As a car addict, you love to get out and take long drives in your favorite ride of the moment. Maybe you want to spend a few hours cruising the coast with your top let down, or maybe you prefer a scenic drive on a mountain byway.
Unfortunately, the more you drive, the greater risk you put yourself at for getting into an auto accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently reported that about 6,800 people died in crashes in the first quarter of this year alone, for a projected nearly 33,000 for the year. While the rate is down from recent years, it’s still not zero, which is what we’d all like to see.
Auto accidents don’t have to be fatal to be devastating. You can become seriously injured in an auto accident, which can jeopardize your ability to work in both the short and long term, and which can cost you thousands in medical bills, not to mention cause you debilitating pain. What you do immediately after your accident can have a big impact on whether or not you can recover compensation for your injuries and damage to your property.
Here are a few things you should do if you’ve been in an auto accident:
Immediately after the accident happens, you should call the police and get a report. If you are able to, take pictures at the scene. If you are not able to, ask a passenger or ask your insurance adjuster to send you photos. Write down everything you can remember about the accident when you are able to, and keep track of everyone you speak to about the accident, from your doctor to the insurance agent.
Call an Attorney
Working with a personal injury attorney, like Jacoby & Meyers in California, can help you protect your legal rights. An experienced accident attorney can walk you through every stage of the process, from talking with the insurance adjuster to negotiating your settlement. What you don’t know can hurt you in this process, so an attorney can help you avoid making any mistakes that could cost you the settlement you deserve.
Don’t Talk to the Opposing Insurance Company
The insurance company representing the driver at fault in your accident is looking to lower its bottom line. That means that it will use anything you say or any detail of your case against you to lower your settlement or deny it outright. Do not talk to the opposing insurance company without first speaking to an attorney. Never make a recorded statement. If possible, have the insurance company work with your attorney directly.
Even minor fender benders could end up costing you a lot. However, major auto accidents can cost you your job, your health and your ability to care for yourself and your family. By working with an accident attorney, you can improve your chances of getting the settlement you deserve under the law to adequately compensate you for your losses. The steps you take after an accident will determine your future. Make sure you do the right thing.