August 8, 2016

Should I get an attorney after a car accident?

Getting into an automobile accident can be terrifying for those involved. When you are in that position, you’re not thinking about how your behavior might affect your insurance claim, or whether you need to contact your personal injury attorney. You’re thinking about the event that just happened, how to make sure everyone gets home safely, and what you’re going to do about your immediate future.

This is a natural response, but not handling the scene of an automobile accident properly can put you in a vulnerable position. If you’re not educated on the value of getting an attorney after being involved in an accident, you can be put in an even more difficult position, and easily be taken advantage of by the insurance company.

Should I get an attorney after a car accident? Absolutely. Read on to find out your first steps after a car accident, and how hiring an attorney can make your case.

Your first step

First, never leave the scene of an automobile accident. Even if no one was hurt, stay at the scene until all of the steps are taken to ensure your safety, the safety of the other party, and the protection of your interests. If you are in the road, you may move to the safest near location, but stay as close to the scene as possible. While it’s understandable to wish to leave the scene out of fear, anxiety, or even confusion, your presence is absolutely necessary.

The blame game

Next, call the police immediately.  You will want an unbiased report of the accident. Answer the police officer’s questions, but do not say it was your fault. Use truthful facts, not personal opinion, which means not discussing which driver caused the accident. It is the insurance company’s job to “place blame”, and they will use the police report. Therefore, if you state that it was your fault, your insurance company can take advantage of you by raising your premium, refusing to pay for the accident, or even dropping you.

Unless you are an expert, there is no way you could know that an automobile accident was your fault, even if you feel like it was. However, saying outright that it was your responsibility can put you in a bad position later. Speak only to the police officer about the accident. You can, of course, find out if the other party is alright, but do not discuss the accident with any party other than the officer at the scene.  

Stay calm

Try to remain calm when speaking to the officer, so that there is no unintentional bias on their part. While it is reasonable that being involved in a traumatic situation can leave you unstable, keep in mind that emotional people can sometimes seem irrational. Do your best to keep yourself together and take care of business. The first moments after an accident are crucial, so remain unbiased and unemotional – state the facts only.

Anyone who was driving during the automobile accident should ideally write down their name, address, phone number, e-mail, insurance company, and policy number. You’ll want to provide your insurance company with all the information possible; while they will be contacting any other drivers to get the full story, you may help the process along by collecting their information.

Take pictures

If you are able, take photos of both cars. Take pictures of the inside and outside if possible, and try to get a very clear view of the damage. Again, this may help your insurance company to come to a speedy and accurate decision. It is best if you are able to do this in the position that the cars were when they crashed. However, if you have had to move them, or couldn’t take the pictures at the scene, just try to take them as soon as possible, either at the side of the road or at the garage they are towed to.  

Should I get an attorney after a car accident? Yes.

Filing a claim with your car insurance company can be a nasty business. Insurance companies are in the business to make money and generally are not on your side. While some situations may end well, with insureds getting the coverage that they deserve, some have victims running in circles with unpaid insurance bills, unpaid time out of work, and medical bills that they cannot keep up with. Should I get an attorney after a car accident? Yes, this is where an attorney comes in.

An attorney knows what coverage you’re obligated to, and when your insurance company is trying to take advantage of you. If that is the case, an attorney knows how to force their hand, and treat you like you should be treated. Having an attorney on your side tells your insurance company that you are serious about getting what you deserve, that you will not hesitate to sue.

Don’t let your insurance company take advantage of you. Call Corless Barfield Trial Group if you have incurred any injury in the accident, no matter how minor it may seem.  Meeting with a personal injury attorney will help you to assess your rights, navigate the process ahead, and find out what you are entitled to.

You may also be interested in:

Reverse Camera Safety
10 Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
How to Choose Car Insurance Options