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Silverthorne Attorneys is a personal injury law firm in Orange County whose top priority and singular focus is the people we represent. We work diligently to make sure that our clients are well taken care of and that their needs are not only met, but come first. Injured now? Do not hesitate to reach out to Silverthorne Attorneys for a free consultation.
What should I do after my accident?
Getting into an accident is very scary and stressful. Believe it or not, the first steps you take after your accident are very important – not only to help you build your case, but for medical reasons as well. Below, we have gathered some of the necessary steps you should take following your accident.
Stay at the Scene of the Accident
It is crucial to not leave the scene of an accident until it is necessary to do so. If you happen to leave a crash site where someone has sustained injuries or has been killed, you can face criminal penalties for being involved in a hit-and-run accident.
Check on Other Driver(s) & Passenger(s)
Before assessing the damage to your car, make sure everyone involved in the accident is okay. Seek emergency medical attention for anyone who is suffering from severe injuries. Do not move a person who is unconscious or is suffering from neck or back pain, unless a hazard requires you too. Moving a person with these injuries can cause paralysis.
Even if no one is displaying signs of injuries, call the police to file a police report. This will help your case exponentially should there be a lawsuit. Always ask the police to file a report and make sure you obtain the name and badge numbers of the responding officers.
After you have made sure that everyone is okay and have surveyed the scene, remember to get the names, numbers, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information from all parties involved. When speaking to other drivers, make sure you are being cooperative and kind. But make sure to not apologize when you are at the scene. If you apologize and it is on record, that can be seen as an unintentional admittance of guilt. Even if you feel compelled in the moment to apologize when you are the scene of the accident, it is best not not -doing so can put your claim in jeopardy.
Talk to Witnesses
If you can and they are willing, talk to any and all witnesses about what he/she saw. Take down the following information:
- Any statements that they are willing to make about the incident
Take notes and pictures if you can
Taking photographs of any damage to your vehicle is critical after an accident. Photos can help your bodily injury attorney determine how much your case is worth and can help immensely should your case go to court.
- Make sure to take detailed notes on all of you injuries and medical treatments. This will help your attorney prove that you are indeed entitled to your full settlement claim.
- Keeping any and all receipts for medications that you were prescribed is also beneficial to your case.
- Taking photos of your injuries, if you can will be valuable evidence in your case. If you are not able to take photos yourself, ask a friend to take pictures of any and all injuries.
Any photos you have of your car before your accident will help to compare and contrast to show the extent of the damage from the accident.
Inform Your Insurance Company
After everything has been taken care of at the scene, make sure you get in touch with your insurance company and tell them the details of your accident. Explain the details as honestly as possible. If your insurance company finds out that you have been untruthful, not only could you be in serious trouble, but they may deny coverage for the accident. At this point, obtain and review a copy of the police report that was filed – this will help so that when you meet with your personal injury attorney, you are well versed on your accident report.
See a doctor
We always suggest that you see a doctor immediately after your accident, even if you are unsure if your injuries are serious or not. Some symptoms such as head pains, discomfort, dizziness, or numbness can take time to develop after an accident.
Seeking medical attention for any injuries will only benefit the strength of your personal injury claim. Waiting days or even weeks to seek medical treatment will make it more difficult to prove that your injuries were a result of your accident.
Make sure that you are keeping track of all medical treatments that you are undergoing while you are injured. Note any doctors visits, chiropractors, or any other medical professionals that you seek medical attention from. Your personal injury attorney will want to have a copy of your medical records on file, so it is best to obtain copies of all reports and bills.
Medical expenses can be easy to document, but pain and suffering can be a bit trickier to prove. We advise that you keep a record of how your injuries have impacted your daily lifestyle. Include any missed work, list routines that you can no longer accomplish, and do your best to describe how your injuries have affected your family life. Any and all documentation is extremely helpful for your accident lawyer.
