Car Accident Case: Tips to Protect Yourself

Once an auto accident has occurred, a series of events has been set into motion which, if handled correctly, can ensure that damages incurred by anyone involved will be compensated for. Here are a few tips to make sure you don't cost yourself potential award amounts in the event of an accident.

At the Scene of the Accident

The first thing to do after an accident is call 911 and get any necessary medical attention. Take a physical inventory of yourself and check for any injuries. Take a look at your situation to make sure you are not in danger of further injury from oncoming traffic or other hazards around you.

Check with the other drivers and passengers involved, but limit your conversation to their immediate condition. Refrain from saying anything about how the accident occurred. It is important to make sure you don't say anything that could be used against you later when establishing fault and liability.

Once Police Arrive

Follow any requests from the officers, including giving them any details they ask for about how the accident occurred. Be honest at this point, but don't ramble on. Just give them short, concise answers to their questions.

Gather Any Possible Evidence

If you can, take a look around and make a mental note of anything interesting. If possible, take photos with a camera phone, or whatever is available.

File an MV-104 Accident Report

This form must be filed within ten days, but it's best to file it as soon as possible to ensure you can fill it out as accurately as possible while the scene is fresh in your mind.

Physical Injuries Days Later

Often times after a car accident, physical injuries will not manifest themselves for a few days. If you feel any pain or soreness around the neck or back, or anywhere else, seek medical attention. It is important not to ignore this pain in order to establish the severity of your injuries in the event of a later claim. If you are in pain, consider staying home from work. You have every right to allow yourself to recover properly, and should feel obligated to return to work and "tough it out". This can actually be used against you later as evidence that you were "not that injured".

Talking to Your Insurance Company

Always be firm but polite during any conversations with insurance adjusters, but keep in mind, they're not always looking out for you best interests, especially if you're dealing with a third party insurance company. Make sure you don't let them get away without paying for something you feel should be covered.

Consulting with an Attorney

If you feel there is anything that the insurance companies are doing that doesn't seem right or fair, consult with an auto accident lawyer immediately. These attorneys will provide a free initial consultation where you can explain your situation, and they can help you determine if you are being compensated properly.