10 Things You Need To Immediately Do After A Car Accident
There are thousands of car accidents in New York every single year. While many of them are just fender-benders, some give drivers and passengers much more to worry about than just an insurance headache. Roughly one-third of all car accidents involve an injury, and most of the victims in these accidents want to call a car accident lawyer to make sure they’re getting fair compensation.
The key word here is “fair.” Unfortunately, the insurance industry doesn’t always play fair when it comes to compensating those who’ve been injured in an accident that’s little or no fault of their own. The Buffalo car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have spent the last 60 years fighting for accident victims, and they’ve listed below 10 things an injured driver, passenger, and their family members can do immediately after a crash to ensure they get fair compensation:
- STOP. Even if the accident is minor, you should ALWAYS exchange information with the other driver(s) and passenger(s). Driving away from the scene of an accident could also add criminal charges to your record.
- CALL 911. Even if no one is seriously injured, it will be good to have a police report when you file a claim for car repairs. When someone is injured, the police report will be equally important when filing a personal injury claim.
- KEEP A RECORD. Write down everything that happened. This information will be important when investigators are filing an accident report. It’s important to be as accurate as possible, so don’t speculate or fabricate your story.
- NEVER ADMIT FAULT. Even if the accident was clearly caused by your own mistakes, you don’t know that for sure. The other driver may have been drinking. There may have been a mechanical malfunction. Distractions may have taken the other driver’s eyes off the road. Bottom line is, there are a number of factors to analyze before anyone can be determined ‘at fault’ for an accident.
- TAKE PICTURES. In today’s age of smartphones, most drivers and passengers on the road have a camera on them. It is vital to take pictures of the accident scene as soon as possible – even before moving your vehicles off the roadway. If you or anyone in your vehicle have visible injuries, take pictures of those too.
- GATHER AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE. Although accident investigators (police) often write this information down, they aren’t always perfect. In some cases, they have taken down incorrect license plate numbers, names, and locations of an accident. Don’t rely solely on the police report – do your own information gathering. This includes getting the other driver’s insurance information, name, license plate number, and contact details.
- CALL CELLINO & BARNES. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, they may turn out to be more severe than you think. A slight headache could be due to a traumatic brain injury. And a stiff neck could actually be permanent damage to your spinal cord. Even before contacting your insurance company, we recommend calling Cellino & Barnes, as our Buffalo car accident lawyers can provide you with the proper steps and procedures for your unique situation.
- CHECK-IN WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY. Always alert your insurance company of any accident you’ve been in, and cooperate with adjusters and their team. But REMEMBER — the insurance company is NOT your friend. Always weigh advice from your attorney before signing any papers from insurance agencies. Your insurance company may also represent the other driver, and they may attempt to try to get you to sign a settlement that is way below “fair” value.
- HAVE COPIES OF ALL MEDICAL RECORDS. We’ve all encountered the complexities of insurance in one way or another. When someone is injured in a car accident, not only are they dealing with car insurance… they’re also working with health insurance. This can be very complex, and it’s important to keep an active log of each doctor seen and every medical record on file.
- BE ORGANIZED. The Buffalo car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes recommend keeping a file of all accident-related documents, photos, and notes. This file should also include information on your attorney, your claim number, who your adjuster is, what doctors you visited, and contact numbers for everyone involved in the accident.
The most common frustrations accident victims deal with today are insurance-related. These seem like small problems at first, but they can devastate you and your family if they aren’t handled properly.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Buffalo car crash, contact an accident and injury lawyer at Cellino & Barnes today for FREE. Our No Fee Promise guarantees that you will not owe a fee unless we win your case. You have nothing to lose — but everything to gain when you call our car accident attorneys.
Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888