Use Caution When Discussing Your Case
We understand that you are going to want to vent about your accident to others. We advise that you try your best not to discuss your case with anyone other than your lawyer and the police. Oftentimes, statements that you make to the other party’s insurance company can be misconstrued and you may be misquoted. Do not talk to anyone from the insurance company. If they contact you, ask them to contact your personal injury attorney to arrange and interview. Make sure you tell your attorney about whatever calls you receive.
- We urge you to not talk to anyone about your case unless you absolutely have to.
- Do not settle without a personal injury attorney.
- Do not let insurance adjusters rush you into a settlement
Evaluating Damages After an Accident
As a car accident attorney, Ian Silverthorne knows that one of the biggest worries after your accident is assessing yourself for injuries. It is usually up to the insurance companies to determine the damages after an accident. Here are some helpful things you can do to help your auto accident lawyer put your claim together. Remember, the first thing you want to do after your accident is make sure that you and any passengers are not injured. If you are suffering from injuries due to an accident, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your case. Consultations with an attorney in our office are free!
Car Accident Attorney | Seek Medical Treatment & Obtain Records
Again, once you have been in accident, make sure you and anyone else in your car is not seriously injured. If anyone in the accident is seriously injured, call an ambulance right away. It is extremely important that they get medical attention immediately.
Make sure to get copies of all of your treatment records, medical bills, medical records, etc. This will not only help in the claims process but it will also help your car accident attorney determine the value of your case. Once we have you signed on as a client, our case managers will also obtain any and all medical records and billing. We ask that you are honest about what treatment you have received (if any). Again, this makes it easier for us to be able to put a demand together.
Take Pictures & Notes of Damage
As always, take pictures of the damage done to your car during the accident. Take pictures of the interior as well as exterior. Close-up and far away. Any angle you can get of the damages done. That way, the insurance company will get a good idea of the extent of the damages to the car. Also, make sure to take pictures that show the location (if you can) and the license plate of each car involved in the accident.
Make note of any personal property that is also damaged in the accident. This can include anything from a laptop, purse, cell phone. Though this does not include anything that has been lost or stolen, there is a chance that you will be able to make a property damage claim.
Give an Account of the Accident
In more serious cases, people call the police to take down a report. If that is not something you do at the scene, make sure you write down your account and the description of the accident. If the police do not take a report at the scene, your written account will be helpful when you later report it to the police. The police report will be extremely helpful for a few reasons. Determining liability, determining damages, evaluating the cause of the accident, etc. If the police don’t make it to the scene, make sure you file a police report right away. The more proactive you are after your accident, the better your case will be.
Do Not Admit Guilt
Even if you feel sorry about the accident, as most people do, do not admit fault, ever. This is because the insurance companies will take it and they will then put you at-fault for the accident. Even if they do not have evidence that you are at-fault, if you admit to fault, they will likely use that against you. And you may not have a case after that.
You should also be aware, that when we put together our demand, we can also ask that you receive compensation for loss of income, pain and suffering, or permanent physical injuries. Make sure to keep track of the days you have had to take off work due to the injuries that directly correlate to your accident.
- Obtaining payment for medical bills and loss of income are easily calculable. However, if you need additional medical treatment, or the injuries have left you with permanent damage, seeking an attorney is the best case scenario to getting the compensation you deserve.
- This includes any emotional distress. Your auto accident lawyer will be able to ask for such things in their demand after you complete treatment.
- General damages are calculated based on the severity of the accident. Sometimes they are calculated using a multiple that includes the following:
- Medical bills are usually calculated using a multiple based on the severity of your injuries:
- An example: relatively non-serious injuries might have a multiple of two, whereas extremely serious injuries may have one as high as 10.
- Medical bills are usually calculated using a multiple based on the severity of your injuries:
Auto Accident Lawyer | Know Your Rights
We know that the time after an accident is always difficult. That is why a car accident attorney at Silverthorne Attorneys is here to help. We want to make sure you are aware of your rights. And we are here to protect those rights when you are being taken advantage of by insurance adjusters.
If you are suffering from injuries due to an accident, please do not hesitate to contact our office. An auto accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys will help you with your case. Consultations are always free!