Auto Accident Basics - A Victim's Guide
After an auto accident, most of the things you should do will seem pretty logical. For example, if anyone at the scene needs medical care you should immediately call 911. That's simple enough. But all too often when it comes to establishing fault, victims assume they will be able to prove the other party was responsible. But before a victim can demand compensation for their injuries and damages they have to prove their case. It doesn't matter what you "think" caused an accident...what really matters is what you can PROVE.
Prove The Other Driver Was At Fault
The first thing you have to prove in any claim for personal injuries and damages is that someone else caused your harm. Many people assume that the party causing their accident will "come clean" and admit their own wrongdoing, but that is not always the case. When a careless driver begins to think about accepting responsibility and all of the things that go with it, they have a tendency to stretch the truth and even deny fault altogether. You need to protect yourself in case this happens to you.
Take photographs AT THE SCENE of the accident if you can. This will help your attorney and those investigating the accident reconstruct the collision. Get the names of witnesses AND their contact information at the scene. Sometimes cases are won or lost because of an independent witness' account of the collision. If you lose the opportunity to have a witness speak on your behalf because you did not get their name or phone number at the scene, you may have lost your case for good.
Determine The Extent of Your Injuries
If you feel you've been hurt in an accident, you need to get to a doctor for an examination as soon as possible. Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys love to argue a delay in treatment means there was no real injury. So, getting to a doctor to document your injuries and complaints is terribly important. Some injuries do come on slowly and worsen over time, but a time gap between an accident and medical treatment can damage your case. Don't be a victim of your own procrastination.
In addition to medical care, it helps a great deal to photograph visible injuries in order to prove your damages. Make sure you take pictures with lighting that will allow your phone or camera to accurately depict the injuries. Since it is common to change cell phones over time, you should download your pictures to a computer for safekeeping. Losing important evidence when you're the victim in an accident is a difficult thing to explain to a jury.
If you've been injured in an auto accident, contacting a knowledgeable personal injury is an important first step to ensuring you will get the compensation you deserve. Don't be a victim twice.