you need to tell the insurance companies involved. In fact, an adjuster may ask you to record a statement, which could be used against you at a later time. That is why it is critical to consult an attorney right away, before speaking with the insurance companies.  An attorney can explain your rights and how to navigate the process to prevent problems with your claim.

Do not rush to settle your claim

Accidents are stressful and and monetary compensation can be essential to getting your life back on track.  However, you may be tempted to attempt to negotiate a settlement before you know the full extent of your injuries.  Wait until you are fully recovered before you wrap up your claim.

At the same time, it is critical to seek legal representation as soon as possible for a variety of reasons.  First, evidence is lost, memories fade and witnesses disappear quickly.  An attorney can ensure that these important pieces of the puzzle are preserved. Second, wherever your collision occurred, there are statutes of limitation — or deadlines — for filing a lawsuit.  If you wait too long to reach out to an attorney, you may completely lose your rights to seek redress for your injuries.